July 1906

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1906) Contents]


   A rather unfortunate railway mishap occurred on the main line at Perth General Station this morning, and, although no person was injured, the accident put the railway officials to a considerable amount of inconvenience. While the passenger train from the Alyth district, which arrives in Perth about nine o’clock, was shunting the engine left the metals through, it is thought, the wheels missing the “diamond” at the points. Occurring as it did at the time when the Aberdeen to London train was due, the mishap was doubly unfortunate, and the Aberdeen train had to be shunted on to another set of rails before it could proceed on its southern journey. Two of the carriages of the train which was being shunted were badly twisted, while the engine was also damaged and a considerable part of the permanent way torn up. A big break down squad, under the direction of Mr Prentice, locomotive foreman of the Caledonian Railway were soon at work, and in about three hours the line was cleared. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 3rd July, 1906, p.2. 

   ACCIDENTS ON CALLANDER AND OBAN RAILWAY. – Yesterday morning an alarming accident occurred on the Callander and Oban Railway about a mile and a half north of Dunblane. The 7.20 passenger train from Callander to Stirling was making its ordinary journey when, without any warning, the axle of the eight-feet driving wheel snapped, and the wheel was thrust up through the engine. The driver, Robert Scott, at once applied the Westinghouse brake and brought the train to a standstill. Fred McDougall, the fireman, was less fortunate, being thrown off the engine and sustaining rather serious injuries, his left shoulder being dislocated and two fingers of his right hand badly smashed, while he was bruised over the face and body. He was removed as soon as possible to the Stirling Royal Infirmary. The passengers were considerably alarmed by the sudden stoppage of the train, but, fortunately, none were injured. The other big wheel of the engine kept the rail after the accident. The engine, which was completely disabled, was taken to Stirling on a bogey waggon in the afternoon, the traffic in the meantime being conducted on the second set of metals. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 4th July, 1906, p.3. 

   ENGINE OFF THE RAILS. – On Saturday afternoon the regular traffic on the Caledonian Railway was delayed for several hours owing to a goods engine and three waggons being knocked off the rails at Stobo station. The engine of the goods train was uncoupled from the rest of the waggons to do some shunting, and while the engine was crossing the points the waggons that were left standing got on the move, and ran with such a force against the engine that it was thrown from the rails. Three of the waggons, one of which contained coals, were completely smashed. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 5th July, 1906, p.3. 

   MIRACULOUS ESCAPE. – What might be described as a miraculous escape from being killed on the railway happened to a man named Lyons, belonging to Falkirk, who was found lying between the rails at the Glasgow side of the platform at Bathgate Upper Station on Sunday morning last. The manner in which the man had found his way to such a dangerous position is at present a mystery. but it is supposed that he had come off one of the Edinburgh to Glasgow trains at Bathgate, and instead of going over the bridge to the exit from the station had wandered away down the line. Certain it is that no person was about the station when it was shut up on Saturday night. The man was found in his precarious position about twelve o’clock on Sunday by a fireman named Kenneth Douglas, and when found he was little the worse of his adventure, although his head and shoulders were grazed as if a few goods trains had passed over him. he had been lying right in the centre between the rails, and this had proved his salvation. Had he been lying on the raised earth a dozen yards further up, where the porters usually cross the railway, he would have been killed instantly by any passing train. On being interrogated as to how he came to be there, he said he knew nothing of his whereabouts, but remembered of being at Edinburgh. One of the ambulance corps, Mr Harvey, attended to his injuries until Dr Kirk’s assistant, Dr Orwin, put in an appearance. He was despatched to Falkirk on Monday morning. 

– Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 6th July, 1906, p.5. 







   It is unfortunate that the inter-county cricket match at Forthill has not been allowed to pass without being associated with an accident of a serious character. The scene was the Caledonian Railway, between Dundee West and Perth, and the victim a cattle-drover named James Fraser. It appears that Fraser, after witnessing the match, was returning to the Fair City by the 10.40 p.m. train from Dundee West along with a number of companions. 

