[Scottish Railway Incidents (1904) Contents]
EXTRAORDINARY ACCIDENT NEAR INVERURIE.
TRACTION-ENGINE AND LOCOMOTIVE IN COLLISION.
TWO MEN SERIOUSLY INJURED.
An alarming accident occurred last night on the railway between Inverurie and Oldmeldrum. It appears that a traction-engine, with threshing mill and waggon attached, was proceeding to the farm of Portsdown by the old Forgue Road. The driver, with the intention of making a “short cut,” turned from the highway and took a road which passes by the old mill of Portsdown. By following this route the journey is shortened by several miles. The road, however, is narrow and quite unsuited for heavy traffic. It is indeed somewhat surprising that the engine passed safely across the narrow bridge over the Lochter burn, which has no parapets. A few yards farther on there is another bridge which crosses the line of the railway. It is about two miles from Inverurie and half a mile from Lethenty station. The parapets of this bridge are of stone, but the beams and boards are of wood, and quite unfitted to such a strain as was put on it.
When the engine was half-way across the bridge the structure suddenly collapsed. The engine fell through, but did not reach the rails, hanging suspended between the two buttress walls. The accident is supposed to have occurred between 6.10 and 6.30, as the train from Oldmeldrum which reaches Inverurie at 6.10 reached its destination safely.
The return train for Oldmeldrum, which carried a large number of passengers, left Inverurie about 6.35, and appears to have proceeded at a high rate of speed. When the train reached the bridge it dashed into the suspended traction-engine, and carried it about fifty yards along the line. So great was the violence of the shock that the traction engine was turned upside down, and lay on its funnel, with the wheels in the air. The locomotive lay sideways on the bank by the line, and the tender was derailed. The traction engine is badly damaged, one of the front wheels being knocked off, and the forepart of the railway engine is also smashed. The other stock appears to have escaped without injury, even the windows of the carriages being unbroken. The driver of the locomotive, Mr Peter Anderson, is somewhat seriously hurt, and the traction engine driver is also badly injured. None of the passengers complained of having been hurt.
Intelligence of the accident was carried to Inverurie, and Drs Forbes, Cameron, and Nicol were soon on the spot. The Inverurie and Garioch Ambulance Company speedily turned out, and conveyed the injured men to Oldmeldrum, whither the passengers were also driven in a brake. The breakdown squad from Inverurie and Kittybrewster reached the scene of the accident about 8.40 p.m. The line was then entirely blocked, and some considerable time was required to clear it. From the nature of the accident, it is really extraordinary that the passengers on the train escaped without serious injury or loss of life.
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 1st March, 1904, p.4.
RAILWAY FATALITY. – On Monday, about midday, a sad railway accident occurred on the main line, about a quarter of a mile west from Polmont Station, by which an old man named Wiliam Dunn, carriage and waggon examiner, lost his life. It appears that Dunn had received instructions from a guard of a coal train going west, and which at the moment was standing on the down main line, to go and examine an axle-box of a waggon which had become heated. Dunn proceeded to attend to the guard’s request, and in doing so passed across the line in front of the engine of the coal train, and was proceeding east to where the defective waggon was, when he seems to have got in the way of an express (fish special) going east, as immediately after it passed his body was found lying in the six-foot-way between the up and down main lines. Death appeared to have been instantaneous. Dr Wyse, who was immediately in attendance, on examining the body, found the deceased to have sustained a compound fracture of the skull, and a compound fracture of both arms, while his right foot was almost severed. The deceased was 73 years of age, and had been employed at Polmont Station for over thirty years. His wife predeceased him three years ago, and he is survived by one son and two daughters, for whom the utmost sympathy is being extended in their sad bereavement. It is a sad coincidence that it is only three months since a similar accident happened at Polmont Station to the late Mr David Bennie, carriage examiner, who, along with Mr Dunn, had acted in that capacity for the long space of thirty years.
– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 2nd March, 1904, p8.
THE ACCIDENT AT LETHENTY.
A report of the accident which occurred near Lethenty on Monday night has been received at the County Police Office. When the traction-engine fell through the bridge, McCurrach and Rae, the two traction-engine attendants ran to the assistance of William Hay Duguid, the driver, and on extricating him carried him to the embankment. McCurrach waited beside the injured man while Rae ran alongside the line towards Inverurie to get the train, which he knew was approaching, stopped. The driver of the train, however, did not observe him, and the obstruction on the line was not perceived by the driver until he got round the curve about 100 yards from the bridge. The train was going at about 45 miles an hour, and although the driver did all in his power to draw up, he was unable to do so, and the train consequently crashed into the traction-engine, carrying it along the line for a distance of 70 yards, totally wrecking it. The traction-engine, which weighs 9 tons 19 cwts., is valued at about £300. The railway engine is very much damaged.
