October 1901

   EXTRAORDINARY ACCIDENT TO AN ENGINE-DRIVER. – While driving the 10 P.M. train from Glasgow on Saturday, Michael Burt, Stirling, met with an extraordinary accident. He had been engaged outside his engine near to Greenloaning Station, when he was caught by the mail bag apparatus there erected for the Crieff mails. He was dragged off the locomotive and deposited in the net of the apparatus, severely shaken, but not otherwise injured. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 1st October, 1901, p.7.


   NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY AND EDINBURGH ELECTRIC LIGHT. – At a meeting of the Electricity Committee of Edinburgh Town Council yesterday the subject of supplying electric light to the North British Railway was under discussion. This matter has been here before the Committee on more than one occasion, and an arrangement has now been made, under which the Railway Company are to be supplied at special rates. this arrangement holds good for five years at a fixed price. Some members were inclined to think the price was too low, and that any possibility of a profit would disappear in the event of a rise in the price of coal. On the other hand, the Committee were disposed to give easy terms to such a large consumer who are in a position to manufacture their own light, and who, in fact, were, it is believed, on the point of obtaining estimates for an extension of their installation. The Board of Directors, it appears, were divided on the question to taking the light from the town. 

– The Scotsman, Wednesday 2nd October, 1901, p.8.


   FATAL ACCIDENT ON HIGHLAND LINE. – On Tuesday afternoon a sad accident occurred on the Highland Railway near Ballinluig, by which a surfaceman named John Calder lost his life. It appears that while engaged working on the line with other men he had stepped in front of a special train from Perth, the approach of which he had not observed. Being caught by the buffers of the engine he was thrown under the wheels, which passed over his body. Death was instantaneous, the body being cut in two and otherwise mutilated. Deceased was a widower, about 65 years of age, and resided at Guay. 

– Inverness Courier, Friday 4th October, 1901, p.7.







   Late last night the remains of Francis Clark, a navvy, aged 60, were found on the railway near Doune so dreadfully mutilated that they were taken up in fragments. On the arrival of the 8.39 train at Callander the engine bore unmistakable evidence of an accident. Clark had been returning from Doune along the line to the railway huts, where he lived. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Friday 4th October, 1901, p.4.




   THE passengers travelling with the second part of the 3.40 P.M. express train from Inverness yesterday had an unusual and startling experience, one of the guard’s van taking fire while the train was on its journey between Aviemore and Struan. It seems that the first signs of the outbreak were observed at Aviemore by the guard, and a hose was secured, and with plentiful supply of water the fire, which was slight, was speedily extinguished. The train proceeded on its journey, but on approaching Dalnacardoch, the county march between Inverness-shire and Perthshire, the guard observed that the fire had again broken out, and was making rapid headway. He managed to secure the attention of the driver of the train, and it was stopped, but it was found that no water was available. As on examination the fire did not seem to have a serious hold of the woodwork, it was thought best to proceed with all haste to Struan, and the train moved away proceeding at a rapid rate down the steep incline. When a short way on its journey the fire again burst out in great strength, and the guard getting alarmed, thought it was better to bring the train to a standstill. It was quite dark, and the guard tried to stop the train, but his endeavours were in vain. The train was a long one, and the van was the last-vehicle. The smoke got so dense in the van that the guard was forced to go out on the footboard, and with his hand lamp he again tried to attract the attention of the driver. The train was running at a very fast rate, and apparently the signals of the guard were not noticed by the engine driver, and the train did not come to a standstill until Struan was reached. By this time the fire had got a firm hold on the woodwork of the van, which was shunted into a siding. Efforts were made to save the contents of the van, which was well packed with hampers, parcels, and heavy mail bags from places north of Inverness. Attempts were also made to save three [5] dogs which were in the dog box, but the flames had spread with such rapidity that very few articles were saved, almost all the contents of the van were totally destroyed, and the three dogs were burned to death. Some of the mail bags were burned, and the van itself was totally destroyed. While the railway officials were doing their utmost to save the van, the passengers, many of whom were somewhat alarmed, lent a helping hand, but their combined efforts were of no avail. The loss of the van and its contents will entail heavy loss. The fire had originated from sparks off the brake. The train afterwards proceeded on its journey. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 5th October, 1901, p.10.


