July 1901

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT IN FIFE. – Early yesterday afternoon an accident occurred on the North British Railway Company’s main line from Edinburgh to Perth, by which serious inconvenience was caused, and but for a fortuitous circumstance, the whole system would have been completely blocked for several hours. A train of empty waggons left Dundee at half-past seven o’clock in the morning for Kelty, and about four hours later, shunting operations were being carried on at Kelty Station, with a view to the waggons being placed in a siding. While these operations were in progress, the engine, which had been detached from the train, left the down line. There was some speed on the locomotive at the time, but both the driver and the stoker escaped without serious injury. Information of the occurrence was first telegraphed to Dunfermline, but the breakdown squad from there were unable with their limited appliances to cope with the accident, and a travelling crane from St Margaret’s had to be requisitioned. Fortunately, owing to the heavy mineral traffic, there is a loop line at each end of the station, and by means of these the passenger trains were so arranged that they were seldom half-an-hour late. An examination of the points at the place where the engine was derailed revealed nothing amiss with the metals, and the only reason that can be assigned for the mishap is that there had been a subsidence caused by the fife Coal Company’s underground workings. It was after six o’clock in the evening before the line was reported clear. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 2nd July, 1901, p.7.








   A distressing fatality occurred on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway at West Ferry yesterday afternoon, the victim being Dorothy Elizabeth Smith, aged 11 years, daughter of Mr T. H. Smith, manufacturer, Dundee, who resides at Encliffe, West Ferry. At the time of the accident the girl, accompanied by the nurse, under nurse, and the younger members of the family, was proceeding to the Grassy Beach. 

   She had gone on a short distance in front, and made to cross the line by the crossing a little to the west of the yacht sheds, but failed to observe the approach of the 2.5 passenger train from Dundee East. Before she could be warned of her danger or snatched away she was struck by the engine and thrown to the side of the line. The screams of her companions immediately attracted attention, and assistance was speedily available, but the unfortunate girl expired almost immediately after being removed outside the railway, her skull being fractured, in addition to other injuries. 

   A member of Mr Victor Fraenkl’s family telephoned from Taypark House for a cab, and the body was removed to Encliffe. Dr H. C. Colman (who was also summoned by telephone) was speedily in attendance. The driver of the train was not aware of any untoward event having happened until he reached Arbroath, when he was surprised at seeing part of a girl’s hat on the front of his engine. 

   On word of the distressing occurrence being sent to the East Station, Mr A. T. Hunter, the stationmaster, at once repaired to the scene, but before his arrival the remains of the unfortunate girl had been conveyed to the bereaved home. 

   Mr Smith, the father of the girl, is a well-known gentleman in Dundee manufacturing circles, being a member of the firm of H. Smith & Co., Polepark Works. 

   This is the second fatality on the railway here since Saturday. 

– Dundee Courier, Wednesday 3rd July, 1901, p.5.



   Shortly after nine o’clock this morning Hugh Munro [82], Bridge Street, Inverness, a joiner in the employment of the Highland Railway Company, was accidentally killed at Inverness Railway Station. It appears that Munro was crossing to his work after breakfast, and while at Heedlefield crossing he was struck down by the beam of the engine of the express train due at Inverness at 9.10. Death was instantaneous, and the body was removed to the mortuary. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 3rd July, 2902, p.5.


   MAN KILLED ON THE D. & A. RAILWAY. – On Saturday afternoon George Stewart, surfaceman, was killed on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway at Orchar Park. He was engaged at work, and had failed to hear the approach of a special train from Dundee East at 3.30. He was struck by the engine. His skull was fractured, and one of his arms was broken, death being instantaneous. Deceased was well known in Broughty Ferry. He was a Liberal, and took a keen interest in politics and local affairs.  He was a member of the 1st F.V.A., and a submarine Miner. 

  ACCIDENTS. – On Monday,.. Between six and seven o’clock the same evening, while James Donaldson, 65 years of age, and who resides in Spink Street, was walking along the up-line of the railway at the Dene Points, he was knocked down by a light engine, which had come up behind him. Fortunately the engine was going slowly at the time, and Donaldson was thrown clear of the line. He was, however, hurt rather severely, but not dangerously, and cut about the forehead. Dr Kelly and Dr Duncan were called, and attended to the injuries, and the unfortunate man was thereafter taken home. 

Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 4th July, 1901, p.5.


   ACCIDENTS ON THE HIGHLAND RAILWAY. – On Saturday morning, Adam Chisholm, engine driver, Keith, received serious injuries through falling from his engine. Chisholm was driving a goods train Inverness to Perth, and while between Dalnaspidal and Struan commenced to oil his engine. Owing to the jostling of the train, Chisholm was thrown violently to the ground. He was brought to Perth Infirmary. The same night another rather serious accident occurred at Blair Atholl. James Sutherland, fireman of a goods engine, who had been out on the tender, was struck by an overhead bridge and thrown on to the coal. He was rendered unconscious, and was taken to Perth Infirmary. 

– North Star and Farmers’ Chronicle, Thursday 4th July, 1901, p.4.



   A collision occurred this morning on the Caledonian railway siding of Parkhead Ironworks, Glasgow, by which a driver and fireman were injured. The circumstances were peculiar. While engaged in shunting a mineral train, the driver left it standing, and proceeded down the line with the engine to take in water. Coming back, the engine dashed into the train at high speed, smashing the three first waggons, and throwing them off the line. The fireman was rendered unconscious, and was conveyed to the Royal Infirmary on the engine. 


   Fire broke out about midnight in the passenger station, St Andrews. Though the fire engine was promptly on the spot, the flames had got such a firm hold of the building that little could be done; and within little more than an hour the place was a wreck. The estimated loss is about £1500. The station was a comparatively new structure, having been erected only a few years ago. The wooden erection known as the goods station of St Andrews was destroyed by fire only last Saturday night. 

   Our St Andrews correspondent telegraphs:- The fire is supposed to have originated in the vicinity of the booking-office, and had caught a firm hold before it was discovered. the fire brigade, after an hour’s effort, gained the mastery, but only succeeded in saving the cabin, signal station, the book stall, and the staircase leading to the platform. A train of seven or eight carriages was standing on the line on the south side, and the flames caught hold of one of these before it could be drawn to a place of safety, but they were subdued before much damage had been done. The platform buildings were about 40 or 50 yards in length. The station, which was on the island principle, was erected in 1887 on the completion of the St Andrews and Anstruther Railway. To-day a large squad of men are busily engaged in clearing away the debris. Passenger traffic is being partly conducted from the old station at the Links, and the trains are being despatched fairly well up to time. Some St Andrew people, it is said, consider this second fire within a few days a judgment on the North British for having given St Andrews such a bad train service during the summer months. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 4th July, 1901, p.2.


   The sad accident at Broughty Ferry has again raised the frequently-debated question of railway crossings. In the neighbourhood of Dundee there are several crossings of a somewhat dangerous type. At East Newport and West Newport Station serious risks are frequently undertaken, while at Guardbridge the signalman seems to have no control over the wicket gate, and there it would be quite possible for a child to get in front of a passing train. 

   There are a few crossings on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Line in addition to the one at which the accident took place, and in view of what has occurred it is time the public were concerning themselves about these matters, and raising an agitation to have the crossings abolished or at all events thoroughly protected. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 4th July, 1901, p.2.




   Early this morning a goods engine while shunting at the London Road Junction, Glasgow, on the Caledonian Railway ran into a mineral train, the three foremost waggons of which were derailed and wrecked. The fireman, Patrick Barrett, aged 19, was injured, and conveyed to the Infirmary. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 4th July, 1901, p.5.







   An alarming accident, but fortunately one unattended by injury to anybody, occurred yesterday afternoon on the railway at Strichen. It appears that about three o’clock an empty ballast train, returning from the direction of Fraserburgh, had just crossed the bridge which carried the railway over the public road near the station, when suddenly several of the waggons left the metals. At this point the line is laid on a fairly steep embankment, and nine of the waggons were precipitated over it, and dashed across the public road with such violence as to knock down a dyke on the farther side. Luckily there was nobody on the road at the time, and it was also fortunate that the men in charge of the train escaped unhurt, neither the engine nor the van having left the rails. The permanent way was damaged, and a paling which marks the bounds of the railway company’s property was destroyed for a distance of abut 100 years. A breakdown train arrived on the scene about two hours after the accident, and it was hoped to have the line clear by this morning. Owing to the block, passengers, letters, etc., from and to the Fraserburgh direction had to be transferred from one train to another at Strichen in order that the journey north or south might be continued. 

-Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 5th July, 1901, p.5.


   Railway Fatality. – On Thursday night a most unfortunate accident, which proved fatal, occurred on the railway at Greenhaugh, between Gartly and Huntly. It appears that George Mathieson, 10, son of Mr George Mathieson, blacksmith, in the employment of the Highland Railway Company, at Inverness, had been to Aberdeen that day with an excursion of the locomotive employees of the Highland Railway, and that while returning to the Highland capital by special trains, he fell out of the carriage door while the train was nearing Greenhaugh. the unfortunate boy alighted on his head, with the result that his skull was fractured, and he was rendered unconscious. The train was immediately stopped, and afterwards steamed back to the spot where Mathieson fell out. He was then lifted on to the train, and as it was seen he was seriously injured it was deemed advisable, on the arrival of the train at Huntly, to take him to the Cottage Hospital there. Little hope was entertained by the doctors who examined the boy, and about half-past ten the same night he succumbed to his injuries. Although the cause of the accident is not exactly known, it is supposed that the boy had interfered with the handle of the carriage door, and upon it suddenly opening, had fallen out. 

Banffshire Herald, Saturday 6th July, 1901, p.4.



   A sad accident befel William Lockerbie, a navvy who was employed in connection with the construction of the railway from St Fillans and Lochearnhead last night. It appears that Lockerbie had finished his day’s work along with the rest of his co-workers, and was proceeding to Comrie in a ballast train. When almost in sight of his “hut” the poor man fell between two waggons and was severely injured, being literally jammed between the waggons and the station platform. He received severe injuries in the lower part of his body, his legs being badly lacerated. He was medically attended in Comrie last night, and was removed to Perth Infirmary this forenoon. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Wednesday 10th July, 1901, p..2.


   Accident to a Surfaceman. – On Saturday morning, at 7.20, Joseph Mighten (57), residing at the N.B. Railway Cottages, had a most miraculous escape from losing his life. Walking along the line near the Trees signal cabin, keeping his eyes directed to the rails, he heard the sound of an approaching train, known as the “Sighthill” goods, and instinctively stepped aside. By this action he unfortunately placed himself before the engine, which struck him on the left shoulder and threw him a considerable distance. On being picked up he was found to be suffering from a bad scalp wound which was caused by his head coming in contact with one of the wheels for carrying the signal wires, upon which he was thrown. The shoulder was also severely damaged, but on medical aid being procured it was found that the injuries were not of a dangerous nature. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 12th July, 1901, p.5.


   SUICIDE NEAR COWDENBEATH. – James Kerr, School Street, Cowdenbeath, a storekeeper in the employment of the Fife Coal Company, committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon. While in a depressed state he had taken a walk in the direction of Lassodie Mill, and on the mineral railway near the colliery there he laid his head down on one of the rails just as an engine was approaching him. The result was decapitation. Kerr, who was unmarried, was fully forty years of age. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 13th July, 1901, p.4.



   William Preston, the five-year-old son of Jos. Preston, riveter, Hawthorne Place, Glasgow, has been admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary suffering from injuries sustained by falling out of the carriage of a train on the Buchan railway on Friday morning. The little fellow and his parents were on their way to visit friends at Peterhead, and left Aberdeen by the 6.55 a.m. train on Friday morning. When nearing Auchnagatt, the door of the compartment, which opens from the inside as well as from the outside, it is said, flew open, and the child, who was amusing himself on the floor of the carriage, fell out. In his descent the boy struck the footboard, and was thrown clear of the train, alighting on the pier of an overhead bridge. George Calder, surfaceman, who witnessed the accident, carried the child to the station, where Dr Fowler, Ellon, was in attendance as soon as possible. It was found that the poor little fellow’s right foot had been crushed to a pulp, and that he had received a scalp wound four inches long. The doctor dressed the wounds, and the child was afterwards removed to the Royal Infirmary, where part of the foot had to be amputated. The child was last night doing well. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Monday 15th July, 1901, p.5.


