September 1903






   Another railway tragedy took place on the Caledonian Railway line at the west end of Dundee this morning. 

   The decapitated remains of a middle-aged man were found lying between the lines in the early hours of the morning. 

   A short distance to the west of Magdalen Green Station was the scene of the tragedy, and the circumstances surrounding the man’s death all point to a very determined case of suicide. 

   The man’s body was completely cut in two. He had apparently sat on the south bank of the railway, and, on the approach of a freight train, thrown himself in front of the engine. 

   An engine-driver on the goods train from Perth after five o’clock this morning noticed the remains on the line on passing Binrock, and reported the affair on arrival at the engine station. 

   A search party was at once sent out, and a horrible sight met their eyes beyond Magdalen Green. The head and trunk were lying on the north side of the line, and the rest of the body was found lying about in a rather mutilated state. 

  The remains were gathered together, put in a shroud, and taken to the Dundee Mortuary, where they now lie awaiting identification. 

   Deceased appears to have been a middle-aged man, and was very respectably dressed. That he had gone about the suicide in a very determined fashion was shown by the fact that he had taken off his boots and laid them aside before throwing himself on the line. 

   In the pockets of deceased were found several papers with the name of Jas. Alexander, but as to where he hails from nothing is known. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Monikie, and Dundee were addresses found. 

   Deceased wore a brown jacket and vest and black trousers, with narrow white stripe. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Wednesday 2nd September, 1903, p.2.



   Last week, when the goods train from Inverurie to Oldmeldrum arrived at a point near Lethenty Station, a valuable colt jumped on to the rails, and was caught by the engine, serious injuries being inflicted on the skull and the back of the animal. The train was stopped, and the colt removed to Lethenty farm, where it was attended to by Mr Skinner, V.S., Oldmeldrum, and Mr Mellis, V.S., Inverurie. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 2nd September, 1903, p.5.


   MISHAP ON THE NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY. – Yesterday morning, as the 8.27 passenger train from Shettleston to Glasgow was approaching Bellgrove Station, something went wrong with the wheels. The driver quickly brought the train to a stop, and on examination it was found that one of the wheels had become so badly fractured that a portion of it came away in the hand. The disabled engine was run into a siding, and, after about half an hour’s delay, the train was taken on by another engine dispatched from Parkhead. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 3rd September, 1903, p.4.



   Kilmarnock, Thursday. – Mr Andrew McNaughton, sheriff-officer, Kilmarnock, met with a serious accident on the railway near Troon last night. He had gone to Troon on business, and it is thought that, having some time to spare before getting a train to return home, he had been taking a walk along the line to Barassie, when he was knocked down by a train. He was brought on an engine to Kilmarnock at midnight, and conveyed to the Infirmary. His left arm was so severely crushed that it was found necessary to amputate it at the shoulder. His nose is fractured, and he is also suffering from some internal injuries. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Friday 4th September, 1903, p.3.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT ST ENOCH STATION. – A railway shunter named James Fraser, fifty years of age, who resided at 217 Thistle Street, on the south side of Glasgow, was yesterday run down by an engine outside St Enoch Station, and instantaneously killed. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 5th September, 1903, p.6.


  PAINFUL ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – A man named Patrick Haggarty (40), miner, Baird’s Square, Rawyards, came by a serious accident on the North British Railway at 10.40 p.m. on Friday night. Haggarty had been on his way home from his work, and had wandered on to the railway from the platform at Cuilhill Station, when he was run down by the passenger train from Glasgow to Airdrie, both his legs were run over. his moans and cries of agony were heard by Mr Montgomery, the stationmaster, who brought aid, and the injured man was removed to the Alexander Hospital in the neighbourhood. His right leg was amputated above the ankle and the left at the knee. 

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 5th September, 1903, p.6.








   Within a short time several suicides of a startling character have occurred on the railways near Dundee. Another tragic affair took place yesterday, when a man stepped in front of a train on the Joint Line and was instantaneously killed. 

   The scene of the occurrence was at Caroline Port, a few yards to the east of the Dundee East at ten minutes past ten on Sunday forenoon for Broughty Ferry was proceeding past Carolina Port when the fireman on the engine observed a man leave the low wall on the south side of the line and advance towards the rails on which the train was running. Before anything could be done the man stepped in front of the engine and met instant death. The front portion of the engine apparently struck the man in the face, throwing him on the four-foot way, and inflicting fearful injuries. The passengers in the train were mainly those going to church in Broughty Ferry, and the tragedy caused a profound sensation. 

