4th JANUARY 1883





Extracted and adapt from a report 

by W. Yolland Colonel

A collision that occurred on the 4th January between a passenger train and the buffer-stops at the end of a siding at the Newick and Chailey station of the East Grinstead and Lewes branch of the LondonBrightonand South Coast Railway.
No passenger was injuredhut the fireman of the engine was somewhat seriously
The engine was a good deal damagedhaving the foot plating broken, and the break rods, back tool boxlamp ironsand hand rail broken.
The third class break carriagewhich was next to the engine, had one headstock, one end panelthree buffer-facingsone step-hoardand one end-rail broken; also one door-lighttwo buffersone draw barand two step-irons broken.
No. 293second-class carriagehad two headstocks, two buffer-castings, one buffer facingand one quarter-light brokenand one sole-bar slightly damaged.
No. 305third-class carriagehad one buffer-casting broken, and the buffer-stops at the end of the siding were smashed.


The East Grinstead and Lewes Branch is a single line, with loop lines at most of the stations which are used as passing places. There is such a loop at the Newick and Chailey station, with sidings on each side of the line. The signal-box is situated at the south end of the up platform at the south end of the station, and there is a pair of facing-points about 40 yards south of the signal-box on the down line, which points are properly interlocked with the signals and worked from the signal-box. These facing-points lead to the single line on the right hand, and to a siding about 400 yards in length, and terminated by buffer-stops on the left hand.

Before the down starting-signalmoved by No. 3 lever, can be lowered for a down train to leave the station, levers 9 and 10, which shift the facing-points and locking bar, must be pulled over to ensure that the points are in their proper position for a down train to proceed.
The following extracts from the Appendix to the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company s Working Time Book will show what a signalman has to do when anything is wrong with the facing-points or starting-signals :


In the event of a signalwhich is interlocked and controls facing-pointsbeing blown down, or removed from any other causearrangements must at once be made for all trains passing over such points to be stopped, and passed over by hand, until the signal is again replaced and properly interlocked with the points.
This will apply to facing-points on single or double lines, and in the case of double line of rails, trains passing in the opposite direction must also be first brought to a stand, and pass the spot at a foot paceif the facing-points lead to or across the line on which the train in the opposite direction is running.
This rule must also be strictly observed in the case of any temporary disarrangement of the interlocking gear for repairs or other cause.
Each signalman must at all times keep a close watch on the working of his signals and pointsand immediately he finds anything wrong must carry out the fore going rules ; sending out hand signalmen to act under his directions, and place a man at the points to see they are set right for the passing of every train in either direction.
The signalman must also immediately inform the station-master, who will be held responsible to see these instructions are properly carried out.


William Notleyporter about five monthsstateswas in the signal-box at Newick station on the night of the 4th January doing duty as a signalmanwent in at 6.30 p.m.and was to remain there until the last train hail passed a little after 10 p.mhad

Jesse Marshallengine driver between seven and eight yearsstates: I was driving tank-engine No.265 in front of the 9.10 p.mtrain from East Grinstead to Brighton on the 4th JanuaryIt consisted of five carriages altogetherincluding a break van and one break-carriageIt was fitted throughout with the Westinghouse automatic breakWe reached Newick about 10 p.m.the proper timeWe were running with the chimney behindThe station master and guard gave the signal to startafter a delay of about one minuteThe starting signal was not taken off for us to leavestarted the trainand stopped at the signalwhich was on at danger against meand the signalman put his head out of the windowshowed a green lightand said he could not pull the starting signalHe saidAll rightright awayIt was a very dark nightthen started againand thought was running on the right roadand did not find out that we were not running on the right road until my mate called outHold hard,” and we struck the buffer stops just as lie called outhad shut off the steam as we struck the buffer stopsthink we might have been running about 20 miles an hour when we struck the buffer stops, which we knocked down. The engine got off the rails. The carriage break next the engine also got off the rails, and the front wheels of the carriage next to it also got off the rails, but no other vehicle. My mate was seriously hurt and off duty for a fortnight. I was not hurt.

Joseph Georgefireman to Jesse MarshallstatesWe reached Newick about 10 p.mand stopped there about a minuteWe then started and stopped at the starting-signalwhich was on at dangerWe received green light from a hand-lamp from the signal boxThe signalman said the lever or the rod of the starting signal was brokenand he could not pull down the signalWe then started againand was not aware that we were running on the wrong road until saw the reflection of the light of the lamp on the bufferbeam of the engine on the buffer-stopswhen we were not more than about two yards from themWe were then running about 30 miles an hourAs soon as saw the light on the buffer-stops told my mate to stopdo not know what my mate didas was struck in the head as the engine came into collision with the buffer stopswas taken to the hospital and was a good deal hurt.

