July 1902


   A youth of twenty years, named Joseph Henderson, yesterday morning met with a terrible accident, which ultimately proved fatal. Henderson, who was a rope runner employed by Messrs Adamson & Son, contractors, was engaged emptying coal from a waggon at the east dock when his foot was jammed between the railway points. before he could extricate his foot a couple of waggons laden with coal knocked him down and ran over his legs, which were almost severed from his body. He was immediately removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he died shortly after admission. Henderson was the chief support of his widowed mother. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 1st July, 1902, p.4.



   Dundee East Station was to-day the scene of a sad fatality the victim of which was a railwayman named David Smith. The unfortunate man was engaged in shunting operations in the goods yard between seven and eight o’clock, and appears to have been preparing to change the points for several waggons which were being backed towards him. He gave the signal to the engine-driver to move backwards, but failing to get clear himself of the train, he was knocked down, and the wheels passed over his body. Several eye-witnesses succeeded in apprising the driver of the occurrence, and the train was promptly brought to a standstill. It was found, however, that Smith had been severely injured, and he died within a few minutes of the occurrence of the accident. Deceased was a young man slightly over thirty years of age, and is survived by a widow and family. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 2nd July, 1902, p.3.



   Mules are usually considered the most stubborn of animals, but elephants are occasionally equally obstinate. Such was found to be the case on Friday by the railway officials at Aberdeen Joint Station while entraining the elephants belonging to Lord George Sanger on the departure of the animals for Brechin. the giant elephant strongly objected to being boxed up in one of the railway vans. An attempt was made to get the animal into the van by a chain attached to two younger elephants, who endeavoured to pull the big one into the vehicle, but the “giant” was not to be tricked in that fashion. After several more fruitless attempts, the animal was got into the van in a somewhat ingenious way. The keeper turned the elephant’s back to the van, and then attached a long chain to one of its fore legs. A large number of the station employees and men connected with the circus then commences pulling the foot underneath it. Every time this was done the brute backed a few feet, with the result that ultimately it was got entirely into the van, and before it had time to realise its position the door of the vehicle was closed. The railway officials found the despatching of the elephants to the destination no easy matter and it took them nearly two hours before the animals were all put on the train. The rest of the circus travelled southwards by road. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 2nd July, 1902, p.5.


   RAILWAY FATALITY AT PERTH. – On Thursday afternoon James Buchan, master slater, Perth, was killed at Perth Station. Mr Buchan, who was in the goods yard at the back of the general station, was knocked down by an engine which was shunting, and before the engine could be stopped, three of the wheels of the tender passed over the unfortunate man’s head and shoulders. Death was instantaneous. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 3rd July, 1902, p.4.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT RAITH COLLIERY – CRUSHED TO DEATH BY A WAGGON. – William Connelly, waggon greaser, Bridge Street, Cowdenbeath, met with an accident on Raith Colliery siding on Wednesday, which shortly afterwards proved fatal. He was driving a bolt out of a waggon when another waggon was shunted back upon him. His right foot was almost cut off, the left foot crushed, and the left leg badly lacerated. The injured man died shortly after being taken home. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 5th July, 1902, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – An accident, which narrowly escaped having as the result the loss of human life, took place at the level crossing at the [Rothes] Police Station on the approach of the 10.13 a.m. train. At this point the train glides along very smoothly. It seems that Mr John Blackhall was leading a horse, belonging to Mr Jas. Allan, coal merchant, yoked to a cart, on to the crossing, not having observed the train, between which and him were the horse and the garden wall of the Police Station, when suddenly he heard the shriek of an engine whistle. Realising what was about to happen, he did his best to drag the horse off the line, but his efforts were unavailing, as the engine struck the horse, breaking its right fore-leg at the shoulder and the knee and knocking on to its driver who, to the surprise of those who saw the accident, escaped with only getting his toes bruised. The crossing in question is dangerous, and it will be in the memory of readers that it is not long since the attention of the Board of Trade was called to the fact that three horses were killed at this crossing. As there are no fewer than ten level crossings within the burgh, all of them dangerous, it would be interesting to know what is being done to protect the public. 

– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Friday 11th July, 1902, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT PORTOBELLO. – Last night a shocking accident occurred at Portobello railway Station, whereby a woman had her left leg torn off below the knee. When the Carlisle and Kelso train due at 8.56 arrived at Portobello, the ticket-collectors found a couple in a third-class carriage, who either had no tickets or would to give them up. They were a man and woman of the labouring class evidently, and the man was lying tipsy on the floor. The train was somewhat late, and the officials, after trying all they could to rouse the man and get tickets from him, decided to leave him in the carriage to be dealt with at Edinburgh. they, however, insisted on the woman alighting, which she did, after repeatedly urging “Jack” to rouse up. The train was then started, but apparently endeavouring to get once more into the carriage, the woman ran forward as the train was clearing the covered portion of the station, and slipped down between the carriage and the platform. the accident was observed almost instantly, and the train was stopped. When extricated, the woman’s left leg below the knee was found to be wrenched off, all but a slight binding of flesh. The engine-driver and fireman were both ambulance men, and, assisted by the Portobello Station staff, all of whom are expert in ambulance work, they had the woman attended to, and removed to Edinburgh in the same train. Subsequently she was taken to the Royal Infirmary. There she gave her name as Maggie Bolton. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 12th July, 1902, p.8.


   Mr J. Murray, V.S., while driving past Glasaugh Station on Tuesday was thrown from his gig, his horse having been frightened by a passing train. The passengers in the train observed the accident, and sent word by telegraph from Portsoy. Mr Murray was found badly cut about the head and face, but not seriously injured. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 12th July, 1902, p.7.






   A rather serious railway smash took place between eleven and twelve o’clock on Saturday night in close proximity to the North British Railway Station here. Shunting operations were going on at the time, and an engine attached to several waggons was proceeding in the direction of the bridge crossing the South Esk. Instead of going on to the main line, as he thought, the driver found that the engine was running along a siding adjacent to the West End Park. The engine was going at a fair speed, and crashed into a long goods train, consisting principally of heavy meat waggons. 

   Curiously enough, although the front wheels were thrown off the rails, the first van escaped serious damage, although the buffer of the engine staved in a portion of the end. The second van, however, was more seriously damaged, the nearest end to the engine being caved in and smashed. Another van was almost toppled over, while several others were more or less damaged. The waggons, when knocked off the line, ran along on the way for about thirty yards, but little damage was done. the crash occasioned considerable alarm among the residenters in the neighbourhood of the West End Park. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 14th July, 1902, p.6.



   A somewhat alarming accident occurred at Milltimber Station on the Deeside Railway on Saturday night to Mrs Smith, 84 Urquhart Road, Aberdeen, who had been at a picnic at Culter. Mrs Smith was returning to the city by the train due to arrive at 7.30, and, wishing to change from one compartment to another, she stepped off the train while it was still in motion, at Milltimber Station, with the result that she missed her footing and fell between the platform and the carriages. She was immediately picked up, when it was found that she had received a severe abrasure on the left leg, and was otherwise injured about the breast and side. After her injuries had been temporarily attended to at Milltimber she was brought to Aberdeen by the following train, and on her arrival at the Joint Station was placed on the ambulance, recently presented by Mr Littlejohn of Invercharron, and conveyed to the Royal Infirmary. It is not thought that her injuries are of a serious nature. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Monday 14th July, 1902, p.4.





   The express train which leaves Glasgow (Buchanan Street) at two o’clock in the afternoon for Perth encountered an accident yesterday which, though fortunately it resulted in no injuries to any one, was suggestive of the gravest consequences. just after passing Bannockburn Station about three o’clock on the downward rush to Stirling, and upon a bridge spanning the Bannock, the train was subjected to a tremendous jerk. It was seen that the front bogey of a Highland composite carriage near the locomotive had jumped the metals, and was playing havoc with the permanent way. By good luck the couplings did not snap, and the engine-driver was able to bring the train to a standstill in a very brief period. Intimation of the occurrence was forwarded to Stirling, and a breakdown squad was almost immediately on the spot. As both lines were blocked, the congestion of traffic was for a time severe; but early in the evening the normal conditions had been restored. When news of the affair got about in Stirling and district it caused considerable sensation, for, having regard to the sharpness of the incline and the rate at which the train was travelling, it was only too easy to picture what might have happened. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 16th July, 1902, p.4.


   FATAL ACCIDENT TO A SOLDIER. – On Monday morning a soldier was found lying on the side of the railway near Hawick. He was conveyed to the Cottage Hospital, where he died the same evening. It is supposed that he had fallen out of the train. he turned out to be Priv. Kinnear of Trinity, who was on his way home with his regiment from South Africa. 

– Southern reporter, Thursday 17th July, 1902, p.3.



   A serious accident occurred at the Railway Station, Burntisland, on Saturday afternoon to a passenger porter named Richard Hardie. Hardie was crossing the line, when he was knocked down by an incoming train. The engine buffer caught him on the back and threw him into the six-feet way. He was severely injured on the head, and was removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where his injuries are considered dangerous. the unfortunate man was nearly killed on a previous occasion by a similar accident at the same place. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 21st July, 1902, p.5.





