December 1902

   TRAIN ON FIRE ON PENICUIK RAILWAY. – Yesterday forenoon when a goods train was on its way to Penicuik Station the officials observed, after leaving Eskbridge Station, that one of the waggons was on fire. The waggon was one of two each of which contained four tons of esparto grass. The railway employees uncoupled the tow waggons from the remainder of the train, and with the engine proceeded to the terminus at Penicuik. The fire burned with great fierceness. On arriving at Penicuik the Valleyfield fire brigade went to the assistance of the railwaymen, and by means of hose and a plentiful supply of water succeeded in saving the waggon from material damage, the contents, however, being destroyed. 

   RAILWAY COLLISION IN GLASGOW. – A collision, fortunately attended with no serious consequences, occurred at Shields Road Station on the Glasgow and South-Western line, in the outskirts of Glasgow, yesterday afternoon. The 4.7 P.M. express train from St Enoch Station for Largs, while passing Shields Road Station about a quarter-past four o’clock, ran into a train of empty carriages which were being shunted into a siding in order to clear the line for the passage of the express train. Fortunately, the driver of the Largs express noticed the carriages on the line in time to apply his brake, and so greatly reduced the speed of his train. The driver of the engine shunting the empty carriages also applied his brake, and when the express ran into the rear carriages of the empty train the speed was slow, and the impact was not of a very serious nature. The two rear third-class passenger carriages of the empty train were turned on to their broadsides, and were badly smashed. The wheels of one or two of the carriages in front left the rails. No damage was caused to the Largs train nor to the permanent way. None of the passengers were injured. A new train was made up, and the passengers were transferred from the Largs train. The traffic was conducted on the single line system until well on in the evening, a breakdown gang being quickly on the spot to clear away the wreckage. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 4th December, 1902, p.4.



   Yesterday a railway servant named William Christie sustained a few slight burns while working at Dundee East Station. Christie was engaged filling the gas tanks under the carriages of a train in the course of making up. The feeding tube had apparently been leaking, and when Christie approached with a light the escaping gas flared up in his face. His injuries, which were trifling, were temporarily dressed at the station, and he afterwards proceeded home. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 4th December, 1902, p.4.


   HIGHLAND DIRECTORS’ TRAIN BREAKDOWN. – On Saturday a special train with a company of the Highland Railway Directors, including the Chairman, accompanied by their chief officials, went for a trip on the Skye line. Between Garve and Auchterneed the axle of the engine tender broke, and the train came to a standstill. Fortunately no one was injured, but the line was blocked till late in the evening, through communication being kept up, however, by the transference of passengers and light luggage. 

– Highland News, Saturday 6th December, 1902, p.4.




   On 23d September last, while a carriage cleaner named William Howen, residing at 18 Mid-Arthur Place, Edinburgh, was engaged picking up paper off the rails at the Caledonian Station, Princes Street, he was run down by an incoming engine and so severely injured that both legs had to be amputated. An action has been instituted in the Sheriff Court, against the company for £1000 damages at common law, or £78 under the Employers’ Liability Act, and a date to-day was fixed for the hearing. In a debate on the relevancy at common law some time ago, however, Sheriff Maconochie, in an interlocutor which he has just issued, makes some interesting observations. While holding the action relevant, and allowing a proof he remarks that the objection to the case at common law came to this that from the condescendence it appeared that the work in which the boy was engaged when he was hurt was of simple a character that the Court as entitled to use the words of the Lord Justice-Clerk in Loughney, against the Caledonian Railway Company, “to proceed on the common knowledge and experience of mankind,” and to dismiss the action. The Sheriff, however, could not take that view of the case, but further observed that no doubt the mere act of picking up paper was a very simple operation, but it was a different thing to say that the railway company was entitled to send a boy to pick up paper on the lines of such a busy place as Princes Street Station without taking the proper precautions against his being run over by one of the many trains which were moving about there. Whether when the accident occurred the boy was not keeping such a look-out as he was bound to do was a question on which he thought there must be some inquiry. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 12th December, 1902, p.2.


