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September 1902

   SURFACEMAN KILLED. – On Saturday afternoon, a surfaceman named John Clarkson (55), residing at Wellgate Street, Larkhall, was killed on the railway near Larkhall Station. He was examining the line preparatory to stopping work for the day, when, in stepping clear of a downcoming mineral train, he went right in front of an upcoming train, the engine of which struck him on the head, causing fracture of the skull. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 1st September, 1902, p.5.


   A SERIES OF ACCIDENTS. – … John Locky, an engine attendant, residing in the West Linton district, and employed at Newton Loan quarries, was fatally injured at Kirkhall Gate on Saturday afternoon by the wheels of a waggon passing over his body. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where he succumbed to his injuries the same evening. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 1st September, 1902, p.4.






   A Dundee man named Robert Downie had a remarkable escape with his life last night on the Caledonian Railway line near Magdalen Green Station. As it was, he had his left leg badly crushed, and the limb had to be amputated at the Dundee Infirmary. Downie, who must have wandered on to the line, was found lying about 200 yards to the east of Magdalen Green Station, where, it is conjectured, he was knocked down by a Dundee-bound train. The crushed limb, which was almost severed above the knee, was lying over the outside rail of the down line. Downie, in an unconscious state, was removed to the West Station, where the leg was temporarily bound. While there he was able to give his name and address, which is 24 Bernard Street, Dundee. He was afterwards removed to the Infirmary, where he now lies in a rather critical condition. 

– Dundee Courier, Wednesday 3rd September, 1902, p.5.







   This morning a sad accident, which ended fatally, occurred at Coatbridge Caledonian Railway Station. 

   Thomas Donald, shovel manufacturer, 28 Corswall Street, arrived at the station just as the train for Motherwell was leaving the platform. 

    He ran along the platform to overtake it. Someone in the train opened a carriage door, and Mr Donald, attempting to jump in, missed his hold, and was hurled between the footboard and the platform. 

   He was attended to by Dr Tudhope, who found him suffering from internal injuries. Donald was removed to Alexandra Hospital, where he died shortly after admission. 

   Mr Donald leaves a widow and nine of a family. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 4th September, 1902, p.4.



   While the train to Berwick, due at 6.43 yesterday, was standing at Reston Station, the engine, which had been to fetch a horse box to attach to the train, returned with it and backed into the train, which was at the platform. the brakes refused to act, and a considerable shock was given to the passengers. Two only were hurt. One, a gentleman, had his nose broken, but proceeded to Berwick, where he went at once to a doctor. The other, a child, was only bruised, and alighted, not much the worse, at Ayton. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 4th September, 1902, p.2.



   The storm in Dumfriesshire reached its height at about noon. A passenger train from Edinburgh to Dumfries had a narrow escape. At Halleaths a tree fell across the Caledonian railway and landed on the tender. The force of the fall cut a hole in the iron work and the water rushed out. The train had a narrow escape, and the passengers were a good deal alarmed by the occurrence. Considerable delay to both passengers and goods traffic resulted, some of the passenger trains being fully two hours late. The telegraph system is disorganised. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 4th September, 1902, p.5.


   MAN KILLED AT GREENFIELD STATION. – On Wednesday night John Scallon, plasterer, Burnbank, was killed at Greenfield Station. he had been seeing some friends away in the train to Shettleston, and had gone into the carriage beside them. In attempting to jump out after the train had started he fell, and when lifted was found to be dead. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 5th September, 1902, p.4.



   An accident of a somewhat alarming nature occurred at Perth General Station this afternoon. It seems that on the arrival of the train from Edinburgh, which reaches Perth at 11.30, the Highland through carriage from Edinburgh to Inverness had been uncoupled from the train, and had been shunted into the carriage shed at the north-east end to await the departure of the noon Highland train for Inverness. While standing in this position and clear of the crossing, and while some carriages were being shunted from the north end, one of these came in contact with the Highland through carriage, which was occupied by a number of through passengers. On feeling the concussion many of the passengers jumped out. Although the carriage was badly damaged, none of the passengers were hurt. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 5th September, 1902, p.3.



   An accident of a serious character occurred on the railway at Pollokshaws Station on Saturday night to a moulder named Thomas Keenan, residing at 292 Main Street, Barrhead. Keenan intended to travel with the last train to Barrhead and having some time to wait, lay down on a seat on the platform, and fell asleep. He was awakened by one of the station officials, and afterwards wandered along the line towards the signal box, where he was run down by the train from Neilston. Drs Lambie and King, who were called in, found that several of Keenan’s ribs on both sides were broken, and that he was severely injured on the head. It was feared that he had also been injured internally. He was removed in the ambulance waggon to the Victoria Infirmary. 

