June 1905

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1905) Contents]


   Early yesterday morning the body of a man was found on the Highland Railway at Balavil, about three miles north of Kingussie. Information was at once conveyed to the police authorities at Kingussie, and Sergeant Fraser, in the forenoon, had the remains conveyed to the town. There was nothing on the body to lead to identification, but from inquiries the man is supposed to be a tailor on tramp. Apparently about 35 years of age, the man seems to have lost his bearing and got on the railway, which runs close to and parallel with the old Inverness-Perth highway. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 1st June, 1905, p.4. 



   A distressing railway accident occurred near Ibrox Station on Wednesday afternoon, whereby a young man named James Ogilvy May (28), single, and residing at 26 Ross Street, South Side, was instantly killed. A number of workers in the employment of the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Company were working at a bridge near to Helen Street, Halfway, on the other side of Ibrox Station. May is a bricklayer, and, being engrossed in his work he failed to observe the approach of a Glasgow and South-Western passenger train from St Enoch Station, the engine of which struck him and knocked him down. He received a fracture of the skull, while both his legs were broken. Dr Barras, of Eastbourne House, examined the body, and pronounced life extinct. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Friday 2nd June, 1905, p.3. 

   AN ELGIN MAN KILLED. – Early on Wednesday morning the dead body of Alex. Menzies, tailor, Elgin, was found by surfacemen lying between the rails on the line immediately below the little hamlet of Lynchat, about two and a half miles to the north of Kingussie Station. The railway officials and police authorities at Kingussie were immediately informed of the fatality. The remains, which were very mutilated, and bore signs of having been dragged a considerable distance, were taken to Kingussie and examined by Dr Orchard, and afterwards identified. It is supposed that Menzies was run down by one of the early morning trains. How he came by the accident is not known. He is a son of Mrs Menzies, formerly of North College Street, and was a most enthusiastic member of the Elgin Cricket Club, for who he did yeoman service as a bowler. 

– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Friday 2nd June, 1905, p.4. 

   A little child had a narrow escape from being seriously injured in Gourock Station on Saturday night. Its friends were in a compartment of the 5.45 p.m. train, when it fell from the door on to the rails between the carriage and the platform. Assistance was at hand, and the little one was quickly rescued, apparently none the worse of the accident. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Monday 5th June, 1905, p.3. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – An unfortunate accident occurred early on Saturday morning to a brakesman, named Alexander Hill, who resides at Ferrie’s Place, Airbles Street. It appears that he had been engaged in shunting operations near the Lesmahagow Junction at Motherwell Station, when he fell from a buffer in front of some waggons. The wheels of the latter passed over his arm, tearing the limb from the socket, and inflicting serious injuries. After being medically attended to, the unfortunate man was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Wednesday 7th June, 1905, p.6. 





   Shortly before eight o’clock last night a serious railway accident occurred on the Deeside Railway between Ruthrieston and Holburn Street Stations. The eight o’clock suburban train from Culter had left Ruthrieston Station, when the door of a carriage occupied by Thomas Rothnie, engineer, residing at 18 Charles Street, Aberdeen, his wife and two children and another passenger flew open, and the youngest child – a boy – fell to the railroad. Rothnie, on seeing the child fall, immediately jumped after him, and fell on his head. His wife also made an attempt to jump from the train, but the other passenger in the compartment – after a struggle – was able to restrain her. He pulled the alarm cord, and the train was stopped. The officials, on being informed of what had occurred, proceeded along the line, and discovered Rothnie and the child lying between the rails in an unconscious condition, with blood issuing from wounds on their heads. The man and child were again placed in the carriage. On the arrival of the train at Aberdeen the injured persons were conveyed in the station ambulance to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found that Rothnie had sustained several severe scalp wounds, and that this his child was suffering from wounds on the forehead and nose, and from shock. At the Infirmary Rothnie regained consciousness. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 7th June, 1905, p.4. 

