- Thirsk rail crash (1892)
The Thirsk rail crash happened at Manor House
signal boxon November 2 1892, on the North Eastern Railway about 3 miles north of Thirskrailway station in the North Ridingof Yorkshire, England.
James Holmes was the signalman at Manor House signal box. The day before the crash, his baby daughter Rose was taken ill and died. Holmes was extremely distressed and had been awake for 36 hours, administering to the child, trying to find the local doctor (who was away from home attending to another patient), and comforting his distraught wife. He reported to the stationmaster at
Otteringtonthat he would be unable to work the shift on the next night, but the stationmaster merely asked his superiors for a relief signalman, without stating that the reason was that Holmes had reported himself unfit to work. As a result, no relief signalman was appointed.
Forced to work his shift, Holmes called at the Otterington signal box before walking to Manor House. He asked the signalman there to notify him when his mother arrived on the train from York to look after his wife. He also told the Otterington signalman that he was already exhausted. It was night with a thick mist which later thickened to fog.
About three hours into Holmes's shift, two express
passenger trains were due from the north, but the second had been delayed, and a goods train was sent down the main line after the first. Holmes let it into his section but then was "overmastered by sleep". The goods train came to a halt just outside his signal box. Thirteen minutes later, Holmes awoke rather confused. The Otterington signalman warned him to be ready for the second express, and Holmes saw that his instruments still indicated that there was a train on the line. He had forgotten about the goods train, and thought he had fallen asleep before clearing the instruments after the first express. He cleared the instruments and accepted the second express.
The express crashed into the still stationary goods train at sixty miles per hour. Nine passengers and the guard of the goods train were killed, and 39 people injured. Nearly an hour later the goods train's engine's
fireboxset the wreckage on fire. Two of the bodies were burnt up and not recovered. The express was fitted with an oil gas lighting system, which fuelled the fire.
Holmes was charged with
manslaughterand found guilty, but was absolutely discharged i.e. received no punishment, a decision strongly supported by the juryand public opinion. The railway was criticised for its cavalier treatment of Holmes, and there had been contributory negligence; by the Otterington signalman who knew of Holmes's condition and did nothing when there was silence from his signal box for nearly a quarter of an hour, and by the crew of the goods train who remained halted outside Holmes's signal box for several minutes without sending a crewman to the signal box in accordance with Rule 55, to ensure that their train was properly protected by the signals and block instruments.
The accident would have been prevented if the line had been fitted with
track circuitswhich would have prevented the block instruments and the signals from being cleared. However, at the time track circuits were relatively new, and its widespread introduction that soon may have been expecting too much.
Although Manor House was a heavily used part of what was to become known as the
East Coast Main Line, the need for such aids to safety there would have been regarded as low; there were no junctions, sidings or crossovers to confuse movement, and the block was one of the shortest and straightest in the country.
Clayton Tunnel rail crash- signalman gets confused about which train is which - 1861
Hawes Junction train disaster- signalman forgets about light engines on line - 1910
Quintinshill rail crash- signalman forgets about train on line - 1915
Winwick rail crash- signalman and booking boy forget about train on main line.
List of British rail accidents
*"Red for danger", L.T.C. Rolt, Pan, ISBN 0-330-25555-X
* http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/BoT_ManorHouse1892.pdf (full report: scanned-in paper printing)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Thirsk rail crash — may refer to one of the following railway accidents in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, England: *Thirsk rail crash on 2 November 1892, collision between two trains due to signalling error by exhausted signalman *Thirsk rail crash on 31 July 1967,… … Wikipedia
Norton Fitzwarren rail crash (1890) — Norton Fitzwarren rail crash Date and time 11 November 1890 : 0124 Location Norton Fitzwarren station Rail line Reading to Plymouth Line Cause Signalling error Trains 2 Passengers … Wikipedia
Clayton Tunnel rail crash — The tunnel s north entrance Date and time 25 August 1861 : 0845 Location Clayton, West Sussex Rail line Brighton Ma … Wikipedia
Hawes Junction rail crash — The Hawes Junction rail crash occurred on December 24 1910, on the Midland Railway s Settle and Carlisle mainline at the junction with the Wensleydale Railway in Westmorland (now Cumbria), England. It was caused when a busy signalman forgot about … Wikipedia
List of rail accidents (pre-1950) — For a list of 1950 1999 rail accidents, see List of 1950 1999 rail accidents.For a list of post 2000 rail accidents, see List of rail accidents. notoc Pre 1830 1815 * 1815, exact date unclear ndash; Philadelphia, Co Durham, England: 16 people,… … Wikipedia
List of rail accidents in the United Kingdom — This list is of railway accidents in Britain sorted chronologically. For a list sorted by death toll see List of British rail accidents by death toll. It does not include incidents that did not involve rolling stock, such as the King s Cross fire … Wikipedia
Gaz Pintsch — Article principal : Gaz de pétrole. Le gaz Pintsch était un gaz manufacturé (gaz d éclairage) vendu comprimé, obtenu par distillation de goudron ou de résidus de pétrole, utilisé à des fins d éclairage aux XIXe siècle et XXe siècle … Wikipédia en Français
United Kingdom general election, 2010 — United Kingdom general election, 2010 2005 ← members … Wikipedia