   After leaving Glencarse the man, it is stated, commenced to indulge in pranks with the carriage door, and becoming bolder he seized hold of the roof of the carriage and got his feet on top of the door with the evident intention of climbing on to the roof of the vehicle. He was in this position when the train approached an overhead bridge, and the man’s head crashed with terrific force against the stonework, throwing him on to the embankment. The remainder of the company were naturally alarmed, and pulling the communication cord the train was speedily brought to a stop, causing the greatest excitement amongst the passengers. 

   Fortunately a goods train on its way from Perth to Dundee approached almost immediately after the accident, and the officials on the passenger train getting into communication with the driver of the goods train the engine was detached and Fraser was transferred to the goods locomotive and conveyed to Perth Station, whence he was taken to the Infirmary in the railway ambulance van. 

   On examination it was found that Fraser was suffering from a severe fracture of the skull. On inquiry late last night it was learned that the unfortunate man was in a most critical condition. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 9th July, 1906, p.5. 


   Yesterday, about midnight, an accident occurred in St Margaret’s Locomotive Works, London Road, the victim being an engine-cleaner in the employment of the North British Railway Company, named Richard Anderson, 17 years of age, residing at 8 Comely Green Place. It appears that Anderson was crossing the rails inside the works when he was knocked down and run over by an engine and tender which were being backed into one of the sheds. He was placed on an engine and conveyed to the Waverley Station and thence in the ambulance to the Royal Infirmary. It was found that he was suffering from a fracture of both legs, and had, in addition, sustained severe injuries to the lower part of his body. He died in the Infirmary at half-past five this morning. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 10th July, 1906, p.2. 

   FIRE AT GRANGEMOUTH DOCKS. – Yesterday a waggon, belonging to the North British Railway Company, loaded with furnace barrows, &c., was discovered to be on fire at Grangemouth docks. It was taken by a pug engine to the hose station, where a plentiful supply of water was procured. The waggon and its contents were considerably damaged. 

– Scotsman, Thursday 12th July, 1906, p.4. 

   The practice of stone-throwing at passing trains has been indulged in frequently of late at Ibrox, on the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway. A serious accident arising from this amusement occurred on Friday, when Mr James Keavie, a builder, who resides at Dunronnel, Johnstone, was severely injured about the head while seated in a train running from Greenock to St. Enoch Station. 


   A young woman, Maggie Beveridge, who resides at 100 David Street, Mile-End, Glasgow, had a miraculous escape on the railway near Pollokshields East Station on Saturday. Miss Beveridge was a passenger in a Caledonian Railway train, along with another lady and two gentlemen. It is supposed that she came against the inside handle of the door, causing it to open, when the train was passing Pollokshields East signal-box. She lost her balance and fell on to the permanent way. John McGeachie, the signalman, who went to her assistance, had her removed from her dangerous position. The young woman suffered from severe bruises to the face, arms, and body, but fortunately no bones were broken. 

– Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette, Friday 13th July, 1906, p.6. 

   SERIOUS RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – On Wednesday forenoon about 11.35, an accident occurred near Bathgate Lower Station, whereby Tom Baird, a fireman, residing with his aunt in Chapel Lane, Bathgate, belonging to Avonbridge, had his left leg crushed. It appears that an engine and van was moving at a slow rate from the points at Bathgate Lower Station to Easton Pit, when Baird made to jump on to the footplate of the engine. From some cause his foot slipped and he twisted right around, his left leg projecting over the rail. The leg was caught by the side wheels of the van. On Dr Dunn who was soon on the scene examining the leg he ordered immediate removal to the infirmary. Baird was then put in the van and at once taken to Edinburgh accompanied by Dr Dunn, no delay having occurred. At the infirmary the injured man’s leg was amputated above the knee. 