   SAD DEATH OF MR D. HOWIE, JUN., GLASGOW. – To all in Cupar who knew Mr D. Howie, jun., of the Stock Exchange Office, Glasgow, the telegraphic intimation which reached his relatives here on Thursday morning that he had been accidentally killed came as a painful shock. Later in the day it was learned from further information received that the accident had occurred at the Central Railway Station, Glasgow, at half-past ten on Wednesday evening. Mr Howie, with his sister and Miss N. Robertson – daughter of Mr Robertson, Struan Park, Cupar – was returning home to Pollokshields from the Exhibition. At the Central Station, Mr Howie found the train crowded, and he had difficulty in finding vacant seats for the ladies. Having at last succeeded in obtaining room, and having handed in his sister, he was turning away to look for a compartment for himself – by which time the train seems to have been moving – when he missed his footing, and falling heavily, was dragged under the footboard and terribly crushed. He was removed in an ambulance waggon to the Royal Infirmary, where he succumbed to his painful injuries in an hour and a-half. The elder son of Mr D. Howie, of the Glasgow Herald, the deceased who was 36 years of age, received part of his early education at the Madras Academy, Cupar. His business training was begun in the Bank of Scotland, Glasgow, and a good many years ago he received the important appointment he held at his death in the office of the Stock Exchange. He was a frequent visitor to Cupar – the purpose of one of his latter visits was to attend the funeral of his uncle, the late Bailie Innes – and Cupar Cricket Club had in him one of its warmest supporters. Only the other day he presented the Club with several framed photos he had taken of the members at Bonvil. He was one of a juvenile team who, many years ago, were the first to arrange with Mr Barclay for the use of Bonvil Park as a cricket field. He was married eight years ago, but had the misfortune to lose his wife ten weeks after their wedding day. A young man of generous instincts and bright intelligence, and gifted with a rare sense of humour, he was greatly esteemed by many friends who now mourn his untimely and distressful death. 

– St. Andrews Citizen, Saturday 5th October, 1901, p.5.


   RAILWAY COLLISION. – On Tuesday, about 12 o’clock, a rather serious accident occurred on the Caledonian Railway at Carmyle. Thomas Murray, brakesman, 153 Aitkenhead Road, Glasgow, was in the van of a mineral train standing in the marshalling yard of Carmyle Railway Station when his van was suddenly run into and smashed to pieces by another train which had been let on to his line by some mistake. He sustained a dislocation of the left hip joint, simple fracture of the left arm above the wrist, and rupture in the lower part of the body. He was put on a stretcher and conveyed in a mineral van to Glasgow, and thence to the Royal Infirmary. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 5th October, 1901, p.6.







   This forenoon a porter named Jas. Gordon (18), employed at Bridge of Dun Station, four miles from Brechin, had a miraculous escape from being killed. It appears that Gordon had gone to tie a hose which had become loose a little to the east of the station. he failed to notice the approach of a goods train from Montrose on account of the violence of the storm, and was knocked down. Fortunately, he landed on the sleepers between the rails, and thus avoided the wheels of the train. The fire-box of the engine, however, struck the unfortunate man on the back, inflicting serious injuries. When picked up Gordon was quite conscious, but complained of pain. He was conveyed with all haste to Brechin Infirmary, and was seen by Dr Anderson. After examination it was found that although a great effusion of blood had lodged in the right thigh there was no fracture or dislocation of the bone. The young man’s face is very severely skinned, and his head is also slightly bruised. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 7th October, 1901, p.4.





