Railways kill! We forget that now as British railways are one of the safest ways of travelling. That they are so is the result of lessons learnt from history. For there have been many hundreds of railways disasters. This book looks at some of the most famous as well as some that have been all but forgotten, matching some graphic illustrations with eyewitness accounts of people who were there and the confidential reports of the accident investigators who worked out what had gone wrong. The book will explore the reasons why accidents happen. Some are due to the carelessness of staff, others due to equipment failure or poor signalling. Yet others still baffle the experts. The first, and perhaps most famous accident, occurred in 1830 at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway when the politician William Huskisson was killed crossing in front of an oncoming locomotive. But the worst railway accident in British railway history occurred at Quintshill in May 1915, when five trains collided with many hundreds of soldiers going to the Front either killed or seriously injured. Almost 40 years later 112 commuters were killed at Harrow and Wealdstone in 1952.
The reasons for the accident remain unclear.
Simon Fowler is a leading authority on military, transport and family history and a prolific writer on these subjects. For over twenty years he was an archivist at the Public Record Office (now The National Archives). As well as publishing many articles in magazines and journals, he has written several well-known books on military and family history, including: Tracing Your Army Ancestors, A Guide to Military History on the Internet, Tracing Your Ancestors and Tracing Your Naval Ancestors. He is also a professional researcher and lecturer - find out more at www.history-man.co.uk.