   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT LESMAHAGOW. – Robert Hill, a platelayer, residing at 73 North Vennel, Lanark, met with an accident, which terminated fatally, on the Lesmahagow and Muirkirk railway line, near to Lintfieldbank siding, about 5 p.m. on Thursday of last week. From inquiries made it appears that the deceased was employed as a platelayer on the Douglas railway line, and on the day of the accident he did not go to work. About one o’clock on Thursday he set out for Douglas Station, and stated to the fireman there that he had decided to leave the service of the Caledonian Railway Company, and asked for, and was paid, all wages due to him. After that he went to an inn, where he had some drink, and then returned to the station for a train. He had evidently got on to the railway and had fallen or lain down on the rails, with the result that he was run over by an engine and waggons proceeding from Carstairs en route for Aulton Heights, completely severing his left leg from the body near the thigh, his right leg a little below the knee, and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand. He was conveyed in a railway van to the Lockhart Hospital, Lanark, where his limbs were properly amputated and his wounds dressed. The unfortunate man was attended to by Drs Adams, sen., and jun.; Dr. McLaughlan Banks, Lanark; and Dr Harrison, Lesmahagow. No hope was entertained of his recovery, and the injured man died at 9 p.m. the same evening. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Wednesday 7th June, 1905, p.3. 






   A TERRIBLE accident occurred at Almond Valley Railway Junction on Saturday morning whereby a middle-aged man, presently unidentified, was cut to pieces by an engine. About three o’clock on Saturday morning, the driver of the Express goods train from Aberdeen was shocked to find the body of a man lying between the rails at about 140 yards north of Almond Valley Junction. Immediately on observing the mangled remains, the train was stopped and the driver communicated with the station officials, who in turn sent word to the County Police. Detective-Seargeant Duncan Macpherson proceeded at once to the place. The body of the unknown man was in a frightful state of mutilation. The legs were completely severed from the body, the head was lying some distance from the trunk, while the face itself was frightfully disfigured. It is thought the man was about thirty-five years of age, and probably about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches in height. He was stoutly built with dark hair and moustache, but no whiskers. He was dressed in a blue serge jacket, and wore shepherd tartan trousers, grey striped woollen upper shirt and gray semmit and drawers, grey single peaked cap with heather socks and pair of black dress lacing boots. The remains were removed to the Ambulance Hall at Almond Valley Junction, but as yet have not been identified. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 12th June, 1905, p.3. 


   About half-past nine this morning, while William Miller, a porter at the Caledonian Railway Station, Edinburgh, was crossing the line outside Princes Street Station he was overtaken by an incoming train, the buffer of which struck him. He was knocked clear of the rails, but the blow caused serious injuries to his chest and head. First-aid was rendered by the station officials, among whom were Mr Peter Gillespie, the stationmaster, and Mr Angus Mackinnon, carriage inspector. The injured man was afterwards removed to the Royal Infirmary. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 12th June, 1905, p.2. 

   RAILWAY TRAIN ON FIRE. – Yesterday afternoon about 4.30 the unusual sight was seen of an engine pulling trucks into Dunblane Station with the contents blazing. In a goods train from Callander a truck filled with furniture was observed, when about a mile outside of Dunblane, to be on fire. The rear part of the train was at once uncoupled, and the front part brought forward. On the way the truck in front, containing hay, also took fire, and both furniture and hay was utterly consumed. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 13th June, 1905, p.6. 

   James Bennet, platelayer, in the service of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company, was killed on Friday afternoon by a passing goods train about a quarter of a mile south of Hollywood Station. 

– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 14th June, 1905, p.7. 

   ACCIDENT IN DALZELL STEEL WORKS. – A peculiar accident is reported to have occurred in the Dalzell Steel Works on Monday. A labourer, named James Naugley, who resides in Scott St., was, it appears, resting beside a railway siding, when a passing engine accidentally knocked down a log of wood on the top of him. The unfortunate man had one of his legs fractured and was removed to the Royal Infirmary. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Wednesday 14th June, 1905, p.6. 