   Yesterday morning the express which leaves Dundee at 9.20 for Montrose had a narrow escape from serious accident when the train was passing a wood about halfway between Farnell Road Station and the Bridge of Dun. The strong gale which was blowing at the time caused a large tree to fall right across the north-going line. The driver saw the tree fall a few yards in front of his engine, and instantly applied his brake, but too late to prevent the train dashing right into the tree, and smashing it into a thousand atoms. Fortunately little or no damage was done. An eye-witness states that he saw a large piece of the tree thrown right over the telegraph wires on the opposite side into a turnip field. After a thorough examination of the train to see if any splinters of wood had got amongst the brakes, the train proceeded to Bridge of Dun. The delay was only three minutes, and few of the numerous passengers in the train knew of the narrow escape they had had. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 8th October, 1901, p.4.


   KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – Alexander Knox (21), pointsman learner; in the employment of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company at Falkland junction, Ayr, was accidentally killed yesterday forenoon by the 9.35 passenger train, Glasgow to Ayr. he had been employed for a couple of days as a temporary greaser, relieving the men on holiday, and was engaged oiling the points on the main line, when the engine struck him on the head, killing him instantaneously. Deceased was recently married, and leaves a widow and one child. 

– The Scotsman, Wednesday 9th October, 1901, p.11.







   This morning an accident took place at Ladybank Junction about three o’clock. When the goods train, which leaves Montrose early in the morning for Berwick, was shunting, it was struck by the Dundee and Carlisle goods train, causing six or seven waggons to be thrown off the metals. These were loaded principally with dead meat. A few waggons were badly damaged, and when the operation of clearing the line was being carried out, Andrew Braid, a truck lifter, had his jaw broken, besides other injuries about the chest. He was attended by Dr Laidlaw, Ladybank. The line was cleared for traffic between six and seven o’clock. 


   Another correspondent says: – Early this morning a serious collision, under somewhat peculiar circumstances, took place between two goods trains at Ladybank Junction, resulting in considerable damage to rolling stock and goods, and a shocking accident to a member of the breakdown gang subsequently engaged in clearing the wreckage. The accident occurred at 12.46 A.M., at which time the 10 P.M. goods train, Montrose to Berwick was engaged in shunting operations at Ladybank. Part of the train, consisting principally of meat vans, was left standing on the up main line protected by signals. A minute or two before the signalman on duty at the north cabin had taken on another goods train from Springfield Station under caution, as the line was not clear. This was the 12.2 A.M. goods train Dundee to Carlisle. On that train arriving at Ladybank both distant and advanced signals were against it, with the part of the Montrose and Berwick train standing about 150 yards inside the home signal. It is stated that the Dundee and Carlisle train came on at a 


and ran into the rear of the other train, with the result that the guard’s van was derailed and considerably destroyed, while four meat vans were piled on the top of each other, while some were telescoped and shattered, the meat being scattered in all directions. A waggon in which were general goods was also smashed. the guard of the goods train was fortunately absent in connection with the shunting operations, and the driver and fireman of the engine also escaped being hurt. A goods train was standing alongside on the down line waiting for the signal to proceed to Springfield, and it had just moved away when the accident took place, and one of 


struck the train, breaking the draw-bar between two of the waggons. Both the lines were blocked. A large staff of workmen was speedily on the spot to clear away the wreckage, under the superintendence of Mr Anderson, locomotive superintendent, Ladybank, and Mr Coventon, stationmaster, Ladybank. Comparatively little damage was done to the permanent way, and by a quarter to seven this morning both the lines of rails were clear and the traffic running as usual. The down line was cleared early in the morning, and the traffic was passed over it, do that there was little or no detention. About a quarter to five this morning a very serious accident befel Andrew Braid, Victoria Street, Ladybank, who was engaged in assisting to clear the permanent way. It appears that the men were engaged in lifting one of the meat vans, which had fallen upon its side. A jack had been inserted, and the top of the van had been lifted a little way from the ground, when Braid went underneath to fix some blocks. While underneath the van the wheel split on the rail, and the van fell away from the jack, crushing Braid’s breast and head between the van and the blocks. It was feared at first that Braid must have been killed, but a large staff of men rushed to the van, and practically lifted it bodily. Braid was taken out, when it was found that he had sustained very serious injuries, his jawbone being broken. Dr Laidlaw, Ladybank, attended to him, and he was removed to Edinburgh Infirmary by the train leaving Ladybank at 10.45. Other men had very narrow escapes. A man named Ness, a waggon inspector, was walking alongside the rails when he saw the engine coming on. Expecting an accident he proceeded to crawl underneath the train standing on the down line. that train began to move, and Ness lay under a waggon for some time until the draw-bar was broken, and he got out. A boy was engaged in greasing the wheels of the Montrose to Berwick train, but when he saw the engine approaching he took to his heels, and succeeded in getting out of danger. 

