Archive | Accident reports

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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Portsmouth-London, in accidents

Each case in our database is interesting (and often sad) in its own right. But one of the powerful things the database allows us to do is to make connections – whatever our interest, we can search the data and make the links that interest us. So, it might be by a particular family name, […]

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A day like any other? Christmas Days 1911-14

Network Rail’s recent promo video about the engineering works currently taking place this Christmas is a good reminder that there’s always something happening on our railway network – and that means staff at work. Where there’s work, sadly, there’s danger, even with a greatly reduced passenger service: as well all know, there’s plenty more to […]

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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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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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Where are the workshop workers?

In the cases we’ve highlighted so far on this blog, one type of railway worker has been absent: the workshop or factory employee. These were the workers who were employed in the locomotive, carriage and wagon works at the hearts of many of the systems – Derby, Crewe, York, Eastleigh, Gorton, Swindon, Cowlairs and the […]

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