October 1904

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1904) Contents]

Run Down By Train.

   The body of a man found on the railway at Cove on Monday night was identified as that of Thomas Harper, shoemaker, residing in Church Street, Aberdeen. Deceased had been spending the holiday at Cove, and it is supposed that he had wandered on to the railway and been run down by a passing train. the body was terribly mutilated. Deceased was 30 years of age. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 1st October, 1904, p.6. 

   UNUSUAL SPECTACLE AT DUNDEE STATION. – A spectacle of an unusual nature was witnessed at Tay Bridge Station last night. Six young men who were leaving Dundee by the London mail for foreign ports were accompanied to the station by large numbers of their friends, the congress numbering between four and five hundred people. While waiting the train the friends of the emigrants engaged in singing, and as the train was leaving the vocal demonstration was particularly vigorous. Journeying in the same train were a large number of fisher girls from Aberdeen, who were en route for Yarmouth to engage in the herring curing. 

– Dundee Courier, Saturday 1st October, 1904, p.7. 


   A record in railway travelling was accomplished by His Majesty in his journey from Invergarry to Ballater. The Royal train, which left Invergarry at ten o’clock, was due at Ferryhill, Aberdeen, at 5.30, but reached that junction eight minutes before scheduled time. At Crianlarich, which was reached a little before scheduled time, the Caledonian Railway Company took charge of the train to Aberdeen, running from Crianlarich to Dunblane, a distance of forty miles, without stopping, the engine used being a six-coupled bogey, and specially built to meet the hilly nature of the Oban line. From Dunblane to Aberdeen the Caledonian Railway Company established a record in railway travelling. The distance is 120 miles, and this was covered without a stop, and with only one engine, this being locomotive No. 49, the most powerful engine in the United Kingdom, which runs regularly on the dining train between Glasgow and Carlisle. The engine weighs 130 tons, the average weight of an ordinary one being 90 tons. The run from Dunblane to Aberdeen was exceedingly smooth and pleasant, and is stated to be the longest non-stop run that has ever been made with a Royal train in Scotland with one engine. 

   His Majesty reached Balmoral in the evening. 

   It is expected that he will leave Balmoral on Friday next. 

– Strathearn Herald, Saturday 1st October, 1904, p.7. 

   A PECULIAR INCIDENT. – William Howard, residing in Campbell-street, jumped over the parapet of the railway bridge in Campbell-street on Tuesday and fell to the ground, a distance of twenty feet, sustaining a broken leg and arm and other injuries of a serious nature. At present the incident requires some explanation, as it is not known whether the action was accidental or intentional. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 1st October, 1904, p.6.

   A PICKPOCKET AT LANARK. – At the Lanark Burgh Court yesterday Shepherd Marks tailor, 43 Glover Street, Leeds, was convicted of having on the 28th ult., on the platform of the Lanark Railway Station, inserted his hand into the pocket of an Ayrshire gentleman, and attempted to steal therefrom, and of being previously convicted at Leeds and Bradford of fraud and reset of theft respectively. A fine of £10, with the alternative of forty days’ imprisonment, was imposed. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 4th October 1904, p.4. 

   COLLISION OF GOODS TRAIN NEAR KIRKINTILLOCH. – A serious dislocation of traffic was caused on Baine Valley section of the North British Railway last night by two goods trains colliding near Kirkintilloch. A mineral train was crossing into Old Monkland section at Middlemuir Junction while a goods was coming down the incline from Lenzie, and the brakes of the latter failing to hold, owing to slippery rails, the engines ran into one another, and were both derailed, and several waggons were wrecked. Traffic was diverted by Torrance and Maryhill. 

– Scotsman, Thursday 6th October, 1904, p.4. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – Thomas Smith, a goods guard in the service of the North British Railway Company, and residing in Mill Street, met with a serious accident on the Bervie line yesterday afternoon. Shortly after two o’clock Smith was applying the brake on an empty waggon at Lauriston when he slipped and fell. His right arm landed on the rails, and both wheels of the waggon passed over it, crushing the limb fearfully from the elbow downwards. The suffering man was lifted into the train, which was run into Montrose as speedily as possible. Information having been sent to the Infirmary, Dr Stone was in attendance, but so serious was the injury that the arm had to be amputated. Smith has a wife and young family. 