   On Saturday Mrs Fisher, wife of Mr W. B. Fisher, dentist, Glenacre, Gourock, was severely injured by falling from a railway carriage on the journey from Glasgow to Gourock. She was a passenger by the 5.5 p.m. train from the Central Station, and while looking out at the carriage window the door sprang open and she fell out. The accident occurred near Gower Street Bridge. Mrs Fisher, who was found in an unconscious condition, was conveyed to the Victoria Infirmary. She was suffering from a severe bruise on the head and from loss of blood. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 21st July, 1902, p.2.











   Shortly after five o’clock this morning a horrible discovery was made in the vicinity of Stannergate Station, on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway, by several workmen who were on their way to Carolina Port. The men were walking along by the line when one of them drew attention to several white-looking objects which were lying scattered about the rails. 

   On approaching nearer, the men beheld a sight so ghastly in its nature that one of them fainted. 

   It was the body of a man minus head, arms, and legs that they first observed. 

   The clothes were torn off, and the rails were besmeared with blood. 

   Several yards from where the body lay the men observed the head of the unfortunate man who had met such a terrible death. 

   The face was almost obliterated, and it was impossible to say whether the victim was young or old. 

   The legs and arms were found lying within a few yards of the body. 

   The workmen immediately ran to the nearest signal-box, and the signalman communicated with the officials at Dundee East Station, who sent down an engine and van to bring the remains up to Dundee. 

   The railway men required all their nerve, for the duty of collecting the limbs of the man was a severe one. It was found necessary to put the remains of the deceased into a bag, so mutilated was the condition of the man. 

   The body was conveyed to Dundee, and then taken to the Mortuary, but as yet no one has identified it. 


   In conversation with several of the railway officials this morning, a representative of the “Evening Post” heard the belief expressed that the victim of this accident had been in an intoxicated condition, and had taken off his clothes and laid himself down on the rails thinking that he was in bed. He had then been run over by goods train. 

   Several of the railwaymen stated that in all their experience they had never seen a man so shockingly mutilated on the railway. He was simply cut to pieces. 

   The opinion was also stated that the clothes had been torn off the unknown man when he was run over. His boots were lying near the line, and were not on his feet. 

   As already stated, the head was so smashed up that it will be almost impossible to identify the man. 

   One of the railwaymen, however, stated that he was of opinion that the man had a moustache, as there was hair about his upper lip, but that he had had no beard. 



   It has been ascertained that the man killed is William Strachan, 21 years of age, who resides with his parents at 7 Lyon Street. Deceased was a lorryman in the employment of Wordie & Co., and was working no later than yesterday. Last night he left off work about six o’clock, and he never came home. It appears that Strachan had gone down the line for the purpose of visiting a signalman near Stannergate, who was a friend of his. 



   It has just transpired that a waggon label with a stone resting upon it was found on a railway sleeper a few yards from where Strachan was killed. 

   On the label was written in a scrawling fashion the words “William Strachan.” 

– Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 22nd July, 1902, p.2.









   One of the most serious railway smashes which have occurred in Perth for some time happened between 6 and 7 o’clock this morning on the main line between Perth and Crieff. The scene of the accident is about three-quarters of a mile to the west of Methven Junction, and although unattended by loss of life or limb the accident caused considerable anxiety to the railway officials. 

   The ordinary goods train from Perth to Crieff, due to leave Perth Station at 5.45 did not get off until about half an hour later this morning. The train consisted of about forty waggons, most of which were heavily laden with goods. 

   All went well till the approach of the bridge at Methven Burn was reached, when, it is believed, the flange of one of the wheels missed the rails, and as the train was proceeding at the rate of 15 to 20 miles an hour, the result was disastrous. No fewer than 21 waggons were derailed, and the damage caused to the permanent way and rolling stock was of an extraordinary character. Strange to relate, the front portion of the train kept the metals. 

   Information of the occurrence was at once sent to Perth, and a break-down train proceeded to the scene of the disaster. Mr Prentice, locomotive foreman, being in charge of the break-down squad. The scene where the accident occurred was a remarkable and extraordinary one. great stretches of the permanent way had been torn up and scattered along the embankment. Most of the waggons were heavily freighted, and the wheels sunk axle deep into the banks of shingle, while several of the waggons were almost on the point of toppling over the embankment. 

   The accident will have the effect of causing considerable inconvenience to passengers and other traffic between Perth and Crieff, and intermediate stations. 

