1883

LONDON BRIDGE


17th FEBRUARY 1883


Involving 


Driver William Hoadley & 

Fireman Frank Osborne


extracted & adapted from the report by

W. Yolland Colonel R.E.


On the 17th Februaryat London Bridge stationbetween a LondonBrighton, and South Coast Railway Company s down passenger trainand a Midland Railway Companygoods engine.

No persons are stated to have been hurt.

The Brighton Companys engineNo262had the left-hand buffer-beam and the right-hand frame and outside angle lines badly bentleft hand foot plating bentand the angle lines of buffer-beam bent and broken ; three buffers brokenand the drawbar and coupling bent.
No608third-class breakwas good deal damaged.

The Midland Companys engineNo785had the right hand trailing buffer and buffer-beam brokenand the framing bentand the vacuum break pipes damaged.

Description.
The South Eastern Railway Company s yard at London Bridge is situated on low level between the London Brightonand South Coast Railway Companydown main line and the South-Eastern Railway Company’s up main line and understand was used as South Eastern Company s London Bridge passenger station prior to opening railway from Charing Cross to London Bridge.

The usual catch or throw points or blind sidings have not been introduced on these siding linesa short distance back from connections with the passenger lines ground disc-signals are placed alongside the junction points these siding lines but in the absence these catch points&c there is nothing to prevent an engine-driver from running out goods yard and fouling the down passenger line or the engine driver may inadvertently overrun disc signalor not see or disregard its indicationsand thus foul the passenger line..

The LondonBrighton, and South Coast and the South Eastern Company s traffic into and out of their London Bridge stations is provided for in four signal cabins north north and south cabins on south-western side for the London Brighton and South Coast Company s traffic and the C. Dand A.B signal boxes on the opposite side for the South Eastern Company traffic.

The south box is about 85 yards nearer to the London Bridge Brighton Company’s station 
than the South Eastern A.box and the north box is 146 yards still nearer to the passenger station than the south box there being also some signals on girder bridge over the lines yards from south box and 43 yards from the north box

The A Band Dsignal boxes belonging to the South Eastern Railway Companyare 254 yards apartfrom centre to centre.

The BSouth Eastern signal box is distant about 650 yards from the north or terminal end the South Eastern goods yard at London Bridge and trailing points at which the South Eastern goods siding line (on which the Midland engine had been runningjoins the Brighton down main line 88 yards or north west of the A.Bsignal box and junction of the Brighton Company s down main line, with the South Eastern goods siding lineis protected by a ground disc signal worked from the A Bbox and placed yards further north west than the trailing points this junction.

Between this ground disc signal and these trailing points there is another pair of points for connecting this South Eastern siding line with South Eastern up main lineplaced 38 yards of the other trailing pointsThe Midland goods engine, when left the South Eastern goods yard had stopped about yards west of the first pair trailing pointsand the collision occurred spot.

The signalling between the Brighton Company s south signal box and the South Eastern Company s Bbox is interlocked to the extent that the signals for trains to leave the Brighton Company station by their down main line cannot be taken off when the disc signal to which have referredhas been taken off by the signalman in the A B box for goods engine to come out of the South Eastern and in a similar manner disc signal cannot be taken off for goods engine to leave the goods yard when signals have been exhibited for be taken when by signalman in Company goods yard;Brighton down passenger train to leave the Brighton Company’ station.

If proper look out had been kept on the Brighton Company s enginethe engine
driver would have been enabled to see Midland Company’s goods engine was foul the line on which ho runningat a distance of about 100 yards.

