May 1902

   BOY FALLS FROM A TRAIN. – On Friday afternoon a boy named Marchbanks fell from a railway carriage at Nisbet, while travelling between Jedburgh and Roxburgh. The boy’s mother and some other children were in the carriage, and the boy had been working with the handle. He was bruised about the head and sustained other injuries, but he was not seriously hurt. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 1st May, 1902, p.3.


   A PLATELAYER KILLED. – On Thursday a passenger train on the Haywood and Wilsontown branch on the Caledonian Railway ran down and killed an old man named Gibson, employed on the railway as a platelayer. he had not observed the approach of the train until it was too late to get clear of the rails. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 1st May, 1902, p.4.


   SUICIDE ON THE RAILWAY. – The driver of the 7.46 train from Dunfermline, when nearing North Gyle Station, Corstorphine, observed a man deliberately lay his head on the rails in front of the approaching engine. He was unable to draw up in time to prevent the man being run over, the result being that the latter was instantaneously killed. He was about thirty or forty years of age, was five feet six inches in height, wore a black cloth jacket, and had in his possession a pipe and several boxes of matches. The body was removed to the mortuary at Corstorphine. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 2nd May, 1902, p.8.


   CHILD KILLED ON THE LINE. – Peter Campbell (3), son of Dugald Campbell, photographer’s assistant, Brown Street, Hamilton, along with other three children, wandered on to the railway line at the burgh boundary, and was knocked down by a passenger train from Hamilton to Motherwell. The boy Campbell sustained a terrible wound on the head, besides having his left hand severed, and succumbed to his injuries two hours afterwards. The other three children escaped unhurt. 

   EXTRAORDINARY CONDUCT IN A RAILWAY TRAIN. – On Tuesday night an alarming occurrence took place on the Caledonian Railway between Motherwell and Glasgow. Between nine and ten o’clock the guard of the train travelling from Glasgow for the South, when near Newton observed a man hanging on to the footboard of one of the carriages in a dangerous position. he stopped the train and had the man put into the compartment out of which he had come, but locked the doors to keep him safe. the train resumed its journey, but shortly afterwards was brought to a standstill through the man in the compartment pulling the communication cord. On the arrival of the train at Motherwell the railway officials handed the man over to the police. He gave the name of George Hillen, brushing contractor, Benburb Place, Carfin. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 3rd May, 1902, p.6.



   A SAD fatality was reported to the Ardrossan police on Tuesday morning. While the train which arrives at Ardrossan about 6.50 was on its way from Saltcoats to South Beach Station, the occupants of one of the compartments were alarmed to find that one of their number – a working man – had suddenly taken ill. Before any assistance could be rendered the man succumbed. On the arrival of the train at Princes Street Station the police were communicated with, and through their efforts the deceased was identified as John McGlannachie, an ironworker employed in Stevenston. it appears that he left Ardrossan with the 5.30 a.m. workmen’s train, but becoming unwell on reaching his destination, he resolved to return home. The cause of death is believed to be due to failure of the heart’s action. The deceased, who was 70 years of age, was a widower, and resided with his son in Princes Street. 

– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 9th May, 1902, p.5.


   The rush to get out of Abercorn Station resulted at last in a serious accident, on Saturday, when a passenger got a leg fractured through jumping from the train while in motion. It is a wonder that more accidents have not happened. the railway company are not to blame in the matter, as the whole crowding and crushing are unnecessary and but an exhibition of horse-play. Everything in this world is not perfect, but in this respect at least a better arrangement could be come to if the jostlers would only exercise a little common-sense and some small consideration for others. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 10th May, 1902, p.6.


   FARMER KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – On Tuesday night, Robert Fleming, farm grieve, Watsonmids, met with a fatal accident on the Morningside branch of the North British Railway, near Allanton Pit, Newmains. Deceased was on his way home from Wishaw Auction Mart, and was taking a short cut by the railway. It is supposed that he had sat down to rest at the side of the line, but had not been clear of the metals. He was struck by a passenger engine proceeding to Morningside, and his right arm was taken off at the shoulder, besides being otherwise injured about the head and side. He was conveyed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on an engine, but died a few hours after admission. Deceased was about 45 years of age, and leaves a widow and young family. He was well known in farming circles, and took an active interest in the affairs of the Carluke and Wishaw Agricultural Societies. 

– Wishaw Press, Saturday 10th May, 1902, p.2.






