Hello again Readers
Here is my second blog revealing more about my third true crime book about to be released on Amazon. This blog takes material and a quote from the second chapter of the book.
Life and Limb
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway proved to be a runaway success.it was the first railway to run exclusively on steam power, the first to have double track throughout its length and the first to have a signalling system. It was also the first to be fully timetabled and the first to carry mail. In another first it introduced excursions or day trips and for many people this was their first introduction to railway travel. In short the new steam railways revolutionised commerce and changed the fabric of society. More people were able to travel much further, much faster and for a lower price than the old stage-coaches.
With the good came the bad and the safety of railway passengers and railway staff was at times put in peril. Within twelve months of the inaugural opening day there had been a number of accidents and deaths. Locomotives and carriages were coming off the lines risking life and limbs. Some locomotives were being driven too fast and sometimes in bad weather. Signalling and the changing of points was introduced and sometimes mistakes were made that cost lives. In August 1831 came the first footplate deaths, the details printed by the Blackburn Morning Post,
“We are sorry to mention a very serious accident which occurred on Saturday on the railway between Kenyon and Bolton. The locomotive engine was going up the lower inclined plane with a heavy load of goods and at the turn off of at Colonel Fletcher’s collieries, ran off the road and was unfortunately overturned against the bank, and fell upon the engineer and fireman who were both killed on the spot; two other men were riding on the tender, one of whom was dangerously hurt, the other scalded. The engine we understand was the only one which ever worked on a railway with wheels of six feet diameter and on that account had never been allowed to take the coaches.”
In November 1832 came the first death of a fare-paying passenger. As railways spread throughout Britain the number of railway injuries and deaths increased. It was discovered that locomotive and carriage wheels were breaking up. This was because they were made of brittle cast iron. This discovery resulted in wholesale replacement of wheel-sets but did not stop the carnage. Sometimes accidents were the faults of the engineer driving the train or the railway policeman controlling the signals. Railways were quickly developing a very dangerous reputation. This did not deter the many travellers and passenger numbers kept on increasing.
The crowds of passengers drew another type of customer to the railways, one whose interest lay not in travel itself but more in the money and valuables carried by passengers in the first and second class compartments. The criminals had arrived and started using trains for purposes not foreseen by their owners and developers……………….
4 DAY to the release of MURDER MYSTERY & MAYHEM ON THE RAILWAYS 1830-1899 by researcher and crime writer Mike Sheridan
Copyright@Mike Sheridan 2015 All Rights Reserved