   The passengers leaving Crieff by the 7.30 train this morning on arriving at the scene of the accident had to detrain and proceed on foot to Methven Junction, where the ordinary Methven train left for Perth, although it was an hour late in starting. A temporary set of rails had to be constructed in order to get the wrecked waggons righted. As a result of the smash about 200 yards of the permanent way has been very badly torn up, and the main line will not be clear until well on in the afternoon. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 24th July, 1902, p.4.


   FALL FROM A TRAIN. – A boy about seven years of age fell from a passenger train travelling at full speed on Friday night between Cardonald and paisley, the door of the compartment opening suddenly where he was standing with his back against it. The lad fell on his feet, but his head struck the ground with great violence, and was cut severely in several places. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 24th July, 1902, p.4.


   RUN DOWN ON THE LINE. – On Tuesday afternoon, a sad accident befell a miner named Andrew Rolland, residing at Rosie Cottages. he was returning to his home by the railway line belonging to Messrs Bowman & Co., when he was knocked down by a train, and the engine passed over his arm. 

– Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette, Thursday 24th July, 1902, p.3.


   Two boys last Friday night at St Monans station jamp from an express train on to the platform while the train was running past the station, and sustained serious illness. 

– East of Fife Record, Friday 25th July, 1902, p.4.





   Between four and five o’clock this morning a man named John Menzies, a fitter in the service of the Caledonian Railway Company, was admitted to Forfar Infirmary suffering from injuries received while engaged at the engine sheds at Forfar Station. Menzies was engaged repairing an engine, when a cleaner, contrary to regulations, moved a locomotive behind the one at which Menzies was working at, with the result that Menzies was run over, completely severing his leg below the knee. Dr Peterkin was immediately called, and ordered the man’s removal to the Infirmary. Menzies is unmarried. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Saturday 26th July, 1902, p.3.


   FATAL RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT. – Maggie Bolton (45), the vagrant who had her left leg torn off by being run over at Portobello Railway Station a fortnight ago, while attempting to re-enter a train from which she had been ejected died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Saturday night. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 28th July, 1902, p.6.



   At a late hour on Saturday evening John Menzies, a mechanic in the employment of the Caledonian Railway Company at Forfar, succumbed in the Forfar Infirmary to injuries sustained at the station at an early hour that morning. It appears that Menzies had been employed between four and five o’clock in the morning repairing a locomotive at the cleaning shed, and had gone underneath the engine. Another locomotive on the same line of rails was slightly moved by a cleaner engaged on it, with the result that the engines collided, and the wheels of one passed over the right leg of Menzies, crushing the limb severely below the knee. The cleaner was not aware that Menzies was underneath, and had moved his locomotive for the purpose of facilitating cleaning operations. On Dr Peterkin being summoned, the injured man was at once conveyed in the railway ambulance litter to the Infirmary, where it was found necessary to have the limb amputated above the knee. Menzies lost a large quantity of blood, and throughout the day gradually sank, and passed peacefully away about eleven o’clock in the evening. Deceased, who was well-known throughout the community, where his bright and genial disposition made him greatly respected, was 28 years of age, unmarried, and lived in Dundee Loan with his parents, for whom much sympathy is felt. 

Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 28th July, 1902, p.2.




   This morning when the 8.30 goods train was arriving at Blairgowrie, the waggon next the engine left the rails, and toppled over just beside the signal cabin. This blocked the loop line, so that the 9 a.m. passenger train could not get out. Mr Cadenhead, however, was equal to the occasion, and made up a train with a saloon, three horse boxes, and a goods van, in which the passengers were taken to Coupar-Angus. A break-down squad arrived from Perth with the 10 a.m. train, and speedily put matters to rights. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 28th July, 1902, p.4.


   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – Yesterday John Oram, foreman railway surfaceman, who resided at Sunnyside, Maybole, was killed on the line a short distance from Maybole passenger station. Oram was working along with another surfaceman. When the 12.35 special train from Girvan was about to pass an engine conveying railway officials in a saloon carriage was coming in the opposite direction. the driver of the saloon train whistled, and Oram jumped in front of the express train and was killed. Deceased was about fifty-six years of age, and had been connected with railway work for about forty years. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 29th July, 1902, p.4.




