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Train robbers had botched Swindon wages raid
5:30am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
GREAT Train Robber Ronald Biggs wrote of an earlier raid by some of the gang on a Swindon Railway Works wages train.
Biggs, who died on Wednesday morning, described the aborted heist on his website, ronniebiggs.com Most people have heard of the 1963 Great Train Robbery, when a gang led by Bruce Reynolds took £2.6m – about £40m in today’s money – from the Glasgow to London mail train. According to Biggs there were two earlier plans in 1962. The first involved a train carrying money from Midlands betting shops for banking in London, but was abandoned when it was discovered the funds were cheques.
“The second target was the Irish Mail Train, the Bristol Express, that ran out of Paddington Station.
The train, Buster Edwards had discovered, often carried the wages for the railway workers at Swindon.
It was also a passenger train so the gang could be on the train to stop it.
A first trial run went to plan, but the actual robbery was something of a disaster, with the gang getting away with less than £700.”
The Adver splashed the story of the Great Train Robbery across its front page. We told our readers: “An armed gang of 20 to 30 masked men tricked the Glasgow-London mail into stopping by ‘fixing’ a signal, swarmed on board, attacked and handcuffed the crew and forced them to take the first two coaches on to a bridge over a lonely road.”
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