   RAILWAY SHUNTER KILLED AT GLASGOW. – A train shunter named Alexander Forsyth, in the employment of the Caledonian Railway Company, was yesterday knocked down and run over by a train of empty carriage near Eglinton Street Station, and killed instantaneously. He had gone along the line to pick up his cap, and failing to notice the oncoming train, was run down. Forsyth was twenty-three years of age, married, and resided at 21 Braid Street. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 18th July, 1901, p.4.


   RAILWAY FATALITY NEAR PAISLEY. – Renfrewshire police yesterday reported that on the previous night Mary McCudden, twenty-six years of age, a nurse in Hawkhead Asylum, near Paisley, was accidentally killed at Elderslie Station. She had been carried past Crookston, for which she had a ticket in her possession, and jumped out at Elderslie. The train was express, and she was thrown violently against a railway arch and almost instantaneously killed. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 19th July, 1901, p.4.



   About half-past nine o’clock on Saturday, just as the 6.15 a.m. special train from Aberdeen to Inverness had left Kinloss, two miles east of Forres, David Fiddes, six years of age, son of William Fiddes, 16 Shoe Lane, Aberdeen, fell from the train, and was badly cut about the face and left ear, the poor lad being rendered unconscious. He was in company with his father in a corridor carriage, and had been about the passage, where it is supposed he had been working with one of the door handles. Doctors Hay and Adam were at once summoned, and the boy was taken to Forres Station, and thence to the Leanchoil Hospital. The unfortunate affair caused great excitement among several of the other passengers, but many did not know of it until Forres was reached. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Monday 22nd July, 1901, p.4.


   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – An accident which resulted fatally occurred on Thursday morning on the Shore Branch or Harbour Railway. About ten minutes past seven o’clock David Paterson, employed as a waggoner by Messrs Wordie & Co., and who resided at 52 High Street, as in charge of a horse or horses hauling waggons from the goods yard to the harbour. When at the points situated between Millgate and Bridge Street he was seen to fall by an old woman who was in Millgate, and a workman who was at the foot of Bridge Street, but they were too far off to say exactly how the accident happened, but it is supposed that he was in the act of uncoupling his horse to allow the waggon, which was filled with stones, to pass the points, and that his foot had tripped over the projecting lever of the points. When he fell the waggon passed over his right leg and thigh. John McGregor, shunter, and Alexander Sturrock, waggoner, who also were in the vicinity, ran with all speed to the unfortunate man’s assistance, and Dr Gilruth was called, and was in attendance very speedily. A stretcher in the meantime was procured from the station, but so serious were Paterson’s injuries that it was some time before Dr Gilruth got him in a condition to be put on the stretcher. He was carried to the Infirmary, but from the nature of his injuries no hopes were entertained of his recovery, and shortly after eleven o’clock he succumbed. Deceased was a widower, and resided with a step-daughter, who kept house for him. Deceased was for many years employed on the branch railway, and was well known and highly respected by a large circle of friends, and his steady and faithful attention to duty made him a valued servant. Only the previous evening he had been present at the rejoicings in connection with the marriage of a niece, but had left early in order to get a sleep before resuming duty in the morning. 

Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 25th July, 1901, p.5.


   ACCIDENT AT BARRY. – An accident occurred last week on the Joint Line at Barry Station by an express train dashing into a lorry driven by a man named James Beveridge, residing at 61 Watson Street, Dundee. As the lorry was crossing the rails at the level crossing the 6.20 express from Aberdeen for Edinburgh came tearing along, and before the lorry could be got clear of the rails the express dashed into it, wrecking it, carrying away the rear wheels, and throwing the contents of the vehicle about the vicinity. The driver had a miraculous escape. He was thrown from his seat to the ground, but beyond sustaining a severe shock he escaped uninjured. The horse also escaped little the worse for its exciting adventure. 

Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 25th July, 1901, p.7.



   A sad accident occurred on the railway near Pitmedden Station, near Aberdeen, whereby John Thomson (60), foreman surfaceman, was instantly killed. He was at work upon the line, and in stepping aside in order to allow the 6.15 train from Keith to pass, he put himself in front of the 8.5 mail from Aberdeen. the body was terribly mutilated. Thomson, who lived at Dyce, had been 45 years in the service of the Great North of Scotland Railway Company. He is survived by a widow and family. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 26th July, 1901, p.4.

Leave a Reply