   Dogs take strange crazes. Fire Brigade dogs are not uncommon, but Fife has got a dog which evidently has the exciting notion of racing in front of railway engines. On Sunday afternoon the dog, a collie, got in front of the afternoon train from Dundee to Edinburgh, “joining” it in the neighbourhood of Dairsie. the collie held its own in the race. dashing into Cupar Station well ahead. The train stopped at Cupar, but the dog held on towards Springfield. The animal seemed to be enjoying the pastime, and is reported to have occasionally turned and barked at the engine. Needless to say, this was a “slow” train. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 13th December, 1902, p.5.




   Yesterday the 6.10 a.m. train from Kyle to Inverness ran into a mass of rock, etc., which had fallen on the line between Plockton and Stromeferry. The engine sustained considerable damage, but, fortunately, neither engine nor carriages left the rails, and no person was injured. A special engine and carriages left Kyle at 8.50 a.m., transferred the passengers and mails, and left Stromeferry for Inverness at 9.15. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 16th December, 1902, p.3.



   William Thomson (58), a Caledonian Railway brakesman, was killed at Gushetfaulds Station, Glasgow, yesterday. He was run down by an engine when crossing the line on the way to his work at the mineral station. The accident was not observed, and the engine-driver only became aware of it when, feeling some obstruction on the line, he came off the engine, and found the body, frightfully mangled, lying on the rails. Thomson was a widower. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 17th December, 1902, p.3.



   A goods train which had been left standing on the main line of the North British Railway at Bonnyrigg last night while the engine was shunting in a siding ran away, the railway having a great declivity at this part of the line. Providentially the main line points were closed, and the heavy train ran along the goods line. It was brought to a standstill by dashing into the station buffers. Several waggons in the centre of the train left the metals, and were more or less smashed. Main line traffic had to be conducted on a single line for several hours. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 17th December, 1902, p.4.


   RAILWAY FATALITY. – On Friday a workman in McKillop’s Foundry, Falkirk, named Joseph McNaught (25), met his death on the railway line leading to the works. He was returning to the foundry after breakfast when he was overtaken by an engine engaged in shunting operations. McNaught had just recently married. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 18th December, 1902, p.4.





   A PAINFULLY sudden death occurred at Perth General Station this morning. On the arrival of the .40 London and North-Western train from Carlisle the officials were informed that a passenger in one of the third class carriages, who was journeying to the north, required assistance in order to change to the Aberdeen train. It is not known who travelled in the same compartment, but a porter at once got the bath-chair which is kept at the station for the use of invalids, and the man was got into the waiting-room to await the arrival of the Aberdeen portion. He sat down at the fire to warm himself and a commercial traveller spoke to him. On addressing him the second time he was surprised at getting no answer, and on looking round found that the man was dead. Mr Burke, Station Superintendent, at once summoned Dr McLagan Reid, who was, however, too late to render any assistance. The police were afterwards communicated with. Deceased, who is a man of apparently from 50 to 55 years of age, was respectably dressed. From documents found in his possession it appeared that his name is William Chillas, that he had travelled from America by one of the Cunard boats, and that he was on his way to Kintore in Aberdeenshire. Immediately after the tragic occurrence the waiting-room was closed. Deceased was afterwards conveyed to the Mortuary to await the arrival of his friends, who have been communicated with. Valuable assistance was rendered by the Station Ambulance Corps. Dr McLagan Reid is to make a thorough examination of the body. 

   The police have had a telegram from Kintore to the effect that deceased’s brother will be in Perth to-night. 

Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 22nd December, 1902, p.3.


   RAILWAY FATALITY. – While Mr John Wilson, farmer, of Lawhill Farm, Carluke, was on Monday walking near the station on the edge of the sleepers outside the rails of the up main line, the 10 a.m. express passenger corridor train from Glasgow to Carlisle came up behind him unnoticed, the buffers of the leading engine catching him about the shoulders and throwing him into the ditch. His skull was fractured and his left side and arm fearfully lacerated. Death must have been instantaneous. 

Coatbridge Express, Wednesday 24th December, 1902, p.3.


