January 1903


   An accident took place at West Calder Railway Station yesterday, whereby a workman named McCormack was injured. He had come home with a train in the evening, and being, it is stated, the worse of liquor, had wandered back on to the railway, and lay down between the lines of rails. He was struck by a passing engine. McCormack was found this morning and taken to the hospital. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 2nd January, 1903, p.3.





   A painful accident occurred at Gollanfield Station, Highland Railway, yesterday afternoon. William Mitchell, a young porter, being accidentally killed. He was crossing the rails from one side of the platform to the other, and, unnoticed a train dashed into the station. He was instantaneously killed, a number of vehicles passing over his body. Mitchell was unmarried, and had only been on two days relieving duty at Gollanfield. Deceased was a native of Huntly. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 2nd January, 1903, p.4.


   A LESMAHAGOW ACCIDENT. – Jas. Hendry (19), employed at the new railway works, Lesmahagow, who three days ago was run over by some empty waggons at the new railway, near Mansefield. Lesmahagow, while uncoupling the same, has died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary of his injuries. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 3rd January, 1903, p.6.


   FATAL RESULT OF A WEST CALDER ACCIDENT. – The workman named McCormack, who wandered on to the Caledonian Railway at West Calder Station on New Year’s night, and was injured by a passing train, has died from the result of the injuries he sustained. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 3rd January, 1903, p.3.


   MAN KILLED ON THE BO’NESS RAILWAY. – On Saturday night the engine driver of the 11.30 P.M. train from Manuel to Bo’ness, while nearing Bo’ness caught a glimpse of a man lying on the line, but before he could pull up the engine was over him. On entering the station he reported the matter. Two constables, with hand-lamps, went along the line to the spot indicated, and there found the dead body of a man badly mutilated – especially about the head. The body was conveyed to the police mortuary, where it was identified yesterday as that of Robert Wiggins, thirty years of age, residing at Elphinstone, Grangepans, who was last seen alive in Bo’ness about 10 o’clock. He had arrived by train and left to proceed home, but had somehow strayed upon the line. He leaves a widow and child. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 5th January, 1903, p.4.


   ACCIDENT. – On Saturday on the arrival of the 7 p.m. train ex Queen Street, Mrs John Graham, Smithstone Row, on alighting from the railway carriage stepped back, tumbling on to the rails of the adjoining siding. Mrs Graham was carried across to the waiting room and afterwards driven home. Medical attendance was requisitioned and it was found that she had sustained a number of serious bruises to her limbs. The train, owing to it being the holiday season was unusually long, and the passengers alighted on the slope, otherwise the accident would not have occurred. 

– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Friday 9th January, 1903, p.3.



   Yesterday morning David Wilson, checker, residing at Fort Neuk, Uphall, met with an accident while at work at Pumpherston siding. He was applying the brake to one of the goods trains when he was caught between another waggon and the platform, with the result that his left collar bone was fractured. He was attended to by Dr Kelso. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 9th January, 1903, p.8.


   RAILWAY FATALITY AT PORTOBELLO. – Yesterday morning the lifeless and mangled body of a man was found on the North British Railway down line at Wheatfield Bridge, about a mile west from Portobello Station. In the course of the day it was identified at Portobello Mortuary, whence it was removed, as that of Thomas Edward, forty-five years of age, a tinsmith, residing at 24 Milton Street, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh, who had left his home the evening before to call on some relations. Besides shocking injury to the head, the right arm was practically severed from the body. It was evident that Edward had met his death several hours before the discovery of his body. It is conjectured that he had been seeking shelter under the bridge from the snowstorm. He leaves a wife and three children. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 10th January, 1903, p.8.