– Montrose Standard, Friday 7th October, 1904, p.5. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT. – During shunting operations at the cattle loading bank, Stirling Station, on Tuesday night, a boy named Walter Stewart, residing at 35 Lower Craigs, was run over and shockingly injured, losing a leg and an arm. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where he died within a couple of hours. 


   DIRTY RAILWAY CARRIAGES. – Many complaints have for a long period been made by the travelling public regarding the dirty condition in which the railway carriages put on the lines of the Kelvin and Blane Valleys are allowed to be kept. These complaints generally have taken the form of letters to newspapers and we have heard of occasional remonstrances to officials. Now and again some vague intimation has come out that the railway officials are experimenting with an improved method of cleaning railway carriages. So far as the public can judge these experiments never get beyond the experimental stage or perhaps the experiments are on so limited a scale as not to appreciably affect the number of the filthy carriages. We learn that a gentleman resident in the Blane Valley who occupies a prominent position has taken a decided form of protest. Formerly he took a first class season ticket, but became so disgusted with the dirty state of the carriages that, failing to secure an improvement, he has stopped taking out a first class season. He now travels third class. Recently a lady and gentleman who intended travelling from Stirling to the Blane Valley, on finding the dirty state of the first class carriages are at some places used overnight as the “doss” houses of the wandering fraternity, the very class to whom medical and sanitary authorities have of late so persistently attributed the spread of the most loathsome diseases. 

– Kilsyth Chronicle, Friday 7th October, 1904, p.2. 

   DISTRESSING FATALITY. – A fatality of a peculiarly distressing character occurred on the evening of the 28th September at the entrance to the Caledonian Railway Station, Uddingston, whereby a little girl named Gladys Hanley, daughter of Mr Thomas Hanley, janitor of Uddingston Grammar School, residing at Barrfield Terrace there, lost her life. In company with a number of other children about the same age, the unfortunate girl had been amusing herself by swinging on the gate leading from the main street into Station Square. While in the act of running backwards in front of the gate she stumbled and fell, with the result that her head came in violent contact with the kerb-stone, breaking her neck. Death was instantaneous. Deceased’s father, Mr Henry, served for nearly nine years on the staff of the Forfar and Kincardine Artillery at Montrose, and left to take up his present appointment in April 1900. His friends will learn with regret of his sad bereavement. 

– Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire Advertiser, Friday 7th October, 1904, p.5. 

   ALARMING RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – Travellers by the 4.13 p.m. train from Perth to Glasgow yesterday had a rather alarming experience. Just as the train had cleared the station one of the middle carriages, failing to properly negotiate the points, jumped the line. Fortunately no serious consequences occurred from the accident, but the passengers in the carriage were naturally much alarmed. In landing on the track the carriage canted over, but did not overturn. The station officials were quickly on the scene, and, under the direction of Mr Burke, the carriage was disconnected from the other vehicles, and the passengers returned to the station, where they joined the second portion of the same train for Glasgow, and travelled there by the Dundee loop. Subsequently the line was cleared. A large crowd of people assembled on St Leonard’s Bridge to watch the clearing operations. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 12th October, 1904, p.5. 


   James Fraser, railway surfaceman, residing at Newtown Cottages, Wiston, while inspecting the main line of the Caledonian Railway between Symington and Lamington stations was knocked down and killed by the 9.10 goods train from Greenock to Carlisle. It appears that at the time of the accident a mineral train was passing on the up line, and deceased failed to notice the other train from the opposite direction. Fraser’s body was terribly mutilated. 




