IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

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

 

 

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LONDON BRIDGE 

27th JANUARY 1887

Involving  Driver Charles Churchill and his Fireman Henry Cooper 

Depot unknown.

&

Driver Joseph Clark and his Fireman Alfred Steadman 

Depot unknown.

extracted and adapted from the report by
C.S.. Hutchinson Major General R.E.

A collision occurred on the 27th January, 1887, near A.B.” signal cabin, a short distance from London Bridge, on the South-Eastern Railway. In this case, during a dense fog, the London, Brighton, and South Coast Company’s 6.55 p.m. up passenger train from the Crystal Palace, due at London Bridge at 7.18 p.m., while standing on the up Croydon line at the "A.B." cabin home-signals, was run into at the rear by the Rame Company's 6.52 p.m. up passenger train from Sutton, due at London Bridge at 7.40 p.m.

Three passengers in the Crystal Palace train have complained of injury. The rear guard of this train and the front guard of the Sutton train were also injured.

In the Crystal Palace train which consisted of a tank-engine, running chimney first, and 11 vehicles, fitted throughout with the Westinghouse break-the rear three vehicles were damaged, and the trailing wheels of the rearmost were knocked off the rails.

In the Sutton train-which consisted of a tank engine, running coal bunk first, and 10 vehicles, fitted throughout with the Westinghouse break-the coal bnnker of the engine was damaged.

The collision occurred at about 7.50 p.m.

Description.

This collision occurred on the up Croydon line, about 126 yards outside the up home-signal for that line worked from" A.B." signal cabin, which belongs to the South-Eastern Company, and commands the entrance both to the South-Eastern and Brighton Company's London Bridge stations. It is situated on the northern side of the viaduct, and the signalling of six lines of rails is carried on from it, the up Croydon line being the one furthest to the south. The up home-signal for the latter is nearly opposite to the cabin and close to the up Croydon line, the up distant-signal being an arm underneath the up home-signal at No. 4 cabin. The next signal cabin, 265 yards on the down side of” A.B.'' is No. 4, also a South-Eastern Company's cabin, and from which also the signalling of six lines of rails is carried on, but this cabin is placed above the space between the up Croydon and up main lines. It contains 19 levers, of which 17 work signals and two work points. Block system is worked from this cabin between”A .B.'' in the London direction and Spa Road cabin in the Greenwich, &c. direction. The home-signal for the up Croydon line is one of a group, 95 yards on the down side of No. 4 cabin, placed on a post close to the up Croydon line ; the up distant-signal being an independent signal about 400 yards from the up home-signal. The collision occurred about 235 yards inside the up home-signal.

During fogs the " A .B.'' cabin home-signal for the up Croydon line is attended to by two of the Brighton Company's fogmen, one stationed close to the signal and the other about 50 yards outside it. The No. 4 cabin up home-signals and the up distant- signals for" A.B.'' cabin, which are underneath No. 4 cabin's up home-signals for this line and for the up main line, are attended to by a South-Eastern Company'!! fogman, whose station is in a pit near the signals and between the up Croydon and up main lines.South-Eastern Company's fogman also attends to the up distant.-signals of No. 4 cabin.

The two ·Companies have slightly different rules for fog-signalling.

The South-Eastern Company’s rule is that when a home-signal and distant-signal are on the same post, if both signals are at danger, two fog-signals should be on the rails, and a red light shown ; if the home-signal is off and distant-signal at danger, one fog-signal should be on the rails, and a green light shown ; if both signals are off, no fog-signals should be on the rails, and a white light shown.

The Brighton Company’s rule is the same except when the home-signal is off and the distant-signal is at danger, in which case two fog-signals arc to he still kept on the rails.

It is desirable that these rules should be made precisely similar, at any rate so far as the lines are used in common by both Companies’ trains.