   A wind storm of unusual severity, recalling that of November 1893, broke out in North Perthshire on Friday night, and continued to rage violently until after midday on Saturday. Being fresh in character, the wind caused a rapid disappearance of the previous day’s heavy snowfall on the lower parts, but on the higher Grampians, where the snow had been accumulating, it caused a perfect blizzard. Heavy drifting consequently took place, and wreaths of snow several feet in depth were soon formed. The road across the hill from Pitlochry to Kirkmichael became blocked during the night, and the mail gig from Pitlochry was obliged to return after proceeding a very short distance. Telegraphic communication was also seriously interrupted owing to the damage done to wires at several parts by the gale. The storm was especially severe on the borders of Inverness and Perthshire, where the Highland line crosses the Grampians at an altitude of 1500 feet, and it was with the utmost difficulty that through traffic was maintained. Pilot engines with snow ploughs were kept constantly running over the more exposed parts of the system, where wreaths varying up to six feet in depth were formed. Notwithstanding these precautions, it was almost thought that the drift would gain the mastery on Saturday forenoon, but fortunately this did not prove to be the case. During the night, however, a block appeared to be imminent through a goods train breaking in two. After proceeding some distance, happily the driver of the train missed the rear portion, and returning was able to reunite the vehicles. The 7.20 A.M. passenger train from Inverness to Perth only managed to get through with difficulty, the drift and storm being still severe. The driver and stoker of the pilot engine attached to this train were the victims of a mishap which befel the snow plough in front of the locomotive. It appears that in penetrating a large wreath of snow the force of the impact broke the plough, pieces of which were driven back by the roaring wind through the lookout window of the engine, the result being that J. Manners, the driver, was cut on the head and face, while the stoker, J. Fraser, was also cut on the face. There was a renewal of the snowfall generally on Saturday, but the wind having spent itself, there was comparatively little renewed drifting. Yesterday bright sunshine prevailed, while several degrees of frost were recorded. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 12th January, 1903, p.9.






   Saturday’s snowstorm disorganised railway and vehicular traffic throughout Lochaber and the higher parts of Western Inverness-shire. On the West Highland Railway the 9.25 a.m. train from Fort-William to Glasgow encountered a deep drift at Luibnachlach, bringing it to a standstill. 

   The train was backed, and the drift charged, throwing the engine off the line. Breakdown gangs were despatched from Crianlarich and Fort-William, and an engine was detached from a goods train at Bridge of Orchy, and sent to assist the embedded train. The latter, however, became stuck in the drift about a mile off the scene. It was not until half-past seven at night that both engines were in a position to proceed. 

   The passenger train was taken back to Corrour, and the passengers transferred to a South-going train, and proceeded on the journey after ten hours’ detention. While waiting the passengers were supplied with food by the stationmaster and gatekeeper at Corrour, whose larders were completely emptied. 

   Mails from Kingussie to Tulloch had to be taken on horseback. 

   On Ben Nevis the wreaths of snow are 15 feet high. The Observatory there recorded 25 degrees frost. Yesterday the railway was kept clear of snow by patrolling engines fitted with snow ploughs. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 12th January, 1903, p.4.


   KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – William Davidson, about 27, residing at Monkton, in the employment of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company at Monkton Station, was run down and killed at that station yesterday morning. From what can be gathered, it appears that between five and six o’clock Davidson, who was a learner, had been putting up some lamps at the signals, when he seems to have got in the way of either the English mail train from Kilmarnock to Ayr, or the milk train from Ayr to Glasgow, which sometimes pass at Monkton. He leaves a widow and one child. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 13th January, 1903, p.4.



   Troon, Monday. – This morning Alexander Davidson, signalman, residing at Monkton, was literally cut to pieces by the 5.15 milk train from Ayr between Monkton Station and Monkton Junction. He was proceeding to his work. Deceased, who was about 35 years of age, belongs to Dalrymple, and leaves a wife and two of a family. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Tuesday 13th January, 1903, p.3.


   Born In a Railway Carriage. – A young woman, a member of a theatrical company, gave birth to a child yesterday forenoon while in the Edinburgh train journeying to Montrose via Tay Bridge Station, Dundee. The accouchement had taken place before the train arrived at Dundee Tay Bridge Station, and immediately the station officials were communicated with. The carriage, which contained other lady performers belonging to a pantomime company on their way up to Montrose, was immediately hitched off, and several of the ladies remained behind. A doctor was at once called for, but before his arrival two Jubilee nurses came on the scene, and attended to the woman and her infant. The pair were afterwards removed to the Dundee Maternity Hospital. The young woman was a member of the “Dick Whittington” Company. She had been advised not to travel, but stated at Edinburgh that she was quite able for the journey. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 16th January, 1903, p.4.


   FIRE AT ST ANDREWS RAILWAY STATION. – The temporary modern erection at the links station, St Andrews, which was used as a goods office whilst the new goods station was being erected, was burnt down on Saturday night. The fire broke out between 8 and 9 o’clock and lasted for about an hour. Part of the scaffolding which was being used in connection with the new building was destroyed, but the fire engine prevented the flames from spreading. 