A PASSENGER’S STATEMENT.
James Jamieson, carter, 28 Cowgate, Oldmeldrum, who was a passenger on the train, states that -the first sign of anything wrong was the sudden application of the brakes. He was pitched from one side of the carriage to the other, and a second later he felt the train jerking as if it was riding over something. It then came to a sudden standstill.
THE ENGINE-DRIVER’S CONDITION.
Dr William Cockburn, Oldmeldrum, states that he examined Peter Anderson, the driver of the locomotive, and found him suffering from severe bruises on the left side and left leg, and also from internal injuries. His condition, however, is not considered critical.
THE OVERLINE BRIDGE.
The overline bridge which collapsed consists of five wooden beams. Two of the beams were broken, and an examination of one of the beams left in the masonry shows, the report states, that it was very much decayed. It is further stated that the Railway Company were arranging to renew the bridge, and that the wood for the new structure had been ordered.
There were 16 passengers in the train, and they all escaped unhurt. Some of them, however, complain of shock.
The traction-engine driver, William Hay Duguid, who was 40 years of age, was a native of Fyvie, and he resided at 21 King Street, Oldmeldrum.
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 3rd March, 1904, p.4.
FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – On Sunday morning, the body of Robert Sinclair, foreman surfaceman at Altnabreac, was found on the line about three and a half miles south from the station. There was a deep wound on the back of the head. It is supposed that deceased in returning home the previous night was walking on the track and was struck by the engine of a passing train. Deceased was about fifty years of age. He was a widower and leaves a grown up family, for whom much sympathy is felt in their trying bereavement.
– John o’ Groat Journal, Friday 4th March, 1904, p.4.
FATAL ACCIDENT. – A painful accident occurred last Friday evening on the new Caledonian Railway. As the last train from Ardrossan was running between Uplawmoor and Neilston station, a passenger named James McInally, about 22 years of age, and residing at Brig o’ Lea, Neilston, was in a compartment with a Glasgow gentleman. He suddenly startled his travelling companion with the statement that he was going out of the train, and got up and opened the door for that purpose. The gentleman seized hold of him, and a struggle ensued. McInally, being a powerful man, soon freed himself, and as the door still remained open, he stepped out as the train was passing near Jaspaton[?] farm, and was instantaneously killed.
– Barrhead News, Friday 4th March, 1904, p.3.
RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT JOPPA. – About six o’clock last night half a dozen waggons of a mineral train got off the rails a hundred yards west of Joppa Station on the North British Railway. The train to which the waggons belonged was entering the Portobello yard by the loop line from the main down line when two waggons became buffer-locked and caused the accident. The Joppa advanced signal post was thrown down, other signal wires broken, and the rails of the main up line twisted so that the line was blocked. A breakdown squad from St Margaret’s Works was soon on the scene, and the line was cleared in about two hours.
– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 5th March, 1904, p.4.
ACCIDENT. – Yesterday forenoon, Thomas McGill, jr., engineer, residing in Park Street, met with an accident while at work in the Wishaw Wagon Works. His right leg had been resting on a rail, when a loaded bogie was pushed along and came in contact with the limb, causing a simple fracture. After having his injuries dressed at the works he was removed to the Royal Infirmary in the Wishaw ambulance waggon.
– Wishaw Press, Saturday 5th March, 1904, p.2.
ALARMING ACCIDENT TO AN EXPRESS ENGINE.
An accident, which might have had serious results, occurred to the Irish mail train near Racks Station, several miles south of Dumfries, this morning. It was running at the rate of 60 miles an hour at the time, when the side rod of the second engine broke, and flying round, smashed the driver’s cabin, and did considerable damage to the permanent way. The fireman had a miraculous escape. Another engine was got at Dumfries. The train was delayed one hour.
– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 7th March, 1904, p.3.
FATAL ACCIDENT AT INVERNESS STATION. – John McIntyre, Carlton Terrace, Inverness, a mason’s labourer, employed on the Highland Railway, was instantaneously killed on the line at Inverness on Friday. Deceased when attempting to cross the line did not observe the approach of a train from Forres due at Inverness at 9.30, by which he was run down and killed. McIntyre, who was about 60 years of age, leaves a widow and family.
– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Tuesday 8th March, 1904, p.6.
FATAL RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT AT GRAHAMSTON STATION. – William Murray, 28 years of age, a labourer, employed at Grangemouth New Dock Works, died at the Cottage Hospital yesterday as the result of the serious accident he sustained at Grahamston Station on Saturday, 27th Feby. It will be remembered that Murray and a companion were standing on the east platform, and began larking with one of the luggage barrows, one trying to push it one way and another attempting to move it in the opposite direction. While they were thus engaged, the barrow unexpectedly swerved aside and ran towards the edge of the platform, Murray falling over on to the railway line. Just at that moment a goods train, with two engines attached, entered the station from the east, and before the train could be brought to a standstill, the wheels of one of the engines passed over the unfortunate young man, almost severing his right leg above the ankle, cutting off part of his left foot, and lacerating and fracturing his left leg below the knee. On being extricated from below the engine he was conveyed in an ambulance waggon to Falkirk Cottage Hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate both his legs above the knee. Murray, who belonged to Stornoway, resided in lodgings at Kerse Road, Grangemouth.
– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 9th March, 1904, p.4.
Accident to a Railwayman
About 8 p.m. on Monday, 7th March, Wilson Taylor, 20 years of age, a locomotive fireman, residing at 11 Princes Street, Motherwell, met with an accident while at work on the Caledonian Railway taking a mineral train from Garriongill Junction to Shieldmuir sidings, by falling off the footplate on to the railway while passing Wishaw Ironworks signal cabin, and fracturing his skull. Taylor was in the act of reversing the lamp at the side of the engine from red to white, when it is supposed his foot slipped on the footplate and he had fallen on to the line. He was despatched to Motherwell Station in a railway van and attended by Dr Fotheringham, who ordered his removal to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Accident on Caledonian Line
An accident, which was, fortunately, unattended by any personal injury, but which caused a serious delay of traffic, occurred at an early hour on Tuesday morning on the main south line of the Caledonian Railway Company. A goods train, which left Carlisle at 1.5 a.m. for the North, was coming down the hill between Abington and Lamington, and as it approached the latter station an axle broke. Before the train pulled up it had run a considerable distance, tearing up both lines. The result was a complete block of traffic, and it was three hours before the up line was cleared. The morning trains from the south were detained about three hours, and it was midday before both set of rails were in working order. The postal train due at the Central Station, Glasgow, at 5.20 a.m., did not arrive until 8.25. This, of course, hindered the delivery of morning letters from the South. The limited mail due at 6.45 arrived at 8.35, and the express due at 7.50 did not reach the Central Station until 8.50.
– Motherwell Times, Friday 11th March, 1904, p.2.
A RUNAWAY MINERAL TRAIN WRECKED.
Exciting Accident at Wishaw.
Signalman’s Presence of Mind.
An accident that might have resulted very disastrously, but for the presence of mind shown by the signalman at Wishaw South, took place, on Wednesday night, on the main line of the Caledonian Railway.
About eleven o’clock, as a train of iron ore was approaching Law Junction, going southwards, one of the couplings broke. The brake-van and 14 waggons at once started back down the line, and, there being a considerable decline between Law Junction and Wishaw South Station, by the time the runaway stock had reached the latter place, it had attained an enormous speed. By good luck the up line was free from traffic at the time.
The signalman at Wishaw South Station, taking the matter in at a glance, ran the waggons off the main line into a little-used lye between the station and Wishaw Ironworks, where they were completely wrecked.
The brake-van and eleven waggons were hurled over the embankment, and lie in a heap within a few yards of the house of one of the officials of the Glasgow Iron & Steel Company, Limited.
The brakesman of the train had a narrow escape. It was at first thought that he was among the debris, but it appears that, on finding that he had no power over the runaway waggons, he jumped off his van, and turned up later on nothing the worse of his exciting experience.
The up main line was blocked for some hours, and the 10.45 corridor sleeper from Glasgow to London, which was due on the spot twelve minutes after the accident occurred, was diverted by way of Wishaw Central.
A breakdown squad was early on the scene of the accident, and, while they were repairing the block, the regular traffic was conducted on the one line.
– Motherwell Times, Friday 11th March, 1904, p.3.
