May 1907

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1907) Contents]

   SUDDEN DEATH AT GALASHIELS. – Yesterday morning Mr William Skillen, coal agent, died suddenly in the lyes at the railway station. He was found lying in an unconscious state at the side of his horse and lorry. Medical assistance was called, but death ensued shortly after, being due to natural causes. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT DYSART. – An accident occurred to a goods train at Dysart Station yesterday forenoon, by which a goods van and several waggons were thrown off the line. The train was intended to be shunted into the Dubbie siding, but instead of doing so, it took the wrong points, and went on to the line alongside the loading bank, where the van collided with the buffer end with such force that the van and a few waggons were derailed. In a short time the Dysart staff had the waggons lifted back to the rails. Although some of the vehicles were somewhat damaged, they were fit to proceed with the train. 

– Scotsman, Wednesday 1st May, 1907, p.11. 

   RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – About 11.5 p.m. on Saturday night, a miner named John Boyd, 11 Westcraigs, Blackridge, met with an accident on the down line of the North British Railway at a part about 200 yards east of the down distant signal from the Caldercruix station by being run down by the 8.40 p.m. train from Uphall to College. It appears from inquiries that Boyd came off the 10.20 p.m. train at Caldercruix, where the train turns, and had started to walk home by the Railway. His contact with the train inflicted severe injuries, his left arm being smashed and the hand cut off, while the second and third fingers of the right hand were cut off at the first joints. He was carried to the waiting room at Caldercruix station where his injuries were attended to by Dr Manuel, who ordered his removal in a waggonette to the Alexander Hospital, Coatbridge. His left arm was there amputated near the shoulder by Dr McKay, Coatbridge. 

– West Lothian Courier, Friday 3rd May, 1907, p.8. 


   The railway servants at the Dunfermline Upper Station had an exciting time yesterday afternoon. A number of cattle were being entrained in the goods yard, when one of them escaped and wandered on to the main line between Dunfermline and Hallbeath. The engine-driver of a passenger train had to bring the engine to a standstill in order to prevent the animal or those who were endeavouring to drive it off the line being injured. The station officials had an exciting chase after the beast, which ultimately made its way down the embankment at the side of the line, and was there captured. 

– Dundee Evening Telegraph, Friday 3rd May, 1907, p.6. 

   FATAL TRAMCAR ACCIDENT IN GLASGOW. – A tramcar accident occurred about six o’clock last evening in Saltmarket Street, Glasgow. Isaac Brodie, a boy of five, residing at 20 Steel Street, was crossing the street when he was knocked down, run over, and instantly killed by a tramcar going southwards. 

– Scotsman, Saturday 4th May, 1907, p.8. 

   ACCIDENT AT BROXBURN. – Yesterday a young man named Thomas Mair, a fitter, met with a serious accident at Niddry Oil Works. He was cleaning and overhauling the machinery of the waggon weighing machine, and while the table was in an upright position a train was shunted against it. The table fell of Mair’s legs, which were nearly amputated. He was conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he is in a precarious condition. 

   TRAVELLER KILLED AT LINLITHGOW STATION. – James Muirden, a Glasgow traveller, was killed at Linlithgow Railway Station yesterday afternoon. Mr Muirden had been in Linlithgow doing business, and intended to return to Glasgow by the 3.5 P.M. slow train from Edinburgh, due at Linlithgow at 3.48. He had, it is stated, been in the act of attempting to open the door of a smoking compartment before the train came to a stop, when he slipped and fell down between the carriage and the platform. He was so severely crushed that he died immediately on being extricated. 

– Scotsman, Saturday 4th May, 1907, p.10. 




   A sad fatal accident, which cast quite a gloom over the Torry district, occurred between 1 and 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, when Robert Bruce, a boy of 10 years, son of a widow who resides at 46 Walker Road, Torry, was killed on the railway opposite Kincorth Woods by a south-going train from Aberdeen. In company with several other boys, Bruce had gone on the railway line near the Ness Bridge to sharpen his knife on the rails, and had failed to observe the train as it swiftly came round the corner and through the bridge about a mile and a quarter from Craiginches Cabin. The body, which was removed to the Aberdeen City Mortuary about 3.30, was terribly mutilated. The left foot had been amputated, and the left hand almost so, while the head was crushed. Deep sympathy will be extended to Mrs Bruce, who, in the tragic circumstances narrated, has sustained a third bereavement within three months. Her husband, Ernest Bruce, who was for number of years a porter at the Joint passenger Station, died three months ago after an illness of nearly two years; and three weeks ago her youngest child died. 


   While John Laing (65), shipwright, 52 Wellington Street, was crossing Union Street last night near Market Street, he was knocked down by a tramcar, and sustained somewhat severe injuries. Fortunately he was caught by the “cow-catcher,” and the car was speedily stopped. Laing, who was rendered unconscious for a time, was extricated from his dangerous position and conveyed in the police ambulance to the Royal Infirmary, where his injuries, which consist of a severe scalp wound and scratches on the face and hands, were attended to by Dr Mitchell. The street was crowded with people at the time, and the accident created a great deal of excitement. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Tuesday 7th May, 1907, p.4. 

   SERIOUS ACCIDENT. – A distressing accident occurred at Wick Railway Station on Saturday last, when a young lad from Sarclet was so severely hurt that he had to be conveyed to hospital and has remained there since in a most precarious condition. The boy had gone to the station with the intention of going home by the last train in the evening. He arrived at the station rather early and to while away the time was amusing himself stepping off the platform into the guards van and back again. when shunting operations commenced he slipped between the platform and the van on to the rails, and several trucks passed over his right arm crushing it horribly and injuring the shoulder. Dr Macdonald attended to the boy at the station, and he was thereafter conveyed in a cab to the Bignold Hospital. Here the arm was amputated. The patient is now progressing as well as may be expected. The boy’s name is John Bruce Sinclair, 14 years of age and he resides at Lochside, Sarclet. In that district the boy was a great favourite with his class-fellows and many others who knew him. No blame can be attached in any way to the railway officials. 

– John o’ Groat Journal, Friday 10th May, 1907, p.4. 

   MAN DECAPITATED AT ST ANDREWS. – On Monday night the body of a man was found on the railway line at St Andrews links Station. It had been run over with by a passing train, and was decapitated. The body was subsequently identified as that of William Nicol, about 65 years of age, who has been in employment for the past two years at Craigrothie Mill. he came to St Andrews on Saturday. 

– East of Fife Record, Friday 10th May, 1907, p.8. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT AT ALEXANDRIA STATION. – As the 1.29 Caledonian train was leaving Alexandria Station on Saturday a man, about forty-five years of age, hurried on to the platform, and made a hasty effort to get on. His foot slipped between the platform and the footboard of the moving train, and he was drawn down the line. Death was instantaneous. The name of the deceased is William Lawns, machine printer, residing in Glasgow. 

– Scotsman, Monday 13th May, 1907, p.6. 

   SAD RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT DALMUIR. – A YOUNG MAN AND A CHILD KILLED. – A sad railway fatality occurred at the North British Railway level crossing at Dalmuir yesterday. The crossing is frequently used by children, as well as adults, as a short cut to the new public park recently presented by Lord Overtoun to the burgh of Clydebank. Before the acquisition of the park, the crossing was very dangerous to pedestrians who had occasion to cross to the pond or fields beyond, but it is now infinitely more so. Yesterday the 11.7 A.M. express to Balloch, due to pass Dalmuir at 11.39, did not do so, for some unexplained cause, till 11.50. At that time a child was observed on the line. The driver of the train saw that the child paid no attention to the warning cries of a man at the wicket gate, and then the man, who was lame, made a dash for the child. The train, which had been “braked” since turning the bend some little way eastwards from the crossing, was only distant from the child about twenty paces. The rescuer succeeded in lifting the child, but ere he could get his burden and himself out of danger, the engine struck him. Both were carried along about 100 yards, and when rescued both were found to be dead and badly mutilated. Robert Currie, the heroic attempted rescuer, was but eighteen years of age, and resided at 19 Pattison Street, Dalmuir, and the child, Charles Fryer, son of a shipyard worker, was aged two years. Currie, before beginning his apprenticeship as a carpenter in the shipyard of Messrs William Beardmore, Dalmuir, was a student in St Aloysius’ College, Glasgow, and St Antony’s, Govan. He was a bright and most intelligent youth, and had only come out of the house that day after a few weeks’ confinement as the result of an accident to one of his legs, and he had to use a stick. 

