October 1906

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1906) Contents]


   Dumfries, Saturday. – About half-past six o’clock this morning Sam. Taylor, driver of an engine returning from Castle-Douglas, found the dead body of a man lying on the up line opposite Lochside, about a mile west of Dumfries. The head rested on the rails, and the man had apparently been knocked down and killed by an earlier train. The body was removed to Maxwelltown Station for identification. The man was about sixty years, and dressed in a light suit. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Monday 1st October, 1906, p.3. 

   RAILWAY FATALITY AT PAISLEY. – Renfrewshire police reported on Saturday the death of a boy on the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Line at Pennilee the previous afternoon. He was Archibald Kyle, about sixteen years of age, and lived at 14 Alma Street, Govan. Employed at Pennilee signal cabin, he had gone down to the railway to obtain a letter from a Caledonian train passing from Glasgow and did not observe the approach of a South-Western train which had left Paisley for the city. He was run over and killed. 

– Scotsman, Monday 1st October, 1906, p.6. 

   SAD FATAL ACCIDENT AT INNERLEVEN. – Alive though the railway sidings at Methil dock are with the passing and shunting of trains and the crossing of people, it is some years since the place was the scene of so distressing an accident as we regret to record occurred there on Monday. Not long after the dinner hour, a boy of eight, Samuel Craig, son of the late Mr Samuel Craig, blacksmith, and residing with his mother at Abdie Cottage, Innerleven, was crossing the line from the sands when he was overtaken by a train, and fell with his legs across the rails, when the little limbs were severed at the knee. Nurse Carmichael was the first skilled helper on the scene, but eventually Dr Anderson, Denbeath, was in attendance. He saw it was a critical case, and after weighing up the boy’s chances, decided to send him to Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital. Under the charge of the Nurse he was removed thither soon after. Needless to say, he was in a very serious state. The shock, loss of blood, and the serious injury were too much for the young life, on Tuesday evening the lad succumbed. Much sympathy is felt for the widowed mother. In regard to the accident there are as usual many rumours as to how it happened, but from a companion of deceased comes a statement which has the air of probability. This lad, the only person who witnessed the accident, states that they had been to the beach to play, and were returning to cross the rails when an engine with a number of waggons was proceeding slowly from Innerleven siding to a hoist at Methil Dock. Craig took hold of the brake lever of a waggon, and put his foot on the lid of the axle-box to be carried along. He slipped and fell, the wheels of the rear waggons passing over his legs. 

– Leven Advertiser & Wemyss Gazette, Thursday 4th October, 1906, p.3. 




   James Law, surfaceman, 4 Black’s Buildings, Aberdeen, who is in the employment of the Caledonian Railway Company, met with a very serious accident on the railway at Clayhills yesterday afternoon. The unfortunate man was at work along with a number of other men at the Clayhills siding, when he failed to hear a warning shout from one of his fellow-workmen on the approach of a North British Railway shunting engine going southwards. Before he could get clear of the rails the engine was upon him, and he was struck on the head by the step of the locomotive which inflicted a deep wound on his head. He was picked up by James Stewart, fireman, and was speedily conveyed to the Royal Infirmary in the station ambulance. law, who was also severely bruised below one of his arms, is in a critical condition. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Friday 5th October, 1906, p.4. 

   RAILWAY NEAR COWDENBEATH. – Last night a labourer, named James Brown, about 35 years of age, belonging to Baldridgeburn, Dunfermline, was run over by a passenger train near Lumphinnans Bridge, to the north of Cowdenbeath Station. His right arm was almost severed from his body, and besides having his right leg fractured he received an ugly wound on the brow. He was conveyed to Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital in a serious condition. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 6th October, 1906, p.4. 

