Tag Archives | engine driver

Halloween: A mystery man, an eerie rabbit & a railway death

As we’re heading towards Halloween, it seems only fitting that we’ve a supernatural case, involving an accident to a railway worker, to bring to your attention. It’s a great demonstration of the promise of our project work, combined with digitisation and transcription of seemingly unrelated documents: the combination and linking of sources is very pleasing. […]

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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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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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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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Disability History Month – rehabilitating injured workers? The case of the one-legged engine driver

In our previous post we mentioned some of the immediate post-accident care that injured railway workers might have received – first aid at the scene and then hospital treatment. This time we want to say a little more about longer-term provision for disabled workers. Where and how disabled workers might receive treatment and after-care might […]

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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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Reading goods

Last week I attended an interesting workshop at the University of Reading, looking at the history of freight transport. It touched upon all modes of transport, though rail featured extensively – and occasionally safety issues cropped up, like the photograph of workers on top of a container, trying to secure a load that was in […]

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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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