– Scotsman, Thursday 16th May, 1907, p.6. 


   On Thursday morning about nine o’clock an accident involving a considerable amount of damage occurred at Brownlee Colliery, Law. A Caledonian engine was engaged at the pit removing a train load of waggons of dross, from the “lye.” It backed on to a side line to attach the brake-van which had been put in there, and them coming out the couplings broke, and the whole train load ran backwards, and tilted over the embankment. It is thought that the train was composed of from 17 to 20 waggons. The waggons were smashed to pieces, and the dross scattered. A steam crane was summoned, but when it arrived it fouled the line, and a second had to be procured. As a result of the accident the pit was thrown idle on Thursday and yesterday. 

–  Carluke and Lanark Gazette, Saturday 18th May, 1907, p.3. 







   A distressing accident which unfortunately proved fatal occurred on the Tay Bridge early yesterday morning. The victim was Police Constable David Glen, of the Fifeshire Constabulary, who was stationed at Parbroath, near Cupar. He was knocked down by a light engine and so seriously injured that he died in Dundee Royal Infirmary shortly after admission. 

   Constable Glen had come to Dundee early on Saturday evening on official business. In the vicinity of Parbroath extensive railway works are at present in progress, and in consequence there is a fairly large population of labouring men temporarily resident at Parbroath and its neighbourhood. Some time ago the Fife County Council resolved to draft a constable into the district, and Constable Glen was selected for the duty. The purpose of his visit to Dundee on Saturday evening was to cite a witness in connection with a case of assault which occurred at Parbroath. Constable Glen was detained on his errand, and was unable to catch the last train to Wormit from the Tay Bridge Station. 


   Accordingly he decided to walk across the bridge, and to continue his journey to Parbroath on foot. Near the bend in the bridge which is about one hundred yards from the Esplanade Station Constable Glen met with the accident which cost him his life. From inquiries it appears that the constable had become aware that a goods train had entered upon the bridge from Dundee, and his attention had apparently been so much occupied by the fact that he failed to observe the approach of a light engine. This engine had been attached to the last train from Tay Bridge station to Tayport – the train which Constable Glen missed – and was being driven back to the locomotive sheds at Dundee. Constable Glen was knocked down, and when he was discovered a little later he was lying between the rails with a deep wound in his head. 


   The driver of the light engine on reaching Esplanade Station shortly after twelve o’clock reported to the signalman that he thought he had struck something near the bend of the bridge. Accompanied by a member of the Dundee Police Force, the signalman proceeded to the spot, and found constable Glen in the position described. The men did their best for the sufferer, and the ambulance van was immediately summoned. Constable Glen was conveyed to the Infirmary, but about an hour after his admission death from fracture of the skull supervened. 

   Constable Glen was 27 years of age, and unmarried, and was a man of fine physique. He belonged to the district of Marykirk, where his relatives reside. Deceased had been connected with the Fifeshire Constabulary for about six years. He was previously stationed at Cowdenbeath, and before joining the police force he was employed for some time as a porter at Wormit Railway Station. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 20th May, 1907, p.5. 

   STONEHAVEN MAN’S TERRIBLE DEATH. – Alexander Gordon, a compositor, residing in High Street, Stonehaven, met with a terrible death on the railway near Cove on Friday night. The unfortunate man was a native of Stonehaven, and he was on his way to Aberdeen to take up a situation in the “Aberdeen Daily Journal” Office. How he met his death is not known, but it is believed that he had been walking along the line on his way from Stonehaven to Aberdeen, and been overtaken and knocked down by a passing train. The body, which was found about half a mile south of Cove Station on Saturday morning, was terribly mangled, the head and left arm being found about 30 yards from the body. Gordon, who was between 40 and 50 years of age, some time  

ago met with a tramcar accident in Edinburgh, the result of which was that his left hand had to be amputated. The remains were conveyed to the police mortuary, Lodge Walk, and were identified later in the day. Deceased’s parents are both living. His father was for many years inspector of poor and registrar of Dunnottar, and retired a few years ago. Investigations by the police went to show that deceased arrived in Aberdeen on Friday, and left a handbag at the parcel’s office at the station, so that he must have been walking back in the direction of Stonehaven when he was killed. The sympathy of the community is extended to the aged parents in their sore bereavement. 

– Stonehaven Journal, Thursday 23rd May, 1907, p.2. 



Late last night the details of a shocking railway fatality were reported to Greenock police authorities. It appears that the decapitated body of a man was found on the Glasgow and South-Western line at the east-end of the Bawhirley tunnel, a short distance from Lynedoch Station. The mangled body presented a terrible sight, the head being completely detached from the body, and limbs scattered about the rails. The story of what led to the discovery of the fatality is somewhat unusual, as it appears that when the passenger train due at Princes Pier at 9.55 p.m. steamed into the station the officials’ attention was arrested by something revolving with a wheel of the engine. On examination it was found to be a man’s cap, and this aroused the suspicion that something in the nature of an accident had taken place, and a search party was sent along the line. 

   The remains were conveyed to Greenock police mortuary, and from the description deceased appears to have been a working man. He was five feet nine inches in height, and wore a grey tweed jacket, brown tweed vest, striped tweed trousers, blue flannel semmit, red cravat, brown socks, and lacing boots. The body has not yet been identified. 

– Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Thursday 30th May, 1907, p.2. 

   ATTEMPTED TRAIN WRECKING. – Inquiry was continued on Tuesday regarding a series of carriages which had taken place in the valley of the Esk between Rosslyn Castle and Eskbridge Stations, on the Penicuik railway. At the former station panes of glass were broken, and at Esk Mills eight windows were broken, in a range of forty yards. But the most serious affair was the placing of a beam of pitch pine on the permanent way near Eskbridge Station. The beam was 20 feet long, and the total weight was over 3 cwts., requiring the united strength of two railwaymen to remove it. Had it been placed upon the rails before midnight instead of after that hour the consequences to the last passenger train would have been disastrous. 

   DISCHARGED LUNATIC CAUSES A SENSATION. – Excitement was created at Berwick Railway Station last Thursday night by an incident which had almost fatal termination. A man was observed in the general waiting-room drinking from a phial, and on an official approaching him he was found to be in a semi-conscious state, while three empty phials beside him had evidently contained laudanum. Restorative measures were at once taken, medical aid summoned, and the stomach pump applied. After the lapse of about an hour the man was revived sufficiently to permit of being conveyed to the Infirmary. At Berwick Police Court the following day Edward Peter Todd Hunter, described as an Army pensioner, belonging to Edinburgh, was charged with being a lunatic wandering at large. It was stated that Hunter was found in a waiting-room at Berwick Station under the influence of laudanum, having swallowed the contents of three ounce phials, and was revived with great difficulty. Dr Fraser, who was called to his aid, said on questioning the man he found that he had been a habitual partaker of narcotics for sixteen years, and had only a day or two previously been discharged from Roslin Asylum. That morning he had pleaded for tincture of opium, and when refused asked for Indian hemp or belladona. His mind was very hazy, and he could only remember things with great difficulty. He was practically of unsound mind. It was stated that Hunter could not legally be removed to Scotland, and he was ordered to be sent to Morpeth Asylum. 

– Dalkeith Advertiser, Thursday 30th May, 1907, p.3. 

   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT. – Yesterday afternoon a young Russian, named Karlis Mauritz, was fatally injured on the North British Railway near Dumbarton Station. Mauritz was observed walking on the four-foot way, and shortly afterwards information reached the town that he had been knocked down and killed by a train proceeding in the direction of Glasgow. He is supposed to have come from Liverpool. 

– Scotsman, Friday 31st May, 1907, p.5. 

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