   Lord Rosebery was quite correct in stating that “when a train a person wished to catch is leaving the station, there is no one so aged or so obese that he will not at once develop into a sprint-runner, and will throw himself into the arms of the guard or any class of the Company’s carriages, in defiance of their bye-laws, and possibly without regard to his own subsequent state of health.” Although uttered as a joke, the statement is really true in substance. It is extraordinary how an intelligent and well-balanced individual will often lose his head over a train or omnibus, and risk life and limb for the sake of gaining two or three minutes. The dignified calm of a statesman amidst the passion of a heated debate, and the recklessness of the same eminent person at the critical moment of embarking upon a railway journey, are contrasts of everyday life that may be observed at any time. 

– Northern times and Weekly Journal for Sutherland and the North, Thursday 25th December, 1902, p.6.





   A painful sensation was caused in Kilmarnock last night by the intelligence of the accidental death of Mr Malcolm Mackintosh, retired teacher, at Barassie Station. 

   Mr and Mrs Mackintosh had visited their son, Mr J. D. Mackintosh, solicitor, in Kilmarnock last night, and returned to Barassie by the eight o’clock train. 

   In crossing the line to go to his residence Mr Mackintosh was run over by a pilot engine and instantaneously killed. Deceased, who was 73 years of age, was at one time a teacher at Newmilns, where he served a term as Provost. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Saturday 27th December, 1902, p.4.



   Late last night a man was found on the railway at Kilmarnock Station with his shoulder badly crushed. He was removed to the Infirmary, where he lies unconscious. It is supposed that after coming off the late train from the south, he wandered on to the line, and was knocked down by a goods train. From letters in his possession he appears to be L. Campbell, 64 Grove Road, Grays, Essex. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 27th December, 1902, p.3.




Drops Down on Station Platform.

   Mr John Gibb, between 60 and 70 years of age, retired farmer, suddenly dropped down dead on Thursday forenoon on the platform at Insch Railway Station. Death is supposed to have been due to heart disease. Deceased, who was highly respected in the district, was long an office-bearer in the United Free Church, Culsalmond, and a few years ago retired from the farm of Wrangham, which he tenanted for many years. Dr Davidson was immediately in attendance. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 27th December, 1902, p.8.


   FATAL RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT. – On Saturday afternoon a man named Campbell, who resided at 64 Grove Road, Grays, Essex, died in Kilmarnock Infirmary from the effects of injuries he received on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway at Kilmarnock Station. Campbell was found lying on the line in an unconscious condition shortly before twelve o’clock on Friday night, and it is supposed that after coming off the late train from the south he had wandered on to the railway and been knocked down by a goods train. A message which has come from his wife states that deceased was going to visit a brother at White Street, Govan, and no explanation can be given as to how he happened to break his journey at Kilmarnock. the man was forty years of age. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 29th December, 1902, p.5.





   An accident of a rather startling and melancholy nature, resulting in the death of a railway servant, occurred at Perth Station early this morning. 

   About 7.25 James Middleton, a ground-pointsman, residing at Brae Head, Dovecoteland, was engaged at his usual duties attending to the points just below the signal-box at the Aberdeen Platform. 

   Just at that time a pilot engine, driven by George Chalmers, was coming from the yard to the bank, but Middleton, owing to the numerous intermingling points at this particular spot, had apparently thought it was to come down the Aberdeen line. 

   Glancing up, however, Middleton saw that the engine was running along the same line as he was engaged on, and he immediately attempted to get out of the way. 

   The engine was going at a fair rate, and before he could get clear the left buffer caught him in the back, and he was thrown heavily on to the siding. 

   When picked up he was terribly mutilated, but still conscious. 

   Under the supervision of Mr Adams, station policeman, and Mr Smith, of the station ambulance corps, he was removed to the Infirmary, where he died about ten o’clock. 

   Deceased was 58 years of age, and leaves a wife and grown-up family. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 29th December, 1902, p.2.




Three Men Injured.



   This morning a collision took place at Blairhill Station, Coatbridge, on the North British Railway. Fortunately the affair was not attended with any fatal results. 

   A Glasgow College goods train about 6.30 a.m. arrived at Blairhall, and was shunted on the down line to allow a passenger train from Glasgow to pass. While standing there the signalman, named Patrick Trainor, residing at Bank Street, Coatbridge, had evidently forgotten what had taken place, and gave a clear road to an engine and van from Kipps. 