   The driver of the train reported the occurrence at West Ferry, and intimation was at once sent to Dundee. The ambulance waggon was despatched, but on reaching the body life was found to be extinct. The body was then removed to the mortuary. The body was identified as that of James Guild, who had for many years been employed on the Joint Line. Guild lived in Barrack Street, and was very well known on the Joint Line. He acted for many years as police officer at Dundee East Station, and during the past season he acted as porter at Buddon Station. For the past week or two he had been out of work, and was seen in the vicinity of Carolina Port during yesterday morning and early forenoon. Guild was 38 years of age, and lived alone. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 7th September, 1903, p.6.










      An alarming accident occurred at the railway at Camperdown Crossing, Dundee, yesterday afternoon. 

   The engine of an express fish train from Aberdeen to Bristol left the rails a short distance beyond the entrance to the North British tunnel. Till late last night the main line was completely blocked, great inconvenience to passengers resulting. 

   The train in question was composed for the most part of vehicles laden with fish, and there was in addition a passenger car, which was well filled at the time of the accident. 


   Camperdown Crossing marks the disjunction of the D. and A. Joint and the North British lines. Travelling at a fair speed, the train approached the crossing, when suddenly the engine left the rails and ploughed its way for a distance of about fifty yards down the declivity which leads to the tunnel. The permanent way was torn up, sleepers crushed, and rails twisted, and the engine tilted over to the adjoining set of rails, with the result that both the North and South-going traffic, which is considerable, was completely blocked. The front wheels of the tender were also dislodged from the rails. Amongst the passengers on the train considerable alarm was occasioned, but fortunately beyond experiencing a light shock none of them were in any way the worse. The enginedriver and fireman also escaped from their position of danger uninjured. 

   A breakdown gang was telegraphed form ad soon a squad of fifty men were on the scene. the men set hard to work at their heavy task of replacing the derailed vehicles. By five o’clock the tender had been put in position, but it was not until late at night that the engine was righted. With the difficult tangle of traffic which followed the officials dealt in a creditable manner. 


   The N.B. trains from Aberdeen were run into the East Station, and the passengers transferred to the Tay Bridge Station, while passengers from the South had to make the journey to the East Station. Relief trains were also made up, and in this way the wants of passengers were met. Considering the alarming nature of the accident it is matter for congratulation that there was an entire absence of injury to life. 


   The alleged cause of the accident was peculiar. A cart laden with sand is stated to have passed over the crossing a short time before the train was due to pass. The back board of the cart slipped, and a quantity of sand fell on the rails. When the engine passed the crossing the wheels slipped from the rails, and the accident ensued. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 8th September, 1903, p.4.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT BIGGAR STATION. – Thomas Harrison, a labourer residing at Burnley, Lancashire, met with a serious accident, which resulted fatally, at Biggar Station yesterday afternoon. In attempting to board a passenger train which was in motion he fell between the footboard of the carriage and the platform, sustaining a compound fracture of both legs. He was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate the injured limbs. The unfortunate man did not survive the operation many hours. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 8th September, 1903, p.8.


Railway Accident.

  Early on Saturday morning a most serious smash to a mineral train occurred at Ferniegair, near Hamilton on the Caledonian Railway. It would appear that a train of loaded waggons was being made up at Swinehill Colliery, which is situated between five and six miles from Hamilton, and when some 38 waggons had been attached they set the engine in motion, the line being downhill. The engineman and fireman were both on the locomotive, and did everything they could to stop the train, but the rearward pressure of the waggons was too much for them, and, gradually gaining speed, the train rushed down past Larkhall on to Ferniegair, by which time a great speed had been obtained. The engineman and fireman near the latter place, at great personal risk, jumped off the locomotive, which continued its course towards the Ross yard, where it collided with some other waggons. The impact was such that the engine was completely overturned, while the train of waggons was almost completely wrecked. The fireman escaped with practically no injury, but the enginedriver, Alexander Roger, Brown Street, Hamilton, was not so fortunate, and in addition to other injuries he sustained a severe scalp wound, and his condition was such that it was deemed advisable to send him to the infirmary. Being off the main line the passenger traffic was only deranged to a very slight extent, but the work of clearing the line proved an arduous one, occupying the breakdown staffs of Motherwell and Hamilton far into Saturday night. The damage to the rolling stock is very considerable, the mishap being the most serious that has happened in the Hamilton district for a lengthened period. 

Motherwell Times, Friday 11th September, 1903, p.2.





