Defective rope causes train deaths

Headline news from the Darlington & Stockton Times 50, 100 and 150 years ago

Accidents on the North Eastern Railway. – The official reports upon certain accidents which have occurred on railways during the months of January and February, this year, have been published and presented to parliament.

In the list is included the accident which occurred on the Whitby branch of the North-Eastern Railway, on February 10.

It appears that there is a steep incline, of about three-quarters of a mile long, called the Goathland incline, about eight miles from Whitby, which is worked by a stationary engine on the summit, and a wire rope, which is wound round a drum six feet in diameter.

The rope was attached to a sixwheeled van, specially constructed for the purpose, and which precedes the trains in descending, and pushes them before it in ascending the incline.

On the evening of the day mentioned, the 6.45pm train from York was being let down the incline by this apparatus, when the rope broke, and the train was precipitated down the declivity with fearful rapidity The carriages were smashed to pieces, two people crushed to death, and 13 more or less seriously injured.

On investigation, Captain Tyler found that the rope was very defective, and that there had been great want of supervision over it.

His previous recommendation, that telegraphic communication, should be established between the top and the bottom of the incline had not been carried out.

On the evening of February 12th, a collision occurred at the Springwell Station of the North Eastern Railway, between a passenger and a coal train.

Out of eighty passengers, thirtyfour received injuries. Captain Tyler attributes the accident to the old-fashioned and defective signals at the point of the line; and he notices that the man in charge of them is also station-master, booking- clerk, ticket collector and porter, and is sometimes required to work night and day - never less than twelve out of twenty-four hours.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

From this newspaper 100 years ago. – A Darlington Footpath. – Obviously with the view of securing greater freedom in dealing with the Faverdale estate when the time comes for the erection of new works on it, the North-Eastern Railway Company some months ago intimated that they intended to close the footpath leading from the West Auckland road in Cockerton, past the Rise Carr Farm to Rise Carr.

The proposal naturally provoked very general resentment in the district, and the Cockerton Parish Council at once took the matter up.

The attention of the Darlington Rural Council was also drawn to what was proposed to be done, and a lengthy correspondence ensued, involving the interchange of between seventy and eighty letters.

When first approached the Company offered a footpath with overhead footbridges in place of what had formerly been a bridle road, and this offer was at once rejected.

So important was the maintenance of this right of way regarded that opposition had been lodged to the Railway Company’s Bill now under consideration at Westminster.

That the Company attached considerable importance to the closing of the footpath “Greater Darlington”

inquiry their representative intimated that if the Rural Council insisted on the maintenance of the path it would prevent the development of the works there.

Happily there has been no need to appear in opposition to the Company’s Bill, for at the last minute a twelve-foot bridleway has been conceded throughout. It will be constructed on the north side of the railway, within a hundred feet of it, and following the line of the railway across to Rise Carr. That the present path is largely used is proved by the fact that two hundred people passed over it on Sunday.

From this newspaper 50 years ago. – Villagers of Spennithorne are taking a keen interest in the preparations being made at St Michael’s Church, and in the village by BBC and telephone technicians and engineers in preparation for the televising of the Rogationtide service from Spennithorne tomorrow morning.

The service, which will be conducted by the Rector, the Rev J N Jory, will begin in church and the congregation will afterwards proceed to the Glebe Farm, the village smithy, the centre of the village, and the school, and will return to the churchyard.

An augmented choir will lead the singing and the music outside will be provided by a small ensemble of wind and strings. Cameras are being set up around the village and on the church tower to show the lower part of Wensleydale.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Racehorses from Capt N Crump’s racing establishment at Middleham will also be incorporated in the pictures. The service will be televised from 10.30 to 11.30am, and during the service the village will be sealed off to traffic.

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