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September 1905

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1905) Contents]





   Yesterday morning, William McCarridale, about 60 years of age, a hutch repairer, who resided in Caledonian Road, was fatally injured on the main line of the Caledonian Railway. He was proceeding to his work at Shields Colliery shortly before six o’clock, and had evidently been making to cross the line at a point near Shields signal cabin, when he was struck by an engine and van travelling at a slow rate from Motherwell in the direction of Shieldmuir. 

   The unfortunate man was thrown clear of the line, but when picked up it was found he had been seriously injured about the head, his cheek bone being fractured, while he was suffering from a deep scalp wound. 

   McCarridale was taken to Flemington Station and attended by Dr Robertson, who ordered his removal to the Royal Infirmary, but the unfortunate man succumbed to his injuries on the way. He leaves a wife but no family. 

– Wishaw Press, Friday 1st September, 1905, p.2. 


   A rather sensational case of sudden death occurred at the Railway Station on Saturday evening. An elderly woman hailing from Glasgow was returning by train from Aberdeen, where she had been spending a holiday along with her husband and several other friends, and on the journey she became ill, and just as the train was entering the station she suddenly expired. The body of the unfortunate woman was taken right on to Glasgow. 

– Forfar Herald, Friday 1st September, 1905, p.8. 

   THE ST. COMBS LIGHT RAILWAY. – On Monday there arrived in Fraserburgh a combined engine and car for use on the light railway between Fraserburgh and St. Combs. The engine at present running on the line is too heavy, and the expenses unnecessarily great for working the traffic on the system. The new engine, which is about half the size of an ordinary locomotive, is attached to the car. Both the engine and car are extremely neat and beautifully finished. The car will be lighted by electricity, which is generated by the locomotive. A large number of the fisher folk of the villages examined the car and expressed themselves highly pleased with the luxurious and comfortable carriage which the railway company had placed at their disposal. 

– Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser for Buchan District, Saturday 2nd September, 1905, p.5. 





   The danger of level crossings was amply demonstrated at Wemyss Castle Station on Thursday. 

   The passengers who were waiting for the Methil train were horrified to see two little children, aged about two and three years respectively, walk on to the line just as a heavy mineral train came through the Wemyss Mineral Bridge, tender first. 

   One or two of the station staff at once rushed up the line, but by this time the elder of the two, evidently thinking something was wrong, turned and recrossed the metals, getting safely over. 

   Her young companion followed, and only got clear by the matter of a foot or so. 

   We understand that the agent at Wemyss Castle has time and again endeavoured to get something done to safeguard this crossing, as the chance of children straying on to the line is a source of constant worry to the staff. 

– Fifeshire Advertiser, Saturday 2nd September, 1905, p.3. 

   RAILWAY STATION SCENE. – The North British Railway Station at Cowlairs, Glasgow, was on Saturday night the scene of a wild disturbance, several railway officials and two young men who were passengers being implicated. It is alleged that when the4 ticket collectors proceeded to inspect the tickets of the passengers on the last train from Kilsyth, they found two young men, named John Nicol and John Williamson, asleep in a compartment, and that these two passengers refused to give up their tickets when awakened. The two were ejected after some trouble, and during the struggle which ensued on the platform Nicol and a railway constable rolled on to the line, where the fight was continued. At the St Rollox Police Court yesterday Nicol and Williamson pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, protesting that they had been assaulted, but after evidence had been led they were found guilty. Nicol was fined £5, with the alternative of thirty days’ imprisonment, and Williamson £3, 3s., with the same option. 


   DEATH IN A RAILWAY STATION. – On the arrival at Grahamston Railway Station, Falkirk, yesterday, of one of the morning trains from Larbert, a gentleman passenger was found lying in an unconscious condition in one of the carriages. He was removed to a waiting-room, but before medical assistance could be obtained death took place. The body was identified as that of Mr John Simpson, 58 years of age, a member of the firm of Messrs Simpson & Young, joiners and builders, Stenhousemuir. Death was due to failure of the heart. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 5th September, 1905, p.4. 


   On Saturday, Edward Miller, a young man of twenty-five, in the employment of the Caledonian Railway Company as a cleaner, was killed at Stirling Station. 

   He was returning from breakfast about nine o’clock, and when crossing to the sheds was struck by a train from the south and killed on the spot. 

   Miller resided in Irvine Place, Stirling, and had only been six weeks in the Company’s service. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 11th September, 1905, p.7. 


   On Saturday morning Edward Miller, 25 years of age, and a native of East Ham, was knocked down and instantly killed by the train from Denny due at 8.55. He was employed as a cleaner by the Caledonian Railway Company, and in avoiding a shunting engine got in front of the locomotive of the oncoming Denny train. A pathetic feature of the accident is that Miller was about to be married. He had been only six weeks in the service of the Company, and three weeks ago met with a mishap which necessitated removal to the Royal Infirmary. The body was removed to the mortuary at the County Buildings. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 11th September, 1905, p.4. 