   While the 2.17 train from Forfar for Dundee was travelling between Kirkbuddo and Monikie yesterday a man accidentally fell out. 

   On the train reaching the latter station the matter was reported, and the stationmaster, accompanied by the pointsman and the constable, proceeded along about a mile, when they came upon the man lying unconscious. 

   He was recognised as Andrew Gibson, mason, residing at Monifieth, and was conveyed in a machine to Craigbo, where his injuries were attended to. Thereafter he was taken home. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 11th September, 1903, p.5.


   FATAL ACCIDENT. – Early yesterday morning a goods train guard, named Thomas Hogg, living in King Street, Tradeston, Glasgow, was found dead under a waggon at Crookston Railway Station, to the east of Paisley. The body was badly mutilated, the right leg being almost severed. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 12th September, 1903, p.8.


   ACCIDENT AT THE RAILWAY STATION. – Peter Fraser, a cleaner, employed in the Highland Railway steam shed, met with an accident about 11 p.m. on Thursday evening. It appears that he was standing on the tender of an engine when in some manner not yet explained he fell violently to the ground. The unfortunate young man was stunned, and sustained a severe shock, as well as other minor injuries. Police Constable John Macrae, on duty at the Station, was quickly on the spot, and sent for Dr Brown, who, on arrival, had the injured man removed to the Northern Infirmary. From later enquiries we are glad to say that his condition is regarded as satisfactory. 

– Highland News, Saturday 12th September, 1903, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT COATBRIDGE. – Last night, a boy, named Neil Logan, was run down during shunting operations on the North British Railway leading into the Waverley Iron Works, Coatbridge. On being medically examined, it was found that one of his legs had been fractured below the knee. He was removed to the Alexander Hospital in the ambulance waggon. 

– The Scotsman, Wednesday 16th September, 1903, p.6.


   SHOCKING DEATH OF AN ADDIEWELL MAN. – The mutilated body of a workman was on Sunday found about thirty yards down the railway embankment on the Caledonian Railway, between West Calder and Addiewell. It was identified as that of Thos. Cowe, aged thirty-eight years, who lived in Baker Street, Addiewell, and was employed as a workman with Messrs Young’s Oil Company. Cowe had been in West Calder, and was on his way home when he took to the railway. A special train with a theatrical company from Glasgow was in front, and the driver observing the man on the line, whistled, but the deceased was deaf and dumb, and before the driver could pull up his engine had run Cowe down. The body was thrown right over the embankment, and mutilated almost beyond recognition. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 18th September, 1903, p.8.


   SUDDEN DEATH OF A NORTHERN MEETING JUDGE. – The death took place, with painful suddenness, on Wednesday, in the Northern Infirmary, Inverness, of Dr Beattie, Coatbridge. It appears that deceased left Perth by the 9.45 train for Inverness to attend the Northern Meetings as judge of pipe music, and when he arrived at Aviemore it was observed that he was ill. He, however, was able to bear up until the train arrived at Inverness, when he was found in the carriage unconscious. he was attended to by Drs Macfadyen and Mackay, and was ultimately removed to the Northern Infirmary, where he succumbed shortly afterwards. Death was due to apoplexy. 

– Ross-shire Journal, Friday 18th September, 1903, p.4.


   NARROW ESCAPE ON THE RAILWAY. – A child had a narrow escape on Tuesday, having wandered on to the railway at Haugh Mill level crossing while the 10.55 passenger train was nearing Cameron Bridge. The driver had only time to draw up clear of the little one after seeing it on the rails. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 19th September, 1903, p.4.



   On Friday evening an accident occurred on the railway between Kennishead and Pollokshaws Stations. A train was proceeding citywards, when one of the passengers, a boy named John McGuire, aged 11 years, and residing in Pit Row, Nitshill, fell out on to the line. He had been leaning against the door, which flew open. The train was stopped, and the boy picked up and conveyed to Pollokshaws, where he was seen by Dr King, who ordered his removal to the Victoria Infirmary. On being examined in that institution he was found to be suffering from a fracture of the skull. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 21st September, 1903, p.3.





   An unfortunate accident occurred at Dunfermline Lower Station to-day, resulting in serious injury to Peter Sneddon, fireman, Baldridgeburn Street. 

   He had taken hold of the handle of the firebox to assist him in walking round the footplate of the engine when it slipped, and he fell to the roadway. 

   The wheel of the engine passed over one of his feet, crushing it so severely that part of it had to be amputated at Cottage Hospital. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Monday 21st September, 1903, p.4.