Evidence

1. John H. Smart, signalman ; 20 year’s in the South-Eastern Companys service, 11 years signalman. I have been 3 1/2 years at “A.B.” box, where I came on duty on the 27th January at 2 p.m. for 8 hours. I was assisted by signal lad Deadman and by a telegraph boy. I work the levers, and the signal lad works the block instruments and keeps the train book. When I came on duty the fog-signalmen had gone away, the fog having cleared about 1 o’clock. The fog came on again at about 5.30, and about 6.15 four porters came down from London Bridge to fog for the up main and up North Kent home-signals. One man for the up North Kent line is placed near the box within hail, one man for the up main also within hail, and the other two would be from 25 to 30 yards further down, in holes between the rails. All four men would use fog-signals, and all four were on duty by 6.15 p.m. The 6.55 p.m. up train from the Crystal Palace was properly signalled from No. 4 on the up Croydon line, and I kept the home-signal against it as I was waiting clear from the north and south boxes in the Brighton yard. It had been waiting between three and four minutes when the collision occurred, about 7.50 p.m. I  could see nothing of the train, which was separated from me by five lines of rails. I bnll hen.rd nothing of the following train, except on the describer, from the up Croydon junction, and I had not cleared back to No. 4. There were about four other trnins in hand at this time. It would be part of the duty of fog-signalmen to put down fog-signals behind the train standing at the home-signal. I heard none explode before the collision. The up Croydon line is attended to by the Brighton fogmen. I do not know whether they were out or not at this time.

Alfred Debenam, signal lad; six years in the South-Eastern Companys service, signal lad two years.-I have been about five or six months at “A.B.” box, where I came on duty at two o'clock on the 27th ,January, to remain till 10 p.m. I attend to the block instruments and keep the train book. I did not take the times of the fogmen coming on duty. It was soon after 6 o’clock there were six or seven of them. The 6.55 p.m. train from Crystal Palace was kept waiting some time at the up Croydon signal at No.4, a Croydon engine having preceded it, and at 7.43 p.m. the engine was cleared, and the train arrived at about 7.44 p.m.; it was kept waiting till the collision occured at 7.50 p.m. I had heard nothing about the Sutton train from No.4. I heard no fog signals exploded before the collision. I was unable to see either of the trains.

3 George Beeching, signalman; 14 years in the South Eastern company’s service, 13 years signalman. I have been 2 1/2 at No.4 box, where I came on duty on the 27th January at 2 o’clock to remain till 10. I was assisted by signal lad Elsden; he attends to the block signals and books the trains I attend to the leavers, of which there 19, 17 signal leavers and two for two cross over roads. The fog signalman left duty at 2.15 p.m., the fog having the lifted. It became very dense again about 6 p.m., and at 6.15 one fogman another at 6.30, two at 7.10, and another 7.40. These men were not the regular fog signalman, but took up the posts they had been instructed to go to. One was at the up Greenwich stop signal, another at the down North Kent distant signal, a third at the down North Kent stop; I cannot be sure about the position of the fourth man. The man Leet, who came on at 7.40, went to attend to the up Croydon and up main home signals. I did not see Leet myself, but inspector Thomas came to the box and told me had sent Leet to his post, and to book him on. I had to stop the 6.55 p.m. train from Crystal Palace at my home signal at 7.41 or 7.42, not having received “Clear” from “A.B.” for an engine which had been standing in the section 10 or 11 minutes; the train stopped, and I believed had run over fog signals. I could not see the train; I received “clear” from “A.B.” at 7.43, and lowered the signal for the 6.55 p.m. train to proceed, and at 7.44 p.m. I cleared the line to Spa Road, and at 7.44 p.m. received the “out” signal for the Sutton train, but kept my signals at danger against it. A t this time there was no fog signalman at my up Croydon distant-signal. I saw the head light on the engine of the train, which instead of stopping ran on into the next section. I could not so.y whether it ran over any fog-signals, bot there were other trains passing on the North Kent up and clown lines, and fog~signals were being exploded. I cleared back to Spa Road, and then on hearing the collision, I gave the block signal to Spa Road. The speaking instrument was engaged, so that I could not communicate with “A.B.” box at the time. Soon after 8 o’clock I saw Leet, who was then relieved by the regular man, he said he had had fog-signals down when the Sutton train passed, and that they had exploded, hut that as the driver had gone on, he thought be must have seen the home-signal off. I had never taken it off. Leet said he could not see the signal himself. The Sutton train passed at 7.50 when I cleared back to Spa Road. A man came to attend to the up Croydon distant-signal at 7.52 p.m. Leet did not say what light he had shown to the driver of the Sutton train. I could not distinguish whether the fog- signals I heard exploding were on the up Croydon line or not. A down main line and up North Kent line were passing about this time. The speed of the Sutton train in passing was about seven or eight miles an hour. After it had passed, and immediately before the collision, I heard it explode two or three fog-signals. I did not hear the Crystal Palace train explode any fog-signals, but I was observing the second train closely as it had run past my signals.