   This morning while a woman, supposed to be the wife of a slater residing in Elgin, was going up the Highland Railway to Haughland, where she was to work at the harvest, she was knocked down by the 7.50 train from Elgin, and severely injured. She was removed to Gray’s Hospital and no hope is entertained of her recovery. She was about 40 years of age. 



   On Saturday night information was received by the Cowdenbeath Station officials from passengers by the 9.53 Perth train, that a gentleman had jumped out of the train when between Halbeath and Crossgates. The matter was reported to Halbeath, and investigation was made, but except the discovery of a cap and marks of blood, no trace of the man was found. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 11th September, 1905, p.3. 


   Hugh Gibson, railway surfaceman, Auchengray, while working near Auchengray Station yesterday, was knocked down and killed by an express passenger train. Deceased had stepped clear of a train on the one line, but in front of a train coming from the opposite direction. When picked up, he was fearfully mangled, the head being severed from the body. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 12th September, 1905, p.4. 

   HOIST FATALITY IN AN EDINBURGH HOTEL. – Shortly after eight o’clock last evening, while George Stephenson, a young man in charge of the hoist at the North British Station Hotel, was in the act of conveying three ladies by the hoist from the street level to the Waverley Station, he had occasion to get out of the cage at one of the floors. Just as he was in the act of stepping into the cage again; it moved, and the unfortunate man was severely crushed against one of the sides of the well, and afterwards fell to the bottom, a distance of fifty feet. He was immediately removed to the Royal Infirmary, but died from the effects of his injuries on being admitted. 


   FATAL ACCIDENT AT SHOTTS. – A fatal accident occurred on Sunday afternoon to a labourer named James Sanderson, about thirty years of age, belonging to Leith, and employed at Shotts Ironworks, filling ore. On returning to his work after dinner, he stepped in front of a locomotive engine which was in motion, and was instantaneously killed. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 12th September, 1905, p.4. 


   On Saturday while the 2.5 p-m. train from Arbroath to Carmyllie was ascending the steep gradient at the entrance to Kelly Den one of the steam pipes of the engine burst. The fireman, J. Samuel Mailer, and the driver, John Soutar, both residing in Arbroath, had their hands and wrists severely burned. They were brought to the station at Elliot and attended to by Mr Carnegie, the stationmaster. The fireman was so severely burned that he had to go to the Arbroath Infirmary, where he was medically attended to. The bursting of the pipe caused a considerable quantity of ashes to fly about, and as the train contained a large number of young folks on their way to the Guynd festivities, considerable alarm prevailed for a short time until the real extent of the accident was known. Mr Carnegie telegraphed to Arbroath for another engine, and after a delay of an hour and a quarter the train proceeded on the journey. 

– Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs, Thursday 14th September, 1905, p.4. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT. – Croy station was on Tuesday the scene of a distressing fatality. Mr Robert Allan, aged 55, carter, Croy Mill, had intended to travel by the 9.34 a.m. train to Larbert to see the Tryst. He crossed the rails in rear of a train and in doing so failed to observe the approach of a goods train, which caught and hurled him on to the track. The railway officials did all they could to assist Mr Allan, whose injuries were of such a terrible nature that he died in about ten minutes. Deceased, who was well known and respected in the district, belonged to the Landlands, in the Southern District, and was unmarried. 

– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Friday 15th of September, 1905, p.3. 

   ACCIDENT TO A SCHOOLBOY. – James Wilson, son of Mr Wilson, Alpha Cottage, Kirkintilloch, was the victim of a serious accident on Lenzie Moss on Wednesday afternoon. The lad is a pupil at the Academy, and at the dinner hour had been playing along with some other lads about the bogeys used by the engineers demolishing the machinery, lately employed in utilising the moss, in conveying the dismembered machinery to a waggon lying in a siding at Lenzie. Three boys were having a ride on a bogey, Wilson being in front, when the vehicle gathering momentum, dashed away. Two lads who were behind jumped clear, but Wilson was carried along and when the bogey hit the broadside of the waggon his leg was caught between the two and he was with the bogey pitched right over into the inside of the waggon. It was found that besides bruises the lad had sustained a broken leg. 

– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Friday 15th September, 1905, p.2. 

Sad Fatal Accident on the Railway. 

   A fatal accident of a most distressing nature occurred out at the Goods Station on Tuesday afternoon. Robert Howie, carter, in the employment of Mr Wm. Lucas, carting contractor, had been working down at the railway siding nearest to the road leading to Newark Castle. He crossed the line and went over to the Goods Station to get some men to assist him to load his lorry. He was returning by the railway, when, like lightning, he was overtaken by the passenger train due at Port-Glasgow at eleven minutes to four. The driver of the engine was quite unconscious of the disaster, and nobody seems to have witnessed the occurrence. As may easily be understood, the body was terribly mutilated. The remains were collected together, and conveyed to the burgh mortuary. The body was coffined and conveyed to residence of deceased following day. Robert Howie was well known in the district. He was coming fifty years of age, and resided at 18 Clune Braefoot, where the Howies have been known for many years. His father was the late Andrew Howie, contractor, and for some time a member of the Town Council. He was brother to the widow of the late Hugh McCormick, whose first husband also met his death in an equally sudden manner. Deceased, who was much esteemed by his associates, leaves a widow and family, for whom there is much sympathy in their sudden bereavement. 

