April 1901

   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – The body of John O’Neil, a labourer, aged about 30, was found yesterday morning with the head crushed in, at the side of the main line of the Caledonian Railway, near Overtown Station. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 1st April, 1901, p.2.





   About half-past ten last night a young man named Maconnachie, who was employed as a shunter at Leuchars Junction, was killed while at work. He was struck by a goods train which was being shunted, and he was picked up a few minutes later by the other railway men who were on duty, and Dr Constable, Leuchars, was immediately sent for, but the poor fellow soon succumbed to his injuries. 

   He belonged to Dufftown. 

   Another account says:- 

   Leuchars Station has been the scene of a death which is shrouded in mystery, and to solve which the most vague conjectures are forthcoming. There are two yardsmen employed at Leuchars Station, and at a late hour last night one of these found the body of his fellow-yardsman. James McConnachie, lying at the side of the line. A hasty examination was enough to prove that life was extinct. A doctor was immediately summoned, and on examining the body he discovered a small wound at the back of the ear. The cause of death was concussion of the brain, and the doctor was of opinion that the fatal occurrence might have been the result of a fall on the rails. On the other hand, it is supposed that the unfortunate man might have stepped in front of the Glasgow and Aberdeen goods train, which shunted at Leuchars last night to allow the Glasgow passenger train to pass. There was not the slightest indication of any blow having been received about the body, although, from the peculiar situation of the wound, it is rather difficult to conceive how it could have been inflicted by an engine or guard’s van. The unfortunate man was only 23 years of age, and was unmarried. He had been in the employment of the North British Railway Company for about a year, and was a porter at Dundee Tay Bridge Station. He went to Leuchars at the beginning of this year. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 2nd April, 1901, p.2.



   Yesterday, while Robert Burnett, builder, Inverurie, was crossing the railway at Inverurie Station to catch the morning train for Aberdeen, he tripped and fell in front of a goods waggon which was being shunted, with the result that the vehicle passed over his left leg, breaking it below the knee. Burnett was conveyed to Aberdeen by train, and removed to the Royal Infirmary. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 2nd April, 1901, p.4.


   ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – On Saturday morning a young lad named Thos. Grant had the misfortune to meet with a rather serious accident on the branch line of the railway between Linlithgow and Linlithgow Oil Works. He had been to Linlithgow and was returning to the rows, and when leaving the workmen’s train he happened to step off before it had come to a standstill, with the result that he fell and broke one of his legs. He was conveyed to his home and afterwards removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 5th April, 1901, p.4.




   The dead body of John O’Neil, aged about 30 years, a labourer, who resided at Borland’s Land, Flemington, was found last Sabbath morning lying by the side of the main line of the Caledonian Railway near Overtown Station. It is supposed that the deceased had travelled by the late train on Saturday night to Law Junction, and was walking home along the down line when he was overtaken by an engine, which had evidently struck him on the right side of the head, crushing it in a frightful manner, and killing him instantly. The body was observed about half-past six a.m. on Sabbath by a guard of a goods train. He informed a surfaceman, who proceeded to the spot and had the remains taken to a waiting room in Overtown Station. An examination of papers in his possession led to the identification of the deceased. The body was also subsequently identified by O’Neil’s landlord, who stated that the unfortunate man had left his lodgings about four o’clock on Saturday afternoon and had not been heard of afterwards, till his body was found. O’Neil belonged to Ireland, where his mother resides. 

– Wishaw Press, Saturday 6th March, 1901, p.3.





   A Dumbarton correspondent writes:- A somewhat extraordinary incident occurred at Dalreoch Station. The Balloch to Glasgow train, due there at 9.40, by some unexplained circumstances shot past the platform and came to a stand on the bridge which crosses the River Leven. A young man named Robert Baillie, a passenger, evidently thinking the train had drawn up at the station, opened the door of the compartment and stepped out, with the result that he fell over the parapet rail into the water below, a distance of about 35 feet. A young woman, who was also in the same compartment, gave the alarm, and one of the porters had a difficulty in restraining another passenger from descending in a like manner. 

   A search was instantly instituted by the station staff, but no trace of Baillie could be found, save that a man thought he saw some one pass along Leven Street who had evidently been in the water. Acting on the clue, Mr Walker, the station agent, proceeded to Baillie’s home, at Woodyard House, where he found him sitting at the fire. Baillie could not explain how he managed to get ashore or how the accident occurred, but he was evidently suffering from shock. The only apparent injury received was a cut on the temple. Altogether Baillie had a marvellous escape. 