4. Alexander Elsden, signal lad ; four years in the South-Eastern Company’s service, signal lad all the time.- I am 18 years old. I have been employed five months in No. 4 cabin and came on duty there on the 27th January, at two o’clock, to remain till 10. I attend to the block instruments and book the trains. I took down the times of the fog-signalmen coming on duty; eight men came on between 6.15 and 7.45 p.m.; of these men, Leet attended to the up Croydon line home-signal, but there was no one before the collision posted at the up Croydon line distant signal. Leet, who was not the regular fogman, was relieved by Rhodes at 8.16 p.m. The up Crystal Palace train was given “out” from the Spa Road at 7.36, and passed on towards "A.B." box at 7.43 p.m., after having been stopped; it was not cleared from " A.B."box. The “out" signal for the Sutton train was given from Spa Road at 7.44 p.m., and it passed at 7.50 p.m. It ought not to have passed, as the signals were at danger against it, the Crystal Palace train not having been cleared from “ A.B." box. I heard some fog-signals exploding as the Sutton train was passing, but I could not tell whether they were on the up Croydon line, on the up North Kent, or down North Kent lines. I did not see the train pass as the fog was too thick, but I heard it pass and explode two fog-signals between my box and “A.B." box. The speed as it passed might have been eight or nine miles an hour. Soon after the collision Leet came to the box and tlo.id that he had fog-signals down, and that the Sutton train had exploded them. He said that he had got no fog- signals for the Palace train, but that he had got some from George Underwood in time to put down for the Sutton train.

5. Charles Churchill, driver; 25 years in the Brighton Company’s service, 12 1/2 years driver.- On the 27th January I left the Crystal Palace with the 6.55 p.m. train for London Bridge, 15 minutes late, having been detained by fog on the down journey. The train consisted of a tank-engine, running chimney first, and ll vehicles, all fitted with the Westinghouse break. The fog became thick at Sydenham, and we were delayed by signals at most places. We were stopped at No. 4 box by signal, the distant-signal having been against me, as I saw, there being no fog-signalmen at it, and I ran over two fog-signals near No. 4 stop-signal. There were three men standing there. After standing two or three minutes I saw the home signal lowered, but not the distant signal, and proceeded towards A.B.” box. About 20 yards beyond No.4 I ran two fog signals, and then over two more a short distance from “A.B.” stop signal. I stopped about two engine’s length from the signal. I could see the light, and it remained at danger while I was standing at it for about four minutes, when the collision took me unawares. I heard no fog signals explode before it. I had taken off the hand break just before, and the air break had been taken off when we stopped. I felt the blow on the engine; it shoved us forward about two engine lengths. No couplings were booked. Neither I nor the fireman was hurt. The trailing wheels of the rear break were knocked off the rails. I believe the collision took place at 7.48 p.m.; the fog was very thick.

6.Herbert Cooper, fireman; 11 years in the Brighton Company’s service, nine years fireman. I was with Churchill on the  27th January; I agree with his evidence except that I have no recollection of running over any fog signals near No. 4 stop signal on our way to “A.B.” stop signals, neat which we ran over two signals.

7. Edwin Stedman, guard; 11 years in the Brighton Company's service, nine years guard.-I was in charge of the 6.55 p.m. from the Crystal Palace for London Bridge on the 27th January. It consisted of 11 vehicles. I was in the front compartment of a third-class break carriage next but one to the engine. We started 15 minutes late, having been detained by fog, &c. on the down journey. We were detained at Brockley and New Cross by signal, and we were stopped at No. 4 box, where we ran over two fog- signals. We were detained two minutes, and started toward "A.B.," and ran over four signals, two about half-way between No. 4 and "A.B.," and the other two at " A.B." stop-signal. We were detained at " A.B." about five minutes, when the collision took me unawares. I heard no fog-signals explode before it, and no whistle. I was looking out of the window and was shaken a little, but have not had to leave work. I could see the "A.B." stop-signal which remained at danger till the collision occurred at about 7.41l p.m. We were moved forward about an engine's length by the blow.

8. John Welbelove, guard; seven years in the Brighton Company’s service, 5 1/2 years guard.-I was the rear guard of the 6.55 p.m. train from the Crystal Palace on the 27th January. The only fog-signals I heard explode were two just as we pulled up at"A.B." signal. I was looking out of the window when the Sutton train struck mine without any warning, except from the explosion of two fog-signals; close to the tail of my train. I was slightly shaken and was off duty one half day. There was an interval of about an engine’s length or rather more between the engine of the Sutton train and my van after the collision. I could see nothing from my van, the fog was so thick. The trailing wheels of my van were knocked off the rails.

9. Joseph Clark, driver; 19 1/2 years in the Brighton Companys service, 22 years previously in the North Eastern Company’s service, and driver all the time. I was driver of the 6.52 p.m. train from Sutton for London Bridge on the 27th January. It consisted of a tank-engine, running bunker first, and 10 vehicles, all fitted with the Westinghouse break. We left Sutton at right. time, ran into the fog at Norwood, were detained a. short time at New Cross, and thon proceeded cautiously towards London, having been about four minutes late at New Cross. I did not see the Spa Rond signals, but passed them by word of mouth and white light from a fog-signalman. I could not see the distant-signal from No. 4 box, and there was no fog-signalman there, and I WIIS coming on prepared to stop at No. 4 home-signal when I got a white light from the fogman's pit close to the home· signal, but no word of mouth. I said to my mate \\ bite light, .Alfred," and he looked over and saw it too. W e then proceeded towards " A . B." box without being able to see No. 4 home-signal or the distant-signal from " A.B." box ; getting a white light at No. 4 home-signal, ancl no fog-signalled me to suppose that the section was clear up to " A.B." and beyond it. I was running at a slow speed, not exceeding perhaps thrte miles an hour, when I caught sight of the tail lights of the train in front. Steam was off at the time, and I had time just to apply the W estiog· house break before striking, running over two fog- signals closo to the train. The breaks hod o slight effect in reducing the speed. I was not hurt. The bunker and buffer of the engine were damaged. On approaching Spa Road my mate told me a man near the home-signal said, “ All right." This was alter we had run over a fog-signal. My mate whistled on passing under No. 4 box.

10. Alfred Simpson, fireman; 71/2 years in the Brighton Companys service, seven years fireman.- I was Clark’s fireman on the 27th January. I was on the left side of the engine as it was running. I did not see the Spa Road distant-signal, and there was no fog-signalman there. On approaching Spa Road home signal we ran over a fog-signal. I saw no hand signal, but my mate I think said “right,” and we went on. My head was turned inside at the time. I could not see No. 4 distant-signal on approaching No. 4 home-signal. I could see the two low red lights, but not the signal for the up Croydon line, and I said to my mate,  Look out for the fogman, I cannot see the signal; “ he answered me back, “Right, mate, a white light; and no fog-signals." This would really mean clear run into the station, but I did not take it as such, but only that road was clear to “A.B.” box. I saw the white light or the reflection of it, myself. I heard nothing said by the fog-signalman. Just as I was under No. 4 box I whistled twice with a double whistle to acquaint the signalman that we were coming. We then proceeded at a speed of about three miles an hour, and ran over two fog-signals, and saw the tail lights of the train almost at the same time. I shouted " Wo! “ and there was just time to put on the break when we struck the other train with as light reduction of speed. We stopped dead; I was slightly hurt, but nothing to speak of. We knocked the trailing wheels of the rear van off the rails and sent it forward some two carriage lengths. I did not see the fogman at Spa Road myself ; our speed was there 9 or 10 miles an hour. My object in whistling was to warn fog-signalmen of our coming.

11. Henry Mudge, guard ; 11 years in the Brighton Companys service, guard all the time.-I was in charge of the 6.52 p.m. train from Sutton on the 27th January, having, joined it at Croydon. It consisted of 10 vehicles. I was in the break carriage next the engine. We left Croydon one minute late and New Cross, six minutes late, at 7.40, having been detained by fog and signals. After leaving New Cross we did not stop till the collision occurred; I saw the stop-signal at Spa Road, which was off, but I do not remember hearing any fog-signals explode there. I saw No. 4 distant-signal which was at danger; I saw no fog-signalman there, nor did we run over any fog-signals. On approaching No. 4 stop-signals I saw the left-hand one off when close to it. We ran past it at a speed not exceeding four miles an hour ; I think I should have heard any fog-signal if it had exploded at No. 4. The ”A.B.” distant-signal was at danger. The next thing that occurred was running over two fog-signals, and then in about five yards the collision took place. I did not feel the breaks put on before the collision, which occurred at 7.48 p.m.; we were due at 7.40. I heard the engine whistle as we passed No. 4 box. I felt the blow and was hurt in the ribs, but did not have to leave my work. We passed Spa Road at a speed of 16 to 20 miles an hour. It is not unusual for whistles to be given in foggy weather.

l2. Alfred Hamiliton, guard; nine years in the Brighton Company’s service, 7 1/2 years guard. I was in the rear break of the 6.52 p.m. train from Sutton on the 27th January. We got on all right to New Cross, and left it a few minutes late. I saw no signals at all after leaving New Cross, the fog was so thick. The collision took me unawares. The only fog- signals I heard explode were just before the collilion. I was not hurt.

13. Roderick. Leet, shooter; five years in the South-Eastern Company’s service, 4 1/2 years shooter in London Bridge yard.-I had been fog-signalling in the early part of the day between “C.D.” box and London Bridge station, and came off at about 2 p.m. I was sent away again to fog-signal at 7.30 p.m. to No. 4 box for the up Croydon and up main lines  the fog pit being between the two lines and about 16 yards from the signals. I had never been there before. I knew which signals I had to attend to, viz., the two on the right hand side. Ganger Underwood I think told me the lower arms (which are I believe the distant arms worked from No.4 box) would not be used. I got on the ground about 7.44 p.m. and Crystal Palace train was the first one that came up on the up Croydon line. I did not put down any fog signals for this train, not having yet got any, but it stopped, and went on again after about a minute, the signalman having called out “All right.” I had by this time got about 20 fog signals from ganger Underwood, and I put down two after the Crystal Palace train had gone, on the right hand rail nearly as far back as the fog pit. I could not see any of the signals from where I was standing. The next train that came up was the Sutton train, it came past at a speed of 7 or 8 miles an hour, ran over the fog signals, and exploded both. I was looking down the up main line at the time, thinking I heard a train coming along it, and the Sutton train passed me before I knew, and I gave it no light at all. My lamp was beside my leg and showing a red light. I do not know whether the driver could have seen it. I then fogged for two trains on the up main line, both of which stopped. Ganger Underwood and inspector Thomas were both near me when the Crystal Palace train came up, but I was alone when the Sutton train passed. I am certain I put the fog signal down the up Croydon line and not on the up main line. I have never fog signalled before at this post. It is possible that the Sutton driver may have seen a white light from inspector Thomas or ganger Underwood.

