January 1906

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1906) Contents]

   SEASONABLE GIFTS. – By the kindness of Lord Leith of Fyvie, handsome presents of pheasants, hares, and rabbits have been distributed to the drivers, firemen, guards, and brakesmen on the Macduff section of the Great North of Scotland Railway, and also to each of the staff and waymen at Fyvie Station. These seasonable gifts are highly appreciated. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 2nd January, 1906, p.7. 





   Yesterday afternoon a fatal accident occurred on the Great North of Scotland Railway near Don Street Station, Woodside, as the result of which a cattle drover, named James Hutcheon, 37 years of age, residing at 66 Western Road, Woodside, was killed. It is not definitely known at what time, or how the accident happened, but shortly after six o’clock in the evening William Munro, engine cleaner, 12 Don Street, Woodside, found Hutcheon’s body lying on the west side of the railway about 14 yards north of the Don Street Station south distant signal. The police and Dr Christie, Great Northern Road, were immediately informed of the occurrence, and Dr Christie, who examined the body, found that the lower jaw, left arm, and several ribs on the left side had been fractured. From the position in which the body was found, it is supposed that deceased had been walking northwards along the side of the line, when he had been struck by a train going in the opposite direction. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 3rd January, 1906, p.4. 









   A serous railway accident resulting in injuries to six persons, occurred between seven and eight o’clock last night near Strathaven, about 16 miles from Glasgow. An extra train conveying holidaymakers from Strathaven to Stonehouse, on the Caledonian line, left the metals at a curve, near Whinknowe farm, about a mile from Strathaven. The engine ploughed up the permanent way for a considerable distance before toppling over to one side, and coming to a halt. It dragged the first carriage with it. The passengers were thrown into a state of wild alarm, as, in the darkness, it was impossible to tell the extent of the disaster. News of the accident was sent to Strathaven, and several doctors were despatched to aid the sufferers. It was found that most of the injured were in the first carriage. The list is as follows:- 

   Peter Robinson, fireman, Airdrie – both arms injured and shock. 

   John Mayor, enginedriver, Airdrie – bruised on left hip. 

   Mr and Mrs Thomas Craig, Netherburn, Mr Craig injured on back and breast, and bruised on forehead. The nature of Mrs Craig’s injuries not ascertained. 

   Amelia and Jessie Baird, Larkhall – bruises and shock. 

   Mr John and Miss Macmillan, Wishaw – severe shock. 

   Mr A. Whitelaw, Stonehouse. 

   The fireman and the passenger Craig had to be sent by special train to a Glasgow infirmary. 

   Mr Anderson, the chief engineer of the Caledonian Company, and Mr Watson, the district superintendent, arrived at the scene of the accident about eleven o’clock. The cause of the mishap is unknown, and no further information of the extent of the damage to the train can be ascertained till daylight. The train consisted of seven or eight carriages, and was fairly well filled. The passengers were despatched to their destination by a special train. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 3rd January, 1906, p.5. 



Ploughman Run Down at Alloa. 

   This morning a serious accident occurred on Alloa-Kincardine branch of the North British Railway near Kilbagie Station. A ploughman named John Todd, residing at Gartary Farm, near Clackmannan, was knocked down by the 7.30 train from Kincardine, and received serious injuries to his head, shoulder, and foot. He was taken to Alloa Station in a train, and afterwards to Alloa Accident Hospital. The unfortunate man is about forty-nine years of age. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 4th January, 1906, p.2. 





Struck on Head with Buffer. 

   A shocking fatality occurred at Leuchars Junction last night, involving the death of Mr Robert Staig, traction engine proprietor. Dairsie. 

   it seems that Staig had been visiting friends at the farm of Milton, near Leuchars Junction, and was proceeding to the station. 

   instead of following the main road, he took a by-path through the fields to the railway, intending to cross the line, and thus get to the platform, which is an “island” one with rails on both sides. 

   The main road crosses the railway by a bridge near the path, and just beyond it the main line from the South takes a curve. Approaching trains are thus hid from view of those in the junction or its vicinity. 

   Staig had reached the line, and was crossing it, when the late express from Glasgow dashed round the curve. 