   James Haldane Cameron, a middle-aged man of respectable appearance, was at Glasgow Sheriff Criminal Court to-day sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for having embezzled £40 while acting as stationmaster at Whiteinch, on the Caledonian Railway. An agent stated that accused had been in the employment of the Caledonian Railway Company for 21 years, having started as a boy and risen to be head booking clerk at the Central Station. Subsequently he was appointed stationmaster and collector at Whiteinch, but in that capacity he only received 30s weekly, out of which he had to pay 2s of society money. Out of the remaining 28s he had to pay rent and taxes, there being no station house, and also to support a wife and two children. The wife and family were now on their way to America. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 13th October, 1904, p.4. 




   A serious railway accident occurred early this morning on the Dumfries and Lockerbie Branch of the Caledonian Railway. As the 3.50 goods train, proceeding from Dumfries to Lockerbie, was opposite Belzie’s Crossing, about two miles from Lochmaben, the coupling of the seventh waggon from the engine snapped. 

   There was an incline at this point, and the train was going at a good speed when the accident happened. The result was that the engine and several of the waggons were derailed, and three waggons which contained cattle were wrecked and the animals killed. 

   The engine was much damaged, but fortunately the driver and fireman escaped with a slight shaking. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Friday 14th October, 1904, p.2. 

   EXTRAORDINARY FATALITY ON THE RAILWAY. – An extraordinary accident involving in the death of John Leslie, a young lad fifteen years of age, residing with his father on Pusk farm, occurred on the North British Railway between Dairsie and Leuchars on Tuesday evening. Young Leslie, it is believed, had been to Cupar feeing market, and was going home by the 7 o’clock train from Cupar along with several companions. He was leaning out of the window at a point of the railway between Dairsie and Leuchars, when during the passage of a goods train, the occupants of the carriage were startled by a loud noise and the sound of shattered glass. Leslie was found by his companions to have been struck by some projection from the goods train. He lay in the carriage unconscious, his face covered with blood issuing from wounds on the head. The skull was terribly smashed, and before the arrival of the train at Leuchars, the unfortunate young man had expired. The body was taken to the waiting-room at Leuchars Station where Drs Constable, Leuchars, and Smyth, Guardbridge, examined it. Inquiry to-day (Wednesday), among the railway officials has brought to light a probable explanation of the occurrence, and it seems that the object with which the deceased was struck was a substantial cattle-truck door which had evidently not been properly closed. The guard of the train, it is said, was actually endeavouring to attract the driver’s attention that the train might be stopped and the door closed, when the accident happened. As a matter of fact, the train was stopped for that purpose; but the passenger train had by that time rushed past. News of the accident created a good deal of excitement in Leuchars district, and much sympathy is expressed for the family of the deceased.

– St. Andrew’s Citizen, Saturday 15th October, 1904, p.8. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT IN GLASGOW. – William Donald (27), labourer, 28 Lyon Street, Glasgow, while engaged at Bridge Street Station of the Caledonian Railway yesterday forenoon taking down an iron girder overbalanced and fell a distance of twenty-two feet. He alighted on his head, the skull being fractured, and died shortly after his admission to the Royal Infirmary. Deceased was in the employment of Messrs William Arrol & Co. 


   FATAL ACCIDENT. – John Sharman, a seaman, who was returning to his ship in Glasgow Harbour shortly after midnight on Friday, was knocked down by a goods train while crossing the rails at the Glasgow General Terminus of the Caledonian Railway, and instantaneously killed. 

   GLASGOW RAILWAY FATALITY. – The body of a man who was killed by a train of waggons at the mineral terminus at Glasgow on Saturday was afterwards identified as that of William Shimmons, a sailor on the s.s. Orion, of Whitehaven. 

– Scotsman, Monday 17th October, 1904, p.6. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – On Thursday a railway shunter belonging to Edinburgh, who for some time past has been doing relieving work at Galashiels, met with an accident in the railway siding at Buckholmside Skinworks. Shunting operations had been going on in the siding, and the man was coupling two waggons with a pole, when one of his hands got caught between the buffers. One of his forefingers was taken off, and his thumb and two other fingers were severely crushed. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 20th October, 1904, p.3. 

