Who died in the Call the Midwife train crash?

Call the Midwife
Fans were on the edge of their seats following the Call the Midwife train crash. (Image credit: BBC)

*Warning - spoilers for Call the Midwife season 11 final episode below*

Call the Midwife season 11 left us with a shocking cliffhanger during the penultimate episode, meaning we had a nail-biting season finale on our hands the following week. But has the BBC show killed off a fan favorite?

By the end of episode 7, several characters' fates were left unknown after Lionel Corbett (played by EastEnders star Marc Elliott) lost control of a train after suffering a seizure, causing them to crash at high speed into another train.

Dr Turner (Stephen McGann), Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), and newcomer Nurse Nancy Corrigan (Megan Cusack) were all aboard the train, we know that Nancy managed to get away from the wreckage, but the fate of the other two characters remained unclear until the final episode of the season.

Call the Midwife season 11 - final episode

Call the Midwife season finale saw Poplar in the middle of a disaster...  (Image credit: BBC)

With the season finale picking up where we left off in the penultimate episode, we were straight into the aftermath of the tragic train crash. There were walking wounded trying to escape the train wreckage, as well as panic and confusion down on the ground as buildings were deemed unsafe and Nonnatus House was turned into a makeshift emergency room.

Before the finale aired, Heidi Thomas, the show’s creator, told Radio Times: "The thing is, if there was a train crash near where you live, in the world of Call the Midwife, the two people you could rely on to come and sort everything out are Dr Turner and Sister Julienne."

Heidi added: "But if they are in the eye of the storm, who will save them?"

Fans were heartbroken when two characters were killed off in the show's final episode of the season, read on below to find out who made it out of the disaster alive and who met an untimely end...

Dr Patrick Turner

Stephen McGann as Dr Turner in Call the Midwife

Stephen McGann as Dr Turner in 'Call the Midwife'. (Image credit: (C) Nealstreet Productions)

In an interview with What to Watch, actor Stephen McGann told us there was "real danger" and the fate of his character was left unknown at the end of episode seven... "We don't know their fates or what their injuries are. We know Dr Turner was thrown around. We also have other people in the carriage who are horribly injured, it’s a mess. We don’t know if their injuries will take their lives or, if they revive, what will be the long-term effects?"

When we last saw Dr Turner in the penultimate episode, he was lying on the floor of the train, but we didn't know if he's dead or just unconscious. Thankfully for Call the Midwife fans Dr Turner made it out of the wreckage after his son, Timothy, tracked him down and got help. 

It was touch and go for Dr Turner for a while, especially after his head injury appeared to cause him some confusion, however, a spell in hospital saw him go home with little more than a broken arm. Phew! 

Call the Midwife season 11 - final episode

It was touch and go for Dr Turner and Sister Julienne for a while.  (Image credit: BBC)

Sister Julienne

Jenny Agutter in Call the Midwife

Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne in 'Call the Midwife'. (Image credit: BBC and Nealstreet Productions)

Worryingly, Sister Julienne wasn't moving at all before the credits rolled on episode seven, which left fans convinced she had died. 

Actress Jenny Agutter had been sworn to secrecy before the final episode aired, but told us: "Everything that happens to the Poplar community and Nonnatus House has an ongoing effect, even if it’s only to bring home the idea that we never know what the future holds. I don’t know how Nonnatus will change. I also can’t give away the few things I know about Sister Julienne's future!"

Once again, Call the Midwife fans were left relieved when Sister Julienne made it out of the train disaster with just a few broken ribs. There was panic at one point that she had a much more serious injury and had suffered a near-fatal heart attack, however, that thankfully turned out to be a false alarm and she too will make a full recovery. 

Lionel Corbett - the train driver 

Call the Midwife season 11 - final episode

Poor Lionel had no idea he was suffering from a brain tumour.  (Image credit: BBC)

While Dr Turner and Sister Julienne were lucky, not everyone made it out of the train wreckage alive. Sadly train driver Lionel, who it later turned out had been unknowingly suffering from a brain tumor, died following his seizure while driving the train. Lionel left behind his wife Edina (Maya Saroya) who had just given birth to a baby boy, and their young daughter. 

Dorothy Carnie - the tea lady

Call the Midwife Dorothy Carnie

Dorothy Carnie sadly didn't make it out of the train crash alive.  (Image credit: BBC)

Dorothy Carnie (Stephanie Jacob) the tea lady on the train who had been a long-time patient of Dr Turner and Sister Julienne, sadly passed away after sustaining injuries in the train crash. 

We also saw 15-year-old Carole Reece (Ellie-May Sheridan) lose her second child after giving birth prematurely, and as always, there was a bitter-sweet ending to the storyline as Sister Frances organized for Carole's baby to be buried with Dorothy after it was revealed that babies born early weren't given their own funeral or burial.

After Carole met with Dorothy's daughter at the end of the episode, she finally got the family she had been looking for after years in care. 

In the UK you can catch up on all seasons of Call the Midwife on BBC iPlayer now. 

Call the Midwife is available to stream on Netflix in the US.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress