September 1901




   For a considerable time back some insecurity has been felt as to the safety of Moncreiffe Tunnel, near Perth, and the railway officials have been taking steps towards making its safety to the travelling public an absolute certainty. Apparently these safe-guarding operations have not had the desired effect, for, on the Saturday before last, a subsidence occurred which, in its magnitude, has eclipsed all others since the danger of the tunnel engaged the attention of the engineers of the Caledonian Railway Company. Although the accident was not attended with loss of life, it might have had serious results had it not been for the prompt action of an enginedriver. 

   It appears that on the Saturday night mentioned, when about the middle of the tunnel, a goods train, which was, in accordance with recent instructions, proceeding very slowly came suddenly to a dead stop, owing to some obstruction on the line. the enginedriver at once dismounted and made an examination of the permanent way. He found that a subsidence had occurred, and that between five and six tons of matter had fallen from the roof of the tunnel. Being aware that a passenger train from Glasgow was due to pass through the tunnel about that time, he crawled along to the signal box at the other end of the tunnel and made known to the signalman there what had occurred, and gave instructions that the passenger train should be held up. 

   that being done, arrangements were at once made for the clearing away of the fallen matter, and after considerable delay the train was allowed to proceed, and the passengers were kept ignorant of the fact that any untoward incident had occurred. the officials at Perth Stations are very reticent. 

   An announcement of an important nature, making known the future course of action of the Railway Company relating to Moncreiffe Tunnel, may be expected shortly. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 2nd September, 1901, p.4.


   MAN RUN OVER AT GLASGOW CENTRAL STATION. – Dennis Hafferty (32), 11 Well Street, Partick, was run over by a railway engine a little outside Glasgow Central Underground Station on Saturday morning, and received injuries, as the result of which he shortly afterwards died in the Royal Infirmary. Hafferty was engaged watching the line for a gang of surfacemen at the time of the accident. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 2nd September, 1901, p.9.


   PLACING AN OBSTRUCTION ON THE RAILWAY LINE. – At Airdrie Justice of Peace Court yesterday, John Mathieson (7), son of James Mathieson, seaman, Winestore Street, Parkhead, was charged, along with a boy of ten years, named Somerville, with having placed a piece of wood five feet long on one of the rails in front of the 1.35 passenger train from Airdrie near Tollcross Station, on the Caledonian line. They were also charged with having lifted the balance lever of a railway signal, causing the signal to stand clear, placed a piece of wood under it, and left it so that the signal could not be wrought from the signal cabin. The driver of the train had felt the engine bumping over the obstruction, and reported the matter at Tollcross Station. Both boys pleaded guilty, and the case was continued till Thursday week. Another boy from Mossend was charged with placing three iron bolts and an iron chair key on the left rail of the up main line of the Caledonian Railway about 300 yards west of Mossend West Junction signal cabin, Bellshill. The 4.5 express from Glasgow to Edinburgh was signalled at the time, and the obstruction was luckily observed by a railway inspector, who had time to remove it before the train came up. His case was continued till the accused’s birth certificate was seen, as he was too young to be charged with the offence. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 3rd September, 1901, p.4.


  BRAKESMAN INJURED. – Shortly after seven o’clock on Wednesday night a brakesman on the Highland Railway, named Roderick Macleod, belonging to Inverness, was knocked down by a goods train from Forres, when crossing the line at Aviemore Station. He received severe cuts on the head and neck, and was also bruised about the chest. He was removed to his home at Inverness, where he is making satisfactory progress towards recovery. 

– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Friday 6th September, 1901, p.5.


   The other day, Samuel Hunter, the engine-driver who was severely injured on the Paisley and Barrhead railway by falling off his engine, succumbed in the Infirmary whither he was removed after the accident. He resided at 11 Neilston-road. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 7th September, 1901, p.4.



   Roderick Ross, railway porter, met with an accident at Nairn Station yesterday afternoon. Ross, in attempting to jump on the south mail train missed his footing, but luckily he caught the handle of one of the carriage doors, or a fatal accident would have resulted. he was removed to the hospital, where it was found he suffered only from shock and a few bruises. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 7th September, 1901, p.4.


   A WANDERED RAILWAY TRAIN. – The Abronhill signalman was rather amused on Saturday morning by the arrival of a heavily laden N.B. passenger train, the officials of which did not know where they were. through a mistake at Greenhill Junction, the N.B. train had been sent on the Caledonian line. The signalman sent on the train to Cumbernauld Station, where the engine was placed at the rear of the train and sent back to Greenhill after considerable delay. It is to be hoped the passengers got to their destinations without further mishap. 

Kilsyth Chronicle, Saturday 7th September, 1901, p.3.