   A series of regulations, framed for the safety of railway workers, was yesterday confirmed by the Railway and Canal Commissioners consisting of Mr James Wright, Viscount Cobham, and Sir F. Peel. the regulations were drafted by the Board of Trade, under the Prevention of Accidents Act, 1900. to several of them opposition was offered by Mr Cripps, K.C., on behalf of the railway companies; whilst the objections were resisted by the Attorney-General (Sir Robert Finlay) on behalf of the Board of Trade; Mr Artemus Jones and Mr E. Browne, on behalf of Mr Bell, M.P., as representing the railway workers of the United Kingdom. Most of the rules confirmed dealt with points which turned on fatal accidents among railway workers. “Propping” and “tow-roping” and moving wheels by means of poles and ropes are prohibited, 11 men having been killed and 433 injured in 1901. In the same period 1 man was killed and 112 injured whilst attending to ground points. In future all point rods and signal wires which are a source of danger to shunters must be covered and guarded, and ground levers so placed as to leave the shunters using them clear of adjacent lines. For the protection of drivers and stokers, all tool boxes must be within their easy reach whilst the engine is in motion and water gauges provided on engines and tenders to indicate the amount of water in the tanks. In 1901, 20 men were killed and 78 injured by falling off engines during the travelling of trains. ten men were killed and 260 injured whilst getting on or off engines when travelling; and 9 killed and 56 injured by coming in contact with over bridges and structures on the side of the line. Rule 9 requires all brakesmen travelling beyond station limits to be provided with brake vans. In 1901, 4 men were killed and 36 injured during shunting operations; 20 were injured whilst passing over buffers whilst shunting, and 4 killed and 234 injured in getting on or off, by falling off engines or waggons. In future, according to rule 10, railway companies must provide specific persons and apparatus to warn permanent way-men on the line of any engines or waggons approaching them. From this cause in 1901 the fatalities were numerous – 95 killed and 117 injured whilst working on the permanent way and sidings: 164 killed and 30 injured whilst walking or standing on the way home or to work. The only rule not confirmed by the Commissioners was Rule 1, which provided trucks should be provided with brake levers on both sides, so that the brake can be applied or released from either side. This was referred back to the Board of Trade in view of the objection of the railway companies. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 30th July, 1902, p.3.



   Last night about half-past nine o’clock James Hay (49), labourer, Ayr, was killed on the railway near Ayr passenger station. The driver of an engine shunting to the water column felt his engine going over an obstruction, and on going back found Hay lying decapitated. the body was lying between the rails, and otherwise bore no marks of injury. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 31st July, 1902, p.3.









   Our own correspondent, wiring to-day, says:- The breakdown on the Caledonian Railway at Larbert last night was more serious than at first reported. It appears that an Aberdeen fish train, whilst leaving Larbert Station for Greenhill, left the metals. the engine kept the rails, but the guard’s van was thrown on its side and every one of the 13 trucks wrenched off their wheels and hurled in every direction, their contents strewing the line and forming a scene of indescribable confusion. Though the guard was in his van he was not hurt, nor, indeed, was any person injured. An Edinburgh train entering the station ran a narrow escape of being cut in two. Both lines were blocked. and passengers from Glasgow had to be transferred for the North to another train. the Euston midnight mail from Stirling was sent round by the Forth bridge and Edinburgh over the North British Line. The road is just cleared. 



   Our Perth correspondent says:- Last night another serious railway accident occurred at Larbert whereby great damage was done to the permanent way and great inconvenience caused. While the 8.5 fish train from Perth to London was passing Larbert it is supposed that one of the axles broke, throwing the vehicles on to the down line. Just at that time the 9.10 p.m. from Edinburgh Waverley was coming up, and it dashed into the derailed trucks. The engine of the Edinburgh train and one or two carriages were derailed, and the permanent way torn up. A woman in the Edinburgh train complained of being hurt. The breakdown gangs from Stirling and Motherwell were soon on the spot, and commenced to repair the damage. A relief train was run between Perth and Larbert, and the passengers were conveyed to Perth in that train. Specials were run to Dundee and Aberdeen, the former leaving at 3.5 a.m. and the latter at 3.7. The breakdown gang managed to get one line clear, and the trains were afterwards run on the single line, reaching Perth between seven and eight o’clock this morning. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 31st July, 1902, p.5.


   PECULIAR FATALITY AT LARKHALL. – Alexander Milne (28), labourer, who lived at King Street, Stonehouse, died yesterday from severe internal injuries received the previous day near Broomhill Viaduct, Larkhall. Milne, who had been to the contractor’s store for bolts, got a lift from the driver of a pug engine back to the Viaduct. On the engine stopping, the momentum caused Milne to be carried further along the line, with the result that he was crushed between the engine and the leg of a crane projecting from a truck. 

   SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT COWLAIRS, GLASGOW. – James McIver, a railway constable, residing at 151 Petershill road, while on duty yesterday morning at Cowlairs Railway Station, got crushed between the buffers of two sets of waggons which were being shunted. His jaw was fractured, and his left collar bone and several ribs broken. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 31st July, 1902, p.4.

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