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New project data – 6 months on!

Six months ago, we added an extra 17,000 records to our project database. Since then we’ve been promoting the database and trying to ensure people are using it. We can see that lots of you have downloaded the data, and that the blogs are well read – which is excellent. We’ve been running an ‘On This Day’ thread on our Twitter account, highlighting just a few of the people and cases found in the new project data. We’re also making plans to use the accident details in a range of different contexts – including in museum display and in the current industry.

Six months in, we’d like to pause for a moment, and reflect – and to ask your help. Please could you tell us what and who you’ve found in the project – and what our work means to you?

What we’ve already heard over the last six months has been heartening – messages of thanks and support, details of the cases and people found that you were looking for, and more. This is tremendously helpful – it means a lot to us, including the team volunteers, as we share these messages. It’s also valuable within the institutions where the project finds a home – the University of Portsmouth, the National Railway Museum and the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick. It helps show those outside the immediate project team the value of the work we’re doing – particularly to communities and groups beyond the host institutions. In turn, this makes it more likely the project will continue to be supported and that we can carry on doing the work we’re doing.

So, if you’re able to let us know what you’re doing with the project’s work and how the project is helping you, that would be a huge help: thank you in advance!

You can tell us via email (, our contact form, Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

In turn, we should say that we’ve benefitted hugely from the support and expertise offered by the many generous contributions we’ve had – further information, new details, stories we didn’t know, and more. That’s valued not just by us on the immediate project, but also by our institutions too. They’re serious about working with wider audiences, and the sorts of things you’re all doing when you get involved is brilliant. So, from all of us, to you, thank YOU for your time, energy, enthusiasm and interest.

Long may we be able to help each other!


  1. Richard Bush

    This is a very valuable nutty-gritty resource that picks up cases that would otherwise be unknown and gets to the root of the causes. It also allows input from locals with their particular intimate knowledge.( I commented on the Narroways Junction accident you reported on) to allow further understanding. It gets to the root of how human nature and human circumstances cause accidents, as welll as the human consequences. This it’s what makes it so interesting and a valuable tool for railway safety.

    • Mike Esbester

      Thanks Richard! That’s really great to hear – and yes, the input from those who have close knowledge is really valued by us. We’d never be able to encompass everything with the immediate project, as sadly there were far too many people, places, circumstances and more involved. Hearing from people like this is therefore very helpful indeed: thank you!

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