Tag Archives | 1911

Jump! When can you abandon your loco?

What the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ database shows really nicely – and importantly – is how numerous the ‘mundane’ accidents were: the cases that injured or killed workers in their ones or twos, but which cumulatively produced a total number of casualties far in excess of the passengers who were affected by accidents. In […]

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Rule-breaking and its consequences – 1

In most cases, the people judged (by the companies or the Railway Inspectors) to have caused an accident were the ones who suffered. Presumably this was deemed punishment enough for any rule-breaking, as the state reports rarely make reference to any sanctions being imposed – though the company records may record this, as it was […]

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A signal injury

To date, signalling is one area of railway work that hasn’t featured prominently in these cases taken from the Project spreadsheet. Signalling was of course vital to keeping trains safe and ensuring the efficient operation of the system. But behind it lay people – and those people were exposed to a variety of dangers. One […]

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Speeding up death

Around the turn of the twentieth century, the main railway trades unions started complaining about ‘speeding up’: the intensity of work being increased, whether by more work being demanded in the same time or by the requirement operate bigger and more powerful machinery (particularly the locomotives). The unions concerned were the (brilliantly and entirely Victorian-named) […]

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‘Further accidents may be anticipated’

When looking at safety, risk and accidents, on the railways and more widely, many interesting questions occur. Some of them are relatively small scale – about day-to-day activities, for instance, or on a slightly bigger scale, about working, living and playing conditions. Some of them are much bigger – what role should the state play […]

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Why break the rules?

  A guest post, by Arthur Moore, one of the project’s volunteers   Having spent some time inputting Board of Trade accident reports on to the project spreadsheets as a volunteer, it was interesting to find a photo which showed the disparity between the rules and actual working practices. ​The reports said that on 5th […]

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