On March 19 1898, the 7.50pm train from Hatfield to King's Cross ran past signals at danger when it reached Potters Bar.
The train cut through the buffers and crashed into the platform. No-one was killed.
On February 10 1946, a train travelling towards King's Cross hit the buffers at the station and the derailed carriages fouled the main line.
Two express trains then hit the wreckage. Two passengers were killed and 17 injured.
On May 10 2002, a northbound train derailed at high speed at Potters Bar, killing seven and injuring 76.
It's not a record to be proud of for the firms involved, since it represents a steady deterioration of the safety record over a full century.
In 2011, not-for-profit company Network Rail was fined £3 million for safety failings at Potters bar in 2002.
Its predecessor, the Tory brainchild Railtrack, was the infrastructure company in charge at the time of the crash, but Network Rail accepted responsibility for its predecessor's failings, thus ensuring that the public paid for the failings of a consortium of privateers.
Jarvis had also faced prosecution as the negligent contractor.
But the rail regulator decided in March of 2011 not to proceed as the prosecution was "no longer in the public interest," since Jarvis's chairman, former Conservative transport minister Steven Norris, and his board had decided to suspend trading on the Stock Exchange and call in administrators in 2010.
And now it appears that the Tories of 2012 have still learned nothing from this unfortunate history.
They are pondering the introduction of many of the recommendations in last year's report by Sir Roy McNulty, including 30 per cent expenditure cuts, which it euphemistically refers to as "efficiency savings."
For efficiency savings, read staff cuts, because that's what it's all about.
McNulty claimed that Network Rail should be decentralised and longer franchises with more leeway as to services provided be awarded.
Quite what longer franchises do to improve anything - except of course the operators' profits - isn't coherently explained.
And as for "decentralised," what he is punting for here is simply the break-up and sale of bits and pieces of Network Rail.
What isn't being privatised is being put in the hands of "alliances" between Network Rail and privateer operators. And if that isn't privatisation by stealth, what else is it?
Sir Roy claims that safety on the privatised railways had vastly improved. Really? Let's remember Southall, Ladbroke Grove, Hatfield and Potters Bar.
McNulty claimed that there were 10 principal barriers to efficiency in the rail industry:
Fragmentation of rail industry structures and interfaces
The way in which major players in the industry have operated
Roles of government and industry
Nature and effectiveness of incentives
Legal and contractual frameworks
Supply chain management
Insufficient emphasis on whole-system approaches
Relationships and culture within the industry.
And who are we to disagree with him? Every single point is right. But every single point relates to a failure of the privatised chaotic hotch-potch that successive governments have created in order to privatise and industry which by its very nature is a natural for state ownership and national control.
Savings can certainly be made in the industry.
If McNulty seriously wanted cost savings, he might have considered ending the habit of allowing franchise-holding train operating companies to walk away from their franchises the moment they decide they are not making enough profit.
It would certainly be preferable to dooming the railways to operate with a steadily reducing staff and still expect them to improve services and safety.
But all that the McNulty report really represents is something we have seen so many times before with the banks, among other enterprises, that it is getting rather boring.
It's an apologia for the structural failings of capitalism and a desperate attempt to avoid the cold, hard, logical position that nationalisation of a unified rail industry is the only sensible destination for a multiple privatisation that has plainly hit the buffers.
To quote RMT general secretary Bob Crow, "Once again rail services are going to be run for profit, setting up the same poisonous set of conditions that led to problems in the past.
"If profits are the motive then repairs and maintenance work doesn't get done because people want to maximise returns for shareholders.
"This is what happened in the run-up to previous tragedies. We think the result will be further unnecessary deaths and injuries on the railways.
"The anniversary of the Potters Bar crash is a wake-up call 10 years on for the government to look again and realise this is not the way to run a railway."