   Constable John Mitchell, Ladybank, was present during the morning, and made the usual inquiries. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 10th October, 1901, p.5.


Death on the Track.

   ADMITTING, as he could not help doing, the great number of railway servants annually killed and wounded, a certain famous director had recently jauntily remarked that railway servants, being somewhat in the position of soldiers, must run the risk of the battlefield. To be crushed to death, or to be maimed for life – it was sad, of course. But what would you? Was it not in the day’s work? perhaps if the victim were a director, a railway magnate, such as the speaker was, he might have expressed himself differently. But the public, one regrets to say, habitually regards railway accidents in that eminent director’s light. If passengers are knocked to pieces, then the public, being passengers, potentially, are full of sympathy and alarm. But if shunters or any other mere employee comes to grief, their fate excites but very little interest. Few among the public are aware of the extent of the casualty list on our railroads. During 1900, 631 men were killed, and nearly 16,000 injured. The Government, of course, is much too interested in casualty lists of another kind to keep the railway companies up to the level of their responsibilities, and too lavish of money for fighting purposes to give any heed to the schemes of old age pensions which some of its leaders have dangled before the eyes of the railwaymen and workers generally. 

– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 11th October, 1901, p.2.


   Another plea for the ending or mending of Arbroath Railway Station is furnished by the alarming accident which occurred there yesterday. A message lad was leaning over the balcony across the platform when he lost his balance and fell to the platform beneath, from a height of about 17 feet. He alighted on his head, and was picked up in an unconscious state. If the Railway Company are convinced that the present architectural construction of the station is an ideal one, why not erect a huge net at this dangerous spot similar to those used in circuses in order to break accidental falls to acrobats? This would not only ensure the safety of the lieges – it would be a grand practising spot for rising (not falling) acrobats, whose displays would assist passengers to while away the long and weary time they have often to wait for trains. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Saturday 12th October, 1901, p.2.


   INFECTIOUS DISEASE CASE IN A TRAIN. – At the Sheriff Court on Friday – before Sheriff Sym – Robert Wilson, blacksmith, Grange of Errol, was charged with having contravened the Public Health Act of 1897, by conveying his grandchild, aged three years, in a Caledonian Railway carriage between Inchture and Dundee while she was suffering from infectious disease – diphtheria. Accused pleaded guilty, and said that the doctor told him to take the child to Dundee Infirmary, and he knew no better way. The sheriff said he did not think accused meant any harm. He did not seem to understand that it was a very dangerous thing for the people to put her into a train while suffering from that disease. he had, however, broken an Act of Parliament by not sending for an ambulance and taking her properly to Dundee. He ordered accused to pay 12s of modified expenses. 

Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 14th October, 1901, p.2.





