Tag Archives | Ireland

Irish Accident Records – untapped potential

In this guest post Norman Gamble, the Archivist of the Irish Railway Record Society (IRRS), introduces the Society and its archives – including the great potential offered by their holdings of staff accident registers. As yet these volumes are, like their British equivalents, unindexed and untapped – something we’d like to change, working with the […]

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A one-way problem

Railway working produced all sorts of odd terms, specific to the industry. Some of these are less obvious than others – but one which might more easily be understood from the title is ‘tow-roping.’ Not dissimilar from towing a vehicle on the roads, tow-roping involved using a rope to pull a wagon or wagons. It […]

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Dying for a wee – 2

Two weeks’ ago we looked at accidents to carriage and wagon staff who were keeping the railway network’s on-train toilets stocked. Provision was clearly made for passenger comfort and convenience – but what about the staff? In this week’s post, we’re looking at those cases where operating staff had to improvise when they wanted to […]

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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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Monorail, monorail, monorail …

Most of the cases in our database are fairly standard – certainly in terms of being above ground and referring to ‘standard gauge’ track (the well-known 4 foot 8 and a half inches between rails, albeit the reasons for which are debated). However, there are some outliers – including accidents on underground railways (London and […]

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‘a question whether a man who suffers under this disability should occupy such a position’

Perhaps surprisingly, the question of literacy doesn’t seem to come up in the worker accident reports too frequently. It appears as though in most cases railway staff had at least a functional level of reading. Presumably their level was more than just functional, too, given the key document employees were reading, so far as the […]

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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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James Walsh, 2 July 1882 – 8 May 1911

We’re delighted to receive this guest post, contributed by Fiona Forde, one of the people who’ve used our database. Fiona saw our tweet (@RWLDproject) about the case of James Walsh and decided to explore it in more detail, using our database as a starting point and exploring the various other records that might be pieced […]

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Accidents at all grades -1

Undoubtedly the majority of railway worker accidents were incurred by those exposed to danger on a day-to-day basis – the manual grades, like the platelayers, shunters, guards, porters, workshop staff and engine crews. But sometimes you find cases where those higher up the ranks were involved. One such case occurred at Kilmeaden, near Waterford, in […]

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