– Barrhead News, Friday 6th September, 1902, p.3.


   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – Yesterday afternoon a young man, named John Currie, fireman on the locomotive which plies between Beith and Lugton, while uncoupling some waggons on the main line at Lugton stepped back in front of an express train to Glasgow, and was instantaneously killed. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 6th September, 1902, p.6.



   A goods train travelling on the incline between Midcalder and Edinburgh, on Saturday, left the rails shortly after passing Currie Hill Station. Although the driver quickly put on the brake, the train continued on its journey for quite six miles, causing much damage to the permanent way. The train passed over several bridges and along a steep embankment for some distance, and had some narrow escapes. At Kingsknowe some of the waggons in the rear struck the signalling apparatus. The waggons were wrecked, but the engine and the leading trucks continued their way for some distance. 

– Shetland Times, Saturday 6th September, 1902, p.7.


   ATTEMPTED TRAIN WRECKING AT STEVENSTON. – Two deliberate attempts at train wrecking at Stevenston are at present being investigated by the Ayrshire police. The first of these took place on the Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway at the junction leading to Ardeer Ironworks. Three iron railway chairs had been placed on the down line, and the passenger train leaving Central Station at 8.30 P.M. struck and broke them into pieces, some of the bits being found 100 yards off. A later attempt was made on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway a short distance from Stevenston, in the Saltcoats direction. Here a steel rail over 30 feet long, weighing 7 cwts., was placed across the line, and was struck by a special express passenger train from Kilmarnock about 9.30 P.M., and knocked into the four-foot way. the shock of the impact was felt on the engine. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 8th September, 1902, p.4.



   What might have proved a serious railway disaster occurred on the Caledonian Railway near Beith on Saturday night. About seven o’clock, as the London express from Glasgow was passing near to Caldwell Station, two rail chairs were placed on the line. The engine catcher cut one of the chairs in two, and the other was knocked off. 

   The obstacles had apparently been purposely placed on the line with the object of wrecking the train. The incident has occasioned considerable excitement in the locality. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 9th September, 1902, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – An accident which might have been attended with serious results occurred at Cardowan Fireclay Works on the Caledonian Railway on Saturday last. the Garnkirk engine was executing the shunting operations at that work. About 1.30 it was shoving a number of waggons filled with fireclay into the siding when the first one left the rails at the crossing. Before the engine could be brought to a standstill, altogether three waggons had left the rails, one being overturned, the other two blocking the up line. The down line was clear, however, so that the traffic did not suffer any serious detention, although some trains were about half an hour late. In a short time the line was completely cleared and the wreckage was removed on Sunday. 

– Kirkintilloch herald, Wednesday 10th September, 1902, p.5.







   The swift rushing express has a long roll of tragedies to its account, and this afternoon two Dundee railway employees had an eerie experience as they were engaged following up the trail of what appeared to be a tragedy in the Tay Bridge tunnel. Two young men employed at the Tay Bridge Station during the course of their duties entered the subterranean passage from the station end. When some distance along they came to a standstill, and what appeared to be a cry of distress came in fitful wails along the tunnel. For a moment or two the men stood rooted to the spot. Then again the moan and cry was faintly heard. Some accident had occurred in the tunnel, thought the men, their impression being that a passenger in one of the through trains had fallen out of a carriage. Startled to a great degree, as was natural, the pair groped their way in the Stygian darkness, but although they made a minute examination of both lines of rails they could find no trace of the unfortunate “passenger.” Reaching the Camperdown exit, they turned and retraced their steps. After traversing the tunnel for a short distance they again heard the cry, this time right in front of them. In a few minutes they had reached the spot, and found to their surprise and relief a large cat lying on the rails. An examination showed that the poor brute had fallen a victim to the juggernaughts of the four-foot way. All its legs were severed from the body. The railwaymen secured a bag, and placing the unfortunate feline in it consigned it to the waters of the Tay. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 11th September, 1902, p.3.


   RAILWAY FATALITY AT STONEHAVEN. – Yesterday morning the body of Frederick Allan, aged seventeen, apprentice engineer, Stonehaven, was found on the railway line badly mangled. It is not known when the accident had occurred. The parents of the youth are both at Strathpeffer, and the intelligence had to be telegraphed to them. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 12th September, 1902, p.6.




   A melancholy accident took place early on Monday morning at the embankment at Alford Railway Station, when Mr James Arthur, in the employment of the Northern Agricultural Company, lost his life. the true nature of the fatal occurrence is not yet correctly known. Shunting operations were carried on at the time, and deceased, it appears, had tried to pass between two waggons which had been consigned with goods to the company, for the purpose of ascertaining their contents, when a number of other waggons were shunted back from the engine, with the result that the unfortunate man was caught on the breast between the buffers. Mr John Kindness, who was in charge of the shunting, seeing what had taken place, ran to Arthur’s assistance, and had him extricated. Dr Nicoll was early on the spot, and pronounced life to be extinct, death having apparently been instantaneous. Deceased, who was 62 years of age, has been for 13 years storeman to the Northern Agricultural Company at Alford, was of a retiring disposition, and was highly esteemed by all, and his lamentable death has cast a gloom over the village. 

