Site icon Random Scottish History

September 1907

[Scottish Railway Incidents (1907) Contents]

   FIRE IN PRINCES STREET STATION. – Through some cause, the exact nature of which is unknown, fire broke out in the lamp-room at Princes Street Station last night. On the arrival of Edinburgh Fire Bridgae it was found that the outbreak had a somewhat dangerous aspect, as the wood casing of the oil tanks had become ignited. In a short time, however, the brigade had the fire extinguished without much damage having been done. 


   MAN KILLED ON GLENCORSE RAILWAY. – Yesterday forenoon, whilst a railway porter and booking clerk were walking between Glencorse and Auchendinny stations, in the centre of a tunnel about a hundred yards from the former station they came upon the dead body of a young man. The body, which was lying on the four-foot way, was badly mutilated. Both legs were cut off, and the skull shattered. The body was taken possession of by the police, and conveyed to the mortuary, and in the afternoon was identified as that of William Henderson (20), formerly a grocer’s assistant in Edinburgh, but latterly at Biggar. He was last seen alive in Penicuik about 11 P.M. on Saturday, and it is believed that he was run over by the train from Edinburgh which arrives at Glencorse a few minutes before midnight. 








   AN alarming accident occurred at the Lower Junction at Manuel Station on Saturday night to an ordinary passenger train on the way to Bo’ness. This train, which stands in the dock and awaits passengers arriving from all directions, is due to leave the junction at 6.56 P.M. It is as a rule a busy train, but on Saturday night the traffic was exceptionally heavy, increased as it was by a very large contingent returning from a big football match at Falkirk. Two extra carriages were requisitioned, and these were situated to the rear of the guard’s van, hard against the spring buffers of the dock. These carriages were packed with women, some carrying children, and a large number of young men. About twenty minutes late the Bo’ness train steamed out of the station. the signalman on duty at the Lower Junction was William Beattie. he had just handed the tablet to John Bryce, senior, the engine-driver, and returned to the cabin, when he observed the two rear carriages running separate from the rest of the train. He immediately threw up the advance distant signal, and the train drew up about 240 yards from the cabin. Meanwhile the uncoupled carriages, following some distance behind, had already gathered a fair amount of speed on the steep incline leading to Birkhill, which is the next signalling station. When the two portions met the collision was one of considerable violence, and was felt throughout the whole train. As showing the force of the impact several windows in the train were smashed and two buffer shells broken. 

   The passengers in the runaway carriages were badly shaken up, and one or two, fearing worse was to follow, jumped out on to the railway embankment as the carriages rebounded back for some distance. One such was a Mrs Morgan, from Bathgate, who was on a visit to her daughter at Bo’ness. A large number of passengers, male and female, as a result of being struck with shattered glass. For fully half an hour the train stood at the distant signal, during which time attention was devoted by well meaning passengers to the injured. Latterly the train started away from Kinneil, which is the first stopping place. There six of the injured passengers got out and were attended by Dr Anderson, assistant to Dr graham, who was in waiting. The injuries were for the most part superficial. A couple of minutes later Bo’ness was reached, and fifteen more passenger reported themselves to the officials at the station as more or less injured. Two woman – Mrs Morgan and Mrs Horne, from Newtown – were in a state of collapse from the effects of shock. They received first attention from Dr Aitken, the other injured parties being treated by members of the Railway Ambulance Corps. 

   How the carriages became detached is not yet known. But it is plain that had the runaways not been detected by the signalman, and they had been allowed to travel alone down the incline, the results would have been very serious indeed for the sixty occupants or so of the various compartments. When the train was backed into the “dead end” at Manuel everything was in order. It stood there for fully half-an-hour, and it is suspected that in the interval the couplings were maliciously tampered with. 

– Scotsman, Monday 2nd September, 1907, p.6. 

   NARROW ESCAPE. – On Thursday morning while a workman was proceeding along the side of the railway to his employment in the [Selkirk] Dyeworks he was suddenly attacked with illness and fell across the rails. A train was being shunted at the time when the accident occurred, but fortunately the man was observed by the guard of the train and rescued from his perilous position. 

– Southern Reporter, Thursday 5th September, 1907, p.2. 

   FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT ARDROSSAN. – On Friday last, while Robert Sydney Mullen (19), railway surfaceman, residing at Barr Lane, Ardrossan, was working at the Caledonian Railway Goods Station, Ardrossan, he was knocked down by a waggon which was being shunted and one of the wheels passed over his back. Death was instantaneous. The unfortunate young man belonged to Bangor, Ireland, and had only been six weeks in the town. His body was conveyed to Bangor. 

– Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Friday 6th September, 1907, p.4. 





