November 1903

   Mishap to Railway Guard. – Yesterday morning a rather unfortunate accident befel Andrew Wilson, a guard in the employment of the North British Railway Company, residing in Edinburgh. Wilson was guard on the train that arrives at Dundee Tay Bridge Station about half-past ten. At Cupar-Fife a horsebox was attached to the train, and during the shunting operations Wilson, who was standing at the rear of the train, was hit on the forehead by the door of his van swinging open. He proceeded with his train to Dundee, where he was taken to the Royal Infirmary. At that institution it was found necessary to put four stitches in the wound. The injured man was then able to proceed home by train. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 3rd November, 1903, p.6.






   An unfortunate accident occurred yesterday evening on the railway line between Dunfermline and Charlestown, resulting in a ragpicker named James Haggarty, belonging to Dunfermline, getting his skull fractured. The unfortunate man was walking along the line, when he was caught and knocked down by the 4.15 p.m. train from Dunfermline to Charlestown. With all promptitude he was removed to the Lower Station at Dunfermline, from where the accident occurred, near Garlochhill Farm. thereafter he was taken to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 3rd November, 1903, p.5.


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT QUEEN STREET STATION. – Between five and six o’clock yesterday evening a fatal accident occurred at the entrance to the tunnel outside Queen Street Station, Glasgow. Joseph Goodwin, twenty-eight years of age, ropeman, was engaged fastening a chain known as “the messenger” to the wire cable used for facilitating traffic on the steep incline. An engine and a train of empty carriages, which were being shunted, passed up the tunnel, where the train was detached into two portions, some of the carriages being intended for the mid lye in the station while the others were to return to No. 6 platform. Goodwin allowed the first carriages to pass, but resumed his work on the rope before the second portion of the train had returned, with the result that he was run down, and received injuries from which he died on his way to the Infirmary. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 6th November, 1903, p.4.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – The first goods train from Aberdeen, due here [Rothes] at 2.50 a.m., dashed through the interlocking gates at the Green Street crossing, wrenching the gate from the framework, and smashing three metal pillars on which the gates were hung. Fortunately no material damage was done to the engine or the permanent way, and the surfacemen were early at work clearing away the wreckage so that there was no delay caused to the ordinary traffic. It appears that James Neish, the signalman in charge, took on the train from Craigellachie by means of the tablet system, but he alleges that the signals were standing against the train at the time of the accident. 

– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Friday 6th November, 1903, p.8.


   Pole Killed on the Railway. – Last Saturday night John Bender, a Pole, residing in Fauldhouse, met his death on the Caledonian Railway near Braehead. Bender had travelled by the 10.4 p.m. train from the west, and had evidently got mixed as to his whereabouts, as he offered money in excess of his ticket, which was valid to Fauldhouse. He seemed to be anxious to get back to Shotts, but the railway officials tried to make him understand that he had reached his destination. He ultimately left the station, but had evidently got on to the railway again and had walked in the direction of Shotts, when he was run down. One of his arms and his spine were fractured. He was unmarried and 25 years of age. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 6th November, 1903, p.5.



   On Wednesday morning an accident of a sad nature terminating with fatal results occurred on the main line of the Caledonian Railway near to the Goods Station. William McDonald, twenty-eight years of age, employed as railway surfaceman, and residing at 226 Bouverie Terrace, was employed on the down line in some shunting operations. The noise of the engine engaged shunting the waggons prevented him hearing the swift approach of the Wemyss Bay train, leaving the Central at 7.25. In a twinkling the unfortunate man was caught up by the buffers of the express train, and he was carried along the line a distance of some forty yards. When the body was found, as may easily be understood, it was mutilated in a terrible manner by the violent contact with the buffers of the engine. Another surfaceman working along with McDonald ran a narrow escape of being overtaken by the same train. What adds to the sadness of the event is that deceased was only married about six months ago, and had only been employed on the railway about six weeks. There is much sympathy for the widow in her painful bereavement. 

– Port-Glasgow Express, Friday 6th November, 1903, p.3.





