February 1906

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1906) Contents]

   HORSES KILLED. – On Monday night the driver of the Edinburgh-Glencorse train discovered he had ran into something or other at Oatslie Crossing. He stopped the train and on making an examination of his engine he found the head of a horse sticking between the wheels. Proceeding a little along the line he made the discovery that no fewer than three horses had been run into and killed, their bodies being terribly mangled. The horses were the property of Mr Thos. Neil, Roslin Farm, and had been grazing in a field adjoining the railway, but it is know known how they had wandered on to the line. 

– Mid-Lothian Journal, Friday 2nd February, 1906, p.4. 


   Information was received in Aberdeen yesterday to the effect that in the morning, James McKenzie, youngest son of Mrs McKenzie, 447 Holburn Street, had been killed by accident on the railway at Newmains, Motherwell. The deceased, who was 20 years of age, went to Motherwell only three weeks ago in search of work, which he obtained; but no details are to hand as to the nature of the accident. Rev. J. McLuckie, at the request of the young man’s mother, went to Motherwell to make inquiries and to arrange for the interment. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 2nd February, 1906, p.4. 

   ACCIDENT TO A MINER. – On Friday evening a miner named David Easton, residing at 30 Wester Shieldhill, met with rather a curious accident while returning home from the Parliamentary Election polling station at Redding Public School. How he came by the mishap is not exactly known, but it is supposed that he had walked off his road and had fallen over a dyke on to the loop line of the North British Railway at Redding Station, and that an engine had run over his right hand, which was very much mutilated. After the accident Easton managed to make his way to Redding Colliery, which is in the vicinity, and there a cousin got him into a cab, and had him conveyed to Falkirk Infirmary. He was examined by Dr Mathieson, who found it necessary to amputate Easton’s first and second fingers. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 3rd February, 1906, p.5. 



   An alarming accident occurred on the Wemyss mineral railway on Friday near the new village of Denbeath, resulting in considerable damage to rolling stock. It appears a fully laden train was slowly making its way down the gradient to the dock, when part of another train which was being shunted at Denbeath Station unaccountably became detached and ran down the incline, dashing with terrific force into the rear of the train in front, smashing the guard’s van and two waggons to matchwood, and derailing over a dozen of fully-laden trucks. Fortunately no one was injured, the brakesmen being out of the vans engaged in shunting operations. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 3rd February, 1906, p.6. 


   At a meeting of Pitlochry Parish Council today a letter was submitted from Mr Kenneth McDonald, Inverness, asking the Council to join in a petition to Parliament against the proposed Highland and Great North of Scotland Railways amalgamation. Some members thought the amalgamation would benefit the district, but the clerk believed it would not, as fewer passenger trains would probably be run and more goods trains, while the first money raised would be spent in Aberdeenshire. It was decided that the matter did not affect the Council as a body. It was agreed to take no action, opinion being expressed in favour of calling a public meeting for future consideration of the question if necessary. 



   A sad accident occurred to-day at Queen Street Station, Glasgow. A brakesman in the employment of the North British Railway Company was standing between the rails inside the tunnel arranging the cables in connection with an Edinburgh train about to leave, when he was knocked down and killed by another engine coming through the tunnel into the station. Deceased, who resided in North Avenue Road, Springburn, was sixty years of age, and married. 

– Edinburgh evening News, Tuesday 6th February, 1906, p.4. 

   AN EXCITING CHASE. – An exciting scene took place at Lennoxtown Railway Station shortly before the departure of the 1.50 train on Tuesday afternoon, when Jas. Roy, who was sentenced to thirty days’ imprisonment at the J. P. Court, and who was being conveyed to Glasgow, made a bold attempt to escape. Roy, who was handcuffed to a policeman, on getting into the carriage got his hand liberated from the policeman’s and made out by the opposite door. He ran round the front of the engine, and crawled through underneath the wooden portion of the platform into the field adjoining the Station. He ran across the field closely pursued by a policeman, who fortunately caught him before he reached the burn. After some difficulty he was escorted back to the train, which was a few minutes late in starting owing to the occurrence. 

– Kirkintilloch Herald, Wednesday 7th February, 1906, p.5. 