Walter Huntguard a little more than two yearsstates was guard of the 9.10 p.mpassenger train from East Grinstead to Brighton on the 4t.h January lastand rode in the last vehiclea break-vanWe reached Newick at the proper timestopped about a minuteand then startedbut we stopped at the starting signalwhich was on at danger against usThe signalman showed a green light from hand-lampand we then started againwas not aware that we were travelling on the wrong road until after the accident bad occurredthink wejwere travelling at from 16 to 20 miles an hour when we were suddenly stoppedThere was no whistle previous to the stoppagewas not hurtThere was only one passenger in the train he did not complnin of being hurtwas not aware that anything was wrong until the stoppage took place.

William Mullingerstation master about four yearsand six months at Newickstates The train arrived about one minute past 10 o clockand handed the driver staff ticketand turned to assist some passengers with their luggageAfter that went into my officeAbout five minutes after this porter Notley came insaying that there had been an accidentand at once went down with Notley and saw the train at a standstill in the sidingThe three men in charge of the train and the passenger were togetherThe passenger said he was not hurt at all the fireman said he was hurtbut not muchAbout half an hour afterwards went into the signal-box Notley was was menoted that only No7 lever was pulled over. I tried none of the levers. Notley told me that he could not take off the starting signal, and had given a hand signal to the driver. We have two regular signalmen at this station, one from 6.45 a.m. till 6.40 p.m., and th other fog 9 a.m. till 10 p.m. There is only one porter, Notley. I do not whether the signalling arrangements were out of order when the accident happened or not.

EXTRACT from Inspector BARKSHIRE REPORT of the 6th January 1883 as to the 9.10 p.mEast Grinstead to Brighton passenger train being turned into Overshot siding at Newick and Chailey station4th January.

On going to signal-box with MrMullinger and Notley found Nolever only overall the others standing in their normal position.

No7 lever releases the gear in small cabin at the north end of stationinquired of Notley what levers were over when the 9.10 train came inand he replied1279and 10No.1is the distantNo.the home; No.9 the facing-points; and No.10 the boltand these two latter levers must be got before the starting-signal Nolever can be lowered.

asked Notley how it was 9 and 10 were not then overand he replied he put them hack directly train had leftas is usual ; in this he was very persistentalthough both and MrMullinger explained to him that if his statement was correct the train would not have been where it then wasas the points were properly connected and in good working order.

then instructed Notley to set the road exactly as he had done before the train arrived ; he pulled over levers and 2butto his surprisehe could not get 9 and 10although they had not been touched since he had put them back after train had gone.

After making several unsuccessful attempts to get themhe was told to sec if all the springs were right, and in looking through them found No12 lever spring was not outand directly he rectified that he was able to get and 10.

have no doubtin my own mindthat Notley could not get 9 and 10 levers when driver whistled for starting-signalandgetting confusedgave the hand-signal and told driver he could not get the signal.

From the preceding statements it will be seen that the collision with the buffer- stops was produced by the porter (Notley)acting as a signalman, having started the 9.10 p.m. down passenger train from East Grinstead to Brighton from Newick and Chailey station, by means of hand-signal from the signal-box, without having first ascertained that the facing-points, which are about 40 yards from the signal-boxhad been set right for the train to travel on the single line southwards.

The train, which consisted of a tank-engine and five carriagesthen started, passed into the siding instead of travelling on the single lineand ran along it until it came in contact with the buffer-stops at the end of the siding and smashed them, the train travelling at the time at a speed estimated at from 16 to 30 miles an hour. The engine and the vehicle next to it, and the leading wheels of the next vehiclegot off the rails and were damaged.

Neither the engine-driverfiremannor guard of the train were aware that they were travelling on the wrong roadand do not consider that, as regards the driver and fireman, a proper look-out was keptespecially as the train was started by means of a hand-signal.

The collision resulted from the porter acting as signalman having improperly started the train but this man had only been employed five monthsand from his statements it does not appear that he had been properly instructed in the duties of a signalman.

The porter had varied in his statements as to what he had actually done in the signal-box when endeavouring to take off the starting-signalbut these statements clearly showed that he was not properly qualified to act as a signalmaninasmuch as he did not understand the working of the apparatus for taking off the starting-signal.

The person most to blamein my opinionwas the station-masterwho had only been six months at this station, in having authorised the porter (Notley)during one week out of threeto take the signalman's place in the signal-box from 6.30 p.mtill
after the last train at night had passed about 10 o clock.

The station-master appears to have done this without having apparently obtained the
sanction of the superintendent of the line.

Fortunately the consequences were not very seriousas there was only one passenger
in the train when it left the station.

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