   PECULIAR FATALITY IN FIFE. – James Haxton, labourer, seventy-two years of age, residing at Auchterderran Road, Lochgelly, died on Friday night from the effects of an accident which occurred the previous day. While he was working at a circular saw at the Newton pit, Lochgelly colliery, he was struck on the lower part of the body by a large splinter from a railway sleeper which was being cut, and was driven against a wall. He appeared to be injured internally, and complained of intense pain, but a fatal consequence was not anticipated. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 19th January, 1903, p.8.



   Robert Wallace (22), a well-known football player in Renfrewshire, and a member of Kilbarchan team, died yesterday in hospital at Johnstone. He slipped and fell in front of a train at the station. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 20th January, 1903, p.6.


   A TEACHER KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – A young man named John Anderson, a teacher in Cobbinshaw Public School, was killed on the Caledonian Railway branch line at Cobbinshaw on Friday night. He was walking along the railway to his home at Tarbrax after leaving the school, when he was overtaken and run down by a mineral train. Death was instantaneous. 

– Southern reporter, Thursday 22nd January, 1903, p.4.


  ACCIDENT AT THE RAILWAY STATION [HAWICK]. – On Friday morning Thomas Henderson, surfaceman, seventy-eight years of age, met with a rather serious accident at the railway station. Henderson oils and cleans some points, and in stepping out of the way of an engine going to coal, he slipped and fell in the four-foot way, and the tender of the engine severely crushed his right foot. He was removed to the Cottage Hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate part of the foot. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 22nd January, 1903, p.3.


   LAND SLIP ON RAILWAY. – On Thursday morning a land slip took place on G. B. & K. Joint Railway about a mile south of Neilston Station, causing some little detention to passenger trains during the forenoon. It seems that with the quick disappearance of the frost followed by a heavy night’s rain, part of the embankment, which is of some considerable height, moved down the slope and across the down line of rails necessitating the working of traffic in both directions between Neilston and Shilford over the up line of rails. Mr Connolly, stationmaster, Neilston, was promptly on the spot, and kept traffic going with commendable regularity. The permanent way staff were called out speedily and set about the removal of the obstruction. Mr James Kerr, Joint Line Manager, and his Inspector (Mr R. Kerr), visited the slip in the early part of the day and were satisfied with all the local officials were doing to set matters right. 

Barrhead News, Friday 23rd January, 1903, p.3.


   SHOCKING ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – A distressing accident occurred at the Railway Station on Sunday about 12.15 a.m. It appears that a young man named Robert Wallace, twenty-one years of age, residing at 31 George-street, Paisley, who had been in the habit of visiting Johnstone on Saturdays, had failed to catch the 11.45 train to Paisley. Unnoticed, he had got on the line, and a passing goods train ran over both legs. The unfortunate youth was extricated from his position beneath the engine and removed to the Cottage Hospital, where it was considered necessary to amputate the two limbs, Drs Taylor, Herbertson, and Fyfe being present at the operation. His chance of recovery from the first was not considered very good, and Wallace succumbed to his injuries about six o’clock on Sunday evening. Deceased, who was a native of Johnstone, where his father was for some years foreman in the Cleansing Department, was well known in town as a football player, having the position of outside right in the Johnstone team for one or two seasons, latterly playing for Kilbarchan. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 24th January, 1903, p.6.


   RAILWAY SIGNALMAN KILLED AT CARDROSS. – On Saturday, Alexander Falconer, signalman at Cardross Railway Station, was killed by a passenger train from Helensburgh. He had accepted the train from Ardmore, made the necessary entry in his book, then stepped out of his cabin. He was struck upon the head by the buffer of the engine, and heath must have been instantaneous. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 26th January, 1903, p.8.


   RAILWAY BLOCK NEAR GLASGOW. – A block occurred yesterday afternoon on the Busby and East Kilbride branch of the Caledonian Railway at Busby, through the engine and two trucks of a goods train going off the rails. Traffic was greatly delayed. 

   BLOCK ON GLASGOW UNDERGROUND RAILWAY. – The traffic on the Glasgow Central Underground Railway was seriously disorganised yesterday by the derailing of two waggons of a goods train between Glasgow Green and Bridgeton. The mishap, which occurred about midday, was unattended by injury to any of the company’s servants, but did considerable damage to the rolling stock. Both lines were blocked, and the traffic had to be worked temporarily by turning trains at the Central Station and at Bridgeton Cross. To relieve the congestion, the trains on the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire system were dispatched from the Central High Level. By four o’clock the underground lines were once more clear. The interruption of through traffic caused considerable inconvenience to a large number of passengers. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 27th January, 1903, p.4.