   An extraordinary railway accident occurred at the level crossing at Barry Station, on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Line, early on Saturday afternoon, resulting in the death of William Dippie, a carter, 40 years of age, who resided at 61 Crescent Street, Dundee, and serious injury to another carter, Henry Grubb, 21 years of age, who resides in east Dock Street, Dundee. The unfortunate men were two of a party of four carters in the employment of Messrs Mutter, Howey, & Co., carting contractors, who left Dundee on Saturday morning for Buddon in charge of four 12-pounder guns, each of which was attached to a gun carriage, one horse being employed to haul each piece of artillery. The guns belonged to the 1st Forfarshire Volunteer artillery, to which regiment several of Messrs Mutter, Howey, & Co,’s carters are attached as drivers, the same firm also supplying the horses. Reaching Barry Station, the men were preparing to cross the railway to reach the Links. Dippie and Grubb were seated on the carriage of the first gun. Shunting operations had been proceeding. A goods train bound for Dundee shunted into the siding to allow the 1.10 p.m. passenger train from Carnoustie to pass. The gates at the crossing, which is close to the platform, had, it appears, been opened to allow the guns to pass, when suddenly the goods train, which was near them, came backwards with the intention of gaining its original position. By this time the gun carriage on which Dippie and Grubb were seated was right in the middle of the line. The driver was quite unconscious that the vehicles were in the rear of his train, and with gathering speed the rear of his train crashed into the gun carriage. The result was disastrous, Dippie and Grubb being thrown from their seats. The animal yoked to the chains of the gun carriage was dragged to the ground, and the van of the train was badly smashed and derailed. The alarm was at once raised, and Mr Cruden, the stationmaster at Barry, and his staff being immediately on the scene, every attention was given to the men. Dr Dickson, Carnoustie, who was also sent for, arrived with all haste. Dippie’s condition was very serious. The horse had fallen on him, and although everything possible was done for him Dr Dickson found that the unfortunate man had succumbed to suffocation. Grubb’s injuries were serious, consisting chiefly of a compound fracture of the leg below the right knee, and his clothes had been torn to shreds. Mr A. T. hunter, the stationmaster at Dundee East, was communicated with, and he telephoned for the ambulance van, which was waiting the arrival of the 1.51 p.m. train from Barry in which Grubb was conveyed to Dundee. He was then taken to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate the injured limb below the knee. The officials at Barry next turned their attention to having the line cleared. The gun carriage had also been badly smashed, and the gun had been sung round and wedged in between the train and the platform. Crowbars were procured, and the damaged carriage and gun were removed, and the goods van, which was very badly damaged, restored to its proper position. The other guns were brought back to Dundee. The unfortunate accident caused quite a sensation in the neighbourhood. Dippie was a married man, and leaves a widow and seven of a family. Grubb is the son of Mr Henry Grubb, foreman carter with Messrs Mutter, Howey, & Co. The names of the other carters are Bernard Ross and George Grubb, the latter being a cousin of the injured man. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 12th May, 1902, p.5.





   A somewhat mysterious and very regretable fatality occurred last night on the Great North of Scotland Railway at Farburn Gates, about half-way between Dyce and Stoneywood, Allan Christie, guard, Bedford Road, Aberdeen, having fallen out of the suburban train due to arrive at Aberdeen at 10.35, and been killed. 

   Christie was last seen alive at Dyce Station just as the train was leaving for Aberdeen with a few passengers. On the train reaching Stoneywood Station Christie was nowhere to be found, and the officials at that station, fearing there was something wrong, telegraphed to Dyce to ascertain the cause of Christie’s non-appearance on the train. 

   On being informed that the guard was seen to enter his van just as the train steamed out of Dyce Station, the officials of Stoneywood proceeded along the line with lighted lamps, and on reaching Farburn Gates they were horrified to find Christie on the east side of the down line, to all appearance dead. Medical aid was summoned, but life was found to be extinct. An engine and carriage were then despatched to the spot where the body lay, and the remains were brought to the Kittybrewster Station, and thence conveyed to the deceased’s residence in Bedford Road. 

   Nothing is known as to how Christie had fallen out of the train, and as it was dark at the time no one appears to have witnessed the accident. 

   It is stated that the deceased’s cap and lamp were found in a first-class compartment of the train, and if this is correct it adds to the mystery which surrounds the lamentable occurrence. 

   Christie, who was a man of about thirty-five years, was married, and leaves a widow and family. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 13th May, 1902, p.4.



  For some time past, great annoyance, as well as danger, has been caused in Galashiels district by the placing of obstructions on the railway. Recently three boys were birched for this offence. Early yesterday a heavy iron chair, weighing about 40lb., was laid on one of the rails on the main down line of the Waverley route, a short distance from the signal cabin at Selkirk Junction, about a mile south of Galashiels. The signalman at the cabin went off duty at 11.40 p.m., and all appeared to be right then, a train having passed in safety a short time before. A fast goods train passing the spot about one o’clock struck the obstruction, but, fortunately, knocked it away and kept on the rail. At Galashiels Station the matter was reported, and it was found that the guard on one of the front wheels of the engine had been broken off in forcing the obstruction away. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 14th May, 1902, p2.