– Dundee Courier, Thursday 11th April, 1901, p.5.



   A goods train on the Harbour Branch, Kirkcaldy, was lost control of yesterday, owing to slippery rails. It rushed down the hill at a terrific speed. The driver and fireman jumped clear, and the train went headlong over the pier into the sea. No one was injured. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 11th April, 1901, p.4.


Accident on the Railway.

   Frank Riddell, painter, residing at 180 Orbiston Street, was found late on Tuesday night lying unconscious between the rails of the up line of the Caledonian Railway near to the Dalzell Works signal cabin. He is supposed to have been knocked down by the south mail, which passes about 10.5 p.m. Dr Robertson was sent for, and on examining Riddell found that his skull had been fractured. He had also wounds on the side of the neck, his shoulder blade and several ribs on the right side being broken. The unfortunate man was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the ambulance waggon. He died shortly after being admitted the Infirmary. He was twenty-eight years of age and unmarried. 

Motherwell Times, Friday 12th April, 1901, p.2.


   RAILWAY BLOCK. – About nine o’clock yesterday morning a somewhat serious block took place on the Caledonian Railway at West Station. While an engine was coming out from a siding just beyond the station it collided with an engine and van proceeding along the main line. The engine and van were thrown broadside, with the result that both lines were completely blocked and the permanent way torn up. Several passenger trains to Glasgow were run via Motherwell, while those for Hamilton were considerably late. The line was cleared in a few hours. 

– North British Daily Mail, Tuesday 16th April, 1901, p.3.




   Yesterday morning shortly after nine o’clock a fatal accident took place a little to the north of Ladybank Railway Junction, the victim being Andrew Simpson. who acted as gatekeeper at the level crossing leading from Golf Street, Ladybank, to Annsmuir, on the Perth branch of the North British Railway. It is supposed that Simpson’s attention had been taken up with a train which was shunting on the down line, and that he had failed to observe the approach of a goods train from Perth on the up line. Shortly after the train had passed he was found lying on the outside of the six-footway near the east embankment. Dr Laidlaw was summoned with all speed, and promptly attended, but Simpson survived only a few minutes, having received internal injuries. Deceased came to Ladybank about thirty years ago, since when he has been in the service of the North British Company. He was a widower, and is survived by five of a grown-up family, who have the sympathy of many relatives and friends. 

– Dundee Courier, Thursday 18th April, 1901, p.3.







   Telegraphing later our correspondent says:- A serious collision occurred this morning between a light engine and a mineral train at Holytown Station. The engine, through some mistake, was allowed to run on to the down line, where it collided with the mineral train, and the force of the impact was so great that both tenders were wrecked. traffic was interrupted for some time. On inquiry at the Infirmary in Glasgow, the injured men – James Carcary, 6 Whitefriars Buildings, Whitefriars Street, and David Walker, 24 Market Street, both of Perth – were stated to be in a serious condition. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 18th April, 1901 p.5.


   ACCIDENT ON RAILWAY. – Between two and three o’clock on the afternoon of Saturday, while Annie Williamson, schoolgirl, aged eleven years, daughter of and residing with Mrs Mary Williamson, The Marches, Armadale, was walking on the branch railway between Bathville and Barbauchlaw Brickworks she was overtaken by an engine and train of waggons, whereby she was knocked down, and the wheels of the locomotive passing over her left arm near the wrist, completely severed the hand from the arm. She was immediately attended to by Dr Duff, assistant to Dr Anderson, and was ordered to be at once removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 19th April, 1901, p.5.


   Accident at Tay Bridge Station. – About ten o’clock last night a middle-aged man named Bernard McGuire, while stepping off an Edinburgh train at Tay Bridge Station, fell on the platform and received a rather severe wound on the forehead. Dr Lennox was called, and dressed the wound. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 26th April, 1901, p.4.



   A serious accident occurred on the railway at Bucksburn yesterday afternoon about one o’clock. George Largie, between 50 and 60 years of age, a surfaceman, was riding in a ballast waggon in the shunting yard at Bucksburn Station. He attempted to sit upon the side of the waggon, but, as it was a folding one, and was not properly fixed, it collapsed with him, throwing him over onto the railway line. Dr Oliphant was called, and fount that three of the man’s ribs were broken, and that his head was severely cut. The doctor ordered his removal to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and thither he was conveyed by the 1.7 train from Bucksburn. The unfortunate man’s injuries are considered somewhat serious. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 27th April, 1901, p.4.