– Huntly Express, Friday 12th September, 1902, p.6.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – A middle-aged man, unknown, was admitted to the Royal Infirmary on Tuesday morning in an unconscious condition, suffering from severe injuries, which he received on the up main line of the Caledonian Railway, near Uddingston on Tuesday morning. He was found lying on the embankment near Haughead signal box by two boys, soon after the passing of the 5 a.m. workmen’s train from Kilbowie. He had apparently been struck by the engine, and was badly injured about the face and head, one of his eyes having been knocked out. The morning being foggy, he was not observed by the engine-driver, who was unaware of the accident till informed about it. Apparently the man, who has only one leg, had been walking along the line, and had failed to observe the approaching train. He was conveyed by train to the Central Station and sent in an ambulance to the Royal Infirmary. His condition is very critical. 

– Bellshill Speaker, Saturday 13th September, 1902, p.3.




   ON Saturday night an accident of a rather serious nature occurred on the railway line near Portessie, whereby Mr James Duguid Hay,  labourer at Portknockie harbour, and residing at 134, Portknockie, had his right arm knocked off by a train. While walking on the line a goods train from Elgin to Keith passed Portessie station, and the driver – by this time it was getting dark – observed an obstacle on the line a short distance east of Portessie, and pulled up the train, but ere this could be done the engine had struck Hay on his right arm, which was nearly severed from the shoulder. He was taken on board the van, and the injured arm having been tied up in the best possible way, he was conveyed to Cullen, where, in the waiting-hall at the station, his injuries were attended to by Dr McHardy. The unfortunate man was conveyed by the last passenger train to Banff, when he was taken to the hospital, where his arm was amputated. He is now on a fair way towards recovery. 

Banffshire Reporter, Wednesday 17th September, 1902, p.2.


   DIED ON HIS ENGINE. – Thomas Cowan, engine-driver, Burnbank, died suddenly yesterday on his engine between Ross Junction and Hamilton, on Caledonian Railway. At the junction he complained of feeling unwell, and his comrades hurried him on to Hamilton Central Station for medical advice, but he died on the way. Dr Adam, who was called in, found that death was due to heart disease. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Friday 19th September, 1902, p.4.






   An accident, which terminated fatally, occurred near Cairnie Junction on Wednesday night. the facts of the case seem to be as follows:- Peter Macdonald, general dealer or pedlar, residing at 31 Back Street, Huntly, drove with a comrade to Keith market on Wednesday. After the market was over he left Keith at seven o’clock by train for Huntly. For some reason unknown he had left the train at Grange, and had wandered along the line after the train had passed. When the last passenger train had gone through Cairnie Junction for the night, the agent, Mr James Dawson, was, about 8.50, proceeding to his home, when he heard repeated cries as of some one in distress. retracing his steps to the Junction, Mr Dawson, along with a porter, went to the spot from whence the cried seemed to come. Near to the junction of the coast line with the main line they found Macdonald lying on the rails with both feet almost severed at the ankles, and with his head terribly cut and bruised. Word was sent to Grange Station and also to Dr Taylor, Keith. Ere the doctor arrived Mr W. Moir, agent, grange, and Mr W. McConnachie, pointsman, had reached Cairnie Junction, and were successful in rendering first aid to the injured man, doing what they could to stop the bleeding, etc. They got Macdonald on to a door, and then on to a bogie and ran him along the line to Grange station, where Dr Taylor was soon in attendance. Having seen that all that could be done there had been done by the agent and pointsman, Dr Taylor wired for the Keith ambulance with the view of getting Macdonald to Keith Hospital. On his way back, however, Dr Taylor sent word to send the ambulance back to Keith, and to send the unfortunate man on to Huntly Hospital by first train. From the first the doctor saw there was little hope of recovery, and had probably feared the effect of the jolting in the ambulance. Macdonald was thus conveyed to Huntly Hospital at two o’clock yesterday morning, where Drs Garson and Wilson were promptly in attendance and had both feet amputated. The patent never rallied, however, and the doctors remained with him until he died at 6.30 – about four hours after his admission to the hospital. Macdonald, who was 28 years of age, is married, and leaves a wife and two children – one two years old and the other eight months. 

– Huntly Express, Friday 19th September, 1902, p.5.