   An alarming incident occurred last night in a compartment of the train leaving Bo’ness for Manuel Junction at 8.5. In one of the third-class compartments of the train the sole occupant was a Linlithgowbridge lady, and not long after the train had started, she was greatly startled by finding that burning oil was dropping from the lamp in the compartment and setting fire to the furnishings. the occupant of the carriage got out on to the footboard, and attracted the attention of a young man in the next compartment, who pulled the communication cord and brought the train to a standstill. By this time the flames had spread to the cushions and walls of the compartment, and the windows were cracking with the heat inside. In the absence of water to subdue the outbreak, cushions were brought from adjoining compartments, and with these the flames were smothered, but not before the compartment had been completely wrecked. The lady passenger, who had had such an alarming experience, was given accommodation in a first-class compartment, and the train then proceeded on its way. 

   It may be interesting to note that the incident occurred a very short distance from the scene of the collision of Saturday last. 

– Linlithgowshire Gazette, Friday 6th September, 1907, p.5. 

   BOY’S FATAL FALL FROM AN EXPRESS TRAIN. – A boy, seven years of age, son of Archibald Thomson, Langholm, while travelling with his father and mother by the 10.10 A.M. express train from Edinburgh to Glasgow yesterday, fell out of the carriage a short distance to the east of Philpstoun station. The communication cord was at once pulled, and the train was brought to a standstill at Philpstoun. The guard and some of the passengers went along the line, and carried the boy to the train, which conveyed him to Linlithgow station, where he was examined and treated by Dr hunter, Linlithgow. The 11 A.M. express from Glasgow to Edinburgh was specially stopped at Linlithgow for the boy’s removal to the Royal Infirmary, where he died about one o’clock, without ever having regained consciousness. The boy had sustained a fracture of the skull, besides other injuries. It is stated that the boy had risen off his seat and leaned his back against the door, which swung open, causing him to fall out on to the six-feet way. The father and mother with their boy had been going to Glasgow to spend a holiday. 


   ALARMING INCIDENT AT WAVERLEY STATION. – An alarming incident, caused by the throwing of a lighted match from a railway carriage window, occurred in Waverley Station, Edinburgh, yesterday. The match fell beside a manhole between the rails which is used for supplying the carriages with gas, and for some little time the flame of the gas, which became ignited, shot up into the air from the main to a considerable height. The carriages which were standing in the vicinity were hastily removed, but eventually the gas supply was turned off, and the danger was averted. 


   BOY’S FALL FROM A BRIDGE. – James Stevenson, a boy of six years who resides at 63 Stevenson Street, Calton, Glasgow, was found yesterday about five o’clock by a railway employee lying on the line below the bridge at Ker Street, Calton. The child was unconscious. He was conveyed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he lies in a critical condition. It is stated that he was playing on the parapet of the bridge, and overbalanced. 

– Scotsman, Saturday 7th September, 1907, p.8. 




   On Saturday night an unfortunate accident occurred at Brechin to James Selbie, goods guard, who resides at Ferry Street, Montrose. 

   Selbie arrived in Brechin about six o’clock with a goods train from Montrose, and shunting operations were going on for the purpose of taking back another. He had shifted the points to get his train into a siding near the goods station. 

   On stepping on to the footboard at the tender Selbie’s foot slipped, and he fell between the rails. The engine passed over his foot, which was badly smashed. 

   Dr Dewar, medical officer of health for the county, and Dr Lamb, at present residing at Brechin on holidays, had just arrived in the station from Edzell. They attended the injured man, and gave orders for his removal to the Infirmary. Here he was seen by Drs Myles and Sinclair, who found it necessary to amputate the foot. 

– Dundee Courier, Monday 9th September, 1907, p.5. 

   Mr W. McCall, who met with an accident at Dunblane Railway Station on Monday, which necessitated his removal to Stirling Infirmary, is well-known in this city, where he was formerly employed at Messrs John Swan & Sons’ Mart previous to that concern being purchased by Messrs Hay & Co. McColl, who had been at the goods shed, apparently failed to notice the approach of a train from the south, and was caught and knocked down. Luckily, however, he was thrown clear of the engine. 

– Perthshire Advertiser, Wednesday 11th September, 1907, p.4. 


   Robert Taylor, surfaceman, Factory Place, Kinglassie, was killed on the 25th of July on the Craigend Colliery mineral railway by being run over by a train of loaded waggons which were being pushed slowly along by an engine. 

   The deceased, it was stated, was found lying on the track after a train of waggons had passed. The engine and the whole of the vehicles went over him. The train was travelling at a rate of only three miles an hour, and, as the accident was unobserved, it was not known how it happened. 