– Port-Glasgow Express, Friday 15th September, 1905, p.2. 

   LEAP FROM EXPRESS TRAIN. – Considerable alarm was occasioned amongst the passengers in an Edinburgh-to-Perth train on Saturday night by a man leaping out of the door of one of the compartments. It appears that the Perth portion of the train leaving the Edinburgh Waverley at 9.5, and timed to reach Dunfermline Lower at 9.40, had just passed Halbeath Station when the passengers were horrified to see the figure of a man leaping from a carriage. On arriving at Cowdenbeath Station (the first stop after Dunfermline) the matter was reported to the officials. So far, however, the identity of the person who took the dangerous leap is unknown. The line near the Halbeath Station was traversed with the view of discovering if any mishap had occurred to the man, but the only trace of the foolish escapade were a cap lying on the permanent way, and marks of blood on the sleepers. The train consisted of only six vehicles, and, with a heavy engine, it was estimated that it must have been going at the rate of about thirty miles an hour. The man was afterwards traced. His name is David Fraser Pratt, House Row, Halbeath. Except some bruises on his hands and face, he seems little the worse of his escapade. 

– Kinross-shire Advertiser, Saturday 16th September, 1905, p.2. 

   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – The Highland Railway bridge over the Lossie at Palmercross, better known locally as the Dirlin’ Brig, was on Monday the scene of an accident which unhappily has had a fatal termination. A woman, since identified as the wife of Robert Mackay, slater, High Street, Elgin, was proceeding between the rails westwards towards Haughland, where she was employed for harvest. The 7.50 a.m. train from Elgin soon overtook her. The driver of the engine sounded his whistle, but the woman appeared to take no notice. When the locomotive was almost upon her she apparently realised her position, and made a dash for the side of the bridge. Her effort was too late, however, for the buffer of the engine caught her, hurling her with great force against the parapet of the bridge. The unfortunate woman was terribly bruised about the head, and was removed to Gray’s Hospital in a very critical condition. Although no hope was entertained of her recovery she lingered until Tuesday morning, when she succumbed to her injuries. 

– Northern Scot and Moray & Nairn Express, Saturday 16th September, 1905, p.5. 

Invergowrie Station. 


To the Editor of the Evening Telegraph and Post. 

   Sir, – You will be pleased to hear that the Railway Company have at last given some attention to this station. They have gone the length of erecting a notice forbidding any one to cross the rails except by the bridge. Having done this, I suppose they consider themselves free from liability in case of accident. But, sir, the passengers by trains coming from Dundee must get across to the north side somehow, and suppose they take the necessary journey and cross the bridge, what do they get in return for their waste of time and energy? Certainly they do not add to their safety. Those who do not know this station can scarcely believe this, but when you consider that a large part of the north platform which must be passed is only seven feet wide, the danger is very obvious; in fact, walking two abreast, there is just about three feet between the passenger and a passing train, and which of us would care to be only that distance away from a train passing at express speed? That being so, the passengers choose the lesser of the two evils, and so cross the rails in spite of the notice. The passenger traffic at this station is increasing every year, and so as the Railway Company do not provide a safe and convenient way of crossing the rails so long will they be responsible for any accident, and they can’t complain of not having the danger pointed out to them. the shed which is used as a lamproom, left luggage office, general store, and waiting-room (if there is any space left), has got its annual “spring cleaning,” and as goods traffic is rather quiet a dozen passengers inside; the rest have the privilege of waiting outside without the slightest shelter from wind or rain. – I am, &c., 

J. P.    

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 18th September, 1905, p.3. 

   LOCOMOTIVE ACCIDENT AT KILBIRNIE. – On Saturday afternoon as Hugh McGhee, locomotive driver, was driving his engine down the incline after emptying some bogies of slag, he was thrown off at a curve, and the wheels of the bogies ran over his left arm. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. 

– Scotsman, Monday 18th September, 1905, p.6. 

   KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – On Sunday morning, a little before 6 o’clock, a young man, who has since been identified as James McInnes, aged 26, a native of Inverness, and who had been working as foreman labourer at the new lodge, at present under construction at Advie, was found killed on the Speyside section of the Great North of Scotland Railway a little above the Aberlour Station. The discovery was made by Mr Charles Coutts, roadman, residing at Pacific Buildings, who had been taking a walk along the Elchies Road, which passes over the railway by a bridge near the scene of the accident. It is supposed the man had wandered on to the railway, and had been run down by the Aberdeen excursion train the previous night, which is timed to reach Aberlour on its homeward journey about 7.55 p.m. The unfortunate man had been carried by the train a distance of about three yards. His right leg was severed a little below the knee, and his head was badly smashed. He was otherwise injured about the body, and had evidently been instantly killed. Constable Thomson was summoned to the scene, along with Mr Marr, stationmaster, and Dr Catto, at present acting assistant to Dr Sellar, and, with the assistance of some others, had the body removed on a stretcher to the mortuary at the Fleming Cottage Hospital, where, during the evening, it was identified by an aunt, who had journeyed from Advie to discharge this painful duty. 

– Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser, Tuesday 19th September, 1905, p.8. 


   Yesterday afternoon a distressing accident the second within a week, occurred near the junction signal cabin at the Caledonian Goods Station. Archibald Borthwick, brakesman, was walking alongside the train to which he was attached, when he was caught by the buffer of a passenger train going to Wemyss Bay, and thrown against the waggons on the loop line. He was picked up unconscious. Dr Macarthur found that the man’s skull had been fractured, and that he had received other serious injuries. The unfortunate brakesman was taken to the Infirmary, where he died the same evening. He resided at 3 Broomhill Street, Greenock, and leaves a widow and six children. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Tuesday 19th September, 1905, p.2. 



Flying Parcel Strikes Man. 

   A singular accident was witnessed by a number of passengers for the Review in Edinburgh at Crossgates Station on Monday morning about eight o’clock. 

   A fast train from Dundee was passing the station at a fast rate when the guard flung out a large parcel of newspapers, which struck a man named Muir, an engineer at Hill of Beath, with such violence that he was rendered unconscious for some time, restoratives having to be given before he recovered. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 20th September, 1905, p.4. 



   Yesterday morning, about six o’clock, the dead body of a man was found lying on the down line about one hundred yards north of Carluke Station. The body was terribly cut, and part of the head severed. The remains were identified as those of William Brown, labourer, aged 52, residing at Mount Stewart Street, Carluke. He would seem to have been killed by an express train passing Carluke about three o’clock. Part of his clothing was found on the engine at Perth Station, its first stop. 


   A lad named James Mackenzie, residing in Mill Street, while engaged on the railway at the north end of the General Station yesterday forenoon had his foot severely bruised between two waggons. At the Infirmary it was ascertained that no bones had been broken. 



   ACCIDENT TO A RAILWAY GUARD. – Yesterday afternoon John McKay (60), a goods guard, was engaged on the dock lines uncoupling some mineral waggons, when the pole slipped, and his hand was caught between the buffers, and badly injured. It is feared it will have to be amputated. McKay, after being attended to by Dr Spence, was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. 


   NAVVY BURIED IN SAND. – Roderick McLean (18), navvy, Cairneyhill, while working in connection with the construction of the new Kincardine to Dunfermline railway, had a narrow escape from serious injury. He was digging in sand, when a large quantity fell from a height of between twelve and fifteen feet on the top of him. He was buried up to the neck in the sand, and sustained injuries to his back and breast, while his lower limbs were temporarily disabled. 

– Dundee Courier, Thursday 21st September, 1905, p.6. 

   RAILWAY AUTOMATIC COUPLING TEST. – A successful demonstration of Darling’s patent automatic coupling was given yesterday in the Glasgow College goods station of the North British Railway Company. The inventor of the coupling is Mr John Darling, engineer, Glasgow, who in 1886 carried off at Nine Elms, London, the first prize in a competition open to the world for automatic couplings. His present production could hardly be surpassed for simplicity and effective working. Dispensing as it does with the side buffers, and using only a centre buffer in conjunction with the coupling, there is a considerable saving in cost, while the risk to life and limb is greatly minimised. The apparatus consists of a bell-mouthed head, which acts as a buffer, and which forms part of the draw-bar, and to which the coupling hook is pivoted. Carried along the upper side of the draw-bar and passing through the headstock of the vehicle there is a rod having a pin or tooth on its inner end, with which a pawl, connected to the cross-bar carrying the handles is in the position for uncoupling. The coupling link (and one only is required) is pivoted to the end of the draw-bar, and lies on a flat formed on the inside of the bell-mouthed head. When it is desired to couple two or more vehicles, the handle on either side of the waggon is simply thrown over into the “on” position, that is to say, the pawl is made to disengage the pin or tooth, and the vehicles brought together. The energy of the impact forces the coupling link on one of the waggons to come into contact with the hook on the opposite waggon, and raises it until the point of it slightly projects beyond the end of the link, when the hook, by its own weight, falls and becomes engaged with the link, thereby automatically coupling the waggons. When it is desired to uncouple, one of the handles is simply slung or thrown over to the “off” position, and in so doing the pawl engages with the pin or tooth and holds the rod in a fixed position. The pull on the vehicles raises the hook and, it becoming disengaged from its hold on the link, the uncoupling is effected, and the link falls to its normal position on to the rest. The operation of coupling or uncoupling, as will be observed, is performed with little or no exertion or labour on the part of the shunter. This automatic coupling can be adapted to the existing chain coupling on the carriages and waggons without any inconvenience to the railway traffic in the transition stage of introducing the invention, and is automatically uncoupled in the same manner as that described. At yesterday’s demonstration the couplings were thoroughly tested in presence of Lord Kelvin and a company representative of all the principal railways. The most acute curves at the goods station were satisfactorily negotiated, and Lord Kelvin and several other gentlemen expressed themselves as pleased with the4 result of the test. The patent agents are Messrs Bottomley & Liddle, 154 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. 

