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Haverthwaite, Runaway train 1932

Copyright Ron Mein www.levenvalleyhistory.co.uk

'An alarming accident occurred yesterday afternoon on the Lakeside branch of the LMS which might have resulted in serious loss of life, but happily no one was injured. An engine was pushing about 10 wagons and drawing two others from Haverthwaite Station to Backbarrow Ironworks as the train almost reached the top of a steep gradient the engine came to a standstill. The weight of the wagon in front began to force back the engine and the other two wagons and owing to the greasy state of the rails and the sharp incline the engine was powerless to pull up. The train then gathered speed and careered backwards down the incline for about half-a-mile, when on nearing Haverthwaite Station (yard & sidings) the two wagons now in front of the engine, collided with the stop blocks (of a siding) which were torn up and crashed through a wall on the main road.“ There the wagons tilted up right across the roadway, which was completely blocked. One of them was a (gun) powder wagon, but empty. Just prior to the crash, a motor bus had pulled up a few yards away to discharge passengers but for which there would probably have been a terrible collision involving serious loss of life. Fortunately no-one was hurt, the engine driver and fireman jumping clear just in time. An electric pole was demolished in the crash and the Barrow Corporation’s electricity supply to Backbarrow was temporarily cut off. (The ladder in the photograph is holding up the mains cable which had been badly damaged.) A breakdown gang was speedily sent from Barrow to the scene.' Abridged from North Western Daily Mail, July 16 1932 and other sources.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Transportation
Subcategory:Railway
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:1932, accidents, accidents, cumbria, explosives, gunpowder, haverthwaite, industrial heritage, leven, low wood, railways, runaway trains, valley

Haverthwaite, Runaway train 1932