   YESTERDAY Alexander Cruickshank (33), railway guard, residing at Market Street, Perth, met with a serious accident while shunting operations were being conducted in connection with a goods train from Blair Atholl to Perth. It appears that Cruickshank, in endeavouring to prevent some detached waggons colliding with the engine of the train on its coming on to the main line from a side lye, was caught by a “sprag” he was using, and, being tripped up, fell partly on the rails. Unfortunately, the wheel of one of the vehicles caught part of his head, which was crushed in a shocking manner, while, either by the wheel or the sprag, his right arm sustained a compound fracture, and was also badly crushed. Dr Brown, who had travelled by the same train, was close at hand, and the injured man was conveyed to the station waiting-room, where his injuries were carefully attended to, the patient meanwhile being quite conscious. he was taken to Perth by the 1.40 p.m. train, and conveyed to the Infirmary, where Dr Robert Stirling found it necessary to amputate his right arm. The unfortunate man’s condition continues satisfactory. 

Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 23rd September, 1903, p.5.






Waggons Piled High in the Underground.


Bodies Lie Buried in Debris for Hours.

   This morning early a mineral train of 40 waggons was run into by another mineral waggon on the underground railway of the Caledonian Company at Glasgow. The engine-driver of the rear train was killed outright, and his fireman died at eight o’clock in the Royal Infirmary. 


   The Caledonian Railway utilise their underground line at Glasgow during the night for the running of coal traffic to Stobcross Dock, Glasgow. A heavily-laden train of 40 waggons was standing at the danger signal inside of the tunnel, and just outside of the Central Underground Station, when the brakesman heard the rumbling sound of another train approaching, and in the direction whence his train had come. He jumped from his brake van and hurried forward to try and acquaint his engine-driver of the approaching danger, but he had not time to carry out his purpose ere the approaching mineral train dashed into the rear of the stationary train. 


   Heavy destruction of plant followed. The second train suffered most. six or eight waggons were piled up, while three or four of the waggons of the foremost train were smashed. Both lines were completely blocked. The locomotive of the near train, strangely enough, kept the rails, although the foremost part of the engine was badly smashed. 


   Information was at once forwarded to headquarters, and men were detailed to the rescue. For a long time nothing was seen or heard of the engine-driver and fireman, but after two hours the fireman was got out and conveyed in an ambulance to the Infirmary. One of his legs was off and the other smashed. It was seen he could not live, and he died, as stated, at eight o’clock. It was some time later before the body of the engine-driver was recovered. He was dead, his body being dreadfully smashed. 


   As yet no theory for the accident can be given. The names of the killed are:- 

   Wm. Simpson, engine-driver, of Polmadie, Glasgow. 

   James McEwen, fireman, 7 Logan Street, Rutherglen. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Friday 25th September, 1903, p.2.


   ACCIDENT TO GOODS AGENT. – Yesterday, Mr Donald Maclennan, goods agent, while entering the goods shed at the [Inverness] Railway Station, met with an accident. He was caught by a van which was being shunted into the shed and had his shoulder blade fractured. Mr Maclennan was attended by Dr Mackay, and afterwards conveyed to his home at Brookvale, Drummond. 

– Inverness Courier, Friday 25th September, 1903, p.4.


   A fatality took place on Friday week at Symington Railway Station. While Daniel Brown, about seventy years of age, postman at Symington, was proceeding on his usual rounds for the day, and when crossing the railway at the end of the platform he was knocked down and killed instantaneously by a train from Glasgow. he is survived by three sons and four daughters. 

– Strathearn Herald, Saturday 26th September, 1903, p.3.


   SAD RAILWAY FATALITY NEAR CARSTAIRS. – A sad railway accident occurred on the main line of the Caledonian Railway about 200 yards south of Carstairs Junction on Friday night about six o’clock, when a well-known Carluke gentleman in the person of Mr John Wallace was fatally injured. Mr Wallace had just seen his wife away at Carstairs Station, and was taking a short cut home along the line when he was knocked down by a passing train and injured about the body and head. He was conveyed on an engine to Edinburgh, where he died on Saturday morning in the Royal Infirmary. Deceased was manager of the Cairngryffe Quarries belonging to the Lanarkshire County Council (Upper Ward Committee), and prior to that was a farmer in Carluke parish. He was an elder in Carluke O.S. Church and highly respected in the town, where the news of his death was received with widespread regret. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 28th September, 1903, p.9.

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