   About half-past eleven o’clock last night a woman was found lying beside the south line of rails on the North British Railway half-way between Queen Street and Charing Cross, Glasgow. The woman, who was unconscious, was conveyed on a bogey to Queen Street Station, and thence on an ambulance to the Royal Infirmary. Dr J. T. Malloch, who made an examination, found that the woman’s left foot had been cut off at the ankle, her right arm cut off, and that she was otherwise seriously injured. She had evidently been run over by a train, but it is not known how the accident happened. The woman is about 24 years of age, five feet two inches in height, and of slender make. Among her belongings was a yellow purse containing 11s 2d in coin and a first-class ticket from Queen Street to Charing Cross. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 11th September, 1901, p.3.





   A somewhat serious accident, but, happily, not attended by any loss of life, took place this forenoon on the main line of the Caledonian Railway near Motherwell Station. An engine and some waggons were leaving the sheds when, from some cause or other, one of the waggons left the rails. At that time the 2.47 a.m. goods train from Carlisle was passing, and came in contact with the derailed waggons, a terrible smash ensuing. Fully a dozen waggons and other vehicles were thrown into a heap across the two lines, and, as the goods train was going at a considerable speed, some of the waggons were drawn along the line some distance, doing damage to the permanent way. the main line from Glasgow to the south was completely blocked. The breakdown gang and two steam cranes were soon on the spot. A broken axle is supposed to have been the original cause of the disaster. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Wednesday 11th September, 1901, p.2.



   A man named William Smith, employed as a surfaceman at Grangemouth railway Station, while engaged at work this morning, was run down by an engine, and instantaneously killed, his body being fearfully mangled. The engine was being shunted tender first, and prevented the driver from observing the man. Deceased was about 60 years of age, and leaves a widow. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 12th September, 1901, p.2.


   ACCIDENT. – Last week a little boy named Harry Guckel was amusing himself near his home, which is close to the railway line at the south side of the city. In running over the line he fell and fractured his leg. He was taken to the Cottage Hospital, where Dr Moir attended to his injuries. This shows the great danger of allowing children near railway lines, and had a train been coming up at the time the boy fell, a much greater misfortune would have befallen him. 

– St Andrews Citizen, Saturday 14th September, 1901, p.4.





   A serious railway accident occurred at the Perth General Railway Station to-day, it appears that while the 11.40 train from Dundee was proceeding into the station Thomas Morris, fireman of the train, who was engaged coupling the bell cord failed to observe one of the bridges with the result that he was knocked down and sustained severe fracture of the skull. The unfortunate man was at once removed to the Perth Royal Infirmary. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Saturday 14th September, 1901, p.3.


   SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT THE RAILWAY STATION. – A serious accident occurred at Perth General Station on Saturday. Thomas Wallace, a fireman, living in St Andrew’s Lane, was standing on the tender of the 11.40 a.m. train from Dundee, while it was in motion. He was in the act of uncoupling the bell cord when he came in contact with one of the crossing bridges and was knocked down. The unfortunate man, who skull was badly fractured, was attended by Dr Stirling, and was afterwards taken to the Royal Infirmary. On inquiry we learn that Wallace is in a critical condition. 

Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 16th September, 1901, p.3.


   I WONDER if the lamentable accident to the young official at Beith station on the G. & S.-W. [Railway] on Tuesday afternoon will have the effect of acting as a warning to railway men generally not to “cut it so fine” in crossing the line before incoming trains, or better still, give up the practice altogether. Railway travellers are inclined to risk it too when they see the officials making a practice of it, and every now and then we hear of some one being caught by a train. By-the-way, should the Railway Companies not have an ambulance stretcher of their own at every station? I understand that they sent for one from Beith to Glengarnock Works, but could not get it in time for the train which conveyed the unfortunate sufferer to Glasgow. Such is life: great rejoicing at Beith station on Monday on the return of Volunteer George Higgins from the war; Tuesday afternoon at the same place great sorrow at the young clerk being run down. 

– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 20th September, 1901, p.5.




   Monday was Banff autumn holiday, and as usual a special train was run from Banff Bridge Station to Aberdeen. The morning was a pleasant one, and the excursionists were in the best of spirits, but they were somewhat annoyed when the train stopped on the steep gradient in the Howe of Gellymill. and remained stationary. When another start was made it was hoped that the stoppage would be the only untoward incident of the journey. At King-Edward, however, a rather serious accident occurred. The train had just passed the station when one of the porters was seen lying on the platform, as if injured. The train was put back, and it was discovered that the man, James Florence, was bleeding about the head and eyes. It is surmised that he had been struck by the tablet and ring of the block system, which are handed out by the fireman of the engine, who receives another in exchange. The man was attended to, and the train proceeded on its journey. At Kinaldie another stoppage had to be made in order to cool the axle of the engine which had heated. Luck seemed to have turned at the third incident, and the run to Aberdeen was completed without any further mishap. 

– Huntly Express, Friday 20th September, 1901, p.6.