   A fatal accident occurred at Newtonhill about three o’clock yesterday morning, Geo. McKay (25), fireman in the employment of the North British Railway Co., being killed on the line there. It appears that deceased left Glasgow with a goods train on Wednesday night, and arrived at Newtonhill about three o’clock in the morning. the train was shunted to a siding at Newtonhill to allow the mail train to pass it on the way to Aberdeen. McKay, during this stoppage, was chatting with the brakesman at the van, and after the passenger train had passed northwards, the goods train was shunted out of the siding, and in crossing the line McKay did not notice that an engine and van were coming southwards. The heel of one of his boots was caught on the rail, and he tripped and fell on the line. Before he had time to get clear, the south-bound engine passed over him, causing instant death. The body, which was fearfully mangled, was removed to the Police Mortuary. Deceased was a native of Glasgow, where he resided with his parents. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 16th May, 1902, p.4.


   RAILWAY SERVANTS’ ORPHAN FUND. – The social meeting, held last week, realised £3 5s for the Orphan Fund, connected with the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants. The fund was established in 1880 for the support of the orphan children of the society’s members, who met their death by accident at work. The objects of the fund are to provide weekly allowance of from 3s to 7s weekly, according to the number of children in families of deceased members, until the youngest arrives at the age of 14, and to specially care for such children as have neither father nor mother by placing them in homes, or otherwise insuring that they are looked after. The number of children annually placed on the fund has increased from 36 in 1880 to 430 in 1901. The fund relies on its income from regular payments by society members and public subscriptions. A local committee of four members has been appointed to approach the ministers of the town with a view to having an annual sermon preached to assist the fund. The committee is also to arrange for a church parade of the railwaymen. This charitable object will doubtless receive the public support it well deserves. 

   ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – A peculiar accident happened on the railway, near to Boghead level crossing, about 2.30 on Sunday morning. Arthur Haldane, miner, residing at Cappers Row, had found his way to the railway, and, it is stated, lain or fallen down with one of his feet on the line. A goods train going east had passed over the man’s foot, then a second train came along afterwards. This time the driver of the train heard the cries of the man. The train was stopped, and the man was discovered. From the cabin at Boghead intimation was sent to Bathgate, and Dr Kirk was called to attend the man. thereafter the man was conveyed per special engine and carriage to Edinburgh, and then taken to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate the man’s right foot. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 16th May, 1902, p.5.


   Two Accidents on the Railway. – On Sunday morning, about half-past two o’clock, the driver of the Berwick and Coatbridge goods train heard cried of some one in distress on the line near to the Boghead signal cabin, and at once stopped his engine and went in search, when he found a man, named Arthur Holden, lying beside the line with his foot cut off. Assistance was immediately given, and the unfortunate man was conveyed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Holden was living in lodgings at the Cappers, and it is believed that he was proceeding home from Bathgate when he must have been overtaken by some passing train. He is a married man, about 45 years of age, but where his house is has not been made known. – On Monday, at mid-day, Robt. McCanning, a young surfaceman, residing at 52 East Main Street, met with a slight accident at Armadale Junction, when he was knocked down by a passing engine, sustaining an injury to his left arm and right side of his face. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 16th May, 1902, p.4.


   FIRE AT BALLOCH. – Yesterday morning the signal box at the Forth and Clyde Railway Junction, about 100 yards from Balloch Station, was burned to the ground, the accident causing some delay in the train service. 

   PONIES KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – Between Thursday night and yesterday morning, two ponies. belonging to Lord George Sanger, were killed on the Dumbarton and Balloch Joint Railway near Millburn Works, Renton. The ponies got loose, and strayed on to the railway, and were run down by a passing train. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 17th May, 1902, p.8.




   A serious accident occurred on the Glasgow and South Western Railway, just outside of Kilmarnock Station this morning. A train from Darvel to Glasgow went off the line through something having gone wrong at the points. One of the carriages was thrown on its broadside, seven or eight passengers being injured. Alex. Clark, South Hamilton Street, Kilmarnock, sustained a compound fracture of the left fore arm, and was badly bruised on the breast. He travels daily to Glasgow to business. Miss Andrews, daughter of a Coatbridge banker, who had been staying over the week-end with friends at Kilmarnock, was severely injured on the shoulder, and sustained several flesh wounds on the arms. Miss Templeton, Bonnyton Road, was cut on the face, but not seriously. A young man named Cook, from Darvel, was slightly injured, but resumed his journey to Glasgow. Three or four others have sustained shocks. The local doctors, the railway ambulance corps, and members of the burgh police force were promptly in attendance, and rendered every service possible to the injured. Mr Clark and Miss Andrews are under treatment in the infirmary. The others were removed home. 