   EXPLOSION OF GAS. – About eleven o’clock on Saturday evening there occurred in the ladies’ waiting-room situated on the off-side of Bathgate Upper Station, an explosion of gas. It appears that about nine o’clock the gas at the main meter had been turned on. Unknown to any of the officials the gas cock, in the room where the explosion occurred was full on. About eleven o’clock, W. Spokes, assistant booking clerk proceeded with a “lighting pole” to make the station cheery for those journeying with the last train to Armadale. No sooner did the light come in contact with the volume of gas floating about the ceiling than a terrific explosion followed. The windows in the room were blown out and generally the place indicated that a serious explosion had occurred. Fortunately the waiting room was unoccupied, it was also fortunate that the young office-assistant had the presence of mind to throw himself on the floor when he became aware that something serious was about to happen, for this act probably saved him from being injured. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 13th July, 1906, p.4. 

   ACCIDENT AT SUNNYSIDE STATION. – While George Heatlie, goods guard, residing in West George Street, was engaged at his work yesterday a little to the east of Sunnyside Station, he received a serious injury to one of his feet. It appears that he made to jump on a waggon, when he slipped, and one of his feet was run over and severely crushed. He was attended to by Dr Andrew, and removed to the Alexander Hospital in the ambulance waggon. 

– Coatbridge Leader, Saturday 14th July, 1906, p.4. 


   At an early hour this morning the dead body of a man was found on the North British Railway at a point about half a mile to the north of Kelty railway station. The body was taken to the railway station, where it was identified by a son as that of Robert Rennie, 60, engineer, residing at Benarty Lodge, Kelty. It is believed that the man was run over by a goods train. 



   James Haining, 18, greaser, residing at 9 Murray Place, Dumfries, was fatally injured last night during shunting operations at Dumfries passenger station. The 8.40 train from Glasgow to Carlisle had come in, and the engine shunted on to the centre rails to lift saloon carriages. A moment or two later Haining was found in the six footway in a dying condition and terribly injured about the head. It is conjectured that he met with the accident in assisting at the coupling. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday 17th July, 1906, p.2. 


   Yesterday evening a sad drowning accident took place in the Water of Leith, near Powderhall Station. A boy, named Alexander Elder, ten years of age, residing at 7 Dunedin Street, Edinburgh, was clambering along the ledge of the railway bridge over the Water of Leith to the north of Powderhall Station, when, apparently frightened by a passing train, he fell off the ledge into the water. The body was not recovered for some time. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 19th July, 1906, p.2. 




   About nine o’clock on Tuesday night an occurrence of an alarming nature was witnessed on the show ground at Fraserburgh Links. A miniature circular railway, over which is driven a locomotive and three cars, has been stationed on the grounds, along with other amusements of a similar nature, during the past few days, and largely patronised by young children. The train was doing its usual round, with a fairly large complement of passengers, and the driver in charge – an Aberdeen man named Daniel – was about to stop the engine when the reversing lever failed to act, with the result that the locomotive, instead of slowing down, increased speed to an alarming degree, the engine and cars careering round the circle at the rate of an ordinary train. The driver appeared to lose his presence of mind, and he leaped from his position on the engine to a place of safety. The train did not long remain on the metals, but continued its course over the wooden platform until one of the occupants of the rear car applied the brake, with the result that the sudden check loosened the fastenings of the middle carriage, which was completely smashed, the occupants being thrown to the ground. Fortunately, no more than six children were in the car at the time, and except for a number of bruises, the majority escaped uninjured. The spectators at once rushed to the rescue and pulled the children from among the “debris,” when it was discovered that the two most seriously injured were a boy named Townsley, residing on the Links show ground, and a little girl named Buchan, from Barrack Lane, but yesterday both were reported as progressing favourably. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Thursday 19th July, 1906, p.5. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – A somewhat serious accident befel Alexander Fairholm, who is employed as lampman at Bothwell North British Railway Station, and who resides at Church Place, Uddingston, while he was at work on Monday night on the Bothwell Park branch of the North British Railway. Fairholm, it appears, was in the act of lowering a couple of heavy signal lamps when the chain attached to the lamps suddenly broke. The lamps fell with great force, jamming Fairholm’s left arm against the side of the signal upright. The unfortunate man was powerless to extricate himself, but happily in a short time some workmen chanced to pass, and they speedily released the young man from his trying position. On being medically examined Fairholm’s left arm was found to have been broken in two places near the wrist. The injured lad was conveyed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where the broken limb was set, but fears are entertained that amputation of the left hand may yet be necessary. “Sandy,” as the injured lad is familiarly known in the district, was for a number of years porter at Uddingston Central (N.B.) Station, and was only recently transferred to the neighbouring station of Bothwell. 

– Bellshill Speaker, Friday 20th July, 1906, p.2. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT AT MANUEL. – A labourer, named William Fields (60), who resided at Almond Row, Muiravonside parish, met with a serious accident at Manuel Station on Friday last, sustaining injuries from the effects of which he has since succumbed. Fields came out of a train which had arrived from Bo’ness, and jumped from the station to the line in order to get to the other side. At the same moment a train coming in the opposite direction entered the station, and Fields was caught between it and the platform. After he had been removed, he was conveyed home and medically attended to. The injured man lived till about six o’clock on the following morning, when he succumbed. Death was certified to be due to shock brought on by the accident. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 21st July, 1906, p.4. 

   FIFE MINERAL TRAIN ACCIDENT. – Yesterday afternoon another accident took place on the mineral railway from Leven pit to Methil dock. A train of loaded waggons was being taken to the dock, when owing to the slippery rails the waggons split the points, and several sunning along the sleepers destroyed a portion of the permanent way. Seven waggons were derailed, narrowly missing the dispatch box, in which were some of the staff. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 24th July, 1906, p.4. 

   On Monday night what was nothing short of a determined attempt to derail the 10.50 East Coast train for London was foiled by the intervention of a passing goods train. A large plank, on the top of which two huge stones were set, had been laid across the rails at a spot known as Beltonford, between East Linton and Dunbar, on the verge of a bridge high above the roadway. As already indicated, a goods train passed shortly before, and succeeded in pushing the obstructions aside without mishap, although the guard of the engine got broken. The London train was detained at east Linton for over half an hour. The county police are instituting stringent inquiries. 

– Coatbridge Leader, Saturday 28th July, 1906, p.6. 

   ACCIDENT TO AN ENGINE DRIVER AT WAVERLEY STATION. – About one o’clock yesterday morning, a North-Eastern Railway engine driver, named [John] Murdie, was run over on one of the lines at the north side of the Waverley Station. He sustained shocking injuries, and late last night his condition was critical. Murdie had driven the train from the south due at the Waverley Station at 10.45. After completing his duties on the engine, he was about to go home when he was knocked down by some carriages which were being shunted. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary. 

– Scotsman, Monday 30th July, 1906, p.6. 





   A sad accident occurred on the Perth and Ladybank Railway at Annsmuir crossing, near Ladybank Station, about two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, which resulted in the death of Miss Florabel Kerr, aged eight years, the youngest daughter of the Rev. R. H. Kerr, minister of the Established Church, Ladybank. 

   The little girl had gone to the crossing with another young girl with the view of proceeding to Annsmuir. Shunting operations were going on, and when the goods train was clear of the crossing Flora’s companion passed over the rails, and she was on the way to join her when she was caught up by the engine of the passenger train from Perth, and hurled along the line. The accident was witnessed by signalmen who had just gone on duty, and who had spoken to the unfortunate girl a few minutes before, telling her to be careful of the trains when crossing to the Muir. When picked up it was seen that the injuries were of a terrible nature, and that there was little hope of recovery. Dr Prentice, Ladybank, and Dr Hardie, Kettle, were soon at Mr Kerr’s house, whither Flora had been carried, but their skill could avail nothing, and she died within an hour of the accident. 

   The greatest sympathy is extended to the Rev. Mr Kerr, who is in the North at present, and who will not reach home until to-day. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 30th July, 1906, p.4. 

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