Evidence

Peter Thompson, signalman, Brighton Company’s north box (east side), London Bridge yard (three years in the box). I was on duty on Saturday, 17th February, at 6 a.m., and remained till 1.30 p.m. I rang the Crystal Palace out train to the south box at 7.30 a.m., and the release stop was removed directly afterwards. This enabled me at once to lower the platform signal for the train to start, which I did. The 7.30 a.m. train then started from No. 4 line. I noticed the signals at A.B. box were set at clear for the 7.30 train. This was previous to my signal being lowered. i saw nothing obstruction the line for the 7.30 train when I lowered the signal. I saw nothing unusual till the collision took place, and was then attached by the noise of the two engines meeting. That would be about 7.32 or 7.33 a.m. I have no knowledge of what was occurring on the South Eastern siding. i do not know whether the Midland engine, No 785, which was run into was standing still or moving. It was rather hazy morning. I could see the signals over the bridge.

Sydney Freeman, signalman in the Brighton Company’s south box; four years in that box. I was on duty on the morning of Saturday, 17th February, at 6 a.m. At 7.30 a.m. the Crystal Palace train was signalled to to me from the north box. I immediately gave it on to the A.B. (South Eastern box). A.B. lowered my electric semaphore signal, and released the trailing points, moved by lever No. 50, which usually stand right for the South Eastern line to or from the low level station. This enabled me to shift the points and pull off my slotting gear at the north box. Everything was all right, and the signals off for the Brighton Company s train to leave the stationThe Brighton train startedand came out all right till nearly abreast of my box it had not quite reached my box when saw a Midland Company engine run out from the low level on to the down line in front of the Brighton Company s trainwas in the middle of the locking frame and saw the train about a carriage length in the rear of the enginewhich had then stoppedThe Midland engine had not been at a stand half a second before the collision occurredI cannot say that I saw the Midland driver reversing his engine. I ran round the frame to the window, and when I got there the train ran into the engine. I had no time to do anything to aver the collision. The engine was standing still at the time of the collision. I could not work either my points or signal for the down lines unless permitted by the signalman in the South Eastern A.B. box. There is no connexion between my box and the disc signals in the South Eastern low level siding. I did not hear the Brighton Company’s engine whistle before the collision took place. I cannot say if it slackened speed before the collision. I could not say whether the steam was on or off on the Brighton engine. I do not know whether the breaks has been employed on the Brighton engine. I did not see the disc signal.

William Hoadleyin the service of the Brighton Company 12 yearsand six years engine driverWas driver of 7.30 a.intrainwith tank engine No262from London Bridge on Saturday last to Victoria, via Crystal Palace. I received signal to start from the head porter on No.4 platform at 7.32 a.m. from No. 4 line. The starting signal at the end of the platform, the signal on the girder bridge, and the signal at A.B. were all off for me to go away with my train before I started. Between the girder bridge signal bridge and A.B. box I ran into a Midland engine on the out road I was running on. I was close on the Midland engine, say four yards, before I saw it, owing to the curve, and there being a thick ground mist at the time. I saw on the left hand side of the engine in the direction we were running chimney first standing under cover of the cab. Directly I saw the engine I shut iff the steam and applied the Westinghouse automatic air break, which was fitted to both engine and train. The train consisted of 10 vehicles, including two break carriages, with two guards. We had 55lbs pressure of air when the break was applied. We stopped almost immediately, owing to the action of the air break, and to the best of my belief we were going about six miles an hour when we struck the Midland engine. My mate said nothing to me, nor called my attention, in any way, before the collision occurred. I got off my engine and found the Midland engine was separate from my engine, and about one two yards ahead. It was knocked there by force of the collision. Nothing was thrown off the rails, and no one was hurt, so far as I was aware. I cannot say if the Midland engine was at a standstill or coming towards me when the mishap occurred, i.e., when I struck it. my engine was damaged, as well s the leading break carriage. I saw nothing or heard nothing to lead me to give an opinion as to the cause of the collision. My left hand buffer struck the centre of the buffer beam of the Midland engine. The buffers of my engine were broken, and the buffer beam bent. To the best of my judgement I did not run above four yards after I shut off the steam and applied the Westinghouse break. I was on the left side of the engine and my fireman on the right side.