– Scotsman, Thursday 21st September, 1905, p.4. 




   A serious accident occurred last night at the Kittybrewster railway station, Aberdeen, whereby James Wilson (43), commercial traveller, residing at 82 Great Northern Road, was severely injured. It appears that Mr Wilson was travelling from the north in the train due at Aberdeen at 7.25 p.m. On the arrival of the train at Kittybrewster station, Mr Wilson opened the door of the carriage in which he was seated before the train had actually stopped. The result was that he fell between the carriage and the edge of the platform, and was dragged some distance before the train was brought to a standstill. His head and feet were jammed between the carriage footboard and the platform. On being extricated from his perilous position, he was seen by Dr Christie, who ordered his removal to the Royal Infirmary, where he lies in a precarious condition. Up to a late hour last night, Mr Wilson had not regained consciousness. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 22nd September, 1905, p.4. 


   The proposed amalgamation between the Great North of Scotland and Highland Railway Companies has given rise to many conjectures as to how passenger and goods traffic will be affected. It is felt among representative traders that no reduction in rates complained of at present need be looked for, while it may be that increased rates will have to be paid in some districts. The leading men on the directorate of both companies are convinced that the amalgamation would be a good thing, and little difficulty is anticipated in securing Parliamentary sanction to the scheme. It is thought an appropriate name for the combine would be the Great Highland Railway Company. 

   At Inverness, Elgin, and several of the more important stations of the Highland line there is strong opposition to the proposed amalgamation. The removal of the railway works, should such a step be taken, would decrease employment in Inverness, and it is feared that through rates may operate to the disadvantage of local trades-people and make Aberdeen the distributing centre for the whole of the northern part of Scotland. Such a policy would also have some little effect on the shipping trade to Moray Firth ports. On the other hand, the friction between the companies in the vicinity of Keith and Elgin, which has been to the disadvantage of the public, will be removed. Inverurie hopes for the extension of the engineering works, an increase in the number of workers, and in consequence increased valuation and reduced taxation. Thurso people would have preferred to hear of the Highland line being absorbed by the Caledonian Railway Company. It is hoped in some quarters that the proposed line from Stanley Junction to Dundee may now be made. 


   The opinion of several traders in Aberdeen have been elicited in regard to the proposed amalgamation. Ex-Lord Provost Fleming believes that amalgamation, on the whole, will be for the benefit of both railway companies and of the people of the North generally. Probably the traders would not get such keen-cut rates to certain places, but, taking everything into account, Mr Fleming does not expect that much difference will be made on the rates for goods. He thinks amalgamation will lead to more trains running direct to Inverness by the Mulben route and fewer by Craigellachie and the coast route, which will be principally served by local trains. One of the leading merchant traders in the city says that traders generally view the proposed amalgamation with equanimity so far as their trade interests are concerned. Of course, the railway monopoly in the North will be complete when the amalgamation takes place, but the traders are not in the least dismayed, as the strong competition to the railway by sea makes their position, so far as the carriage of their goods is concerned, perfectly secure. Neither do the traders hope for cheaper rates from the joint railway company. 


   It is understood (says an Aberdeen correspondent) that no “policy” has yet been formed by the railway authorities, beyond that of affording increased facilities to the travelling public, and of securing traders against a rise in rates. That the joint company will be in a position to give effect to such a programme may be inferred from the fact that the total economics which it is expected will be effected by the union have been calculated roughly at £37,000 per annum. It is stated also that the scheme provides that an effort will be made to find employment in the reassorted staffs for as many of the officers as possible, and that men whose services have to be dispensed with will be dealt with liberally and considerately. The readjustment of the details of the scheme has been remitted to a joint sub-committee consisting of three members of each Board, and this body will, it is expected, begin its sittings a fortnight hence. Everything meantime promises a favourable and comparatively speedy issue to their labours. The existing divergences which have respect, it is said, to contingent claims affecting some of the stocks, have been reduced to a minimum; and it is hoped that matters may be so advanced that the parties may find themselves in a position by November to give formal notice of their intention of asking for Parliamentary powers next session. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 22nd September, 1905, p.2. 