– Dundee Courier, Friday 13th September, 1907, p.7. 

   BOY KILLED BY AN EXPRESS TRAIN. – A boy named Peter Currie Higgins, six years of age, the son of Wm. Higgins, kiln-burner, Milnquarter Cottages, High Bonnybridge, was on Sunday killed by an express train. The boy was crossing the North British Railway line at the west end of Milnquarter Brick Works, and when doing so he stooped down on the four-foot way to pick up a piece of broken pipeclay. Just at the moment an express train from Aberdeen to Glasgow rushed forward, and the boy failing to notice it was instantly killed. 

– Falkirk Herald, Wednesday 18th September, 1907, p.4. 

   BULLOCK STOPS A TRAIN. – Some excitement was occasioned at the Upper Railway Station on to the main line. The animal escaped from a waggon in the goods yard, and, chased by porters, cleaners, and others employed at the station, galloped along the south platform and up and down the line for about twenty minutes before being caught. Meanwhile a train had been held up. 

– Dundee Courier, Wednesday 18th September, 1907, p.7. 




   The half-yearly meeting, at which there was a large attendance, was held yesterday in the Merchants’ Hall, Glasgow. Mr Patrick T. Caird, chairman of the directors, presided. The directors’ report, already published, was held as read. 


   Provost Keith Hamilton, in reference to the relations between the railway companies and their employees, submitted a suggestion that the directors and managers of the Scottish railways, with some shareholders added if need be, should form a railway association, and that that association should then meet the representatives of the men with a view to the formation of a railway conciliation board. He accepted the position that the Scottish railways must not be mixed up with the English railways, where the conditions of service were somewhat different. He believed that if the Scottish railway were somewhat different. He believed that if the Scottish railway companies would form such an association, and meet the men in a reasonable spirit, the possibilities of a strike in Scotland would at least be averted. 

– Scotsman, Wednesday 18th September, 1907, p.9. 


   Late on Saturday night a message was received at Lenzie from Bishopbriggs that a passenger had fallen from a railway train while running from Lenzie to Cadder siding. Mr Stewart, the Lenzie station-master, along with a member of the Lanarkshire Constabulary set off along the line in search of the passenger and met him making his way as best he could towards Lenzie. He gave his name as John Keith, 22, a clerk, residing at 342 Duke St., Dennistoun. He had been at Drumshoreland playing a football match and joined the train at Winchburgh. It was about 10 o’clock when he fell from the train but he could not give any account of the accident or of anything that happened after leaving Winchburgh. The man’s injuries, which consisted of a scalp wound and slight bruises about the face, were dressed by Dr Armstrong. 

– Kirkintilloch Gazette, Friday 20th September, 1907, p.3. 

   It is stated that, should a railway strike occur, it will lead to a smart reduction in the present inflated price of coal. Mr Fox, secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, states that Mr Bell had no authority for asserting that he had the support of thousands of members of the Associated Society. 

– Dundee Courier, Tuesday 24th September, 1907, p.4. 

   FATAL ACCIDENT AT KILMARNOCK STATION. – On Tuesday forenoon a fatal accident occurred at the railway station to a porter named Joseph Gracie, residing at Bonnyton Square. He had been crossing the rails, it is supposed, near the end of No. 1 platform, and not observing the approach of an engine that was backing into No. 2 platform, he was knocked down and run over, sustaining severe injuries to his arms, legs, and body. The unfortunate man was immediately removed to the infirmary, where it was found necessary to amputate his right foot and left arm. He eventually succumbed as the result of his injuries. Gracie, who was about thirty years of age, was a married man with two children. 

– Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette, Friday 27th September, 1907, p.5. 

   About a dozen men employed in loading the lorries at the [Dunfermline] Upper Railway Station have come out on strike to have their weekly wage of 19s. increased by 1s. Other men have been brought from Kirkcaldy and Perth to fill their places. 

– Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian, Saturday 28th September, 1907, p.3. 