   ALARMING OCCURRENCE. – An alarming accident occurred on the Caledonian Railway at Mossend in the early hours of Saturday morning, which resulted in great damage to stock and permanent way. A heavy mineral train was travelling at a good rate when the couplings of one of the waggons gave way, causing the train to become divided. The engine-driver, not knowing what had taken place, continued at full speed until he found the signals at danger on approaching Mossend. He was pulling up his train when the second portion, which had gained speed on the incline, dashed into the first portion. Nine waggons were completely smashed, and their contents scattered over the platforms and the line. The collision took place in the vicinity of the station buildings, and the property was considerably damaged, while the permanent way was torn up. The up and down main lines were blocked. The breakdown squad was summoned from Motherwell, but it was found necessary to get the assistance of a powerful steam crane to lift the damaged waggons. The work of clearing the wreck and repairing the permanent way occupied several hours. Much delay was caused to the goods and mineral traffic, but the lines were ready in time for passenger trains. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Saturday 6th October, 1906, p.2. 

   On Tuesday morning a sad accident took place at the Waverley Station, Edinburgh, whereby an old man of about 70 years lost his life, being run down by a pilot engine. 

– Midlothian Advertiser, Saturday 6th October, 1906, p.5. 





   An exciting affair occurred yesterday on the railway between Thornton and Dunfermline, James Brown, who lives at 56 Baldridgeburn Street, Dunfermline, attempting to take his life by jumping in front of a train. 

   Brown, who is well known in Dunfermline and district, works at odd jobs, such as rag-picking, and has also been employed in the mines, and it is understood that he had gone to Cowdenbeath to look for work during yesterday. He had been seen sitting on the railway embankment not far from the Lumphinnans Station and he was observed as a passenger train approached to rise and then leap in front of the engine. He was terribly injured about the body, one of his arms being badly smashed. He was conveyed to the Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the limb at the shoulder. On inquiry last night at the Hospital it was learned that he was in a precarious condition. 

– Dundee Courier, Saturday 6th October, 1906, p.5. 

   INJURED MAN FOUND IN GLASGOW TUNNEL. – Shortly before midnight on Saturday a railway lamplighter found a young man lying injured on the line, about half-way between Queen Street and College Station, on the North British Underground railway, Glasgow. Assistance was procured, and the injured man was conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, where it was found that he had sustained a fracture of the skull. He gave his name as Martin Joseph Kellar, and stated that he was a railway crossing keeper, and resided at Royal Bank Buildings, Bo’ness. He had fallen from the carriage of a train when returning home after a visit to Glasgow. 

– Scotsman, Monday 8th October, 1906, p.8. 




   A shocking fatality occurred at Townhill Junction early yesterday morning, George Martin, enginedriver, James Place, Dunfermline, losing his life by being run over by a van. 

   During Saturday night the deceased had gone to Perth with a special mineral goods train, and on returning he had engaged in shunting operations at Townhill Junction. While these were in progress he had for some purpose left his engine, when he was caught by a van and run over. At the time there were less than half-a-dozen persons engaged at the Junction, and the accident was unobserved until the vehicle had passed over the unfortunate man. When discovered, he was found to be terribly injured. He was taken to the Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital, but died in less than an hour after the accident had occurred. 

   The deceased, who had for a period of about sixteen or seventeen years been a railway employee in the district, was well known and much respected. He was about forty years of age, and leaves a widow and three of a family. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 8th October, 1906, p.5. 

   BODY FOUND ON CALEDONIAN RAILWAY. – Early yesterday morning the body of a man, not as yet identified, was found lying between the up rails of the Caledonian Railway about half way between Maryhill and Possil Park stations. The discovery was made by the driver of a passing engine, and he reported the matter to a signalman. The police on being informed had the remains removed to the mortuary at Maryhill Police Office. The unfortunate man had evidently been run down by a train, as his skull was fractured, while his left arm appears to have been from thirty-five to forty years of age, about six feet high, with dark hair and heavy dark moustache, and he wore a navy blue serge suit. the point where the body was found is an opening in “Tams Hill” tunnel, which passes through the Glasgow North-Western golf course. 

– Scotsman, Tuesday 9th October, 1906, p.4. 

Railway Fatality at Maryhill. 


   Early on Monday morning the body of a man was found lying in the Tamshill tunnel of the Caledonian Railway about 400 yards east of Maryhill (Garrioch Road) Railway Station. Shortly after five o’clock in the morning the driver of a light engine observed the body lying on the six-foot way, and he at once informed the signalman at the signal-box, which was not far distant, who told the police. 

   Sergt. Oliver, of the Maryhill Police, on appearing on the scene, found the body stretched on the line as if deceased had been asleep when struck by a passing train. The train had passed over the left arm, almost severing it in three places. The head was also badly mutilated. The man’s identity was unknown at the time of the discovery. The remains were removed to the Maryhill mortuary to await identification. 

   At 9 o’clock on Monday night Elizabeth McMillan or Whyte, 3 Hopehill Place, identified the body of the man as that of her husband, Thomas Whyte, a labourer, aged 34 years, who resided at the above address. Deceased was last seen alive at 3 p.m. on Saturday, 6th inst., when he left his house saying he was going to a football match at Ibrox. 

– Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, Friday 12th October, 1906, p.6. 





   Joseph Marshall, living at King’s Terrace, Inverkeithing, had a narrow escape from death or serious injury on the railway between Dunfermline and Halbeath yesterday evening. He was a passenger in the train leaving the Dunfermline Upper Station for Kelty at four o’clock, and the train had reached the Dunfermline Cemetery, when he fell out of the carriage on to the permanent way. How the accident occurred is unknown, but it is supposed that the door must have burst open when he was leaning out of the window. 

   The unfortunate man was observed lying on the track, and he was conveyed to the station in a van, and thence to the Dunfermline and West of Fife Hospital in the ambulance waggon. At that institution it was ascertained that he had been severely bruised about the back, but had escaped serious injury. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 12th October, 1906, p.5. 






   A rather serious mishap befel Mr Joseph N. Strachan, fish dealer, residing at Padanaram, on Tuesday. Strachan, who had been in the Kirriemuir district doing business during the morning, was returning home with his horse and lorry by the Forfar and Kirriemuir Road. While approaching the level railway crossing at Balmuckety, he noticed that the road was open for him, but just as he entered within the railway gates, the Tuesday express train from Kirriemuir to Dundee came dashing down the line, with the result that before Strachan got clear his lorry was struck by the engine and smashed to pieces, Strachan himself being flung against a gate post with considerable force, thereby sustaining severe injuries to his head and body. the horse was also badly damaged about the hind legs, crippling it rather severely. Surely it must have been an overlook that the gates were not closed against road traffic at the approach of the express train, and the marvel is that, seeing Strachan’s property was smashed to such an extent, that he himself escaped with his life. 

– Forfar Herald, Friday 12th October, 1906, p.4. 

   ALARMING RAILWAY COLLISION. – An alarming accident occurred on the railway at Grangemouth about one o’clock on Tuesday morning, as the result of which considerable inconvenience was occasioned to dock traffic. To the east of the station there are several sets of lines leading to different parts of the docks, and while two goods engines – one belonging to the Caledonian Railway Company, and one to the North British Railway Company – were waiting on different rails at this part in order to proceed to a water tank situated opposite the station, they both took the signal from the signal-cabin at the same time. Both engines were started, and were travelling at a fair speed, when they met and dashed into each other at the crossing. As the result of the impact, the locomotives were both badly damaged. The C.R. engine shared the worst fate, the front part of it being seriously smashed, while the tender was knocked clean over on its side. The N.B. engine jumped the rails, and scaled the side of the other colliding locomotive, thus leaving the engines in a very awkward position to be removed. In consequence of the collision the direct line leading to the new docks was blocked to all traffic, and the permanent way was also a little torn up and damaged. The breakdown gang which is stationed at Grangemouth were immediately summoned, and after a lapse of five hours they succeeded in having the line cleared and reopened. In the meantime all the dock traffic was diverted along another line which leads to the old docks, but his, as already stated, occasioned some delay. Fortunately no one was injured by the collision, though, we understand, one of the shunters had a very narrow escape. 

