Strike of coal miners, resulting in a considerable unemployment 

amongst enginemen

Railway accident on the 


South Croydon 20th March 1893


20th MARCH 1893

extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR 

On the 20th March, 1893, a 'Gladstone Class' engine No.219 Cleveland got into trouble, when she was passing South Croydon at 60 m.p.h. with the 8.40 a.m. Brighton – London bridge non-stop Pullman express. The train consisted of ten coaches, plus Pullmans Maud & Jupiter, and weighed 260 tons empty. The journey had been uneventful, apart from a belt of fog near Horley, until the electric communication bell was rung by the Conductor of Maud as South Croydon station was approached. Looking back the driver noticed rising dust from the Pullmans, and immediately applied the brakes and flung the engine in reverse. A very ragged stop was made at the southern end of East Croydon station, when an inspection disclosed that Jupiter’s right tyre of the rear bogie had fractured and broken fifty three chairs. Only five windows were smashed or cracked, and on one was injured, although Cleveland could not be moved until the fitters had attended to the jammed brakes and badly damaged brake rodding. At the inquiry the tyres on Jupiter were found too thin and below Brighton standards owning to the Company’s examiner being unfamiliar with their design, which was of Midland Railway pattern and unlike those employed on the Brighton stock. Orders were immediately given for substitution of standard pattern tyres on all Pullmans before entering regular traffic. Attempts to obtain payment from the Pullman Car Company were without success, pursued for over twelve months.


Littlehampton Locomotive Shed



extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the L.B.S.C.R.

Footplatemen have always worked long hours, this being especially so for the footplatemen 
who worked on goods engines, who frequently spent sixteen or seventeen hours per day away from home, occasionally much longer when bad weather delayed their trains. The Board of Trade considered that men working such long hours were the cause of many accidents and in November 1893, broached the subject with the London & Brighton Railway's Chairman, who later instructed his Locomotive Superintendent, Robert Billinton, to rearrange the goods rosters to provide each crew with a weekly rest day, and to reduce the time spent on duty to fourteen hours per day. Robert Billinton made the necessary adjustments to the working timetables, but because the London & Brighton Locomotive Committee refused to sanction the sharing of engines, he was forced to purchase eight more locomotives to cover the goods traffic.

Railway accident on the 


Portsmouth Harbour 12 December 1893


extracted from the R.C.T.S. book of L.B.S.C.R. Locomotice Vol. 2


Tunbridge Wells Driver Cooke

On Christmas Eve 1893, engine class E1 No. 107 (T.W. shed) ‘ lderney' reached Tunbridge Wells, with a van train from London Bridge and engine was standing unattended in the short down bay platform, when the footplate was boarded by a soldier whose home was near Withyham for which the last train had long departed. So having consumed more than his normal quota of beer, he decided to make use of  the unattended engine. Before joining the colours he had spent some years as a fireman, hence had little trouble in getting underway and as the points were set for the down road he rapidly disappeared along the wrong line. No one noticed this at Tunbridge Wells, so no warning could be sent to Groombridge, where a train was just about to leave on the same track, but fortunately the Driver Cooke heard the engine approaching, for the whistle was being  sounded at irregular intervals. The signalman was hurriedly warned to expect a ‘runaway’ and with commendable speed set the points for an empty siding, where the engine was slowed to a walking pace by long weeds and ballast covered track before hitting the buffers. Unharmed, the soldier made a run for it across country and after an exciting chaser was caught by the station Porter Evans and the Station Master’s dog. The local constable on his bicycle so rapidly in the dark that he came off in a ditch and laid there until morning with concussion. In the meantime the soldier was locked for the night in the station lamp store guarded by Evans and the dog, and handed over to a relief constable on Christmas day. At the local court he was jailed for 8 months, while the company awarded Driver Cooke £5.5s.0d, Signalman James £4. 4s.0d and Porter Evans £3.3s.0d. for their alertness and high standard of conduct.

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