   A railway accident which might have had very serious consequences occurred at the Inverkeithing Junction of the North British Railway early yesterday. While a goods train bound for Perth was taking the points at Inverkeithing a pilot engine ran with considerable force into the rear of it, smashing the van and knocking several waggons off the rails. Happily no one was injured. Arrangements were at once made to clear the block, and a crane from St Margaret’s Works, Edinburgh, was telegraphed for. The goods train was being shunted into a siding to allow the express train from Edinburgh and the South to pass when the mishap took place. The result was that the train was delayed, and was three-quarters of an hour behind time in arriving at Dundee. The later trains from Edinburgh were all overdue, and the Glasgow express was also more than twenty minutes late. 

– Dundee Courier, Saturday 21st September, 1901, p.6.



   On Friday last the engine driver on a goods train observed the headless body of a man lying beside the main line about a 100 yards from Boghead Bridge, which is about half a mile from Lenzie Station. The police and railway officials found the head close at hand. The body was lying stretched out, with the feet on the embankment and the hands and arms folded in below the body, just as if the man deliberately laid himself with his face downwards across the rails. This, coupled with the fact that there was no appearance of a struggle in the vicinity, has led to the opinion that it was a case of suicide. There were no papers on the body, neither was there a watch or money. In deceased’s pockets were found a small piece of soap, and he had a small token connected with the Carters’ Association. He appeared to be 40 years of age, with brown hair and heavy brown moustache, about 5 feet 11 inches in height, and stoutly built. He was dressed in an old brownish tweed jacket and vest, with brown corduroy trousers and had heavy lacing boots. The body was taken charge of by the police, who removed it to the mortuary at Cadder Cemetery. 

   The body was subsequently identified by a daughter as that of Andrew Ferris, carter, formerly residing at Albert Street, Townhead, Glasgow. Deceased, after the death of his wife at the New Year, had been leading an unsettled life. He was 48 years of age. the Lanarkshire County authorities had the body interred in Cadder Cemetery on Tuesday. 

– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Saturday 21st September, 1901, p.2.




   A painful accident occurred just outside the Caledonian Princes Street Station at 4.14 yesterday afternoon. A carriage cleaner named Wm. Howden, aged about 17 years, residing at 130 Pleasance, Edinburgh, was crossing the lines near the Electric Power Station, Morrison Street, when he was knocked down by a light engine. The engine passed over the unfortunate lad, almost completely severing one of his legs from the thigh, and the other from under the knee. Howden received skilful treatment from a fellow workman named Angus McKinnon, who holds a gold medal for ambulance work, and was afterwards removed in an ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 24th September, 1901, p.6.


   PETERHEAD – ACCIDENT. – About 2 o’clock on Thursday morning, while John McDonald, night watchman at the railway station, was assisting in the loading of some waggons with the belongings of a theatrical company, he met with a rather serious accident. In covering one of the waggons, the wind got hold of the tarpaulin, and McDonald, unable to resist the sudden pressure, was thrown violently to the ground, breaking his left leg above the knee. his injuries were attended to by Dr Middleton. 

– Buchan Observer and East Aberdeenshire Advertiser, Tuesday 24th September, 1901, p.4.


   Thomas Kelly (45), surfaceman, was killed on the railway near Stranraer on Saturday evening. Deceased was walking to the town, and his body was found lying between the rails shortly after the Glasgow express passed for the Harbour station. 

– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 25th September, 1901, p.6.


   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – About eleven o’clock on Friday night the dead body of a man named John Barrow (35), a heater, residing at 77 Merryston Terrace, Woodside Street, was found on the railway near to the Langloan Caledonian branch. the man appears to have been knocked down and run over by a passing train as his head and body were terribly mutilated, Prior to his death he was working in Lochrin Ironworks, and he is said to be survived by a wife and five children who reside at New Swinton, Wiltsshire. the body was removed to the mortuary at the Police Office. 

Coatbridge Express, Wednesday 25th September, 1901, p.2.


   Fatality at Bo’ness Docks. – At about mid-night last Saturday an unfortunate accident occurred on the railway at Bo’ness Docks, resulting in the death of a young man of 24 named James McGrogan. Deceased had been working as a labourer at the docks, but owing to his unsteady habits he had no fixed lodgings lately, and acquired the habit of sleeping about some of the dock sheds within the past fortnight. On Saturday night he was seen under the influence of drink at a very late hour, and nothing more was seen of him until No. 2 pilot engine was passing the Carron Company’s shed, when the guard made the startling discovery that McGrogan was lying across the railway with one of the wheels of a waggon on the lower part of his body. The unfortunate man was at once removed to a waiting room at the Railway Station and attended by Dr Aitken, who ordered his removal to Edinburgh Infirmary, but the poor man died as he was being conveyed thither in the ambulance van. His body was brought back to the local mortuary. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 27th September, 1901, p.6.


   BOY KILLED AT GULLANE STATION. – A schoolboy named Alexander Gray McLean, residing at 87 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, was fatally injured at Gullane station last night. He was run over by a train and sustained severe injuries to his back and head. The boy was immediately taken to Edinburgh and was removed from the Waverley Station to the royal Infirmary in the North British Railway ambulance van. the boy was terribly injured, and died shortly after admission to the Infirmary. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 28th September, 1901, p.8.

Leave a Reply