Frank Osborne, in the Brighton Company’ service, locomotive department, seven years, five years before in the telegraph department, fireman four years and a half. Firing to driver Hoadley, tank engine 262, on Saturday morning last with 7.30 a.m. train, London Bridge to Victoria. We left London Bridge 7.31, as near as I can say, having received the all right starting signal at the end of the platform. I saw that signal myself. I also saw the signal on the girder bridge at the north box, and the signal over A.B. box. These signals were showing clear or right away for our train. When leaving the platform, I looked backed and saw the train was coming all right, and on looking ahead when approaching the signal girder bridge for the north box, I saw a light engine in front of us, say about a hundred yards ahead, but I did not think it was on our line. I cannot say whether that engine was running or standing still, but I should imagine that it was standing still, as I did not notice any steam about, the morning being a misty one; and the lines there being very much curved and crossed, it is almost impossible to tell on which line an engine is standing at that distance. stepped across the footplate to the driver’s side (the left side) to open the damper, and during that time my mate had caught sight of the engine from his side of the footplate. He immediately shut off the steam and applied the Westinghouse breakWe were then about 12 yards from the engine aheadshould say the engine was standing still when saw itand after seeing the engine standing went over to the drivers sideMy mate and got off the engine after the collisionand we then saw the Midland engine was in back gearWhen our engine came to rest the Midland engine was about three or four yards aheadcaused by the collisionWe were going about from six to eight miles per hour, I should thinkwhen we struck the light engineOur engine stopped dead on striking the Midland engineWhen I saw the Midland engine aheadit did not occur to me that it was foul of the line on which we were running. I was 20 or 30 yards on the London Bridge side of the girder signals when saw that the Midland engine was in front of usbut did not know whether it was foul of the line on which we were running or not.

William Barnesguard in the Brighton Companyseven years’ servicesix years as guardwas guardriding in the front break of 7.30 a.mLondon Bridge to Victoriavia Crystal Palacetrain on Saturday17th FebruaryWe started at 7.32 a.mOur train consisted of 10 vehiclesincluding two break carriages with two guardsone at each end of the trainThe head porter started ussaw the starting-signal at the end of the platform off clear for us to go before we startedThe next signal saw was the yard signal over the girder bridgewhich was also off,and the A.Bsignals were also off for my trainsaw nothing nor fell anything more till we struck something when we were just past the girder bridgegot out of my break on the off side and went round the engine of my train to theother sidethen saw the engine we hail come into collision with it was a Midland Company’s engineThe reason did not see the engine ahead beforewas that was standing at my door looking to the rear of the train to exchange signals with my mateIt was a little misty at the time ; my train was running about 9 to 10 miles per hour when we struck the other engineI felt the application of the break immediately before the collision took place, The Brighton Company’s engine driver did not whistle; did not notice any whistleThere had been no diminution of speed when the collision took place. No complaint was made of anyone being hurt in my trainneither passengers nor Companys servants.Nothing came to my knowledge to give any definite light as to the cause of the collision.