   AN Alarming railway collision, resulting in considerable damage to rolling stock and delay to traffic, as well as serious injury to three men, occurred last night on the North British Railway at Lochmill, near Linlithgow. The 8.55 P.M. Caledonian passenger express from Larbert ran into a goods train from Cowlairs to Thornton, which was shunting at Lochmill siding, about a mile west of Linlithgow. The signal box at the side of the line was completely wrecked, and both lines were blocked by the carriages which left the metals. Two signalmen, named Charles Francis and Joseph Dickson, were in the cabin at the time, and both were injured, Dickson severely. They were removed to their homes in Linlithgow. the guard of the goods train, John Cage, was also seriously hurt, and was removed on a stretcher to a house near by. The engine of the passenger train and the three carriages were thrown off the line, as were also a number of the waggons of the goods train. Few passengers were in the train, and fortunately they were in the rear portion, so that they escaped with a severe shaking. Mr Stewart, stationmaster at Linlithgow, at once communicated with the rail officials in Edinburgh. 

   According to later information, a passenger named Ferguson and the guard of the passenger train sustained slight shock. 

   Up to an early hour this morning only the main facts, already stated, were known at the Waverley Station. the line at the scene of the accident belongs to the North British Company, but the Caledonian Company has running powers over it in order to reach its main line at Larbert. Both systems suffered delay to their traffic. The North British express leaving Glasgow (Queen Street) at 9.35 P.M. and connecting with the London express at the Waverley Station was detained at Manuel, while the Caledonian 9.45 train from Princes Street, Edinburgh, to Larbert was sent by way of the Forth Bridge and Stirling. So far as possible the North British traffic was diverted by way of Bathgate. 

   A break-down gang left the Waverley Station for the scene of the accident about eleven o’clock under the charge of Mr Deuchars, superintendent of the line. A clearance was partially effected at an early hour this morning, and it was expected that both lines would be clear in time for the passenger traffic to-day. 

– The Scotsman, Saturday 7th November, 1903, p.9.


   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – On Saturday evening, Andrew Rankine (64) widower, a wool scourer, residing in Upper Mill Street, met with an unfortunate accident on the railway a little to the east of the station. It seems that Rankine had been on his way to see a friend at Moss Road and had gone on to the railway new level crossing. In crossing the rails he was overtaken by a train and knocked down and part of his left foot was cut off. the unfortunate man was married to the Station House and attended to by Dr Currie, and afterwards removed to Alloa Hospital. 

– Alloa Advertiser, Saturday 7th November, 1903, p.3.


   TWO MORE MISHAPS AT HAMILTON CALEDONIAN STATION. – Yesterday two further mishaps occurred on the Caledonian Railway in the “hole” caused by the mineral subsidences outside Hamilton Central Station. At 2.40 A.M., as a mineral train was proceeding from St Rollox to Strathaven Junction, in passing through the station the coupling of the waggon nearest the engine broke. The driver at once came to a standstill, but unfortunately, the rear portion of the train came up and collided with him, double locking several waggons, and fouling the up main line. At the same time another train was proceeding in the opposite direction, and ran into the overturned waggons, derailing both trains. the line was locked until 6.30 A.M., and the morning trains were considerably detained. The second mishap occurred at 1.50 P.M. to a mineral train consisting of fifty waggons, which was proceeding from Strathaven Junction to Ross Junction. In passing Orchard Street bridge the rear waggon of the train became buffer-locked, and was capsized before the train could be brought to a stand. The rolling stock suffered considerably in both accidents, but by the latter the passenger traffic was not detained. 

– The Scotsman, Tuesday 10th November, 1903, p.4.






   An unfortunate accident occurred at Dunfermline Lower Railway Station yesterday, whereby David Reid, a painter in the employment of the N.B. Railway Company, was seriously injured. He was at the time engaged in painting a water column, and for this purpose was standing on a ladder. A light engine from Perth to Dalmeny caught the foot of the ladder, bringing it and Reid to the ground. Fortunately the man fell clear of the engine, but, notwithstanding, the injuries he received were of a serious nature, consisting of two scalp wounds and concussion of the brain. Reid, who hails from Ladybank, was removed to the Cottage Hospital on a stretcher. 

– Dundee Courier, Wednesday 11th November, 1903, p.4.


   CALEDONIAN GOODS ENGINE EMBEDDED IN A BOG. – Yesterday afternoon, the one o’clock goods train from Carstairs to Biggar, when at the points to the sidings of the new Motherwell waterworks at Causewayend, near Biggar, left the rails, and became deeply embedded in the boggy ground over which the temporary sidings pass. Luckily, no one was injured. The breakdown gang arrived from Carstairs, and after several hours’ labour succeeded in lifting the engine. 