– Falkirk Herald, Saturday 13th October, 1906, p.5. 


   Early on Tuesday morning the dead body of William Cameron, goods porter, was found on the railway line at Banchory Railway Station about opposite the end of the platform. The body was frightfully smashed up, and it was evident that the unfortunate man had been run over by a train. Deceased was on the platform at the station the previous evening speaking to friends who were leaving by train for Aberdeen, but no one observed the accident. Deceased, who was about 22 years of age, belonged to the Insch district. 

– Aberdeen People’s Journal, Saturday 13th October, 1906, p.8. 



   A young man named Archibald Bowman, goods train fireman, residing at Burntisland, met with an accident at Cardenden Station yesterday afternoon. He was engaged in shunting operations, when he was knocked down by a waggon and injured internally. He was removed to Kirkcaldy Hospital, where he died last night. The same evening a young woman named Lizzie Ellis, residing at Twelfth Street, Bowhill, was brought to the hospital, suffering from severe injuries to her legs, and it was found necessary to amputate both legs above the knees. She had been engaged filling a waggon with bricks at Bowhill Brickworks, when she was knocked down and run over by an engine. This morning she was reported to be progressing favourably. 

– Edinburgh evening News, Thursday 18th October, 1906, p.4. 


   A fatal accident occurred on the railway near the east end of the Calton Tunnel, Edinburgh, yesterday afternoon. A restaurant keeper named Duncan Ross (55), 5 Waddell Place, Leith, fell in front of the 3.55 train from Edinburgh to Musselburgh, and was picked up dead, his skull being terribly crushed. A considerable sum of money was found scattered on the ground near the scene of the accident. The body was taken to the City Mortuary, where it was identified. Ross is believed to have been travelling from Leith, and it is thought that he had been under the impression he was in the Suburban train which stops at Abbeyhill, whereas he was in the ordinary Leith express, and, when the train slowed down outside Abbeyhill Station, it is believed he had attempted to alight, when he was knocked down by the other train. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Friday 19th October, 1906, p.2. 


   Henry Scobie (42), foreman surfaceman on the West Highland Railway, was run over and killed near Arrochar by the late train on Saturday. The driver of the train was unaware of the accident, which was only known yesterday through the discovery of Scobie’s lifeless body. The deceased resided at Morelaggan, and he would be making his way along the line from his work when overtaken by the train. 

– Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 22nd October, 1906, p.3. 


   Early on Saturday morning a burn which flows quite close to the Great North Railway, about a mile and a half from Rothes, undermined and washed away about fifty yards of the embankment. The rails and sleepers on one side of the line were quite unsupported, and it was found impossible to repair the line on Saturday. In consequence of this, passengers going to or from Elgin, and also the mails and luggage, had to be transferred from one train to another. The burn rises near the Glen of Rothes, where Mr and Mrs Asquith stayed during the autumn, about a mile from the place where the accident occurred. It is quite a little stream at its source, but gathers water rapidly when there is a heavy rainfall, and as it swerved round at the embankment and came in such volume and force, it quickly began to encroach. The embankment is about eight feet high, and as it was composed of gravel and small stones, the water quickly made inroads, first passing below the wire paling and then right below one side of the rails. The gap was so large that it was at once seen that it would be impossible to carry on the passenger or goods traffic on Saturday, and it was suspended. The trains from Craigellachie and Elgin ran up to either side of the gap, and the passengers had to walk about 100 yards from one train to the other. About fifty men were employed during Saturday wheeling gravel from the bed of the burn to fill up the gap. 