John Frostyard foreman to the South-Eastern Railway Companyservice five yearsfour years goods foreman London Bridgewas on duty at thelow level stationLondon Bridgeon the morning of Saturday17th instantA Midland Company’s train arrived in the low level station about 7.21 or 7.22 a.m.putting the breaks on Noroad under the wall on to 12 empty truckslet the engine and trucks stand after putting the breaks on No1 roadtill I looked round the trucks they had broughtto see if any were to go awayFinding none were to go away I got the engine to pull up a few lengths to put the 11 trucks back on No.low linetold the engineman to go up away from London Bridgeover Nopoints, and back on to his breaks and the empties to go awaywhich were standing on No1 roaddid not say how many empties were going away ; we can only send 18 by one trainThe engine came back on to Nolineand coupled it to the next breakand after coupling the second break to the emptieswe started to pull out of the yard. I was riding on the step of the break next tot the truck, and as were we nearing the C.D. box the guard said, “I will uncouple the engine,” and I then dropped off the step to see the empties over No.2 points, and make sure of my low level pilot, then coming in, going clear so as to avoid stopping the Midland engine in running round. So far as I could see from C.D. box the the Midland engine,which had brought the trucks,was just past the disc signal controlling Nolow level lineand the tank or bunker part of the engine was on the station side of the disc signalsaw the Midland engine going aheadand the signal at A.Boff for Brighton train to leave that yardThe Midland engine had only stopped long enough to be uncoupledbefore going on aheadwhistled with my mouth loudlyand ran up towards the engine to try and stop him,but could not get the drivers attentionBefore could get so far as the engine the Brighton train ran into itdid not notice the position of the disc controlling No2 line at allThere wns no occasion for the Midland driver to pass the disc signal ; he had on 12 trucks and 2 breaksand 16 trucks can be run round clearwas nearly a length of the train from the disc signalon the London Bridge side of itwhen alighted from the break stepFrom the time gave the signal to start from No1 line to pull out of the yard never gave any signal whatever to the Midland driverThere has been no alterationor changeor repairmade with the signalsFrom the time the collision occurred did not notice the position of the disc signalhave no reason to suppose the disc was first taken off to allow the Midland engine to pass it and then put on again to allow the Brighton Company s train to leave firstdid not call the Midland engine "Come backDerby," and did not hear anyone call out "Come backDerby."

Henry Smithin the South-Eastern Companyservice 30 yearssignalman something over 20 years, at A.B. signal box 17 years. On Saturday, 17th February, I was on duty at 6.0 a.m. in the A.B. signal box. A Midland Company’s train passed into the low level station at about 7.20 a.m. At 7.32 a.m. I received a signal on the bel from C.D. box that a shunt was wanted to be done from the low level on the down main line to Croydon. I did not answer this signal in any way, as I had received and accepted a signal at 7.31 a.m. for a down Brighton train to Victoria from the London Bridge station. I had, before receiving this shunt signal, taken off the releasing gear in the Brighton Company’s south box. As the Brighton Company’s train was about opposite the north box in the Brighton Company’s yard, I turned my eye in the direction of the goods yard, and saw the Midland engine coming out. I called to my signal lad to give the telegraph block to the south box to warn them of it. I did not take off any signal or locking gear connected with the low level yard for the Midland engine to come out. There is a disc signal working from the A.B. box controlling the line on which the Midland engine ran out on the middle siding line. The disc signal was at the time the engine passed it standing at danger. I cannot take off the low level disc signal after releasing the slotting gear in the south box; this is done by the first lever, No. 20. The second lever, No. 4 lowers the signal over my box, and I had had no occasion to use the low level disc signal to permit any train or engine to come out on to the down main Croydon line since I came on duty at 6 a.m. I have no knowledge of any failure to work of this disc signals for some months past. I tried the signal about 10.0 a.m., after the collision had taken place, the same morning, and it was working well; the locking as between the trailing points from Brighton Company’s yard, and the Brighton Company’s out signals and low level disc signal. I saw the back light of the low level signal, say about half an hour before the collision took place. There was rather a ground mist at 7.32 a.m., and if the gas had been still alight I could have seen it. The locking points, &c. were all in good working order. The Midland engine had stopped dead before the collision took place; it might have been stopped half a minute. I think the engine of the Brighton train was at the girder signals when the Midland engine stopped.  

William Ballardlabourer in the Engineers’ DepartmentSouth-Eastern Railwayfor 18 yearswas on duty in the London Bridge yard on Saturday lastsaw the collision between a light engine and a down Brighton Companys trainI was about five or six yards off at right angles when it happenedDirectly after the collision occurred walked up to the ground disc signal controlling the low level lineand found it standing at Dangerdo not think anyone could have got to the signal before didThe signal was in good working orderdid not notice the light in itwas standing on the Greenwich line side of the Midland engineopposite to itand did not hear any one call out Come back Derbybelieve the Midland engine was standing still when the collision occurreddid not notice the points through which the Midland eugine would have had to run to get round its traindid not see any other person near the spot where the collision took place.