   DIED ON DUTY. – James Charter’s, 22 years of age, an engine-driver, residing at 2 Crawford Street, Burnbank, died, while on duty, under particularly sad circumstances on Saturday afternoon. He was coming from the Palace Colliery to Bothwell Junction on an engine, belonging to the N.B. Railway Company, when he suddenly expired. He collapsed while on the engine, and when lifted up by the fireman life was extinct. Deceased, who was a capable driver and of an amiable disposition, had been ailing for some months, and death is attributed to failure of the heart’s action. The funeral, which took place on Friday to Craigton Cemetery, was attended by a large body of railwaymen, who also subscribed liberally to a wreath for the coffin. Much sympathy is felt for his widow in her sad bereavement. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Friday 21st October, 1904, p.4. 




   This afternoon shortly before one o’clock a shocking fatality took place on the Highland Railway about half a mile to the south of Pitlochry Station. 

   Robert Cunningham, surfaceman, was run down by a goods train and killed. 

   The accident occurred at a curve, and deceased had apparently not observed the approaching train. Both legs were severed and the skull smashed. 

   Cunningham was married, and leaves two of a family. 

   It appears that Cunningham had been at work on the line with a squad, and was walking back a little distance, and in some unexplained manner got in the way of the train. The result was the train ran over him completely. 

   The train was stopped, and the man removed. Medical assistance was called, but death supervened at once. 

   Cunningham, who was a comparatively young man, is survived by a widow and two of a family. 

– Dundee Evening Post – Friday 21st October 1904. 



   An extraordinary accident took place last night in the Caledonian Central Station, Glasgow. The 10.45 train for London was being backed into the into the station to take passengers, when the brake failed to act, and the train dashed into the buffer. A large bookstall was bodily thrown forward several feet and completely wrecked, while the brake van of the London train leapt the buffers, and found a resting place among the debris. At the time of the accident three men were inside the bookstall. Harry Bewlay, who was in the centre position, fared worst. He was literally buried in the smashed wood, and when extricated was at once placed in an ambulance waggon and despatched to the infirmary. He is badly cut, but it is believed no bones have been broken. Arthur Crichton, 82 St George Road, escaped with a cut hand, and Joseph Atchison, 10 James Nisbet Street, had his thigh injured. James Barnsley (62), 1 Alexandra Parade, had a narrow escape. He was purchasing a paper when the roof of the bookstall flew over his head. Apart from the van, the train was not damaged. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 21st October, 1904, p.5. 



Asylum Patient Leaps Over Bridge. 

   Yesterday afternoon an inmate of the Convalescent House of the Fife and Kinross Asylum, named Archibald Kirk, 60 years of age, jumped into the river Eden from the bridge which crosses the river between Crawford Priory and Springfield Railway Station. A signalman observed the tragic occurrence, and, along with the station agent, hurried to the spot. Artificial respiration was tried when Kirk was got out of the water, but the efforts to bring back animation were unsuccessful. The body was removed to the Asylum. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 22nd October, 1904, p.4. 




   The single line which runs between Brechin and Bridge of Dun is fortunately free from serious accident, but this forenoon a mishap occurred to the engine attached to the tram which leaves Brechin at eleven o’clock. The engine was being run back on the opposite line to be attached to the train, in order to take it back to Brechin, but in crossing the line it missed the points, and ran into the embankment, the front wheel becoming embedded several feet. 

   The breakdown squad from Brechin was immediately wired for, and after working an hour or two the engine was replaced on the rails. Meanwhile an engine was procured from Brechin to take the train from that place to Edzell. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 25th October, 1904, p.4. 





   An accident of an alarming nature occurred on the Joint Line system at Dundee yesterday afternoon. The train from Arbroath due to reach Dundee at 3.58 p.m. was about to enter the station when the engine left the points about fifty yards east of the end of the south platform. The train was proceeding at a fair pace at the time, and a circumstance that added danger to the mishap was the fact that an engine was being shunted on the north line of rails. The derailed engine and the shunting engine collided, the impact being of such severity as to smash one of the buffers of the derailed engine, while the other engine also received damage. The permanent way was torn up, and though a large squad of men were engaged in the work of clearing the line it was ten o’clock before traffic could be resumed on the south line of rails. A considerable number of passengers were in the train at the time, and these received a severe shaking. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 25th October, 1904, p.3. 