   The only other inquiry was that into the circumstances attending the death of an old man Edward Flannigan, a railway surfaceman, 14A Church Street, Coatbridge. About 3.40 p.m. on 14th August he had been sitting on the south platform of Sunnyside Station, N.B.R., dangling his legs over the edge of the platform when a goods and mineral train came west from Kipps. The driver, on noticing Flannigan in his perilous position, blew the whistle of the engine and tried to stop the train, but he was unable to do so, and the footplate of the engine struck the old man and knocked him over so that the train passed over him. He was taken into the station, examined by Dr Cordiner, and removed to the Alexander Hospital, where he died the following morning. He had sustained a severe injury on the head. A formal verdict was returned. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 23rd September, 1905, p.5. 



Child Caught by Hair and Saved. 

   Lewis Birnie, cooper, Broad Street, Fraserburgh, pleaded guilty, before Bailie Coutts at Aberdeen on Tuesday, to having, at the Joint Passenger Railway Station, Aberdeen, opened one of the doors of a carriage of a train in motion, with the result that a woman and a child fell out of the compartment. 

   Birnie said that was the last train home, and he wished to catch it. He therefore opened the door of the carriage to jump in. 

   The Fiscal said that if a man had not caught the child by the hair there might have been a serious accident. A fine of 15s. was imposed, with the option of seven days in prison. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 23rd September, 1905, p.7. 

   ENGINE DERAILED. – Considerable excitement was caused at the [Ellon] station on Saturday night by the engine which was attached to the 7.55 train dashing into the buffer stop at the south end of the station and becoming derailed. traffic was not interrupted. The engine was replaced on the metals by about three o’clock on Sunday morning. 

– Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser for Buchan District, Saturday 23rd September, 1905, p.4. 



   A sensation was created in athletic and volunteer circles in Glasgow on Saturday by the news that Mr Donald C. Sillars, the ex-International football player, had met with a serious accident the previous night. The injured man was found lying on the main line of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway in Salkeld Street in the south side of the city in an unconscious condition, terribly injured. He was conveyed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where his injuries were found to be so serious that the surgeons were compelled to have his right foot amputated on Saturday. 

   Mr Sillars was seen off by a friend in the last train from St Enoch Station, and it is supposed that he must have fallen out of the carriage on the permanent way, where he was run over. 

   Our Glasgow representative inquired at Glasgow Royal Infirmary last night as to the condition of Sillars, and learned that he underwent another operation yesterday, and that his condition was grave indeed. 

   One of the most popular members of the Queen’s Park Football Club a decade ago, Mr Sillars represented Scotland against England in 1892 and 1894, in the latter year proving more than a match for the speedy Spikesley, with whom he had several interesting duels. He was one of the finest athletic figures that ever wore the amateurs’ famous colours. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 25th September, 1905, p.6. 



Perth Youth’s Narrow Escape. 

   The dangerous practice of throwing sundry articles from passenger trains nearly culminated in a very serious accident at  Forgandenny Station, near Perth, yesterday forenoon. 

   An excursion train was passing through the station on its way to Perth, when suddenly a whisky bottle came banging out with considerable force from one of the compartments in the train. The missile was not specially thrown at any particular person, but a young man named Moffat, belonging to Perth, who was standing on the platform at the time, was severely hit on the chest. The injury was serious enough to incapacitate the youth from his work for a day. 

   It is a rather peculiar coincidence that only the previous day a platelayer engaged in the same vicinity had to be treated at the Perth Infirmary by a piece of coal from a passing engine striking him on the knee. 




Farm Servant’s Strange Conduct. 

   The extraordinary conduct of a wild-looking farm labourer, named Robert Smith, Broombarns, Forgandenny, was unfolded in Perth Sheriff Court before Hon. Sheriff-Substitute Wilson. Accused admitted committing a breach of the peace yesterday, by cursing and swearing at Wm. Drummond, stationmaster, Forteviot and persistently attempting to walk on the railway. 

   Mr Melville Jameson, the procurator-fiscal, explained that accused refused to give up his ticket when asked, and became very violent, attempting to get on the line. For nearly two hours he kept the stationmaster and officials in a state of concern, and as there was considerable traffic on account of the Glasgow holiday, the stationmaster was afraid some accident would happen to him. Ultimately the accused got away through the fields, and the stationmaster telephoned to the police constable at Dunning. As they thought accused might have wandered on to the line, a search party provided themselves with lamps and went the whole distance of three miles. When they got to Broombarns they heard accused coming shouting through the fields. Accused refused to walk, and the stationmaster had to send for a trap to convey him to the police station. 

   The Sheriff imposed a fine of £1, or fourteen days’ imprisonment, remarking that this was a serious case, and it was a good thing for him that the stationmaster had taken so much interest in him. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 26th September, 1905, p.4. 