Henry Hawks, signalman in the South Eastern Company’s service 22 years and 19 years a signalman. I was on duty at C.D. signal box, and at 7.32 I rang out a shunt signal to A.B. signal box, for the Midland engine to run round its train. This was not acknowledged by the A.B. The driver whistled for the disc signal when down in the yard, and drew out towards the disc signal. The driver pulled up I think a little past the disc signal, and stayed about long enough to be uncoupled to be uncoupled; I saw him start away towards A.B. box to the old main line. I could not  do anything to prevent the collision, but I saw the Brighton train going out. At the time the Midland engine was drawing up towards the disc signal it was at danger, of this I am sure. The disc signal had never been turned off from the time I came on duty at 6 a.m. till that time. After the Midland engine had passed the second disc signal, between my box and the A.B. box, I did not shift the trailing points for the engine to run round its train until after the collision.

Arthur Jones, engine drive, in the Midland Company’s service 11 years, and engine driver 16 months, was in charge of engine No. 785 with the 6.20 a.m. London Bridge to Kentish Town empty goods waggon train on Saturday, 17th February. We were late arriving on the outward journey, reaching London Bridge at 7.22 a.m. I backed my train across the road into the low level siding; knocked the breaks on to the empties standing in a left hand siding under the old shed. I then shunted my train off into another siding, and went back with my engine on to my breaks; pushed them back on to the empty wagons, and then received a signal from the yard foreman to blow up and go out with my train to run round it. I understood this to mean I was to blow up and go forward to the disc signal, and wait for it to be taken off if it was not already clear. When I first blew up the disc was at danger, I did not notice any light in it; when approaching I saw it pulled off when about 30 yards from it, at the time my engine passed the disc signal it was clear, showing a green face. I think I had 12 wagons on. In consequence of seeing the disc being turned off I did not stop till my engine and one break had passed. I was then uncoupled, and was told, “Right Derby, go ahead,” by the foreman, I judges he stood against the disc signal the he said this by his voice. I asked my fireman, “Who gave you right?” he said, “The foreman;” on this I started to run round, looked at my road as ran through itand saw all my points were right for me right for mewhen got over the top points saw them pulled over for me to set backreversed the gearand heard some one sayRight Derbywhich suppose came from the signalman in the C.Dboxsaw the points set right for me to set backof this am certainThe next thing that happened was the Brighton train dashing into meAs I went towards the A.B. box did not notice how the signals were over the A.Bboxthink it was 7.29 a.m. after the break-van was disconnected from the engine to enable me to run round my trainmid the collision occurred about three minutes afterwards.

NoteThe foreman was called inand the driver admitted that be was not the manthat it was not his voiceand he admitted seeing only one person in the yard at the time.

James Edward Whitrowfiremanin the employ of train on Saturday lastwhich arrived at London the Midland Companyremember on Saturday last  my engine being attached to my breaks and waggons in No.1roadThe yard foreman told the driver to blow upthe driver did soand drew up towards the disc signalI saw this signal when we were approaching itit was a green lighthad when we were down by the water crane seen this signal showing a red lightThe driver passed the signal by the engine and one breakand then stopped to uncouple the engine from the breakThe under guard uncoupledand then some one said, "Right out Derby.” saw the South-Eastern foreman then standing near the second breakcannot say if it was the yard foreman who saidRight out Derbythought at  the time it was the South Eastern foreman who gave us the Right outThe driver started at onceand we went over and clear of the trailing points and looked backand at the same time some one saidRight back Derby.” saw the points had been shifted to the necessary position to run round the train. The driver had just reversed the gear of his engine when the Brighton Company s engine ran into our engine.