   The unfortunate man was unable to get clear, and he was struck by the engine and thrown clear of the rails. 

   His injuries were dreadful, and apparently the buffer of the locomotive had struck him on the head. 

   Death was instantaneous. 



   Our Cupar correspondent wire:- John Staig, a well-known Fife millowner, who resided at Middle Foodie, Dairsie parish, was killed on the railway close to Leuchars Junction railway station late last night. Staig had taken his mill into Milton farm for the purpose of beginning threshing to-day, and left the steading along with Wm. Skinner, blacksmith, Dairsie, and Peter Brown, farm grieve, Milton, with little enough time to catch the special late train for the South. They took a short cut through the fields, and entered the line about fifty yard to the west of the north platform. They were walking in the centre of the line when the Glasgow train due at Leuchars at 10.17 p.m. came through the bridge. 

   Skinner became excited, and was in the act of stepping in front of the train when Brown took hold of him and shouted, “For God’s sake stand still.” The train dashed past, and they proceeded to the station thinking that Staig had gone on in front. When they did not see him on the platform they thought something was wrong, and along with some of the station officials they went along the line and found him lying quite dead. Staig was fifty years of age. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 4th January, 1906, p.4. 


   The old man, James Strathdee, who was injured on the 27th ult. when crossing the Great North of Scotland Railway line at Ashgrove, near Elgin, died in Gray’s Hospital on Tuesday night. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 4th January, 1906, p.4. 





Crieff Train Thrown Off Rails. 

   The accident to the railway train coming to Crieff, which occurred between St Fillans and Lochearnhead yesterday afternoon, has been of a serious character, and although a large breakdown gang has been working all night and morning traffic has not yet been resumed. 

   Two monster boulders had become detached from the mountain bank along the north side of the line. One about twenty tons rolled over the railway down the bank towards Loch Earn. Another about two tons followed, and lay across the rails. 

   The train ran into it, the result being the smashing of the engine axle. The whole of the train ran off the metals except the brake van, tearing up between one and two hundred yards of line. The driver of the train, John Stewart, Crieff, received severe injuries, and the stoker narrowly escaped being pitched off. 

   The guard was also shaken. The few passengers escaped. 

   If the first boulder had stuck on the rails the train probably would have been thrown down the steep embankment that falls down towards Loch Earn. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 4th January, 1906, p.3. 

   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – Thos. Stein, railway engine fireman, aged about thirty years, was killed at Dullatur Station on Tuesday evening. He was working about the engine when he somehow slipped between the driving rod and the platform, the engine starting at the instant. He was terribly crushed and mangled, death being instantaneous. No one witnessed the occurrence. Deceased lived in Wardlaw Place, Edinburgh, but belongs to Bathgate, where he was well known, and where his father and mother reside. He leaves a wife and family. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 5th January, 1906, p.4. 



Dundee Passenger Injured. 

   A peculiar accident happened on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint Railway this morning. While the train leaving Dundee East at 9.20 was passing Monifieth one of the windows of a first-class carriage was smashed, and a gentleman belonging to Dundee, who was seated in the compartment, had his face severely cut by the splintered glass. On the train arriving at Arbroath the gentleman had his injuries attended by Dr Kelly. It is supposed that the window had been broken by a piece of coal falling from the tender of the engine and rebounding on to the window. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 5th January, 1906, p.2. 





