This menu item deals with accidents that were not the result of train crashes. The victims include both railway servants and members of the general public

Main Themes and Motifs

- Individuals run over by trains
- Drivers and Firemen killed by engine malfunctions etc.


1830-39 299
1840-49 118; 501
1870-79 291*;687*;690*, 692*;693;694*;746*;747*
1880-89 565
1890-99 580; 743

* The earliest and latest dates for this item extend across decades. See item more information.

The poetry of Alexander_Anderson¹ is a significant element here. bar291; 687; 690; 692; 693; 694; 746; and 747 are all his work.

Historical Background

Railway Workers


Railway Review
(the Journal of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants)
10th May 1889

The General Public

The main cause of accidents to passengers and other members of the public was being hit by a train. During the early days of the railway, the public were not aware of the dangers posed by moving trains.


Illustrations of early lines show scant or no lineside barriers.

Ickleton Station on the Eastern Counties Line

Illustrated London News August 1845

Stuart Hylton has written [i] "Passengers lacked any discipline in their approach to the railways. like the legislators, they regarded the railway as no different to the lane outside their house... they felt at liberty to wonder on the track or, if overcome with fatigue on the way home from licensed premises, fall asleep on it. Trespass onto the line by the general public was also a problem - the Newcastle and Carlisle found it necessary to threaten passengers with 7 years transportation. Causes of death recorded in the first annual accident report of the Railway department included
- head came into contact with a bridge, being allowed to ride outside.
- jumped out after his hat.
- strolling on the line in the night without authority.
- run over at night, trespassing, in a state of intoxication."


[i] Hylton, Stuart - The Grand Experiment: The Birth of the Railway Age 1820-45 (Ian Allen Publishing, 2007) pp81-83



3 across Articles in this Category: click a link

Laborare Est Ovare

bar580: Dates 1898~1898|

Eulogy for a footplate-man killed by a fall from the locomotive.

Only a Pointsman

bar565: Dates 1888~1888|

A pointsman is killed by a passing train:-

Thomas Port, Epitaph of

bar299: Dates ----~1838|

Epitaph of Thomas Port killed by a railway train in 1838

First Break

bat747: Dates 1862~1878|

A mother's grief for a son killed by a locomotive.

Behind Time

bar694: Dates 1862~1878|

A driver is killed and the Fireman takes over to drive the train

Blood on the Wheel

bar692: Dates 1862~1877|

A bride to be is killed by a locomotive driven by her prospective husband.

First Foot

bar746: Dates 1862~1877|

A woman recollects the death of her railwayman son, run down by a train.

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