– Nairnshire Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Northern Counties, Tuesday 23rd October, 1906, p.3. 

   LEAP FROM AN EXPRESS TRAIN. – A startling affair occurred on the railway near Lunan Bay on Thursday night. It seems that a middle-aged man had for some reason jumped from the carriage window while the 5.30 express was steaming into Lunan Bay Station. Later in the evening the man was brought to Arbroath by a slow train, and there he told a story of someone having tried to rob him in the train, hence his reason for jumping out. The man had a providential escape. At that particular part of the journey the train was slowing up, but was going at a fairly rapid pace, and it is marvellous that he only sustained some slight bruises to his legs. It would appear that he started his journey from Elgin, and joined the express at Aberdeen for Edinburgh. He proceeded to the capital later in the evening. 

– Montrose Standard, Friday 26th October, 1906, p.5. 

   A DANGEROUS PRANK. – A Springfield boy, twelve years of age, appeared before Sheriff Armour at Cupar Sheriff Court on Monday, and pleaded guilty to a charge of having placed a “chair” on one of the rails of the branch line to the Cults limeworks, to the danger of the train and the driver. The Fiscal (Mr H. H. Brown) said the boy had no idea of the danger of what he was doing. It so happened that he could not have taken a more dangerous part of the line. It was at a curve, where they had to put on a considerable speed, and when the train of waggons came round the curve the driver was horrified to see the chair lying on the rail. He had no time to pull up, but fortunately the engine was running backwards at the time, and a sand-pipe knocked the obstruction out of the way. Had the engine been running in the ordinary way, he was informed that nothing could possibly have avoided a smash. His Lordship said that apparently the mischievous act very nearly led to a serious accident, in which one or more lives might have been lost. Considering the boy’s age, however, and the fact that he did not realise the seriousness of the act, his Lordship thought the ends of justice would be met if he put the accused under the First Offenders’ Act. 

– St. Andrews Citizen, Saturday 27th October, 1906, p.5. 

   ACCIDENT. – On Thursday last an accident of rather a serious nature took place on the Caledonian Railway, near Fauldhouse Station. While a platelayer, named Rooney, belonging to Cleland, Omoa, was walking on the side of the line, with his tools over his shoulder, a passenger train coming up, knocked him down the embankment. He had his shoulder bone broken, and his arm dislocated. Dr. Ogilvy was soon in attendance, and after dressing his wounds had him removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. 

– Midlothian Advertiser, Saturday 27th October, 1906, p.5. 





Passengers Injured. 

   Just as the North British train was about to leave Aberdeen Station this afternoon, well filled with passengers, an engine that was shunting waggons missed the points, and dashed into the train. 

   One of the carriages was smashed, and two of the passengers were cut and bruised. 

   They were, however, able to proceed, and the train got away after an hour’s delay. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Monday 29th October, 1906, p.3. 

Shocking Railway Accident. 




   A shocking railway accident is reported from the Newton district. Between two and three o’clock on Monday afternoon, Archibald Bennett (28), hammerman, Alexandria Terrace, branch line of the Caledonian Railway at Spittal Hill, about half-way between Newton and Blantyre. The discovery was made by a surfaceman named Patrick McEwan, Wellpark Buildings, Uddingston, who communicated with the police. The unfortunate man had been walking along the line from Blantyre to Newton, and had evidently been knocked down and run over by an up-going train. He was terribly injured, both legs being severed from the body a little below the knees. The poor fellow was conveyed to the goods yard at Newton, and after being attended to by Dr Crawford Crichton, Newton, was conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, in the ambulance waggon. Last night he was reported to be progressing as favourably as could be expected. 

   Bennett is well-known in the Newton district, having been employed as a hammerman in Hallside Steelworks. He is married, and has one child. 

– Hamilton Herald and Lanarkshire Weekly News, Wednesday 31st October, 1906, p.3. 

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