   Councillor Inglis, who was heartily received, in the course of his address, said, – Being at one time a railway official, I can sympathise very much with the aims and objects of this Society in their efforts to raise funds so as to render the necessary assistance to those who are deprived of the bread winner through accident. (Applause.) The railway is nowadays a household work, there being few that have not used this means of travelling from place to place. We enter a train as a mere matter of fact, and only let our presence be known by our grumbling either at the lateness of the train or the dirty state of the carriages. (Laughter.) Barely a thought is given to those in charge of the train – to the engine driver who must be always on the alert, keen in noticing the hundred and one things that may crop up during the journey, or the guard at the rear who is also all attention to duty. We place out lives in their hands, and we have not the common courtesy to go and thank them for taking care of us and allowing us to arrive at our destination in safety. Well, ladies and gentleman, you have a splendid opportunity afforded you this evening of showing your appreciation of their services by contributing to the funds of this most deserving Society. (Applause.) Railways int he good old days of some fifty years ago had not the experience nor the facilities for handling their passengers with that care which we find nowadays. A story is told of the Newtyle Railway which at that time entered the city of Dundee by means of an incline and rope. This rope one day broke when the train was being lowered down the incline, and the breaks [sic] not being powerful enough to check the speed of the train, it crashed into the buffers, and the passengers were precipitated into the street. One old lady, who was going to market with her basket of eggs, was one of the unfortunate passengers and when they went to her assistance and asked her how she felt, she said, “Oh, well enough, but they have an awfu’ rough way o’ handlin’ folks about here.” (Laughter.)… 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 6th January, 1906, p.4. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT NEAR HARDENGREEN. – Considerable inconvenience was caused to passengers on the Polton, Peebles, and Penicuik branches of the North British Railway Company on Saturday evening, on account of an accident at the junction of the Peebles and Polton lines about half a mile west of Hardengreen. The afternoon goods train from Broomlee was travelling at about four miles an hour, when, on reaching the last section, a defective axle of an Edinburgh traders’ waggon, which was oscillating, caught the cross points. Five waggons laden with coal were thrown off the rails, and both lines were blocked/ Several of the waggons were smashed. As a consequence, traffic on the three local lines was brought to a standstill. The 4.30 train from Peebles was the first Edinburgh-bound train to be delayed, and as it was the passengers were detained at Hawthornden till after eight o’clock. Local trains from Edinburgh could proceed no further than Eskbank. Four hours work by a breakdown gang enabled a single line of rails to be opened. Passengers from and to Peebles were conveyed by Gorebridge and Galashiels, and those going from or to local stations west of Eskbank were given the option of travelling on the Glencorse route and performing part of their journey by road. 

– Dalkeith Advertiser, Thursday 11th January, 1906, p.2. 



   The engineers of the North British Railway Company have in hand at present a slight repair to the main East Coast line in the vicinity of Joppa Station, the occasion for which has given rise to rumours about alarming subsidences. The fact is that the vigilance of the men charged with looking after the permanent way recently discovered a fissure about three feet in diameter on the line, and on examination it was ascertained that the hole was due to a slight sinking in the covering of an old disused mine shaft. The shaft was immediately filled up, and heavy timbers were placed over the surface as an additional precaution, so that, we are informed, there is little likelihood of such an occurrence happening again. It has also been stated that a subsidence had occurred at the Wallyford coal workings, on the East Coast line, in the vicinity of Prestonpans. No subsidence has happened there, but in accordance with practice the mining company has advised the Railway Company that the workings are approaching the line, and the railway engineers are consequently taking the usual precautions for protecting the track. At neither place was there any danger to the traffic on the line, but at Joppa, while the operations were proceeding, the trains had to slow down in passing. 

– Mid-Lothian Journal, Friday 12th January, 1906, p.4. 

  ACCIDENT TO A FIREMAN. – Robert Lewis, locomotive fireman, residing at Maddiston, met with an unfortunate accident at Manuel on Wednesday night. It appears he was at the time engaged filling the water tank of the engine, when he slipped and fell. His head was severely injured, and he also sustained injuries internally. He was attended by Dr Thom, Linlithgow. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 13th January, 1906, p.7. 

   RAILWAY FATALITY IN EDINBURGH. – An enginedriver named James Howden, residing at 45 St Leonard’s Bank, Edinburgh, met with an accident yesterday on the North British Railway, as a result of which he died in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary later in the afternoon. The train on which deceased was driving was proceeding to Waverley, and had just passed through Abbeyhill Station, when Howden unfortunately fell from the engine, receiving a severe fracture of the ribs. He was conveyed to the Infirmary from Abbeyhill Station in an ambulance waggon, but in about an hour after admission he succumbed to his injuries. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 16th January, 1906, p.6. 

