Railway Collision at Blantyre

A train crash occurred in Blantyre on Monday 21st December 1914, exactly 106 years ago today.

That Monday evening an alarming collision between a passenger train and a mineral train took place between Blantyre and Newton on the Caledonian Railway. The track was which was blocked was cleared on the Tuesday morning and services resumed that next day.

The Glasgow Central passenger train left Central Station at 7.10pm, bound for Lesmahagow. The mineral train was further up the line heading in the same direction, but going much slower.

In the darkness of the evening, the passenger train ran up the back of the mineral train around half a mile from Blantyre near Calderglen. Three people were injured.

The goods train had mostly empty trucks but some of the waggons were completely derailed blocking the line in both directions.

The brake van at the back of the goods train suffered the brunt of the collision. It was lifted from its wheels and smashed to pieces. The brakesman (or guard) a Mr Robertson of Glasgow was somewhat badly injured. His left shoulder was dislocated, and he received a flesh wound on the arm and a slight scalp wound and numerous bruises.

The engine driver and fireman of the passenger train, James McIntosh and Walter Coulter both Hamilton men escaped with slight injuries. Though there were a considerable number of passengers in the front carriage, none of them fortunately were injured.

First aid was given to the brakesman by a lady passenger as they all alighted a little in shock. That evening, the passengers walked along the rest of the Blantyre line from Calderglen to Blantyre Station. A relief train later took them onwards to Hamilton and Motherwell.

A locomotive is pictured at Blantyre Station in 1949.

1949 Blantyre Train Station

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  1. Etched in my memory, days of standing exactly here taking the train to Stonehouse or further afield before the electric trains came in. We felt like the “Railway Children” when we lived in Knightswood terrace just across the road from the station. Thanks so much for posting Paul.

    When we moved to Hillview Drive, and the field in front of our house was empty, we used to run through the field to go and wave to the driver, (our Grand father was the signalman at Motherwell) so we thought we might see him some days. It wasn’t always like that though

    We could see the “Dandy” beyond, and felt very “country”, but when we first moved there we children thought it a “disused railway line” and one day, just after we moved there, my sister and I went to play on the tracks, innocently revelling in all the wee stones we could gather and do something with.

    The next minute, we turned around to see a woman waving her arms and yelling something, running at us, we looked at each other, and then it dawned that it was our mother, we thought she was angrilly yelling at us for getting dirty! Not so, she really gied me laldy that day, dragging my wee sister off the line, and telling me a train was about to come and I should have known better. I don’t know how an 8 year old is supposed to know better, she was just a terrified Mum. We so loved the trains though, I can still smell the steam, and feel the leather, a lovely memory.

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