   RAILWAY FATALITY AT GLASGOW. – Yesterday morning a brakesman named Henry Birrell (60), employed by the North British Railway Company, was accidentally killed in the tunnel about fifty yards from Queen Street Station, Glasgow. All trains leaving that terminus are drawn up the steep incline through the tunnel by means of cables, and Birrell was standing between the rails arranging the ropes for the purpose of carrying them to the engine of the Edinburgh train due ot leave Glasgow at 8.45, when another engine coming out of the tunnel into the station struck him and knocked him down, killing him instantly. Deceased leaves a widow and family. 

– Scotsman, Wednesday 7th February, 1906, p.8. 


   The body of John Savage (28), signalman, residing at the Caledonian Railway building, Coatbridge, was found on the Caledonian Railway opposite Summerlee Iron Works, Coatbridge. Deceased attended the railwaymen’s social in the Town Hall last night, and this morning had gone home by way of the railway, when he was run over by a train, and terribly mutilated. Death was instantaneous. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Wednesday 7th February, 1906, p.3. 

   FIRE IN GLASGOW. – A fire occurred last night in the extensive establishment of the Clyde Iron Works, Tollcross, near Glasgow. In the department devoted to ammonia distilling plant is situated a large boiler, which is capable of containing 200 tons of pitch. The boiler held boiling pitch to that quantity, when, about eleven o’clock, it suddenly burst. The pitch caught fire, and spread in all directions, finally reaching an adjoining railway lye, down which it flowed, enveloping railway waggons and all else in its way. On the alarm being given, the Central Fire Brigade authorities were immediately apprised, and detachments from that division and the Eastern were dispatched to deal with it. At midnight the men were still battling with the burning pitch, and seemed to have it under control. It was seen, however, that the fire would not be finally subdued for hours. So far as can be ascertained, no one was injured. No estimate can at present be given of the damage, which cannot but prove very considerable. The flames were seen over a wide area, and attracted a large crowd. 

– Scotsman, Saturday 10th February, 1906, p.8. 

   DASH FOR LIBERTY. – On Thursday afternoon some little sensation was occasioned at the Sunnyside N.B. Station. Three police-constables with three prisoners had just entered the general waiting room to await the arrival of the 3.5 p.m. train for Glasgow. Two of the prisoners were tramps and were being conveyed to Glasgow to undergo a term of five days imprisonment for a contravention of the Trespass Act, and the third prisoner, John O’Hara, who was remitted to the Sheriff on a charge of house-breaking was being conveyed to the Glasgow prison to await his trial. In consequence of the biting cold nature of the weather the prisoners were allowed the privilege of heating themselves at the fire within the waiting room. O’Hara took advantage of the kindness meted out by the constables, however, and made a sudden dash through a glass window, 3ft. 6in. long by one foot six inches wide and landed into the station agents garden. He then leaped the fence and made good his escape. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 10th February, 1906, p.5. 

   COLLISION ON DOUGLAS AND MUIRKIRK RAILWAY. – On Monday, as the 5.50 p.m. train from Lanark to Muirkirk was nearing Douglas West Station it collided with an engine which had been let outside the home signal. Charles Wilson, the driver of the passenger train engine, was somewhat seriously injured, but the injuries to the other driver and firemen were trifling. None of the passengers sustained any hurt, and the road was soon cleared. Both engines were greatly damaged. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 10th February, 1906, p.6. 



   There was wild weather all over the north-east of Scotland on Friday last week, heavy snow showers falling to the accompaniment of a fierce and bitterly cold gale from the north-west. Roads were blocked in many parts, but only one instance of railway blocking occurred – on the Great North of Scotland branch railway from Elgin to Lossiemouth. 

   The passenger train, which leaves Elgin at 7.40 a.m., proceeded all right until it reached the vicinity of the Tile Works, about three miles from the town, where it ran into a five feet deep snow drift and stuck. The bank became quickly deeper by the continued fall and drifting of the snow, and an engine which was sent from Elgin to assist was checked before it reached the train, now nearly covered with snow. 

   A staff of men was then sent from Elgin, but it was not until about noon that the drift was cut, and the train, with the assistance of a third engine, got through to Lossiemouth. A number of passengers who were on the train had a long and cold wait. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 17th February, 1906, p.10. 

