IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

BRIGHTON BRANCH OF A.S.L.E.F.

 

 

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LONDON BRIDGE

22nd MAY 1866

extracted and adapted from the report by
W. Yolland Colonel R.E.

A slight collision that occurred on the 22nd May, 1866 at the London Bridge station of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, on which occasion about seven passengers were slightly injured. It appears that as the 5h. 20m. p.m. train, consisting of an engine and 12 carriages, was leaving the eastern side of the Crystal Palace platform, about two minutes after the proper time of starting, it was at once followed by engine No. 180, (which had brought this train of carriages to this platform a little after 5h. p.m. from the Crystal Palace), in accordance with the usual practice at this station; but as soon as it began “to move, the platform inspector, who had given the signal for the train to start, in the belief that all the passengers had got into the train, saw some passengers rush towards the last vehicle but one in the train, and he gave a signal to the driver to pull up, which was done, it is said, before the train had moved 20 yards. The driver of the engine No. 180, which was following the passenger train, did not observe the signal from the platform inspector for that train to pull up and in consequence the following engine ran into the break van at the tail of the passenger train, and caused, a slight shock, but nothing was knocked off the rails, and no damage was done to any of the rolling stock.

The platform inspector gave the signal for the passenger train to stop, as he was afraid that some of the passeugers who were in the act of trying to get into the cal'liages after the train was in motion would be thrown under the wheels; but it seems that he did not take sufficient care in the first instance to ascertain that all the passengers had taken their seats; and knowing the practice adopted at the station of allowing an engine immediately to follow a departing train from this platform, he made a great mistake in signalling the driver of the passenger train to stop after he had once put him in motion. Several inspectors or ticket collectors were employed at this platform to assist in getting the passengers into the several carriages, and one of these inspectors informed me that three passengers were on the platform when the platform inspector gave the signal for the train to leave ; two of these passengers got into the compartment of a first class; carriage (which already had its proper complement of passengers), as the train moved ahead, and they got out again when the train stopped; but the other remained on the platform. It is customary for these inspectors to signal to the platform inspector when all the passengers have entered the carriages, but this inspector had not given any signal on this occasion, and the train was started without it.

More care should be exercised by the platform inspector to ascertain that all the passengers are in the train, and when once started, with an engine immediately following it, the train should not be stopped. .

The engine which followed the passenger train out from the east side of the Crystal Palace platform was going out, in order to get in front of another train of carriages which was then standing on the line on the western side of the Crystal Palace Platform, and which was to leave at 5h. 33m., and also to leave the eastern side clear for the next incoming train from the Crystal Palace, due at 5h. 23m., or about the time when the collision took place. The drivel' ofNo. 180 engine has been blamed for not keeping a better look out; but in my opinion it will be desirable to adopt the practice followed at some of the other metro- politan terminal stations, of keeping the following engine at the platform until a specific signal is given that the line is clear for it to leave, either to go to the coke shed, &c., or to get in front of some other train. 


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