   An extraordinary incident which occurred on the Caledonian Underground Railway at Glasgow is reported to-day. Last Wednesday night the train from Hamilton was stopped by signal outside Glasgow Cross Station, and a lady with a little girl, three or four years of age, clasped in her arms, thinking that the station had been reached, stepped out. 

   When the train arrived at the station a minute or two later, two ladies who had been in the same compartment gave the alarm, but previous to this the guard of the train, having heard the lady scream, caused the Balloch express, then due to pass, to be stopped. The station officials proceeded along the tunnel with lamps, and there they found the child wandering about in the dark, perfectly uninjured, but the lady was got a little further off in an unconscious condition. After receiving medical attention at the station, however, she was able to proceed to her home in Crosshill in a cab. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 19th May, 1902, p.4.






   A painful case of suicide was discovered at Port-Glasgow this morning. An hour or two after midnight a young woman named Nora Bryce or Ross, wife of William Ross, painter, residing at Glenburn Villa, left her home, and under cover of darkness went on to the railway at Wemyss Bay junction, and crossing to the main line was killed by a passing train. her husband, it is stated, had been out the most of the night, reaching home about four o’clock, only to find his wife absent. On making inquiry as to her whereabouts, Ross learned that the decapitated body of a woman had been seen lying on the railway, just one hundred yards from the house, and the mangled corpse was found to be that of his wife, who had evidently gone on to the line, and deliberately thrown herself in the way of an approaching mineral train. An engine driver first made the discovery, and reporting the matter at Port-Glasgow Station the police was communicated with, and the body was conveyed to the mortuary. Deceased was about twenty-four years of age, and was married fully a year ago. There is a child, which was safely found in its crib. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Saturday 24th May, 1902, p.2.



   A serious accident occurred on Saturday night at Ruthrieston Station, on the Deeside section of the Great North of Scotland Railway, when Alexander Campbell, tobacconist, George Street, Aberdeen, fell backwards off the station platform to the line and split the top of his skull for about five inches. the man was immediately picked up in an unconscious condition, and, on the arrival immediately afterwards of the 10.28 suburban train he was conveyed by it to Aberdeen. At the Joint Railway Station Mr R. A. Duguid, stationmaster, who is fully qualified in ambulance work, at once took charge of the man, and as speedily as possible adopted means to stop the bleeding, which was profuse, the blood being seen running out at the door of the compartment. A stretcher party was then organised, consisting of Mr Joseph Dunn, Caledonian Railway Ambulance Corps; Mr Alexander Findlay, Joint Station Ambulance Corps; Mr A. Wells, Great North of Scotland Railway Ambulance Corps; assisted by one or two others who had not qualified in the ambulance classes, and, with Mr Duguid in charge, they had the man conveyed on the stretcher kept at the Railway Station to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, by the line side and Schoolhill. At the Infirmary Dr Leith Murray, assisted by Dr Falconer, promptly attended to the injured man, whose head, neck, and shoulders were besmeared with blood. the man became semi-conscious, but beyond the fact that he lived in George Street, no definite information could be obtained from him at that time. When he recovered consciousness yesterday, he stated that his name was Alexander Campbell, and that he was a tobacconist. the quiet but thorough and expeditious manner in which the members of the ambulance corps performed their difficult task, the journey by the lineside with their burden being anything but easy, was highly to be commended. Yesterday the man was progressing as favourably as could be expected, although his injuries were regarded as critical. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Monday 26th May, 1902, p.5.


   GIRL’S MIRACULOUS ESCAPE ON THE RAILWAY. – On Friday forenoon, a girl named Richardson, four years of age, who had taken train at Methil, fell from the Edinburgh-Glasgow express to the north of Kirkcaldy Station. Along with her mother she had left Methil for Hamilton, and while the train was travelling at full speed the girl leant against the carriage door, which flew open. She fell on the line opposite the works of Messrs McIntosh & Co., and a woman, at work in a Balsusney Road garden, seeing the accident, ran through the hedge and down on to the line. She found the girl not much the worse, except that the back of her head was cut. A surfaceman coming along took the child from her, and carried her until he met the mother, who had left the train at Kirkcaldy Station. 

– Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette, Thursday 29th May, 1902, p.3.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT GLENGARNOCK. – An accident occurred at Glengarnock on Wednesday by which the wife of William Hanna, labourer, lost her life. She resided at Bridge Row, Glengarnock Iron and Steel Works, within a few yards of the company’s railway lye, and when a train of four empty waggons and pug engine was being backed in she got in the way and was knocked down and run over. She died shortly after. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 30th May, 1902, p.5.





   About 12.30 on Saturday afternoon James Sneddon (64), level crossing keeper in the employment of the North British Railway Company, and residing at South Street, Leven, was instantaneously killed at Burnmill Level Crossing, Leven, by being struck on the head by a goods engine, which was shunting at the Goods Station. Deceased had been looking at a passenger train, which was approaching from the other direction, and failed to observe the goods engine, which was coming from the siding, with the result that he was struck on the head and his skull severely fractured, death being instantaneous. Sneddon, who had been crossing-keeper for some years was an old soldier. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 31st May, 1902, p.6.







   A railway smash – extraordinary in its nature and disastrous in its effects – occurred at Dundee to-day. The scene of the accident is at Fairmuir junction on the Dundee and Newtyle section of the Caledonian Railway, and its origin can be directly traced to the tempest that has been raging during the morning hours. Fortunately the mishap was unattended by personal injury to any one, but it resulted in serious damage to the permanent way and rolling stock, and led to a complete derangement of the traffic. 

   The train which came to grief was the 7.30 from Blairgowrie, due to arrive at Dundee West at 8.43. On nearing the signal cabin situated at the junction of the line leading to Fairmuir Goods Station the engine, as usual, was steaming slowly round the bend in order to enable the driver to lift the tablet from the signalman. this was successfully accomplished, but the engine had only gone about 50 yards when something appeared to catch the wheels of the locomotive. The obstruction was just at the pier of the bridge underneath West Clepington Road. Fortunately the engine and succeeding carriage, while by no means running on the rails, had sufficient impetus to carry them clear of the mason work of the bridge, or otherwise the accident would in all probability have been a serious one. Judging from the appearance of the permanent way, the engine had gradually “headed” for the embankment on the west side. 

   The engine-driver and fireman did everything in their power to stop the engine, but their efforts were fruitless, and as it slowly wore in towards the banking they were thinking of jumping when the vehicle ploughed into the embankment. With the impact the attendants were thrown forward, while the coal in the tender was driven on to the engine. 

   The driver, William Mitchell, received a severe blow on the left leg with a board, but beyond the shock the fireman, Wm. Hepburn, escaped scathless. The first carriage, which had also left the rails dashed into the rear of the tender. The woodwork was completely smashed, especially at the western side. 


   Two men employed in city offices, who are daily passengers from Coupar Angus, were seated in the first compartment, and they had a miraculous escape from serious injury. Their names are John Irving and Charles Millar, and in the course of an interview with a “Telegraph” reporter, Mr Irving gave an interesting account of his experience. He and his companion were sitting reading in the east corners of the compartment, and, “fortunate for us,” said Mr Irving, “that it was so.” After passing the cabin his attention was directed by 


and he had just passed a comment on this fact to his friend when there came a crash. The sides of the compartment, in Mr Irving’s words, “seemed to close together like a collapsible pasteboard box.” The glass in the windows at the side opposite to them fell in a shower at their feet, and the two men sustained a pretty severe shock to their nerves. they, however, suffered not the slightest scratch, and speedily recovered. 

   the train was heavily laden, and as no further progress could be made the passengers had no alternative but to continue their journey on foot. Many proceeded towards Lochee, and reached the city by electric cars. Others, however, boarded the Fairmuir cars at the junction of West Clepington Road and Strathmartine Road. 


   A careful inspection was made of the line after the accident, and it was found that the whole mischief had been caused by the wind blowing the lid of a box covering the working parts of the points on to the line. the box is oblong shaped, situated immediately at the pier of the bridge, and the easterly wind blowing on the west masonry had lifted the cover over and it rested on the west rail. Although the lid is only about an inch thick it was sufficient to raise the wheels of the engine to such an extent that the flanges slipped over the line and the derailed locomotive ran for about 30 yards in the sleepers. At the point the full effect of the storm was experienced, and the gale catching the engine broadside assisted in throwing it into its extraordinary position. 

   The line, of course, was completely blocked, but arrangements have been made for conducting the traffic by transferring the passengers from one train to another, and thus getting past the obstruction. Squads of workmen were summoned to clear the line, but it is not expected that through traffic will be resumed until late in the day. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 31st May, 1902, p.5.

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