   DEATH IN A TRAIN. – A gentleman named Wilde, who was travelling from Aberdeen to Liverpool, died in a Caledonian Railway express train due at Perth at eight o’clock last night. The railway officials at Perth received a telegram from Forfar asking them to have a doctor in attendance, and accordingly Dr Parker Stewart, the Medical Officer of the city, waited the arrival of the train. By that time, however, the gentleman was found to have expired. Mr Wilde, who was about 50 years of age, was an invalid, and was being removed to his home in Liverpool. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 17th January, 1906, p.5. 

   Wemyss Man’s Foolhardy Conduct. – Dramatic scenes were witnessed at Markinch Station on Tuesday afternoon. A man named Young, supposed to belong to West Wemyss, threw himself over the railway bridge. Assistance was at once forthcoming, and porters from the station removed the man from his dangerous position. He was no sooner out of danger, however, than he again threw himself on to the line, receiving a severe wound on the head and injuries about the body. He was conveyed to Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital. 

– Fifeshire Advertiser, Saturday 20th January, 1906, p.4. 


   A railway porter named James Mackay, residing at 2 Stanley Place, and employed by the North British Railway Company at the Waverley Station, net with an accident to-day, being knocked down and injured by a locomotive. The engine passed over his feet, crushing both of them. It was found necessary at the Royal Infirmary, where he was conveyed to amputate one of his legs. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 26th January, 1906, p.3. 

   Accident at the Railway Station. – Between six and seven o’clock on Thursday evening an accident occurred at the station, whereby Robert Haig, aged 10 years, had his foot badly crushed. The boy was selling newspapers when he was caught by a departing train. He was dragged about 30 yards when he dropped on the line, and one of the wheels of the train passed over his foot. He was taken to the Cottage Hospital, where it was found that his foot had been very badly crushed. 

– Fifeshire Advertiser, Saturday 27th January, 1906, p.4. 


   A somewhat unusual incident was revealed in the case brought against three young men, charged with having, on Saturday evening, the 30th December, fought with each other, used obscene language, and brandished a knife. This took place in the compartment of a train travelling between Rutherglen and Cambuslang. All of respectable appearance, the young men were – Dugald Patterson, engineer, residing at 1 Clyde Place, Palace Rows, Bothwell; Richard Oldcorn, rivetter, 170 Merry Street, Motherwell; and David Thomson, Park View Place, Motherwell. Patterson pleaded guilty, but6 the other two denied the charge. 

   A dairymaid named Mary Henderson, residing at Craigneuk Street, Craigneuk, said she was a passenger in the same train that evening, and was along with her father and brother. It was the 10.20 p.m. train from the Central Station, Glasgow. After the train left Rutherglen one of the accused, Oldcorn, became very quarrelsome, and struck out at the others. A fight ensued, and the train had to be stopped just a little before reaching Cambuslang Station. 

   Mr Andrew McLaughlin, stationmaster at Cambuslang, gave evidence, showing that the accused had to be apprehended, and their names taken down. 

   Mr Patrick, who prosecuted, said he had no sympathy whatever with those men who created quarrels in railway carriages, and the practice ought to be put down. 

   The charge was found proven, and Oldcorn was fined £3 or one month; Patterson, £2 or one month; and Thomson, 30s, or twenty days. 

– Hamilton herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Saturday 27th January, 1906, p.3. 

   ENGINE DRIVER’S FATAL FALL. – A fatal accident occurred on Wednesday night at Law Junction. While a passenger train was passing through, the driver of the engine fell from the footplate on to the permanent way, with the result that he sustained terrible injuries to his head and body. He was with all despatch conveyed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, to which institution he was admitted about half-past nine o’clock. Within an hour of being taken into the infirmary the unfortunate man succumbed to his injuries, without regaining consciousness. Deceased was an elderly man named John Gordon, and resided at Reid Street, Burnbank, Hamilton. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 27th January, 1906, p.6. 

   BUCKIE – ACCIDENT TO A SEAMAN. – On Wednesday night a seaman named Campbell, belonging to Lossiemouth, while going down the staircase at the Great North Railway Station, slipped and fell, sustaining a severe fracture of the leg. A large bag he was carrying fell upon him. 

– Banffshire Reporter, Wednesday 31st January, 1906, p.2. 

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