   TWO PERSONS KILLED AT BONNYRIGG. – John Dinnet, 34, a potter worker, residing in Leith, and Mrs Murphy, wife of a Bonnyrigg, labourer, while hurrying to the railway station at Bonnyrigg on Saturday night, were knocked down by a passenger train as they were crossing to the platform from the Campview Roadway. The woman was frightfully mangled, and had an instant death. Dinnet had his skull fractured, and expired within 10 minutes. 

– North British Daily Mail, Monday 29th April, 1901, p.3.





   The quiet village of Bonnyrigg, a mile west of Dalkeith, was on Saturday night the scene of a melancholy accident, by which two persons met their death under shocking circumstances, and a child lies in a precarious condition. 

   For years past the inhabitants of the Union Park District of Bonnyrigg have used the Polton Colliery crossing as a quick way to Bonnyrigg Railway Station. John Donnat, a Leith patternmaker, who had been spending Saturday afternoon visiting his mother, started out to catch the seven o’clock train, and a Bonnyrigg woman of about 50 years of age – Mrs Murphy – was also making for the station. A wire fence had to be climbed, and this the man assisted the woman to do. They then proceeded to cross the rails to the platform side, when a train swooped down upon them. 

   Donnat, seeing the approaching engine, stretched out his hands to assist the woman, holding at the same time a child in his arms. Unfortunately, he was too late, as the engine buffer struck him on the head, badly mangling his body. The woman’s legs were completely severed from the body. Medical aid was summoned, but both Donnat and Mrs Murphy were found to be dead. 

   The child was alive last night, but its recovery is doubtful. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 29th April, 1901, p.3.


   FORT-WILLIAM – ACCIDENT ON RAILWAY. – A shocking accident occurred on the Banavie branch of the West Highland Railway on Friday, whereby a travelling tinsmith, named John Stewart, was so severely injured that his recovery is despaired of. He had been walking on the line across the railway bridge spanning the River Lochy, when he was caught by the goods train from Mallaig and run down ere the driver could pull up. Stewart was horribly cut about the head, but he was still in life when conveyed to the Belford Hospital at Fort-William. 

– Inverness Courier, Tuesday 30th April, 1901, p.6.


   DISTRESSING ACCIDENT. – An alarming and very distressing accident occurred on the Great North Railway, near Insch, on Saturday afternoon, by which a boy four and a half years of age, son of Police Constable Webster, Kinglassie, Fifeshire, fell from a carriage while the train was in motion, his skull being fractured. Mrs Webster, with three of her family, left Aberdeen by the 2.20 p.m. train for Keith, on a visit to her father, Mr McWilliam, farmer, Oxwell, Keith. they were travelling in one of the corridor carriages. Shortly after leaving Insch, Mrs Webster had occasion to leave the compartment carrying her baby in her arms. The other two children remained in the compartment by themselves. It is thought the boy had been playing about the door, and had accidentally lifted up the handle, the door flying open, and the suction drawing the child outside. At anyrate, the mother, on re-entering the compartment, was horrified to see her boy disappearing through the open door. Fortunately, there happened to be passengers in the next compartment. These were attracted, by Mrs Webster’s screams, to the compartment in which she was, and they managed to get the train stopped, after which it was backed to the place where the accident had occurred. Meanwhile, a goods train had passed on the opposite line of rails, and it was feared that the boy, even if he had survived the fall, would be injured by it. These fears, however, proved to be unfounded, for the child was found lying in the centre of the permanent way, the goods train having passed over him without adding to his injuries. Fortunately, a medical gentleman, living in Huntly, was a passenger on the same train, and he attended to the boy’s injuries. It was found that his skull had been greatly fractured. Everything that was possible was done for the little sufferer’s relief. On the arrival of the train at Keith he was conveyed to the turner Memorial Hospital, where he was attended to. As can easily be imagined, a very pathetic scene took place when Mrs Webster’s relatives who were meeting her, were informed of the accident. From inquiries made at the hospital yesterday afternoon we learn that the doctors hold out every hope of the boy’s recovery. 

Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser, Tuesday 30th April, 1901, p.8.

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