Tag Archives | engine driver

‘For God’s sake go and stop him’: The Sharnbrook crash, Feburary 1909

Something of a departure for our usual project focus, this week’s blog makes use of an accident report type we don’t usually have reason to include. Our project database so far draws largely from reports issued by the Railway Inspectors appointed solely to investigate accidents to workers (called Sub-Inspectors or Assistant Sub-Inspectors, producing the Appendix […]

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Leaving the kettle on

From time to time we might leave an appliance running whilst we’re doing something elsewhere – leaving the oven or kettle on, for example, when we’re not in the same room. It’s a pragmatic action, saving waiting time and enabling us to get on with something else. On the railways the time pressure under which […]

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The death of Joseph (Joe) Parkin & its impact on his family

As part of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s ‘Transcription Tuesday’, our project made available a set of records produced by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, one of the major railway trade unions. It listed over 2000 cases involving members, many of them accidents. In this blog post, one of the transcribers, Gordon […]

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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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