Railway accidents in Hong Kong are extremely uncommon, and scrapping of rolling stock due to collision damage is even rarer. From what I have been able to find, the most recent rail accident to occur in Hong Kong was all the way back in 1984. Here is a contemporary news report:
Some additional photos of the wreckage can be found on the blog of a local railfan
The Wikipedia article on the East Rail line has the following to say about the accident:
On 25 November 1984, a train derailed between Sheung Shui and Lo Wu station. The incident occurred when the driver, preparing to back the train up to Sheung Shui station, failed to follow a speed/stop signal while the train was exceeding the speed limit. The train crashed into a boulder buffer with the first two cars piling on top of each other. The degree of damage was so extensive that the cars never returned to service. Passengers were unloaded prior to the crash, while the driver sustained only minor injuries.
Given that that details in Wikipedia sounds like poorly translated English, I went over to the Chinese version of the same article, and ran it through Google Translate.
- Sheung Shui station was the terminus of a northbound service,
- All passengers leave the train so that the train can change direction,
- To head back towards Hung Hom, trains proceed into a turnback siding at the north end of the station,
- After changing ends the driver brought his train back towards Sheung Shui station,
- The train failed to negotiate the crossover back to the main line, instead continuing along the siding into a dead end,
- The train hit the buffers at a high speed, with the leading two carriages being written off due to the damage inflicted.
Unfortunately I can’t find a diagram showing the track layout of Sheung Shui station circa 1984 – presumably the turnback siding was removed when the Lok Ma Chau spur line was opened in 2008. From what the news footage shows, the turnback siding was located on the eastern side of the line at the north end of the station.
Finding out which carriages were scrapped as a result of the collision is also difficult – Google Translate and the HKRail.net website says the following:
E45 (145-245-445) scrapped after the accident at Sheung Shui in 1984
It appears that the remaining good carriages were shuffled around, with the remains of carriage 272 were used to build a display at the Hong Kong Railway Museum. Unfortunately but by the time I visited in 2010 it was gone – so here is an older photo of the mockup by Gordon Graham.
The Chinese version of Wikipedia lists two other major accidents on the East Rail line page. They are, via Google Translate:
1923 Ma Liu Shui derailment
On June 14, 1923 at 11:00 am a southbound train encountered a landslip at Ma Liu Shui, the locomotive and first car derailed, fortunately no one was injured. The locomotive was repaired and re-entered service, but was scrapped after it was involved in a second accident in 1931.
1931 Ma Liu Shui derailment
In the afternoon of April 20, 1931 heavy rain caused streams to burst near No. 22 bridge south of University Station. About 17:10 a Kowloon-bound train approached the damaged bridge which overloaded and collapsed, leading to the locomotive and the first four passenger carriages derailing and falling 20 feet below the roadbed. Carriages 3 and 4 telescoped into each other.
After the incident, railway bureau, police and the fire brigade were immediately deployed to carry out the rescue, nearby residents have rushed to help, but because of the remote location, the lack of suitable tools and inclement weather, the work is very arduous. The accident caused a total of 12 people were killed, the highest death toll of any Hong Kong railway accident.
The locomotive involved was the same one as the 1923 derailment, and was scrapped as a result of the accident. Damage to the railway resulted in the service not resuming until June.
With only one fatal accident in the 100 years of railways in Hong Kong, I reckon their safety record is very good.