Archive | Blog

Applying the brakes

Yesterday our project Twitter feed (@RWLDproject) tweeted a case in which a worker attempted to apply a vacuum brake with a coupling pole. This caused a few raised eyebrows, some heated discussion, and some initial thoughts that we’d got our wires crossed: after all, these are two technologies which don’t work in the same way, […]

Continue Reading 0

Histories of medical humanities and attitudes: Examining class and shock via the accident reports

The accidents and reports from which our database draws reveal much about all sorts of aspects of British and Irish society around the time of the First World War. Plenty of this relates directly to the lives – and sometimes deaths – of railway workers. But underlying this we might find other aspects that speak […]

Continue Reading 0

A question of trust

How far could workers control their own fates? In the 19th century and well into the 20th it was believed by many – certainly the railway companies’ managers – that workers were ultimately responsible for the vast majority of the accidents that befell them, as they made choices and acted ‘carelessly.’ What was rarely taken […]

Continue Reading 0

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, […]

Continue Reading 0

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 […]

Continue Reading 0

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 […]

Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes