Images of Transport: Railway Disasters

Images of Transport: Railway Disasters

by Simon Fowler


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Railways kill! We forget that now, as British railways are one of the safest ways of travelling. That they are so is the result of lessons learnt from history.

For there have been many hundreds of railways disasters. This book looks at some of the most famous as well as some that have been all but forgotten, matching some graphic illustrations with eyewitness accounts of people who were there and the confidential reports of the accident investigators who worked out what had gone wrong.

The book will explore the reasons why accidents happen. Some are due to the carelessness of staff, others due to equipment failure or poor signaling. Yet others still baffle the experts.

The first, and perhaps most famous accident, occurred in 1830 at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway when the politician William Huskisson was killed crossing in front of an oncoming locomotive.

However, the worst railway accident in British railway history occurred at Quintshill in May 1915, when five trains collided with many hundreds of soldiers going to the Front either killed or seriously injured.

Almost 40 years later 112 commuters were killed at Harrow and Wealdstone in 1952. The reasons for the accident remain unclear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845631581
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 11/19/2013
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Simon Fowler is a professional writer, researcher and historian, specializing in family and military history. He has made a particular study of the First World War, and has long been interested in how Britain, and Europe, readjusted to post-war conditions. Daniel Weinbrens PhD concentrated on the impact of the First World War on British society. His historical publications include The Open University. A History and The Oddfellows 1810-2010. He has taught courses on war and society at several universities and currently teaches this subject at The Open University.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 Accidents on the Early Railway 1829-1889 39

Chapter 2 The Golden Age of the Railway Accident 1890-1914 57

Chapter 3 The Years of War and Peace 1914-1947 83

Chapter 4 Accidents on British Railways 1948-1968 99

Further Reading 122

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