   A boy named William Alexander, residing at Blackness Road, and employed in the offices at the Tay Bridge locomotive sheds, met with a rather serious accident at Dundee to-day. The lad was at the Tay Bridge Station about midday, when the passenger train leaving Dundee at 12.5 for Newport was about to start. thinking, however, that the train was entirely composed of empty carriages and was to be shunted into a siding near the locomotive sheds, Alexander went into it. Just as the train cleared the station, and as it did not show any signs of stopping, Alexander got out on the footboard and jumped off. The train at the time was going at a considerable speed, and the boy in falling got his right foot amongst the wheels. The ambulance corps at the station was soon in attendance, and temporarily dressed the lad’s injuries. The foot and leg were severely bruised and cut. Alexander was afterwards removed to the Infirmary in the ambulance van. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Wednesday 16th October, 1901, p.4.


   ATTEMPT TO WRECK A TRAIN AT GALASHIELS. – On Tuesday morning it was discovered that an attempt to wreck a train during the night had been made on the North British Railway at Galashiels. A heavy steel rail had been laid across the railway opposite Langhaugh Mill, a short distance south of the station. The rail had been struck and broken by a passing train, which, however, fortunately escaped serious injury. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 17th October, 1901, p.4.


   PORTOBELLO RAILWAYMAN KILLED. – A young married man, named Joseph Learmonth, employed by the North British Railway Company as a shunter, was instantaneously killed yesterday afternoon by being run down by a passenger train on the railway near Hope’s Bridge, Portobello. Learmonth had just left the blacksmith’s shop, near the bridge, and was crossing the line, when the train coming from the south dashed through the junction and killed him. He leaves a widow and two children. He was thirty years of age. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 17th October, 1901, p.4.


   FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR ARBROATH. – Yesterday, between twelve and one o’clock, a joiner named Charles Mann, in the employment of the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway, was killed by a goods train at Easthaven. he had been engaged removing planks on the point road box in front of the signal cabin, but how the accident occurred is not exactly known. Mann was a ship carpenter to trade, and had been in the employment of the railway company for some time. The deceased, who was about thirty years of age, was married, and resided in Broughty Ferry. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Saturday 19th October, 1901, p.3.



   News reached Lockerbie to-day of a sad accident which happened yesterday at Beattock Station, on the Caledonian Railway to James Murray, waggon inspector. Murray had been on the line in the course of duty, when he was struck by a pilot engine and knocked against a train of empty carriages, receiving injuries of a serious nature. He was conveyed to Edinburgh Infirmary. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 19th October, 1901, p.3.


   FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Tuesday morning a distressing accident occurred on the Caledonian Railway between Newton and Uddingston. Mary Ann Andrews, 18 years of age, residing at 29 Dunlop Street, Newton, was walking along the line, along with another woman named Mrs Drury, when she was knocked down by the 8.45 express train from Glasgow to Edinburgh. At the time of the accident she was walking with her back to the train, the bufferbeam of the engine striking her on the back of the head, causing instantaneous death. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 19th October, 1901, p.6.






   A regrettable accident involving the destruction of a large number of sheep occurred on the Highland Railway near Carr-Bridge, on the evening of 8th inst. A number of sheep consigned to Mr George Grant, farmer, Cluny Mains, Duthil, were being unloaded from the trucks at Carr-Bridge Station. The night was extremely dark, and a number of the sheep unfortunately strayed along the line in a southerly direction. this was unnoticed at the time. Shortly afterwards the driver of a goods train from Perth to Inverness, on arriving at Carr-Bridge, reported that he had run into a flock of sheep about a mile from the station. Several men proceeded down the line, and at the spot indicated by the driver 19 sheep were found lying in a heap on the line all much mangled, and most of them dead. Near by several other sheep were found also dead. In all 34 sheep were killed. 

– Highland News, Saturday 19th October, 1901, p.8.


   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY NEAR PORTOBELLO. – On Sunday morning the driver of a goods train running between Portobello and Leith observed a man lying injured beside the railway near Seafield crossing. On reaching Leith he uncoupled his engine and ran back to the place, picked up the man, who was badly cut about the head, and apparently dying, and handed him over to the Leith police, who conveyed him to Leith Hospital. He was unconscious and unknown, and had apparently been run over by a passing train. He died about noon. A police description of the man puts his age at about forty years. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 21st October, 1901, p.6.


   FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – On Friday night or early Saturday morning the body of a farm servant named Carruthers was found on the Caledonian Railway near Kirkpatrick Fleming Station. Deceased had been knocked down by a passing train. 

The Scotsman, Monday 21st October, 1901, p.7.



   This morning a sad fatality, due to the fog, took place on the railway at Crookston Station, near Paisley. Robert Mason, 16 years of age, employed as a lamp boy, was crossing the line after lighting the lamps, when he was caught by a passing train between the shoulders, and so severely injured that he died shortly afterwards. there was a heavy fog at the time, and the engine-driver did not see the lad. Mason resided at Seedhill, Paisley. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 22nd October, 1901, p.2.


   A NARROW ESCAPE AT NORTH BERWICK. – Yesterday afternoon, John Cunningham, surfaceman, was knocked down into the four-foot way by the engine of the 1.45 P.M. train from Edinburgh, on its leaving the outside ticket platform to come into North Berwick Station. The engine and three carriages passed over Cunningham, who is an elderly man. Although somewhat bruised and shaken, he was fortunate in escaping without serious injury. He was reaching across the line for an oil can after oiling the points, when the engine caught him. On observing the oil can fall, the fireman applied the brake and jumped off, and two passengers assisted in removing Cunningham from below the carriage. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 22nd October, 1901, p.6.




   An occurrence of a sensational nature took place on the North British Railway near Laurieston Bridge yesterday morning about half-past nine o’clock. It appears that the driver of the 9.10 A.M. train from Grangemouth to Polmont and which leaves Grahamston at 9.17 noticed a well-dressed man, carrying his overcoat over his arm, walking along the path beside the metals on the left hand side of the line. It, however, being a rather common occurrence for people to walk along there as a short cut to the station, the driver did not pay any further attention to the man till he was close upon him. He was then horrified to observe the man deliberately take off his hat, and, kneeling-down, place his head on the rails in front of the engine. Before the train could be pulled up, it had passed over the spot where the man was. When it was brought to a standstill, and the attention of some surfacemen who were working on the line called to what had taken place, it was found that the body had been decapitated, the head being mangled to a fearful extent. the body was taken to the mortuary, where it awaited identification. At first it was thought that the deceased had been a commercial traveller. He seemed to have been over thirty years of age, was five feet nine in height, with reddish hair and moustache, and was dressed in dark tweeds and brown boots. On some of his clothing the name “Duncan Thomson” was found stamped, while in the pockets were found a return half of a weekend ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh, dated 19th October, and a cheque on an Aberfeldy bank, payable to D. C. Thomson. A description of the deceased was at once reported to the police in the cities, and published in several of the evening newspapers, with the result that about nine o’clock last night two young men, one of them a relative of the deceased from Glasgow, called at the Police Office, and identified the body as that of Duncan Thomson, engineer, belonging to Grandtully, near Aberfeldy. Deceased, we learn, had for some time been engaged as an engineer in Edinburgh and Leith. He had, it appears, arrived in Falkirk on Monday, and in the afternoon had gone to the Royal Hotel and asked for a bed. On entering the bedroom which was placed at his disposal, he threw part of the bedding on the floor and slept for some time on the mattress and sheets. the strangeness of his conduct is said to have considerably alarmed the servants in the hotel. In the evening his behaviour was even more perplexing for he then, instead of remaining for the night in the hotel and occupying the room he had engaged, called for his bill and having paid it at once left. Nothing definite is known regarding his movements after this, up to the moment at which the enginedriver saw him throw himself in front of the train. An alarming incident and one which, it is alleged, may have had some bearing on the tragedy had been reported to the police. It is stated that a little girl when going to school shortly after nine was accosted by a man who threatened to stab her with a knife, but the appearance of another man on the scene caused him to make off, and it is said that he disappeared in the direction of the railway. It appears, however, that the girl who was accosted had not been able to thoroughly identify the deceased as the man who molested her. She was naturally greatly excited by what took place, and does not appear to have a very clear recollection of the appearance of the man who threatened her, and although it is suspected that the deceased, who is said to have been seen in the vicinity about the time of the occurrence, was the man who attacked the girl, nothing definite has yet been ascertained in regard to this, and the matter is being investigated by the police. 

– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 23rd October, 1901, p.4.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT SEAFIELD CROSSING. – About 6.30 on Sunday morning, a man was seen lying near the railway line at Seafield crossing. The man was noticed by the engine-driver of a passing train, who had him removed to Leith Hospital. The injured man was found to be suffering from a wound on the back of the head and also a compound fracture of the right arm. He died without regaining consciousness. He was identified as Wm. Robertson, lorryman, Shrub Place, Edinburgh. 

Musselburgh News, Friday 25th October, 1901, p.4.





   A railway accident happened on the Dundee and Newtyle line this morning at Rosemill, which caused considerable delay to passenger trains, and consequent inconvenience to business men and others proceeding to and from the city. Those travelling by the 7.30 A.M. trains from Blairgowrie and Alyth, which join up at Newtyle, learned that something was amiss when they reached Auchterhouse. It was reported that an accident had happened at Rosemill Quarries between Baldragon and Dronley; that a goods train had failed to take the points, that many of the waggons were off the rails, and that the permanent way was broken up. The Blairgowrie and Alyth train was full of business men and school children, and while the former were inclined to regret the occurrence and to say hard things about the loss of valuable time, the scholars gloried in the thought of being late and the chance of a holiday. After half an hour’s stoppage at Auchterhouse the train was allowed to proceed. Lifting the passengers at Dronley, it went on to Rosemill, where a few of the passengers got out to view the results of the accident. It was seen that the reports obtained at Auchterhouse had been greatly exaggerated. One of the officials at the scene of the occurrence gave it as his opinion that some one had been interfering with the points yesterday. The consequence was that when the 5.10 A.M. goods train from Dundee to Forfar reached Rosemill about half-past six this morning the engine took the proper rails, while the waggons preferred the siding rails. The result was the bending of the rails and the derailment of three of the waggons. A gang of men were soon on the spot, and after setting the waggons right they started to straighten the rails. This, of course, took some considerable time, and the 8.30 train from Dundee was out before the road had been put in a condition fit to allow traffic to proceed. This was accomplished, however, shortly after nine o’clock. The train from Blairgowrie reached the city shortly before ten o’clock – an hour late. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 28th October, 1901, p.3.



   An alarming accident occurred yesterday on the Deeside Railway near Polmuir Bridge, Aberdeen. It appears that two cows had wandered on to the line at this point without being observed by their owner. As the Deeside suburban train which leaves the Joint Station at 8.55 turned the corner at Ferryhill Junction, on its way to Culter, the driver observed the two animals walking slowly between the two rails of the up line. He endeavoured to stop the train, but before the engine could be drawn up it struck the cows with great force, killing them instantaneously. Considerable alarm prevailed among the passengers at the sight of the blood of the animals all over the line, but much relief was felt when it was found that the engine had kept the rails. The engine, on returning to the Joint Station, presented an ugly appearance, being bespattered all over with blood. It is supposed that the animals had managed to break through the wire fence. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 30th October, 1901, p.8.


   INSTANTANEOUSLY KILLED. – A surfaceman named Robert Johnstone, living in Clydebank, was killed instantaneously by being knocked down and run over by a train on the North British line near Dalmuir Station on Thursday. 

– Southern reporter, Thursday 31st October, 1901, p.4.

2 thoughts on “October 1901

  1. I dip into these – too depressing to read them all! – and here the one that most caught my eye was death on the tracks (statistics of railwaymen killed and how indifferent the public was to these). Horrifying!

    1. Yup, really just illustrates how people have more sympathy for those like themselves. The working class seem to have been lucky if they were missed at all. I liked how much that one wee article gave away.

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