   Three railway collisions took place on the Caledonian Railway yesterday in the Glasgow district. The most serious was at Glasgow Cross Station, where some waggons left the rails, blocking both lines. A passenger train ran into the waggons, but as the train was entering the station at a slow rate no one was injured, the damage being confined to the locomotive. The second accident was at Clarkston, where a locomotive and some waggons were derailed, both lines being blocked. The third mishap, on the Clydebank branch, was of a similar character, and passenger traffic was much disorganised. 




   Last night a gentleman was found unconscious in St Enoch Station, Glasgow, and died on being taken to the Police Office. He had in his possession a season ticket between Ayr and Prestwick bearing the name of James Gibson, and on a Scripture card the words – “Dear Emma, – Love to all, and may God keep you. – Jim.” Also, “Don’t fret for me.” Last night an unknown woman, aged about 64, was run down and killed at Bridgeton Cross, Glasgow, by an electric car. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 27th January, 1903, p.5.


   FATAL RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT. – On Monday, Thomas Henderson, aged 78 years, engaged as a pointsman at the Railway Station, died from the effects of injuries received in an accident a few days ago, when he slipped and fell in front of an engine, which bruised his right foot so severely that the greater part of it had to be amputated. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 29th January, 1903, p.3.




Miller Killed on the Railway.

   At an early hour this morning a shocking discovery was made on the main line to Aberdeen between Drumlithie and Newmills. The driver of a special N.B.R. goods train to the North observed a dark object lying close to the rails, and on the return journey found on drawing up that it was the dead body of a respectably dressed man. The remains were brought on to Drumlithie. The head was terribly mutilated, but the deceased was identified as a miller in the locality. 

   Another correspondent writes:- The body of James Mathieson, miller, was found fearfully mutilated on the railway near Drumlithie early this morning. Mathieson was in the village last night, and it is supposed he had gone on the railway track for a short cut, and been run down by an Aberdeen train. Deceased was 40 years of age, and leaves a widow and six children. 

   Our Drumlithie correspondent writes:- A sad accident occurred on the railway near Drumliythie between last night and this morning. In the early morning the engine-driver of a goods train roused Mr Smith, station agent, and stated that he feared the body of a man would be found on the line a little to the north of the viaduct known as the Black Bridge. Accompanied by the local police constable, Mr Smith proceeded along the line, and found the remains of Mr James Mathieson, miller, Newmill of Glenbervie. It is supposed that he had been going along the line to his house when he was run down by a passing train, the approach of which he would have difficulty in hearing owing to the high wind prevailing. The deceased was 37 years of age, and leaves a widow and five young children, for whom much sympathy is felt. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 30th January, 1903, p.5.


   A NARROW SHAVE. – yesterday afternoon what would have been a serious accident at Kingskettle Station was only averted through the prompt action of Mr William Tait, station agent. The train from Dundee due here at 5.1 P.M. was nearing the station when a woman on the platform commenced to behave in an erratic manner, and was in the act of stepping on to the railway line when she was caught by Mr Tait and pulled out from before the train. Much credit is due to the agent, who had a considerable distance to run before reaching the woman, for the quickness of his decision and his promptness of action. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 31st January, 1903, p.4.



   A huge piece of rock fell near a railway station on the Dingwall and Skye system and disarranged traffic for several hours yesterday. Besides the delay to the ordinary passenger and goods traffic, a special train of fresh fish was delayed, which is a rather serious matter. The weather on the west coast is particularly boisterous. A fresh fall of snow covers the higher hills. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 31st January, 1903, p.5.



   Owing to the excessive rainfall, the River Ness is this morning in flood, and at many points it has overflown its banks. Some fear exists that one of the piers of the stone bridge at Inverness, on the main line of the Highland Railway, has been undermined. No trains are permitted to cross, but passengers, leaving the trains at either side of the bridge, crossed on foot. The engineers of the Highland Railway are engaged in strengthening the bridge, and every precaution is being taken to ensure its safety. In the upper part of the river at Ness Bank it has overflown on to the footpaths and roadway, and the water has also entered several of the houses. On Loch Ness several of the wooden piers have been submerged. 

   A later telegram says: The extraordinary flooding of the River Ness continues to excite much alarm in Inverness and district. No trains have been allowed to cross the stone railway bridge, and passengers are being conveyed to either side in brakes. The basement flat of Ness Bank United Free Church is under water, and several houses are flooded. A building in course of erection in Castle Street has collapsed owing to the retaining wall being submerged. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 31st January, 1903, p.4.

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