William Lewis Howardhead guardin the employ of the Midland Company nine yearswas in charge of the Midland train which arrived at London Bridge at 7.22 a.mrecollect the engine coming back on to the breaks in order to pull the waggons out to run roundcoupled the second break to the waggonsand the foreman coupled on the engineThe driver was told to blow up by the foreman he did soHe drew out as far as the points near to the discMy under guard unhooked the engineand put on the second breakAs soon as the engine was uncoupled heard some one sayRight Derbygo out. This was the yard foreman. I saw the foreman a waggon or two down in the rear towards London Bridge. I saw no one else near. I did not notice the position of the disc signal at any time till two minutes after the accident; it was then standing at danger, and was not alight so far as can sayAfter the engine had run out over the points, I heard some one say in loud voice Right Derbycome on backThis was the signalman at C.Dboxsaw him at the windowand saw the points were right for the driver to come backThe engine made an attempt to come backand I then the collision occurreddid not see the driver reverseIt is the rule for S.Eshunter to accompany the enginebut he was not with it on this occasion.

Alfred Richard Bassett, under guard, in Midland Company’s service eight years, working with Midland train on Saturday las, which arrived at London Bridge at 7.22 a.m. I recollect after other shunting was over the engine was coupled on to the breaks by the yard foreman, and I coupled the breaks on to the train. The foreman said, are you right behind, and I replied yes. The yard foreman then told the driver to whistle up; he did so by one long whistle. The driver drew his train up to the disc signal. The foreman rode on the step of my break, which was next the engine, till just before we got to the signal, say about two waggons off. I told him I would unhook the engine, and he said all right, he would turn the engine through at the other end of the train. I did not look to see if the foreman went back to the bottom end of the train. I uncoupled the engine directly it came to a stand, and called out to the driver “ right.” i got into my break and the driver went ahead over the points. I saw the points. I saw the points laid right for the driver to go ahead before I called out “Right.” I though it was right for hime to go ahead. The driver started directly I called out right. Whilst I was in my break I heard some one call out, “Right, come on back Derby.” The signalman in C.D. box called out again. i cannot say anything about the position of the disc signal. I volunteer to uncouple the engine  to save the yard foreman the trouble. I did not hear anyone say, “Right Derby, go out.” I did not notice the signal at all till five or six minutes after the accident; it was then at danger and no light in it.

William Winkworth, gas manager, in the service of the South Eastern Railway Company 16 years, states: It is my duty to light the gas lamps and to put the lights out. The disc signal is lit by gas. I put that light out about 10 minutes past 7 o’clock on the morning of the 17th February, and did not light it again that morning.

Conclusion.

From the preceding statements it will be seen that on the day in question the London, Brighton, and South Coast Company s 7.30 a.mdown passenger train from London Bridge to Victoriavid the Crystal Palaceleft the station at 7.32 a.mThe train consisted of tank engineNo. 262, and 10 vehiclesincluding two break carriageswith two guardsThe train was fitted throughout with the Westinghouse automatic break, and it is stated that there was 55 lbs. pressure of air when the break was applied.

The driver states that the starting signal at the end of the platformthe yard signal on the girder bridge over the lines, which is just opposite to the disc signal to which have referredand the signal at the A.Bsignal-box, were all off for him to go away with his train before he startedwhen he received the signal from the head porter on Noplatform, which is at the side of the line he had been standing on.

There is no contradiction to this evidenceThe driver further states that between the girder signal bridge and the A.Bsignal-box he ran into a Midland engine on the out road on which he was running : that he was close on the Midland enginesay four yards away, before he saw itowing to the curve and there being a thick ground mist at the time: that he was on the left-hand side of the enginein the direction they were running, chimney first, and standing under the cover of the cabthat directly he saw the engine he shut off the steam and applied the Westinghouse automatic air-break that they stopped almost immediately owing to the action of the air breakand to the best of his belief they were going about six miles an hour when they struck the Midland engineHe also says that his matethe firemansaid nothing to himneither did he call his attention in any way before the collision occurred.

