Runaway Train at Broompark


unknown with Hunthill tagAn accident occurred on the morning of Tuesday 31st July 1928 which involved the derailment of a goods train at Broompark Farm, High Blantyre. The farm was tenanted by James Rochead, a former local farmer whose farm once stood alongside the Hamilton to Strathaven railway on the L.M.S. line at a location directly across from where Saint John Ogilvie RC church is now.

The train left Hamilton at 5.45am, and consisted of the engine, brake-van, and 30 loaded waggons. From Hamilton to High Blantyre the railway line was a gradual incline all the way, with a wide curve through Blantyre.

At High Blantyre Station the coupling next to the engine snapped, and the whole train ran back down the line a rapid pace, past High Blantyre School, over the bridge above Hunthill Road, and directly past Old Place. Six of the runaway loaded waggons and a truck containing seven cattle, with what could only have been a real commotion, jumped off the rails entirely at catchpoints at the farm, which was a full quarter of a mile from the High Blantyre Station!

The railway at this point ran on a high embankment. The waggons did not tumble down it. The cattle truck was thrown on its side. Mr Rochhead and others were quickly on the scene, and had the cattle removed to the farm. A veterinary surgeon was summoned, and found that none of tfie cattle were injured.

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A breakdown gang was soon on the scene lifting the waggon and preparing the railway track, which was badly turned up. The guard had a miraculous escape. The morning passenger service was disrupted for some time.

The attached picture is on railway forums with a tag as “Hunthill”. I’ve doubted this is actually Blantyre, as I can’t relate the building to anything in Blantyre past or present, but the embankment itself and indeed the small structure its on top of, really does look like the location at Broompark Farm. I would say, although I dont think its Blantyre, its a good representation of what the embankment looked like. The railway ran on a raised elevation on what is now the grass beside Saint John Ogilvie RC church. The derailment happened where now modern houses are built at Moorfield Road.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

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