Author Archive | Mike Esbester

Steam vs horse power

What place did the horse have in the steam railway? Perhaps surprisingly, a big one. Horses were essential for shunting wagons in yards and for moving goods to and from railheads. This was particularly the case in the pre-internal combustion engine era – though they lasted long after the introduction of the motor vehicle too, […]

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Multiple Scottish casualties – the Flying Scotsman & Sandilands Viaduct cases, April 1914

April 1914 saw 2 railway accidents which raise interesting issues about the differences between worker and passenger incidents – particularly as both involved multiple casualties. On 14 April 1914, the Flying Scotsman train (not to be confused with the loco!) collided with a goods train at Burntisland in Fife, killing 2 (the driver and fireman […]

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Easter Road, Edinburgh

A short post this week, marking Easter, with the only case in our database with an Easter connection – however tenuous. Today it’s the case of J Rennie, a surfaceman (track worker) on the North British Railway, injured at Easter Road, in Edinburgh. However, one advantage of choosing a case like this, at random, is […]

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4 men atop a runaway train

At best, we might think of runaway trains as belonging to the world of high drama, the culmination of an outlandish film plot; at worst, we might consider the real life cases which, though rare, had disastrous or well-known consequences. In the UK this would include the case of John Axon in 1957; beyond it […]

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It’s cold outside …

If you’re in the UK, you’ll have noticed it’s been rather cold of late, including a lot of snow. Despite the adverse comment about some train operators pre-emptively cancelling services, an awful lot of work has gone in to keeping the system moving – though as usual, most of that is behind the scenes, in […]

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