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Archive Anecdotes

Snippets from Edinburgh’s archives.


Apr 9, 2013

This Board of Trade report, on the collision of two light engines at Edinburgh Waverley East Junction on 10 April 1913, was written by Major J. W. Pringle following an investigation undertaken by him. You will note that his description of the guard’s injuries is not very specific:

“NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY.

Board of Trade (Railway Department).

8, Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London, S.W.

23rd June, 1913.

Sir,

I have the honour to report for the information of the Board of Trade, in compliance with the Order of the 22nd April, the result of my inquiry into the cause of the collision between two light engines, which occurred, about 5.1 pm on the 10th April, near Waverley East Junction, Edinburgh, on the North British Railway.

In this case the first engine was standing at the down home signals awaiting permission to proceed, when the second engine was authorised to enter the same section and struck it. Both drivers were injured, one of them seriously, and a goods guard, who was riding on the footplate of the second engine, was also badly knocked about.”

Eight pages of detailed report followed, but Major Pringle’s efforts to attribute fault were frustrated:

“This collision was undoubtedly caused by a mistake or misunderstanding on the part of the signalmen at one or other of the two signal-boxes-Waverley East Junction and Abbeyhill Junction.

But the men's statements on the main point at issue are so contradictory that the evidence is insufficient to prove which of them were at fault.”

Reproduced from the National Railway Archives under open government licence.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/



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