   RAILWAY FATALITY NEAR DUNDEE. – The death of David Gulland, an elderly man, who for 36 years had been employed as a platelayer on the Dundee-Newtyle Railway, and who was killed as the result of a peculiar accident at Auchtertyre cutting, near Newtyle, on 31st March, was the subject of an inquiry by Sheriff Campbell Smith and a jury at Dundee yesterday. Evidence showed that a squad of railway men were engaged, under Gulland’s guidance, removing part of the embankment to make the slope more gradual, and that deceased was last seen alive half-way up the declivity. No one saw the accident actually happen, but a rumbling noise, such as might be caused by the fall of heavy stones, arrested the workmen’s attention, and the unfortunate man was found, with his skull fractured, lying beneath a large quantity of boulders and earth which had fallen from the embankment. A formal verdict was returned. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 16th June, 1905, p.6. 






   A SHOCKING railway accident occurred at Murthly Station this morning. As the 6 a.m. train from Inverness was approaching the platform at Murthly a young farmer named Robert Keill of Fairville, near Murthly, attempted to cross the line from one platform to another, but was caught by the engine and dragged for several yards. When the train was brought to a standstill it was found that the unfortunate young man had lost one of his arms, it having practically been torn off from the shoulder. He was lifted into the guard’s van of the train and conveyed to Perth. From the Perth Station he was removed on the ambulance barrow to the Infirmary. Although the unfortunate young man had received serious injuries, especially about the back, in addition to the loss of his arm, he never for a moment lost consciousness. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Friday 16th June, 1905, p.3. 



Murthly Victim Succumbs. 

   The accident which occurred at the Murthly Railway Station yesterday has proved fatal, the victim, Robert Keill, a farmer at Farehill, near Murthly, dying in the Infirmary this morning about 4.30. 

   The deceased was endeavouring to cross the line in front of a train, when he was caught by the engine and dragged for several yards, sustaining shocking injuries. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Saturday 17th June, 1905, p.3. 

   TWO fatal accidents occurred in Edinburgh on Monday. A railway porter named William Millar, who resides at 3 Caledonian Place, was knocked down by an engine at the Caledonian Station. He died shortly afterwards… 

   On Saturday evening the body of an elderly man, which has not yet been identified, was discovered on the goods line behind the N. B. passenger station at Montrose. The head was practically severed from the body. 

– Strathearn Herald, Saturday 17th June, 1905, p.2. 




   An accident of a serious nature occurred about half-past six o’clock yesterday morning in the immediate vicinity of the Joint Railway Station, involving the loss of a leg to a signal-fitter, named George Mutch (32), who resides at 130 Wellington Road. It is supposed that Mutch was walking alongside the rails towards the Joint Station, and failing to observe the approach of an engine, which was shunting, he was run down and very severely injured. An ambulance squad was soon on the scene of the accident, and every assistance that first aid could render was given. It was very evident that Mutch was in a dangerous condition, and he was removed to the Royal Infirmary, where it was ascertained that his left leg was so severely crushed below the knee as to necessitate amputation. It was also discovered that the right thigh bone had been fractured, but that no other serious injuries had been sustained. The operation was successfully performed, and on inquiry at the Infirmary we learn that the unfortunate man in progressing favourably. 

   How the accident occurred is not known, but it is thought that Mutch must have been in the act of stepping on to the four-foot way when the engine struck him on the left side, and threw him to the ground, the wheels passing over his left leg. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 17th June, 1905, p.4. 




   EARLY last Saturday morning a shocking fatality occurred on the Caledonian railway at Almond Valley Junction, about two miles from Perth, a man of about 35 years of age being killed and mutilated almost beyond recognition. The man was discovered by an engine-driver on a goods train, which was proceeding from Aberdeen to Perth. On his arrival at Perth General Station he notified the officials of the circumstance, and several of the station staff left for the Junction on a pilot engine. On their arrival the body was found about 140 yards north from the distant signal on the down line. The man’s head, which was practically knocked into pulp, and his arms were lying at different places on the permanent way, while the body was otherwise terribly mutilated. The man is supposed to have been run down by an Aberdeen train, but how he came to be on the line is not known. On Saturday evening the body was identified as that of Andrew Mitchell, labourer, who was employed as a watchman at Craigie Haugh, which belongs to the town. 

– Strathearn Herald, Saturday 17th June, 1905, p.4. 