– The Scotsman, Thursday 12th November, 1903, p.4.


   NARROW ESCAPE. – What might have proved a very serious accident occurred at Fushiebridge railway station last Thursday. The Arniston Colliery Company have at present an engine engaged conveying the auctioned material from Vogrie works, and it seems that two empty waggons broke away from the works and gathering speed as they went dashed over the steep incline to the station. The engine was proceeding downward at the same time, but fortunately the officials and others at the station heard the approach of the waggons and warned the enginemen, who jumped off just as the collision took place. The engine was thrown off the rails, it and one of the waggons being completely wrecked. 

– Dalkeith Advertiser, Thursday 12th November, 1903, p.3.


   MAN’S FEET CUT OFF. – A railway inspector discovered John McDonald, a pithead labourer, lying in the six-feet way of the up main line of the Dunfermline and Thornton branch of the North British Railway, near Lumphinnans, on Friday evening. The man’s feet were practically severed from the legs, but by his “first aid” knowledge the inspector was enabled to arrest the bleeding, and McDonald afterwards had his injuries attended to in the Dunfermline Cottage Hospital. 

– The Scotsman, Monday 16th November, 1903, p.6.






   An unfortunate accident occurred at Kelty Railway Station on Saturday night, whereby John McFarlane, guard, residing at Gardiner’s Land, Dunfermline, met with serious injury. The correct facts are somewhat obscure, owing to the late hour at which the occurrence took place, but it is thought that Mr McFarlane had been engaged in shunting operations, and had stepped in front of an engine in motion. He was knocked down, his ribs being fractured. 

   He was conveyed to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital, where he lies in a critical condition. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 17th November, 1903, p.5.


   ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – Yesterday forenoon, Betsy Jack or Finlayson (66), a widow belonging to Fishertown, Cromarty, met with a serious accident at Alness Railway Station. She had come from Invergordon to sell her fish in Alness, having travelled by the 10.30 A.M. goods train, and was in the act of crossing from the south platform to catch the north-going train, when a waggon which was being shunted off the goods train approached. Although several of the station officials shouted and warned her of her danger, the woman had no time to get out of the way, and one of the wheels passed over her right foot at the ankle. She had a very fortunate escape from probable fatal injuries. The woman was conveyed to the station waiting-room, where Constable Macpherson attended to her injuries. Dr Macrae was soon on the scene, and had the foot bandaged. The injured woman was conveyed to the Ross Memorial Hospital, and after examination, Drs Macrae and Smith, Dingwall, had the lower part of the leg amputated. 

– Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser for the North of Scotland, Wednesday 18th November, 1903, p.4.


   ACCIDENT AT THE STATION. – On Saturday evening, James Stewart, jobbing gardener, Carnoustie, while about the middle of the stair leading to the south platform of the railway station, fell over the railing of the stair to the platform below and sustained several severe bruises and cuts on the face and head. Dr Duncan was called and attended to the injured man, who afterwards proceeded home with the train. 

Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 19th November, 1903, p.5.


   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT EDINBURGH. – A fatal accident occurred on the Caledonian Railway at Edinburgh last night. While some shunting operations were proceeding about six o’clock on the main down line near Grove Street bridge, William Millar, a cleaner, residing at 22 Dundonald Street, Edinburgh, was run over and killed. Deceased was nineteen years of age. 

– The Scotsman, Friday 20th November, 1903, p.4.




   Princes Street Station was last night about six o’clock the scene of a sad fatality, by which William Milne, an engine cleaner, who lived in lodgings at 22 Dundonald Street lost his life. Milne was walking along the line with John Smellie (20), a fireman, living at 57 Pitt Street, towards the sheds in Dundee Street, where the lads worked when they were overtaken by a train of nine empty carriages which was being shunted. A passenger train going in the opposite direction drowned the noise of the approaching carriages, and both lads were run down without warning. Smellie on the outside was knocked clear by the buffer and escaped with a few bruises, but Milne, who was walking in the middle, fell under the wheels of the carriages, which passed over him. Death was instantaneous, the body being shockingly mutilated. Word of the accident was sent in to the station and a horse ambulance was requisitioned to convey the body to the city mortuary. The parents of the unfortunate lad, who live in the country, have been communicated with. 

– Edinburgh Evening News Friday 20th November, 1903, p.2.


   FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – Early on Tuesday morning, while a train of empty waggons was being brought up from Methil to the Michael Pit, the engine left the metals at the Summer Road crossing, causing the waggons to buffer. A workman sitting on the engine had his leg almost cut through. He was conveyed to Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital, where he died on admission, John Penman, the unfortunate man, was about 42 years of age, and lived at Methil. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 21st November, 1903, p.5.



   David Binnie, tapper at Polmont Station, was killed there on Sunday night by the train arriving from Edinburgh at 9.8. He was in the act of crossing the line to the 6-foot way in order to tap the wheels as usual, and was apparently unaware of the close proximity of the train. The engine overtook him, and severed one of his legs from the body and otherwise injured him. He was 64 years of age, and had been employed at Polmont Station for over thirty years. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 24th November, 1903, p.6.



   Last night a sad accident occurred at Moy, near Inverness, on the Highland Railway. The dead body of John Noble, farmer, Dalmagary, was found on the line near a level crossing. A dead cow was also found. It is thought that Noble had been driving a cow across the line when the down mail train came suddenly upon him. Deceased was much respected in the district. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 26th November, 1903, p.4.



   James Forrest, porter, in the employment of Messrs Wordie and Company, and residing at 19 Claremont Street, Aberdeen, had his right leg severely injured yesterday while engaged at work in the Caledonian Railway goods yard. A large beam was being transferred from a waggon to the loading bank by means of a crane, when one of the handles – which were revolving very rapidly as the beam was being lowered – broke, and struck Forrest on the right ankle. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where he was attended to. It was found that although the limb was severely bruised, no bones were broken. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 27th November, 1903, p.4.


   The season for accidents has now set in. Four men, walking from Armadale to their work on the railway, at Forrestfield, on Saturday morning, had a narrow escape, when an engine and van came up and killed one of the number. Another man had a narrow escape at Westcraigs, when he was struck by an engine and had an arm fractured. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE RAILWAY. – On Saturday morning quite a sensation was caused in Armadale by a report that three men had been killed on the line near Armadale, and a fourth one fatally injured, but on the matter being investigated it turned out that the accident was at Forrestfield, and that one man was killed and another injured about the shoulder. Four men, who were engaged by Mr Symington, the contractor who has the doubling of the railway line, which began at Armadale a year ago, and has now reached Forrestfield, were walking along the line near Forrestfield to their work, about seven o’clock on Saturday morning, when they were overtaken by an engine and van. William Thomson (52), residing at the Marches, Armadale, being nearest the rails, was struck by the engine and hurled some distance. When picked up, it was found that his skull was smashed, and that a leg and an arm were broken, death being instantaneous. The man next him, John Macnamee, residing at the “Model,” Armadale, was also knocked some distance, but escaped with only a slight injury to his left shoulder. One of the other two men, who were uninjured, seemed to have got such a scare that he fled from the spot and could not be found. The accident happened about 800 yards east of Forrestfield Station, and the body was taken possession of by the Lanarkshire police, and conveyed to the mortuary at Caldercruix. the wind, at the time of the accident, was very strong, and in the face of the navvies, otherwise they might have heard the engine approaching them. Thomson, who was killed, has resided in Armadale in lodgings for some time, and was popularly known as “English Bill.” He seems to have no relations in the neighbourhood. 

Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 27th November, 1903, p.5.


   FIREMAN INJURED AT INVERKEITH. – An accident befell a Dundee fireman named Ewan at Inverkeilor on Tuesday morning. He was engaged on a special train from Dundee to Bervie, and in the course of some shunting at Inverkeilor his left arm was caught between the buffers of the engine and a carriage. On the train reaching Montrose he was taken to the Infirmary, where it was found that the muscles of the limb had been severely bruised. 

– Montrose Standard, Friday 27th November, 1903, p.4.


   SEVEN sheep were killed by a passing train on Tuesday at a level crossing near Stirling. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 28th November, 1903, p.6.


   SHOCKING DEATH ON THE RAILWAY. – On Wednesday morning, on the railway, surfacemen at Markinch going to work they discovered the body of John Rollo, a tailor, lying on the down line near Markinch Station in a shockingly mutilated condition. It is supposed he had laid himself down on the rails on Tuesday night, and had been run over by an express train. The body had been carried a distance by the engine, and besides other terrible injuries the head was completely severed from the body. He was between 60 and 70 years of age. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 28th November, 1903, p.5.

Leave a Reply