   ACCIDENT. – On Thursday last a very sad accident occurred at Garnkirk Station, when a young porter named John Boyd lost his life. About 4.20 p.m. a passenger train for Glasgow steamed into the station, and deceased, who had been engaged on the opposite side of the railway, intended to cross the line. His attention being taken up with the stationary train, he failed to see the rapid approach of the 4.5 express from Glasgow. He was knocked down and instantaneously killed, his body being fearfully mangled. The unfortunate man, who was about 29 years of age, was unmarried. He was a native of the North of Ireland, where his aged parents still reside. About five months ago he had a very narrow escape at the time when his mate was run over and lost a foot. The latter has been in the infirmary ever since, and was discharged on Thursday, and had arranged to meet Mr Boyd in the evening. But death in all its blackness prevented the meeting. Deceased was buried in Bedlay Cemetery on Saturday afternoon. 

– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 26th October, 1904, p.5. 


   Early this morning the body of a man was found lying on the North British Railway line near Corstorphine. Several trains had apparently passed over the body, which was terribly mutilated. The police who made the discovery removed the remains to the Corstorphine mortuary. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 27th October, 1904, p.4. 

   BETWEEN 11 and 12 o’clock on Monday evening, while shunting operations were going on in the goods yard beside the N.B. Railway goods office, a coupling broke, with the result that a long train of waggons ran with considerable force against the dead buffers situated below the N.B. goods office. The end waggon was pushed over the buffers and struck the wall of the office, dislodging a number of bricks and making a hole about two feet square. Two panes of glass in the window were also broken. it will be remembered that about a year ago an accident of a similar nature occurred at this place but with much more serious consequences. 

– Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 27th October, 1904, p.5. 

   THE RAILWAY “HOLE” AGAIN. – On Saturday evening the “Hole” outside the Hamilton Caledonian Railway Station was again the scene of an accident, which considerably deranged traffic. Up till fully a year ago accidents were of frequent occurrence, but the methods taken to avoid them have been remarkably successful. On Saturday morning an engine left the rails at the points, and at half-past nine in the evening, while a Motherwell train was being shunter into the platform, the engine and one carriage went off at the diamond points, blocking both lines. Mr Hastings, the station superintendent, at once sent for a breakdown squad from Hamilton West, which, under Mr Hamilton, was shortly in attendance. The carriages which had kept the rails were removed, thus opening up the down line, on which traffic for the rest of the evening was conducted. Late trains were considerably delayed, and the passengers suffered great inconvenience. The line was not entirely cleared till early on Sunday morning. On Monday there was a further mishap; a waggon of bricks having got overturned, without, however, leading to much detention of the traffic. A more serious occurrence took place at the junction of the Bent Colliery and Cadzow lines outside the West Station, when two mineral trains collided. Being off the main line there was no interruption of traffic, but the Hamilton West and Motherwell breakdown squads were, for the greater part of the day, occupied in putting matters right. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Friday 28th October, 1904, p.4. 




   A distressing accident occurred at Nairn Railway Station last night, whereby Andrew McIntosh, unmarried, lorryman. Fort George, in the employment of Wordie & Co., had his left leg almost severed from his body by the 9.50 goods train from Forres. he died from the effects of the same in Nairn Hospital this morning. How the accident occurred is not known, but it is presumed that the unfortunate man had slipped between the platform and waggons while the latter were in motion. 

– Dundee Evening Post, Friday 28th October, 1904, p.4. 

   ACCIDENT TO A BOY. – While some boys were running over the top of the concrete which covers the subway of the new railway, one of them named Keanie fell through one of the apertures which are intended to serve for lighting up the subway, and had his arm broken at the wrist. Surely this will act as a warning to the boys to keep off the site of the railway works. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 29th October, 1904, p.6. 

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