14. Henry Underwood, ganger; 20 years in the South Eastern Company’s service, 5 1/2 years ganger. I placed Leet to fog signal for the up Croydon and up main lines. Just before he commenced work I put down two fog signals and stopped the Crystal Palace train. As this train was moving off I went down the line, having given Leet a packet of fog signals. The Sutton train passed shortly afterwards, while I was close to Leet. I did not hear any fog signals explode; I had a white light in my lamp, and was close to the up Croydon line, walking towards Spa Road, when the Sutton train passed at a speed of 11 or 12 ,miles an hour, and not more than a few yards distant from Leet. I did not hear any whistle from the Sutton train.

15 Robert Bibby, plate layer; five years in the Brighton Company’s service. I was sent out to fog signalman soon after 6 p.m. on the 27th, and I was told off to the up Croydon line to stand about half way between “A.B.” box and No.4. I was to put down fog signals in correspondence with my mate at “A.B.” home signals. I put down two fog signals about an engine’s length behind the Crystal Palace train. I was then in my proper place. The sutton train then came on in two or three minutes. I only saw it when it was close to me, and it was not coming fast. It pitched into the other train just after running over the fog signals. I had heard an engine whistle, but did not know where it was.

Conclusion.

This collision during a dense fog was probably caused by a mistake of the man Leet, told off to act temporarily as fog-signalman for the up Croydon and up main line home- signals worked from No. 4 cabin. Owing to the sudden recommencement, at about 5.30 p.m., of the fog which had prevailed up to 1 or 2 oclock, there had been a difficulty in again assembling the regular fog-signalmen at their proper posts, and about five minutes before the collision occurred, a shunter in the London Bridge yard (named Leet), who had in the previous part of the day been fog-signalling near London Bridge, was posted by the ganger in charge of this part of the line to attend to the home-signals for the up main and up Croydon lines, worked from No. 4 cabin, and to the up distant-signals underneath them, worked from " A.B." cabin, his station being in a pit between.the two up lines, and about 16 yards outside the signal-post. It was the first time he had been employed at these signals, and he appears to have had by no means a clear notion of what they meant and of what he had to do as he informed me that he had to attend to the two right-hand up home-signals instead of to all four of them, and that the distant-signals underneath the home-signals were worked from No. 4 cabin, whereas they are worked from “A.B.” cabin. He had reached his post just as the Crystal Palace train stopped at the home-signal; and after it had again started upon the signalman calling out “ all right,” he declares that he put down two fog-signals on the right-hand rail of the up Croydon line; he then states that the Sutton train came up at a speed of seven or eight miles an hour and exploded the fog-signals, but that he was at the time looking along the up main line along which he thought he had heard a train approaching, and that the engine of the Sutton train had passed before he had time to show the driver a light of any description, his lamp being on the ground beside him showing a red light, though whether visible to the driver he could not say. Ganger Underwood had placed Leet athis post just as the Crystal Palace tminstopped nt No. 4 home-signal, after having run over two fog-signals which he (Underwood) had himself put down. He was then walking down the line with his lamp showing a white light, and had not A"one many yards away from Leet when the Sutton train passed him ; he did not hear its engine explode any fog-signals, nor did he hear any whistle.

A Brighton Company's platelayer stationed half-way between cabins No. 4, and "A.B." to work in concert with his mate who was fog-signalling for the up Croydon line a.t "A.B.'' cabin home-signal, put down two fog-signals about an engine's length behind the Crystal Palace train, after it had stopped at "A.B." home-signal. Aftertwo or three minutes the Sutton train came up, exploded the fog-signals, and struck the rear of the Crystal Palace train. He did not see the engine of the Sutton train till it was close upon him; he had heard an engine whistle just before the collision, but did not know on which line it was coming.