The fireman admits haying seen the Midland engine when they were 20 or 30 yards on the London Bridge station side of the girder bridge signals, and this would make the distance to the spot where the collision took place amount to rather more than 100 yards but he says that he did not think that the Midland engine was on or foul of the line on which they were runningthat the morning was a misty one, and the lines there being very much curved and crossedit is almost impossible to tell on which line an engine is standing at that distanceHe thinks they were running at from six to eight miles an hour when the collision happenedHe noticed that the Midland engine was in back gearand thinks it was standing still.
The guard riding in the front van thinks the speed at the time of the collision was about nine or ten miles an hour.

The Brighton Company s signalmanin what is called their north boxstates that he rang the Crystal Palace out train to the south box at 7.30 a.m.and the release stop was removed directly afterwards by the signalman in the south boxThis enabled him at once to lower the platform signal for the train to start from Noline he noticed that the signals at the A.Bbox were set at clear for the 7.30 a.mtrainand this was previous to his lowering the starting signal that he saw nothing obstructing the line for the 7.30 train when he lowered the signal, and nothing unusual occurred till the collision took place about 7.32 or 7.33 a.m.
The Brighton Company s signalman in the south box states that the Crystal Palace train was signalled to him from the north box at 7.30 a.m.and he immediately gave it on to the South-Eastern Companys A.Bboxand the A.Bsignalman lowered his electric semaphore signal and released the trailing points (moved by lever 50)which normally stand right for the South-Eastern line to or from the low level goods station.

This enabled him to shift the points and to pull off his slotting gear at the north box that everything was all rightand the signals off for the Brighton Companytrain to leave the stationand it started and came out all right till nearly abreast of his box, but had not quite reached his box when lie saw Midland Companys engine run out from the low level goods station on to the down line in front of the Brighton Companys train ; that he was standing in the middle of the locking frame and saw the train about a carriage length in the rear of the enginewhich had then stoppedbut the Midland engine had not been at a stand half a second before the collision occurred.
The South-Eastern Companys signalman in the A.Bbox states that a Midland Companygoods train passed into the low level station at about 7.20 a.m.and at 7.32 a.mhe received signal on the bell from the signalman in the CompanyC.Dbox that a shunt was wanted to be done from the low level goods station on to the down main line to CroydonHe says he did not answer this bell signal in any wayas he had received and had accepted at 7.31 a.ma signal for down train to Victoria from the Brighton London Bridge station that he hadbefore receiving the shunt signal, taken off the releasing gear in the Brighton Companys south boxandas the Brighton Company’s train was about opposite to the north box in the Brighton Companys yardhe saw a Midland engine coming out of the goods yard that he called to the signal lad to give the telegraph block to the south box to warn them of it that he did not take off any signal or locking gear connected with the low level yard for the Midland engine to come outand the disc signal for controlling the line on which the Midland engine ran out on the middle siding line wasat the time the engine passed itstanding at Danger that he could not take off the low level disc signal after releasing the slotting gear in the south boxthis is done by the first leverNo20 ; the second leverNo4lowers the signal over his boxand he had had no occasion to use the low level disc signal to permit any train or engine to come out on to the down main line to Croydon after he came on duty at 6.0 a.m. : that he had no knowledge of any failure to work of this disc signal for some months pastand he tried this signal about 10 a.mthe same morning after the collision had taken placeand it was working welland he says that the Midland engine had stoppedit might have been half a minutebefore the collision took placeHe thinks the engine of the Brighton train was at the girder bridge signals when the Midland engine stoppedThe distance between the girder bridge signals and the spot where the collision occurred is about 85 yards

The South-Eastern Company s signalman in the C.Dbox states that at 7.32 a.mhe rang out a shunt signal to the A.Bbox for the Midland engine to run round its trainThis was not acknowledged by A.Bthat the driver (of the Midland engine) whistled for the disc signal when down in the yardand drew out towards the disc signaland pulled up, he thinksa little past the disc signaland stayed about long enough to be uncoupled that he saw him start away to the old main line that he could not do anything to prevent the collision with the Brighton train going out : that at the time the Midland engine was drawing up towards the disc signal it was at Bangerof that he was surethat the disc signal had never been turned off from the time he came on duty at 6 a.mtill that timethat after the Midland engine had passed the second disc signal between his box and the A.Bbox he did not shift the trailing points for the engine to run round its train until after the collision had taken place.