SAD FATALITY AT DALBEALLIE. – On the evening of Saturday last Alexander Longmore, a stillman, employed at Cragganmore Distillery, was the victim of a serious accident, which has since proved fatal. While making his way to Dalbeallie Station to journey home by the train it appears that in the darkness he had mistaken the route and fell over the railway embankment, receiving serious injuries about the head. When found he was unconscious, and was at once picked up and conveyed to a home near by. Dr Peterkin, Aberlour, who was sent for, was immediately on the spot and attended to the injured man, who gradually sank and died on Monday morning. Deceased, who was 55 years of age, was married, and leaves a family.
– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Friday 11th March, 1904, p4.
SERIOUS GUN ACCIDENT. – A young porter at Broomhill Station, on the Highland Railway named McLennan, met with a very serious accident on Saturday afternoon. It seems he had been in the act of discharging a gun when the weapon burst and completely blew away half of his left hand, while the other part was left hanging from the wrist. The unfortunate lad was conveyed by train to Perth Royal Infirmary on Saturday evening.
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 15th March, 1904, p.3.
NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING. – On Monday night a man named Denis McIvor, a labourer residing at Rowantreefauld Cottages, Lennoxtown, had a narrow escape from drowning in the Canal. He had been spending the evening in Kirkintilloch, and was proceeding to the station by way of the Canal bank about 11 o’clock. When near the bridge over the railway he seems to have stumbled into the water. No one saw the accident, but the man’s shouts were heard by a woman residing in Luggiebank Road, who apprised some of her neighbours, among them John Irvine, a man in the employment of the Corporation. With some others he went to the man’s assistance, but by the time they got him out he was quite unconscious. He was taken to a house in Freeland Place, and Dr. R.G. Whitelaw was summoned. After a good deal of hard work the man was brought round, and was able to go home yesterday, after making an extremely narrow escape from death. In the interests of public safety – this being a much frequented road – the lighting of it ought to be considerably improved.
– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 16th March, 1904, p.4.
ACCIDENT TO STATIONMASTER. – About 9 o’clock on Monday night, Mr Hughes, stationmaster, Greenhill, in crossing the railway to his house, was knocked down by a goods train. He fell between the rails and the whole 35 waggons passed over him. Although badly bruised, his injuries are not considered dangerous.
– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Friday 18th March, 1904, p.2.
GLASGOW AND SOUTH-WESTERN.
The half-yearly meeting of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company was held in the Merchants’ House, Glasgow, on Tuesday – Mr Patrick T. Caird, chairman, presiding. The result of the year’s working, the Chairman said in moving the adoption of the report, was that the directors were able to recommend a dividend of 4½ per cent., as compared with 4½ per cent. a year ago. He trusted this would be considered satisfactory by the shareholders, especially having regard to the fact that but for the St. Enoch Station accident they would have been able to pay the same dividend as at the corresponding date last year.
– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Friday 18th March, 1904, p.2.
A rather amusing incident was witnessed at the General Station the other day. Prior to the departure of a Highland train a young man appeared bearing with him a long coffin-shaped parcel. This turned out to be an eight-day clock, which he wished carried as passenger’s luggage. The railway officials would not agree to this proposition, however, and had the “ticker” weighed in order to determine excess fee. The porter irreverently placed the old-fashioned timepiece on the steelyard upside down. Then it was carefully laid across a barrow and wheeled with solemn steps to the van, several of the officials walking slowly in rear. It was an imposing procession. Everybody in the train, of course, had a glimpse at the clock as it was borne past the windows. One old lady in a third-class compartment bobbed her head through the doorway, and awaited the approach of the barrow. No sooner, however, did she observe the nature of the load than she plumped into her seat with a look of inexpressible disgust upon her features. “Ach!” she exclaimed, addressing a fellow-passenger, “I thocht it was a burial.”
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 19th March, 1904, p.3.
FIFE RAILWAY TRAGEDY
Mother and Daughter Killed.
A horrible accident, involving two deaths, occurred late yesterday afternoon on the North British Railway, between Cardenden and Thornton Stations.
The affair is rendered doubly tragic by the fact that the persons who lost their lives were a mother and her young daughter.
The 4.7 p.m. express passenger train from Glasgow to Dundee without incident reached a point between the station of Cardenden and Thornton, and about 400 yards east of Clunie siding.
Here a woman and a little girl were walking along the railway track.
Apparently they were either unaware of the approach of the express, or were too late in realising their position, for before they could get clear of the line the express going at full speed had run them down.
The driver of the train felt a jar, and at the next stop the matter was reported to the railway officials.
A number of men were sent along the line and a horrible spectacle met their gaze.