   ACCIDENT AT FRASERBURGH. – On Saturday afternoon an accident of a very painful nature took place at Fraserburgh railway station. While James Gibson, a groom in the employment of Sir James Mackay, Cairness House, was alighting at Fraserburgh station from the 7.15 p.m. St Combs train his foot slipped between the footboard of the carriage and the platform with the result that he sustained serious injury. He was carried to a waiting room and attended by Dr Cruickshank. Later in the evening he was conveyed to the Thomas Walker Hospital. The foot was found to be severely crushed. Some idea of the severe nature of the accident may be gathered from the fact that Gibson’s boot was torn to shreds. Sir James Mackay visited the patient at the Thomas Walker Hospital on Sunday. The injured man was removed to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary yesterday. It is feared that the foot may have to be amputated. 

– Fraserburgh Herald and Northern Counties’ Advertiser, Tuesday 26th September, 1905, p.5. 



   A shocking accident occurred on Monday evening on the Caledonian Railway near to Floriston Station. It appears that as the four o’clock express was proceeding north over the bridge which spans the Esk a man who was walking along the line was run down and injured in so terrible a manner that it is not considered likely he will recover. The unfortunate man is apparently a labourer, about 60 years of age. His identity is not known. He was removed to Cumberland Infirmary. 

   About 10.30 yesterday forenoon a man was run over and killed by a train going north on the Caledonian line, a short distance from Stirling. He is said to have jumped in front of the train. The body, which was taken to the mortuary at the County Police Office, and has not been identified, is that of a man about 40 years of age, respectably dressed in a tweed suit. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 27th September, 1905, p.6. 


   THE Highland Railway is distinctly a Highland creation, and its construction reflects the utmost credit upon the enterprise of the Highland people generally, and especially upon the landowners of a generation which has now almost passed away. Once started, the system ramified with surprising rapidity east, south, north, and west, pressing forward to meet the southern and eastern companies, instead of waiting to be met by them. The fact of the matter is that the people of Inverness became affected with the prevailing railway fever in the early [eighteen-]forties; and one cannot wonder at them becoming enamoured of the new means of locomotion, when the hardships of travelling by stage coach hundreds of miles over the mountains are considered, or by a slow coasting steamer to Leith or London. Local historians mention that the leading merchants used to solemnly make their wills in those days before undertaking a journey to Edinburgh or London. Like most, if not all, other railway concerns, the Highland was made up of amalgamations. Though the first part of the system was opened in 1855, it was not till 1884 that the various sections which had been promoted and constructed separately were united under the comprehensive and appropriate title of the Highland Railway. It was in the year 1845 that the first proposal was submitted to a Parliamentary Committee for a railway from Inverness to Perth. The project originated in Inverness. It is interesting to note that the route selected was that followed by the stage coaches, that is to say, across the Monadliadh and Grampian ranges, through passes 1323 and 1462 feet respectively above sea level. The scheme quite staggered the Committee. It is somewhat remarkable to find an Inverness engineer so far ahead of his times, for it was then the custom to go to enormous cost in order to secure perfectly level lines. Mr Joseph Mitchell, the engineer referred to, lived to make his railway over the Grampians, but by that time locomotives had, of course, been much improved in haulage power. A sentence or two from the speech of one of the opposing counsel in this Parliamentary contest is rather interesting, in the light of subsequent events. “Ascending such a summit as 1450 feet,” he is reported to have said, “was very unprecedented, and Mr Mitchell, the engineer, was the greatest mountain climber he had heard of. He beat Napoleon straight, and quite eclipsed Hannibal. He read a book the other day, of several hundred pages, describing how Hannibal crossed the Alps, but after this line will have passed he had no doubt quartos would be written about Mr Mitchell.” The bill was thrown out, the Committee stating that “experience had not, so far, substantiated the practicability of working long gradients over a length of 1450 feet above sea level.” 

– Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser for the North of Scotland, Wednesday 27th September, 1905, p.5. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – A very serious and somewhat mysterious railway accident occurred on the up line at the Caledonian Railway Station on Saturday night. It appears that about 10.40 the station officials discovered a man lying on the permanent way with his right foot cut off. he was instantly rescued from his dangerous position, and medical assistance was summoned. The man proved to be Alexander Cameron, aged 36, miner, Carluke, and on the arrival of Dr Kay he was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. It is supposed that Cameron had accidentally fallen out of one train and been run over by another. His condition at the present moment is considered very precarious. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Wednesday 27th September, 1905. 


   A correspondent wires from Larbert as follows: This forenoon the 9.25 a.m. express from Princes Street Station, Edinburgh, to Dunkeld and the North, narrowly escaped a serious accident at Larbert Station. The train which is known as the Grampian express does not stop at Larbert, and was rushing north at the rate of sixty miles an hour. A gang of men were working on the line renewing rails, and just as the express came dashing up some of the workmen were carrying rails across the line. The men were taken by surprise, and made a spring for safety, throwing down the rails. It was a near thing. the men were just able to clear the line as the train rushed past, but the rails they were carrying in their rebound struck the cowcatcher of the engine, and one of them was sent with terrific force to the side, hitting a workman and seriously injuring him. The engine driver had meantime, seeing the probabilities of disaster in front of him, shut off steam and applied his brake, drawing up the train within a very short distance. The stoppage was but momentary, and the train proceeded on his way, most of the passengers not being aware of the narrow escape they had had. Had the loose rails not been thrown out by the cowcatcher, there is no doubt the train would have been derailed with consequences too awful to contemplate. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 28th September, 1905, p.4. 