   A respectable-looking lad, named Michael Hand, residing at Saunders Street, was brought before Bailie Dobie at Edinburgh Police Court to-day on a charge of having, on the 4th inst., on the North British Railway line between Hariothill and Bonnington Station, maliciously tampered with a railway signal, to the danger of passengers. He pleaded guilty. The fiscal explained that accused and some other lads had been standing by the side of the line and working the lever connected with a signal which was set against a train. Fortunately, the signal was never completely lowered, and returned to its position when the lever was let go. On the same afternoon, a little after this occurrence, an accident happened near the same place, through a signal being wrong. An engine and tender were derailed, and damage to the extent of £50 done to the company’s property. Accused stated that he had not actually touched the lever, but had lifted up the wire connecting the lever and the signal once or twice, and then let it go, returning the signal to its former position. Bailie Dobie pointed out the seriousness of the offence, and passed sentence of 10s, or three days’ imprisonment, putting accused under £2 caution, or other three days. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 21st June, 1905, p.2. 

   RAILWAY GUARD KILLED AT KILMARNOCK. – A fatality occurred at the north end of Kilmarnock railway station yesterday afternoon. While shunting operations were being carried on in the long lyes there was occasion to throw the goods van into a different siding from that of the engine and the rest of the train, and the van somehow or other came to a standstill at a crossing and could not be got to move. Andrew Edwards, goods guard, attempted to push the van with a sprag, and while doing so he got jammed between the van and the engine, and was so severely injured that he died in a few minutes. Deceased, who was thirty-five years of age and unmarried, resided in Caledonia Road, Glasgow. 

– Scotsman, Friday 23rd June, 1905, p.7. 

   EXTRAORDINARY WASH-OUT ON THE WEST HIGHLAND RAILWAY. – Intelligence has reached Fort-William of an alarming mishap on the West Highland Railway in the vicinity of Tulloch Station, by which several portions of the embankment have been washed away, and large gaps left, with the rails overhanging gulfs, in parts thirty feet deep. Particulars at the time of wiring are unobtainable, but as a thunderstorm prevailed throughout the Lochaber district during the greater part of yesterday, it is assumed that a cloud-burst or waterspout occurred in the uplands, resulting in an unprecedented volume of water being swirled down the courses of the various burns and hill streams. The railway culverts and drains have been quite inadequate to pass this rush of water, so that in a very short time the embankments at various points were soon pierced by the force of the raging water. When the news was telephoned to Fort-William, arrangements were at once made for the dispatch of the flying squads located at the latter place and at Crianlarich, and these workmen would be engaged during the whole of last night repairing the line; but it is feared that difficulty will eb experienced in completing the work so as to permit through communication by the early trains to-day. Mishaps of a similar nature also occurred on the public road between Fort-William and Kingussie, where several bridges and culverts, which have stood the storms of centuries have been washed away. While full information is still wanting as to the precise nature of this somewhat extraordinary occurrence, it is not a little strange to note that at a distance of ten miles on either side of the affected area practically no rain fell, the weather being very sultry with bright sunshine at times. 


   RAILWAY FATALITY. – Between twelve and one o’clock yesterday morning, while a train of waggons was being shunted on the railway at Mavisbank Quay, Glasgow, a man who gave the name of James Brown (31), engineer, was found lying under one of the waggons in a seriously injured condition. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary, where some hours later he died. 

– Scotsman, Monday 26th June, 1905, p.6. 

   RAILWAY SURFACEMAN KILLED. – Samuel Clark (17), railway surfaceman, who resided at Monkwood Mill, Cassillis, was killed on the Glasgow and South-Western Railway between Maybole Junction and Cassillis Station yesterday afternoon through being run down by the 11.30 a.m. train from Stranraer. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 27th June, 1905, p.6. 



Mishap at Law Junction. 

   An accident occurred on the main line of the Caledonian Railway at Law Junction, twenty miles from Glasgow, this morning. The limited mail train, which left Euston last night, was passing the junction when a vehicle near the engine left the rails, dragging six other carriages with it. No one was injured, but the up and down lines were blocked, and the permanent way torn up. Traffic was considerably delayed, but the passengers proceeded by another train. The line was cleared this afternoon. 



   Fortunately the Scottish express was drawing up, as the signals were against it, otherwise a serious accident must have happened. The train usually passes the junction at express speed. None of the passengers were injured. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 29th June, 1905, p.5. 

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