The bodies of the mother and her daughter were found in a terribly mutilated condition.
With all despatch the unfortunate two were removed to Clunie siding.
Medical aid was summoned, but it was of no avail, as both mother and daughter were dead.
The name of the woman, it was afterwards learned, was Anderson. She resided at Clunie Bridge, near Cardenden.
The daughter was about 12 years of age.
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 19th March, 1904, p.4.
HORRIBLE FATALITY IN FIFE.
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER KILLED.
Particulars of a shocking accident which took place at Cardenden Station, between Lochgelly and Thronton, on Friday evening, show that the woman, who is named Mrs Anderson, and is the wife of a miner at Bowhill, had been gathering coals about the line side with her daughter, aged 13. The Carlisle goods train had just passed the station, and the two unfortunate persons stepped from the rear of it in front of the 4.7 express train from Glasgow, which passes Dunfermline Lower at 5.19 to Dundee. They were caught by the train and terribly mutilated and mangled. Both were killed outright. The girl’s body was carried a distance of about sixty yards, while that of the woman was dragged along for about twenty yards.
The incident created a great sensation amongst the railway officials and others who were in the vicinity, the permanent way being bespattered with blood.
The bodies were removed to the railway buildings, and subsequently the police authorities were notified.
A POLICEMAN’S WEARY VIGIL.
The local undertaker, it is stated, refused to take the order from the husband of the deceased to make a coffin for the unfortunate woman and child, and no other undertaker being in the district, the remains were lifted into an empty waggon at the siding, and a local constable had to mount guard during the entire night.
– Dundee Courier, Monday 21st March, 1904, p.5.
MAN FOUND ON RAILWAY NEAR CRAIGINCHES.
About four o’clock on Friday afternoon an engine-driver on a Caledonian Railway train noticed a man lying on the footpath on the south side of the line about a mile from Craiginches. The engine-driver stopped at Cove and informed the station officials there. A communication was at once sent to Ferryhill, and an engine was despatched, and the man, who was unconscious, taken back on the engine to Aberdeen. It is supposed that Gray had taken an overdose of methylated spirits.
– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Monday 21st March, 1904, p.4.
ACCIDENT ON THE WEST HIGHLAND RAILWAY.
Serious delay to traffic on the West Highland Railway was caused last evening by a luggage train leaving the metals at Row Station. Just before the Fort-William train was due, the luggage train was shunting off the main line, which is a single track, when the rear waggons jumped the points, and falling on their sides were dragged some distance, tearing up the permanent way. The line was not cleared till nine o’clock.
– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 22nd March, 1904, p.2.
ACCIDENT. – On Sunday, about noon, while the mail train for Keith was shunting from the coaling-bank to the Keith departure platform, William Gordon, fireman, 4 Milne Wynd, Keith, was breaking coal on the top of the tender. His head came in contact with the overhead bridge which crosses the railway at the station, and he was knocked down between the tender and the carriages and dragged along the line for about 14 yards. Three carriages passed over him, but it seems he received no injury from these, as he was lying between the rails. When picked up he was found to be unconscious, and suffering from a severe scalp wound, which it is supposed he had received when his head came in contact with the bridge. He was removed to the Leanchoil Hospital, where his injuries were attended to by Dr Adam, and where he now lies in a critical condition. On inquiry yesterday morning it was stated that he had passed a good night, and that hopes are entertained of his recovery.
– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Tuesday 22nd March, 1904, p.4.
ACCIDENT TO COWDENBEATH ENGINE-DRIVER.
BOTH LEGS SMASHED.
An accident of a somewhat alarming nature occurred about eleven o’clock on Tuesday night on the railway belonging to Fife Coal Company leading from their several pits to the Cowdenbeath district to their sidings situated on the Thornton branch of the North British Railway. At the time stated one of the colliery locomotives was in the act of taking a train of twelve loaded dross waggons to the sidings, and at a point fully 100 yards from their destination the locomotive left the rails and fell on its side. Robt. Bennet (27), Moss-side Road, Cowdenbeath, the engine-driver, was the only person on the engine at the time, and it is evident that either the wheels of the vehicle caught his legs or it fell on them, as they were so severely injured that both limbs were amputated immediately after he was taken to Dunfermline Cottage Hospital. His condition is regarded as critical. the locomotive was badly damaged, and a considerable portion of the railway was displaced.
– Dundee Courier, Thursday 24th March, 1904, p.3.
