Tag Archives | C Campbell

A miscellany of Waterloos

In railway terms, Waterloo generally brings one thing to mind: the London mainline station, in our period the terminal point of the London & South Western Railway. It was of course named for the famous 1815 battle in which Napoleon was defeated, which took place 203 years ago today – and it wasn’t the only […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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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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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Wilson & Whyman, Middlesbrough

If you were glancing through our database of railway worker accidents in haste, you might be forgiven for spotting two similar looking names and thinking they were related: F Wilson and B Whyman, the first a fireman and the latter a driver. Both were injured at Middlesbrough on the North Eastern Railway within 30 minutes […]

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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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They started – and died – young

Volunteers working on the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project have uncovered the stories of nearly 4,000 individuals who were either injured or killed whilst working on Britain’s railways between January 1911 and June 1915. Amongst the casualties was 16-year old James Beck, a ‘wagon greaser’ (someone responsible for ensuring the axle boxes of freight […]

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