   ALARMING EXPERIENCES ON THE RAILWAY. – ‘Public Safety,’ dating from Edinburgh, writes:- It is surely time the attention of the Board of Trade was drawn to the danger of the old type of paraffin lamp in our railway carriages. Last Monday saw what might easily have been a terrible accident when the late special from Melrose had several lamps blazing before that train had reached Galashiels. In one carriage the lamps soon burst, flaming oil was all over it, the roof was in flames; three women had fainted, two more were in hysterics; the communication cord on one side was broken, but by a mercy of Providence that certainly cannot always be counted on, it was still intact on the other side, and acted. When the train was pulled up, three or four more lamps were blazing, one more had burst, and some half-dozen had to be bodily thrown into a cornfield, which they set on fire. A certain number of the passengers refused to proceed by the train. Most of the carriages had to finish the journey in total darkness, but the train had not reached Portobello before another lamp had set another carriage in flames. What I want to know is how often this has happened? The same thing occurred on the same line not very many weeks ago, when an unfortunate lady was driven to ride for miles on the footboard; and previously a similar thing befel another carriageful – this time of men – near Dunfermline. Is it necessary that someone must be burned alive and the usual inquest follow before notice is reluctantly taken of this awful danger? Must a life be sacrificed before the Board of Trade think fit to act? They can easily substantiate my details. They happened on Monday night (the 16th) between Melrose and Galashiels. 


   ACCIDENT TO A RAILWAY PORTER. – On Thursday morning, John Hoare, a porter at Galashiels Station, and belonging to New Hailes, met with a serious accident. He was assisting at the turntable when an engine was being turned, and got caught between the buffers and a horse-box standing in the adjoining lye. He was severely crushed on the body, and was removed to the Cottage Hospital, after being medically attended. 

– Jedburgh Gazette, Saturday 28th September, 1907, p.3. 





   The guard’s van of a goods train which was yesterday passing through Elderslie “en route” to Greenock fouled the points near the station, and the van became derailed. It was some little time before the incident was observed, and by that time the van had been dragged a hundred yards or more. The van struck the stone arch of the bridge, and considerable damage was done to the masonry of the bridge and the signalling apparatus alongside the line. 

   The brakesman, named Hughes, belonging to Greenock, was cut and bruised on the face and head. His injuries were attended to by Dr. Westwood Fyfe. 

– Paisley & Renfrewshire Gazette, Saturday 28th September, 1907, p.5. 

   MAN KILLED ON THE RAILWAY. – A sad accident occurred on the main line of the Caledonian Railway between Carluke and Law Junction at a late hour on Saturday night. William Gilroy, 48 years of age, who is oversman at Brownlee Colliery, and who resides at Thornton’s Row, Law, had been attending a Co-operative meeting at Carluke, and had lost the last train home. In walking down the line he was run down and killed by a train of empty carriages returning to the junction. The driver of the train drew up, and on an examination along the line the body was found terribly lacerated and disfigured. The remains were conveyed to Carluke Station, but it was some time before the identity was established. On Sunday the body was conveyed to his home in Law. Deceased leaves a widow and a young family. 


   THE RAILWAY CRISIS – LOCAL OPINION. – In Coatbridge and Airdrie, especially among railwaymen, the chief topic of conversation these days is that of the railway crisis. Yesterday one of our representatives had a talk with a Coatbridge engine driver, who expressed himself as altogether against the proposed strike. Such a thing might work out all right in England, he said, where the Union was strong, but even there were a strike to take place numerous men would never be reinstated and so the society benefits expected at a certain age would never come their way. He was bound to say that there were men by the hundred who would never leave the footplate because of the danger of not being reinstated on the old conditions. In the Airdrie and Coatbridge districts the men, he said, were not united. Even those in the society did not seem to be in favour of a strike. At anyrate this was the impression he formed at a meeting held in Airdrie last Sunday. Of course, he said, the ballot would tell, and the papers for this purpose were likely to reach the men ere another week was over. 

– Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Saturday 28th September, 1907, p.5. 

   ACCIDENT TO A FARM-SERVANT. – A somewhat serious accident occurred on Friday morning at the railway station. While William Reid, a young farm-servant at West Fingask, was leading a horse between some railway wagons, the animal bolted. It is supposed that the horse had trampled on the man, who is badly hurt about the back. His face is much swollen, and he has been spitting up a good deal of blood. Dr Cockburn attended to the man’s injuries, and later he was conveyed to his home at Kemnay in the ambulance van. The runaway horse was caught by a surfaceman half a mile down the line. 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Saturday 28th September, 1907, p.7. 

   SHOCKING RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT PAISLEY. – On Saturday afternoon John Barclay, aged 18, living at 23 Well Street, Paisley, left Glasgow Central Station by a train at 2.30, intending to reach Paisley. The train, it appears, was being run special to Greenock on account of the traffic caused by Glasgow holiday, and when it neared Paisley, the signal being against it, it slowed down. When passing through Gilmour Street Station, Barclay is reported to have left the compartment, got on the footboard, and jumped on to the platform. He rolled over and was drawn under the train. When extricated it was found that both legs were severed, and he was at once taken to the infirmary in an ambulance waggon. The accident created a great sensation in the station, which was thronged with travellers at the time. 

– Scotsman, Monday 30th September, 1907, p.6. 

Exit mobile version