Serious Accidents at Shandon Station

Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette 2 July 1904

Yesterday morning an accident took place at Shandon Station on the West Highland Railway. The early through train from Glasgow to Fort William was brought to a standstill at the head of the incline which leads to Shandon Station, a stretch of about a quarter of a mile, and the engine and a horse box were detached and proceeded to the station. The train of saloon carriages had been insufficiently braked, with gradually increasing momentum it moved down the incline until near the station it had gained considerable speed. The driver of the engine, while carrying out his shunting operations at the station, noticed the train rushing along, and without a moment’s delay decided on his course of action. To allow the train to proceed onwards was to take a great risk of it coming to grief by jumping the metals and falling over an embankment, so he decided to bring his engine with horse vehicle to a standstill and let them take the shock of the collision. Between the rapidly moving carriages and the engine the shock was severe, and led to the first carriage, a first class saloon, being telescoped by the horse box, but the passenger carriages kept the metals, and came to a standstill.

There were about forty passengers pretty equally divided between first and second class, and the greater number suffered to some extent by the accident, and for a time there was a scene of great confusion and distress. Fortunately a couple of English doctors on tour were on the train and rendered valuable assistance in attending to the injured, some of whom were, it is said, serious affected. The wife of an English Church dignitary traveling with her husband and daughter was completely prostrated by shock. Councillor Sellars, Helensburgh, was injured about the back, Mr John Williams had his mouth injured, and an Helensburgh workman named Ganning had his head cut. The most of the passengers, after having been attended to, proceeded by the train, which was delayed over an hour. Fortunately the first-class saloon telescoped had the fore part closely packed up with luggage, otherwise it might have been occupied with passengers, and loss of life would have resulted. The passengers for the most part were English tourists headed for Fort William. The wrecked saloon and horse box were drawn into a siding at Shandon.

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