THE COLLAPSE OF A BRIDGE IN THE NORTH
WHAT THE ENINE-DRIVER SAID.
“IT IS ALL MY OWN FAULT.”
Considerable interest was taken to-day in the public inquiry held in the Aberdeen Sheriff Court into the circumstances of the death of W. H. Duguid, engine-driver, Oldmeldrum.
It may be remembered that near Inverurie a bridge collapsed while the engine was being driven over it, with the result that it fell through on to the railway below. Duguid was so severely injured that he died on the following day.
Andrew McCurrach and James Rae, attendants, said that while on their way to Portstown they took a short cut on the suggestion of deceased instead of going round by Inverurie. This bridge they crossed was a wooden one. The mill was detached from the engine when crossing. It was the rear of the engine that went down. Duguid was held underneath the engine, and was taken up in an unconscious condition. A passenger train ran into the engine before Duguid was removed.
Inspector Bruce, Inverurie, said he saw deceased after the accident, and said, “This is a very bad accident.”
“Oh, yes,” replied Duguid, “it was all my own fault.”
The jury returned their verdict in accordance with the evidence led.
– Dundee Evening Post, Thursday 24th March, 1904, p.3.
RAILWAY MISHAP IN DUNDEE TUNNEL. – A mishap of an alarming character occurred at the west entrance to Dock Street tunnel yesterday afternoon. At 3.10 a light engine was being shunted at the Tay Bridge Station, and while taking the points at the tunnel the two rear wheels left the metals. Fortunately the derailed engine was clear of the up line, and the Aberdeen-Edinburgh express, due at Tay Bridge at 3.30 was delayed for only a short time. The down line remained blocked for over an hour, but at half-past four the breakdown squad succeeded in replacing the engine on the metals. One of the rails was badly twisted, and a number of chains were broken.
– Dundee Courier, Saturday 26th March, 1904, p.9.
FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT NEAR MANUEL. – Yesterday morning a man was found lying on the Bo’ness and Manual branch railway in an unconscious condition. He had apparently been overtaken by a passing train, both of his legs having been run over. The man was conveyed to the Falkirk Cottage Hospital, where he died shortly after admission, never having regained consciousness. So far, the body has not been identified.
– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 28th March, 1904, p.6.
An American engineer is stated to have invented a moving railway platform, which will glide at the same speed as a passing train, and enable passengers to alight without the train stopping.
– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Tuesday 29th March, 1904, p.3.
THE SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC.
From the point of view of the passenger, no department of railway management is of greater importance than that which concerns the signalling of the trains. Not only the smooth running of the traffic, but the personal safety of thousands of people, depends upon the rise or fall of the signals at the right moment. The Directors very rightly regard the signalmen as occupying positions of the gravest responsibility, and their efficiency as a matter of the very first importance. These men are never put in charge of a signal-box until they have undergone a thorough course of practical instruction extending over a considerable period of time, after which they have to pass a searching examination at the hands of the District Superintendent, who, amongst other things, carefully tests them for colour blindness, which would be a most dangerous defect in any official connected with the traffic, but especially in a signalman. The signalling of the trains on the London and North-Western line involves the use of some 1500 signal boxes, containing over 33,000 levers, which operate more than 17,000 signals. The box at the entrance to Euston Station contains no fewer than 290 levers. It has been estimated that the steel rods used for moving the points would, if placed end to end, reach from John o’ Groats to Land’s End, and the wires which work the signals would make a new Atlantic cable stretching from Liverpool to New York. – “London Magazine.”
– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 29th March, 1904, p.6.
FATAL ACCIDENT. – On Wednesday night as the 7.30 train of empty carriages was entering Lennoxtown Station at the speed of about ten miles an hour, one of the station porters, George Craven, was returning from the signal-box, and had gone too far out, when he was struck by the engine and thrown down. He received serious injuries about the body, as also cuts and bruises on the forehead. After examination by Dr. Cumming, the injured man was removed to the Royal Infirmary by the last train, where he succumbed to his injuries on Thursday morning. Craven was a married man with two of a family, and was about thirty years of age. – On Saturday afternoon the corpse was conveyed to Lennoxtown, when a public funeral was accorded. A large cortege was formed up, a strong deputation of Masonic Lodge, No. 195, taking part at the grave. The Rev. Mr Brown, parish minister, conducted a special service. Craven, as porter at the passenger station and occasional guard, was well liked by the travelling public for his quiet and obliging manner.
– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 30th March, 1904, p.5.
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