Background Image
Previous Page  12 / 32 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 12 / 32 Next Page
Page Background


quintinshill rail disaster


Early on the morning of Saturday 22 May 1915, as so often happened

during World War I, the overnight expresses from London to Glasgow

were running late. A local passenger train for Beattock was allowed to

leave Carlisle ahead of them,heading north on the main line.

En route, as it passed through Gretna, it gave a lift to JamesTinsley,

the relief signalman for the Quintinshill Signal Box who should have

been on duty there at 6 o’clock. When it arrived at Quintinshill, soon

after 6.30, the local train would normally have been shunted into the

north-bound passing loop

(the down siding)

to allow the two expresses,

following it,to pass. However,both up and down loops were occupied by

goods trains and the local passenger train had to be shunted from the

down main line to the up, south bound,main line.

This operation would have been perfectly safe if George Meakin, the

signalman still on duty at the time, had, firstly, remembered to put a collar

on the signal lever; this simple device would have prevented the lever from

being moved so halting any train coming from the North, and, secondly, sent

a ‘blocking back’ signal to the next signal box to the North, at Kirkpatrick, to

indicate that there was a train on the line and no traffic should be allowed

through until it was reported clear.