   PASSENGER’S NARROW ESCAPE AT GRAHAMSTON STATION – SAVED BY A POSTMAN AND PORTER. – About seven o’clock on Tuesday evening a passenger at Grahamston Station had a m=narrow escape from death by being run over by a train, and had it not been for the timely action of a postman and a porter, who observed his terrible danger, another fatality would have had to be added to the railway death-roll. The man who jeopardised his own life, and indirectly that of two others, was, we believe, the worse of drink at the time, and had been ordered off the platform no less than three times before the incident occurred. He was on his way to Dalkeith, he said, and had bought a ticket at Grahamston for Princes Street Station, Edinburgh. While standing on the north platform, he noticed the seven o’clock train from Polmont entering the station on the other side, and, no doubt thinking it was the train which was to convey him to Edinburgh, he jumped on to the line, and made to cross to the other platform. Just as he reached the other side, however, and was about to clamber on to the platform, his foot tripped on one of the rails, and he fell back on the line. By this time the train was advancing at the usual speed, and passing underneath the footbridge, about a dozen yards away. Seeing the imminent danger the man was in, a postman named Alexander Johnston, who was awaiting the arrival of the mails with the incoming train, at once sprang to the man’s rescue, at the same time calling the assistance of the foreman porter, George Nimmo, who also jumped on to the line. These two men succeeded in lifting the man and throwing him clear of the line, but not a moment too soon was the brave deed accomplished, for just in the act of rescue the train rushed into the station, the front of the engine grazing Johnston as it passed along. To accentuate the danger a mineral train was entering the station on the other side, but the men succeeded in lifting their charge on to the north platform and getting him out of danger. A generous mead of praise is due the postman and porter who so opportunely rushed to the rescue of the stranger at the imminent risk of their own lives. The intoxicated passenger was subsequently handed over to the custody of the police, but seeing the man was in possession of a railway ticket, they allowed him to proceed to Edinburgh by the 7.20 train. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 20th September, 1902, p.5.


   PORTER KILLED AT LARBERT STATION. – About eight o’clock on Monday night a porter employed at Larbert Station, named Donald Gunn, about 23 years of age and unmarried, met his death there under rather exceptional circumstances. Mr Alexander Petrie, assistant stationmaster, had instructed deceased to detach two carriages from the train which arrived at Larbert from Callander at 8 o’clock, and place them in the up dock siding at the south end of the east passenger platform. This Gunn promptly did. Mr Petrie then went along to see if the carriages had been placed all right, and finding all secure was about to turn away when he heard a groan proceeding from the direction of the line. On investigation he found deceased’s lamp lying on the line, and a few yards farther along Gunn himself lying between the rails and the embankment in an unconscious state and dying condition. Dr Jeffreys was speedily called, but the young porter was dead before his arrival. Having never regained consciousness, it was impossible to ascertain particulars of the accident from deceased himself, but it is surmised that he had jumped from the platform or from the buffer of one of the stationary carriages on to the four-foot way for the purpose of putting on the Westinghouse brake, and that his foot had slipped, and he had fallen heavily on his head, whereby his neck was broken, and thus met his death. Deceased, who belongs to the vicinity of Thurso, in the north of Scotland, was formerly employed as a ticket-collector with the North British Railway Company at Polmont Station, where he was well known, and only came to work at Larbert Station about six weeks ago. 

– Falkirk herald, Wednesday 24th September, 1902, p.5.


   STATION AGENT RUN DOWN. – Early on Tuesday morning near Kames Siding, Muirkirk, a serious railway accident befel Mr Alexander Barbour, Caledonian Railway agent, residing at Kennethmount, Muirkirk. Immediately after the departure of the 7.30 passenger train for Ayr he was about to cross to the railway yard, when he was caught by a down-coming goods engine. When picked up his right arm was found to have been nearly severed, and he received some internal injuries. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. Mr Barbour is son-in-law of Mrs Moffat, grocer, Market Street, Kilsyth. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT TO A KILSYTH BOY. – On Saturday afternoon Charles Boyce (9) residing in Assembly Hall Close, Kilsyth, was along with several companions amusing himself by swinging on a gate at the railway lye close to Kilsyth Old Station. Boyce had been high on the gate and overbalanced, falling with considerable violence to the ground. When picked up he was unconscious and although he received every attention from a doctor, Boyce never regained consciousness and died on Monday morning. 

Kilsyth Chronicle, Saturday 27th September, 1902, p.2.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – On Wednesday a serious accident took place at the works of the Clydebridge Steel Company (Limited), Cambuslang, a young man, named Laurence Morrison, 19years of age, residing at Morrison Gardens, Cambuslang, being run over by an engine. He was removed to the Infirmary in a critical condition. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 27th September, 1902, p.6.
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