   SHERIFF REID last week made gifts of game to the station officials at Portsoy, Tillynaught, Ladysbridge, and Banff Harbour stations, and to the drivers and guards on the Banff and Tillynaught branch of the railway. The gifts were very highly appreciated by the recipients. 

– Banffshire Reporter, Wednesday 21st February, 1906, p.2. 

   SAD ACCIDENT ON G. & S. W. RAILWAY. – On Sabbath last about mid-day, while a man was walking along the railway near Dusk bridge, about 1¼ miles from Dalry Railway Station, he came across the body of a man lying alongside the rails. On examination he found that the head and left arm had been completely severed from the body. He at once gave the alarm, and the County police were quickly on the spot, and had the remains conveyed to Sick-house at Dalry. Owing to the nature of the injuries identification was impossible, but a return ticket from Irvine to Glengarnock was found in his pocket. On enquiry being made, the remains were identified as those of John Cluster or Reilly, 43 years of age, residing at Monkey Row, Glengarnock. Deceased, who leaves a widow and four children, was supposed to have missed the late train on Saturday evening, and walking home along the line was killed by a passing train. He had attended a football match. 

– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 23rd February, 1906, p.5. 

   CARRIAGE ACCIDENT. – On Monday, about mid-day, a serious accident befell Dr McKenzie, assistant to Dr Calderwood, Standburn. Dr McKenzie was driving round visiting his patients, and on approaching Avonbridge Station, which has a level crossing, it was found that the gates were closed to allow of a train passing. After the train had passed, the gates were in the act of being opened, and the driver of the doctor’s machine proceeded to cross the rails, when, by some yet unexplained case, the gates, instead of closing entirely, rebounded backwards, thus coming in contact with the doctor’s carriage on either side. The horse at once bolted, clearing itself of all obstacles. The doctor was thrown violently out of the machine, and sustained serious injury to one of his arms, but the driver escaped unhurt. The machine, however, was completely wrecked. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 24th February, 1906, p.5. 


   A surfaceman named Robert Berry, an old and experienced servant, had just commenced work at eight o’clock on Saturday morning and was in the act of oiling the points, when an engine which comes from Dundee to convey a passenger train ran over him with fatal effect. 



   Mr James Henderson, chief clerk in the Parcel Department of Dundee West Station, fell backwards as he was standing talking with a friend in the station after leaving business on Saturday. He was carried into the parcel office, where, however, he expired before the arrival of medical assistance. Deceased returned to duty on Monday last after a spell of absence in apparently improved health, and seemed in excellent spirits when he left home on Saturday morning. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Monday 26th February, 1906, p.4. 



(Before Sheriff Moffatt.) 

   INTERFERENCE WITH RAILWAY POINTS. – Harry Taylor (17), apprentice mason, Prince’s Park, Falkirk, was charged with having on 4th February, at Glencleugh siding of the Callendar Colliery railway, maliciously altered and left open the points leading into the siding, so as to turn a train proceeding on the main line into the siding, which, as he knew, might have brought such a train into collision with waggons in the siding or the buffer ends, and endangered the lives of persons on and damaged such a train. the charge sheet also stated that, on the following morning, a locomotive drawing four waggons, in which about 30 men were travelling, was turned into the siding, but was stopped before any damage was done. The accused pleaded guilty. The Procurator-Fiscal (Mr W. K. Gair) said that on the 4th the accused had two companions as he passed the points, and one of the lads interfered with them. He knew, however, how they should be placed, and he left them all right. The accused altered them, and a second time fixed the points for the siding. Next morning, when the train passed the points, and it was seen that it was travelling into the siding, the workers who were travelling shouted, and the train was drawn up in time. Mr Wm. Stevenson, solicitor, Falkirk, appeaed for the accused. He said he thought not only the accused, but the other two parties, should be in the dock. The accused’s story was that he saw the other lad interfere with the points, and he put them, as he thought, right. The accused knew nothing about the working of the points, and did not at the time know the actual danger he was creating. Sheriff Moffatt imposed a fine of £1, with the option of ten days’ imprisonment. 

– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 28th February, 1906, p.5. 

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