   A recent accident raises anew the question whether our railway companies ought not to adopt a system whereby the public may be adequately protected against the risk of falling from a train when in motion. There is said to be an ingenious but easily-worked invention, patented by two Clydebank engineers, whereby a railway guard could, on entering his van, lock all the compartments in the train by simply turning a lever. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Thursday 28th September, 1905, p.3. 

   COLLISION AT PERTH STATION. – Yesterday morning, while an engine was coming out of the Highland Railway workshops, it collided with a Caledonian goods engine. As a result, the Highland engine was derailed. As the accident occurred on a loop line, no detention was caused to traffic. 

– Scotsman, Thursday 28th September, 1905, p.6. 

   NARROW ESCAPE AT THE STATION. – A lad named Alex. Cameron had a narrow escape of being seriously injured at the railway station on Monday. As the afternoon train for the south was departing he accidentally slipped between the footboard of one of the carriages and the platform, and was dragged along for some distance. He managed, however, to hold to the carriages, and retaining his hold, he was safely dragged out of his dangerous position ere any injury befel him. 

– Inverness Courier, Friday 29th September, 1905, p.5. 

   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY AT STIRLING. – A fatal accident occurred on the Caledonian line near Stirling on Tuesday. While the 10.23 a.m. train to Callander was proceeding north a man on the line near the bridge over the Causewayhead Road was knocked down and killed instantaneously. The body was dragged along a considerable distance before the train was brought to a standstill. Both the unfortunate man’s feet were almost amputated and the head smashed terribly. The body has been identified as George Simpson, baker, a native of Edinburgh. 

– Kilsyth Chronicle, Friday 29th September, 1905, p.3. 

   Andrew Love, an elderly man, employed in connection with the railway company’s horses at Ayr goods station, has died from injuries received through being knocked down by a pug engine. He was walking along the line on his way to dinner at the time. He had a bag on his back, and made to cross the line in front of the engine, which had just passed him and unexpectedly returned. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Saturday 30th September, 1905, p.2. 

   PECULIAR ACCIDENT. – An accident of a rather peculiar nature occurred on the railway at Forgandenny, on Saturday afternoon. A platelayer named Charles Fern was standing in the vicinity of the rails when one of the express trains to Perth was passing at top speed. A piece of coal fell from the tender of the engine, striking Fern with considerable force on the knee. The injury was of such a character as necessitated his removal to Perth Infirmary, where he was temporarily attended to. He was able to be removed home in the evening. 

– Kinross-shire Advertiser, Saturday 30th September, 1905, p.2. 

A Notable Volunteer and Football Player. 


   CAPTAIN DONALD C. SILLARS, of the Glasgow Highlanders died on Monday evening, in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, from the effects of an accident. Mr Sillars was found lying late on Friday night on the Paisley and Barrhead Joint Railway line. His moans attracted the attention of one of the employees, who found that Mr Sillars was unconscious, and that he was suffering from severe injuries, the result it is conjectured, of accidentally falling from the carriage on to the line and being afterwards run over by an engine or other vehicle. He was conveyed with all haste to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate the right foot, and on Sunday the doctors performed an operation on the head. From the outset there never was much hope of recovery. Mr Sillars, in fact, never regained consciousness, and succumbed to his injuries about seven o’clock on Monday night. Mr Sillars was in the prime of life, being only 36 years of age and resided at Ravenswood, Langbank. He was a member of the firm of Messrs Russell & Co., ship store merchants, 71 Robertson Street. He was held in high esteem, and his tragic death will be mourned by a wide circle of friends. He was an international Association football player and an ardent Volunteer, and was present with his regiment at the recent Royal Review at Edinburgh. His condition caused so much concern that, according to the Royal Infirmary attendants, there never in recent years at all events, were so many inquiries made about a patient. 

– Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser for Buchan District, Saturday 30th September, 1905, p.6. 



   A surprise of a startling character was in store for the officials at Dundee East Station last night. On the arrival, shortly after nine o’clock, of a goods train from Forfar flames were observed leaping from a waggon fully laden with jute waste. The truck was promptly shunted alongside the engine watering apparatus at the station platform, but, owing to the intensity of the fire, some difficulty was experienced in adjusting the hose so as to bring the water into play upon the flames, and the blaze had practically a free course until the arrival of the City Fire Brigade. By this time the fire was blazing furiously. Captain Weir’s men, however, soon mastered it, although considerable trouble was experienced before the flames were completely under control. An additional element of danger and worry to the railway staff was caused by the ignition of numerous “sleepers” on the truck. 

– Dundee Courier, Saturday 30th September, 1905, p.6. 

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