So far the evidence is clear and distinct that this disc signal was never turned off
for the Midland engine to come out on to the main down line.

The driver of the Midland engine states that they were late in reaching London Bridge
station with the 6.20 a.mKentish Town empty goods train in arriving at 7.22 a.m.that he backed his train across the road into the low level sidingknocked the breaks on to the empties standing in a left-hand siding under the old shed : that he then shunted his train off into another sidingand went back with his engine on to his breakspushed them back on to the empty waggonsand then received signal from the yard foreman to blow up and go out with his train to run round it that he under¬ stood this to mean that he was to blow up and go forward to the disc signaland wait for it to be taken off if it was not already clearWhen he first blew up the disc signal was at Dangerbut he did not notice any light in itand when approaching it he saw it pulled off when about 30 yards from it that at the time his engine passed the disc signal it was at Clearshowing green face: he thinks he hadabout 12 waggons on that in consequence of seeing the disc being turned off he did not stop till his engine and one break had passedhe was then uncoupled, and was toldRight Derbygo aheadby the yard foreman : that he judged that he stood against the disc signal when he said this by his voice) that he asked his firemanWho gave you right? he saidThe foreman,” and on this he started to run roundlooked at his road as he ran through itand saw all his points were right for him when he got over the top points he saw them pulled over for him to set back he reversed the gearand heard some one say, RightDerby,” whichhe supposescame from the signalman in the C.Dbox that he is certain that he saw the points set right for him to set backand the next thing that happened was the Brighton driver did soand drew up towards the disc signal that he saw this signal when they were approaching itand it was a green light that he had when they were down by the water crane seen this signal showing a red light that the driver passed this signal by the engine and break and then stopped to uncouple the engine from the break that the under guard uncoupledand then some one saidRight out Derby ” : that he saw the South-Eastern foreman then standing near the second break, but he could not say if it was the yard foreman who saidRight out Derby that he thought at the time that it was the South-Eastern foreman who gave them the Right out that the driver started at onceand they went over and clear of the trailing points and looked back and at tbe same time some one saidRight back Derby that he saw the points had been shifted to the necessary position to run round the trainand the driver had just reversed the gear of his engine when the Brighton Company's engine ran into their engine.

Neither of the guards with the Midland goods train were prepared to say how the disc signal stood when the Midland engine passed over itbut there is no doubt that there was no light in this signal at the time when the Midland engine came out of the goods yard.
train dashing into him.

The Midland fireman states that the yard foreman told the driver to blow upand the
The evidence is very contradictory between two of the servants of the Midland Company, and that of the driver and fireman and the servants of the other two companies, butin my opinionthere is no question as to which is correct.

have no doubt that the driver of the Midland train ran past the disc signal whilst it was standing at danger.

Three causes have combined to permit this collision to occurviz.:

1faulty construction of the South-Eastern Companygoods yard at London Bridge low level station in the absence of catch points&c.to prevent an engine from running out on to the down main passenger line when the signals arc against it.

2The absence of a proper look out on the part of the driver of the LondonBrightonand South Coast Railway Company s 7.30 a.mdown passenger train, as he was passing under the girder bridge signalswhen there would have been ample distance for a trainfitted throughout with the Westinghouse continuous breaks, to have been pulled up before it reached the Midland engineThe driverin fact, does not appear to have been on the look out at all until his engine was close to the Midland engine.

3The misconduct of the engine-driver of the Midland engine in having passed out on to the main down lineapparently passing the disc-signal at danger, which should not have been passed at danger,” and further running on until foul of the main down line when there was a signal off over the A.Bbox, 100 yards in front of him, for a train to come out from the Brighton station.

It is most fortunate that the consequence were not more serious.

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