The Crystal Palace train, which was running late, was stopped first at No. 4 and then at “A.B.” home-signals, and after standing about five minutes at the latter signal was run into at 7.50 p.m. by the Sutton train. The driver of this train had seen the up distant-signal of No. 4 cabin at danger, had run over two fog-signals near No. 4 up home-signal, had seen the home-signal lowered after standing at it two or three minutes, and had then run over four fog-signals before stopping at " A.B." home- signals, the light of which he could see while standing neat· it.

The driver of the Sutton train states that he was unable to see No. 4 up-distant signal, where there was no fog-signalman; that he was approaching No. 4 up home· signal, prepared to stop at it, when, getting a white light from the fog-pit close to the home-signals and running over no fog-signals, he concluded that the section was clear up to “A.B.’’ signals, and therefore proceeded at a slow speed,-not exceeding three miles an hoUI’,-without having seen the light of No. 4 up home-signal or that of the “A.B.'' up distant-signal, when he caught sight, close in front of him, of the tail lights of the Crystal Palace train, at the same time running over two fog-signals close to it; that steam had been previously shut off, and that he bad just time to apply the Westinghouse break before the collision, thereby somewhat reducing the speed. He states that his fireman whistled as the engine passed under No. 4 cabin.

The fireman's evidence agrees with that of the driver except as regards a remark made in passing the Spa Road up home-signal.

The guard in charge of the Sutton train riding in the break carriage next the engine states that he saw No. 4 up distant-signal at danger; that he saw the up home-signal off when close to it, but the “ A.B.’’ up distant-signal at danger, the speed being at the time about four miles an hour ; that he heard no fog-signals explode near No. 4 home-signal, which he thinks he would, bad any done so ; that he heard a whistle from the engine as it passed No. 4 cabin; that the collision occurred just after running over two fog-signals, and before be felt the break put on.

The rear guard saw no signals after leaving New Cross and heard no fog-signals explode till just before the collision, which took him unawares.

The evidence consequently tends to exculpate the driver of the Sutton train from having wilfully run past any home-signals at danger, for the fact of his having exploded no fog-signals at No. 4 home-signal, and having seen a white light given as he thought by the fog-signalman, but which probably proceeded from the gangers hand lamp as he was walking down the line, justified him in concluding that No. 4 home-signal was off, and that the line would be clear up to “ A.B." home-signal.

It appears to me, therefore, that Leet must have either omitted to put down fog-signals after the Crystal Palace train had gone forward, or must have put them down on the rail of the main line instead of the up Croydon line.

The guard in charge of the Sutton train must have been deceived in thinking that he saw No. 4 home-signal off for his train, for there is no reason to believe that it was otherwise than at danger.

It was an imprudent act in ganger Underwood to have been walking along the line with his lamp showing a white light possible to be seen by the drivers of up trains. Underwood should also have more fully instructed fog-signalman Leet in the duties he had to perform, and have satisfied himself that Leet understood them, Leet being strange to the place, and the signals being complicated.

Had the Brighton Company’s fog-signalman, Bibby, stationed half-way between A.B.and No. 4 cabins gone back a reasonable distance from the rear of the Crystal Palace train and put down fog-signals there instead of close to the rear o£ the train, the collision would very probably have been prevented. Bibby appears to have been acting in accordance with his instructions in placing the fog-signals where he did; but these instructions should be certainly amended as regards the duty of this intermediate fog-signalman when a train has been stopped at "A.B." home-signal, in order that full benefit may be derived from his services.

The length of time which occurred before some of the fog-signalmen (who had been engaged in fog-signalling all the morning up to 1 or 2 p.m.) again reached their posts, and the comparative ignorance of Leet of the duties which he had to perform, furnish a further argument in favour of the adoption of a mechanical or electrical system of fog-signalling, to the advantages of which I drew attention at the end of my report on the collision which occurred on the same evening near the same spot, about an hour and a half previously, and to which remarks I would again refer.  

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