   The driver of the latter, named James McGarry, owing to the darkness and the fact that the station at Blairhill is built overhead over the line, failed to see the goods train in front until he was just on it. He shut off steam, but the impact was pretty severe, and both engines were pretty much broken up.

   Three men were injured. Joseph Ackerly, guard, residing at Airdrie, and John McCalden, fireman, residing at Portland Street, both of the Kipps train, received some bruises, while Peter Buchanan, fireman of the Glasgow train, had his arm badly twisted. The injured men were taken by the stationmaster to the Alexander Hospital, which is within 100 yards of the scene of the accident, where their wounds were dressed. 

   the men were afterwards able to proceed to their respective homes. A squad of men were on the scene, and got the line cleared, and the delay to traffic was very little. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 29th December, 1902, p.2.






Suicide at Monifieth.

   About eight o’clock this morning the dead body of a girl was found by the station officials on the railway crossing at Monifieth leading to Messrs Low & Duff’s engineering works. Dr Richardson, Monifieth, was at once sent for, and declared life to be extinct. The body was still warm when discovered, and it is supposed that the unfortunate girl must have been killed by the train leaving for Dundee at 7.30. The injuries were of a horrible nature, the head being fearfully smashed, while both arms were nearly severed from the body. Appearances indicated that the girl had lain down on the four-foot way with her head resting on one of the rails. Sergeant Brown, of the local police, was at once apprised of the occurrence. The girl’s name is Bella Ross. She was employed as a domestic servant in a house in Durham Street. 

   The girl left the house early in the morning, and was seen in the vicinity of the crossing by the railway officials, who warned her off. Nothing further was seen until the dead body was found. 

   The girl’s parents, who reside in Arbroath, were at once communicated with. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 30th December, 1902, p.4.


   TRAIN ARRIVAL INDICATOR AT THE WAVERLEY STATION, EDINBURGH. – Some months ago the North British Railway Company introduced at the east end of their Waverley Station, Edinburgh, an electrical indicator to announce the approach of trains from the south and east, and show the platform at which they would come in. this apparatus, which was of an entirely new design, has worked very accurately, but it was found that the indications were rather small to be readily made out unless by going near to the apparatus. This was especially the case at night, and before the same arrangement was introduced at the west end of their station, consideration was given to the question as to whether the indications could not be enlarged. The design of the apparatus, however, presented this, but the inventor struck out in a new direction, and has been successful in designing an instrument which gives very much larger indications. The new apparatus has just been brought into operation at the west end of the Waverley Station, and is fixed at the entrance to No. 11 and 12 platforms. The North British Railway Company claims to be in the forefront in reporting information of this nature to the public, and there being no such apparatus in operation elsewhere their own officials had to design and carry it out for themselves. As an example of the information supplied by the apparatus it may be stated that, supposing a train to be approaching from Glasgow, the indicator would announce it thus:- “Glasgow train will arrive at No. 13 platform.” This indication would appear about five or ten minutes before the train was due into the platform. The apparatus has been invented and patented by Mr David Wells, the company’s assistant telegraph superintendent. 

– The Scotsman, Wednesday 31st December, 1902, p.6.






   An accident of a serious nature occurred in the shunting yard of the Caledonian Railway at Dundee West last night, whereby a young man named James Wilkie Brown, residing in Perth Road, had one of his legs taken off. Brown was engaged as a shunter, and about nine o’clock he proceeded up the goods yard in order to attach a goods van to a number of other waggons. The accident, it is supposed, occurred at this stage, although no persons witnessed the occurrence. brown, it appears, had been in the act of hooking on the van when he fell, and the vehicles passed over his right leg, severing the limb from the body. A driver of a pilot engine observed him lying on the four-foot way, and at once sent intimation of the fact to the station. A number of the employees and others in the shunting yard at once went to his assistance. The station ambulance was requisitioned, and the unfortunate man was removed to the hall at the passenger station, where everything possible was done to alleviate his sufferings. Dr Lennox was called, and temporarily dressed the injuries. Brown was removed to the Infirmary. 

– Dundee Courier, Wednesday 31st December, 1902, p.4.

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