On 17 September 1912 the 17:30 Chester to Liverpool express was signalled to cross from the fast to the slow line, but the driver who had little experience of the junction had never been switched here before, misread the signals and thought he had a clear run through. The crossover had a speed limit of 15 mph but the train hit it at 60 mph. The locomotive, a 2-4-0 of the Precedent class turned on its side and travelled some distance, striking the pier of an overbridge (partially demolishing it) and broke in two. The six carriages following ploughed over the engine and were all destroyed - forming a heap of wreckage between the station platforms. Punctured gaslighting cylinders ignited, turning the scene into an inferno. Driver, fireman and 13 passengers were killed.