Accident Record

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This page is a record of accidents that have some published information, or has been directly taken from actual records of the railway held in the archives. It is also stated that some of the references used, have gleaned the information from multiple sources.

The table records accidents and incidents upto the suspension of operations of the FR, that is until 1946. It exists to provide appropriate links within this wiki, and the source of information. More detailed records exist on some entries, accessed by clicking on the date reference.

Articles on the subject can also be accessed through the category "Accidents" linked at the bottom of the page.

Entries here also include incidents that were not logged in official returns to authorities. It is uncertain under what circumstances an accident required reporting to the Board of Trade. The rules a century or more ago were probably more lax than they are today. However, whilst Charles Easton Spooner was in charge it is felt that he never reported any until the one at Portmadoc on March 4th 1881 when someone was killed and he had no option. Very little has been found in the BoT records for this period.

The information source is identified by the 3/4 code letters of publication the data appears in, as used on the Reference Sources page. Additional info may come from other sources - to see this click on the date in column 2. Codings commencing MTn are from the National Archives.

Dates are in format YYYY.MM.DD (all numeric) to keep in order. Where only a partial knowledge of the date exists then missing numbers replaced by xx

Entries marked (*) need more details Entries specifically marked FR2/575 come from an expansion of a list in Boyd. Very little detail is given,including no actual date

Accident List 1831 - 1946
Source Date information
CDH 1848.06.13 John Jones strayed onto track and was killed by train, location unknown
RAIL 1057/2046/3 1858 Runaway of slate wagons from bottom of Welsh Slate Co's incline
IHJF/022 1865.01.05 Engine cleaner jumped off engine near Boston Lodge, tripped and was struck by the tender & first carriage.
NLW 1865.05.27 FR employee killed when wagon he was in derailed and hit a wall at Dolgaregddu
NLW 1869.10.06 Wagons derailed above Hafod y llyn
NLW 1871.06.14 Child hit by train & killed at Boston Lodge
FR2/572 1872.08.29 John Lloyd Exited carriage and fell onto Cambrian platform
FR2/572 1872.10.28 passerby had leg broken while climbing between wagons at Duffws
FR2/572 1874.06.11 Derailment near Harbour Station
FR2/572 1874.06.19 Major derailment due to vandalism in area of Cae Valley Wood - 16 waggons were thrown off the road.
FR2/572 1874.11.19 Slate train collided with an engine and trucks. Derailed - major damage - no injuries
FR2/572 1874.12.04 Near WSC wharf in Port Stone between points. Three waggons derailed.
FR2/573 1875.04.17 Slate train collided with loaded waggons at Dinas. Derailed and slightly damaged
FR2/573 1875.05.13 Runaway Truck in a quarry arrived at Dinas, where it collided with wagons.
FR2/573 1875.06.04 Tanygrisiau, James Spooner-failure to open points properly, caused front wheels to take a different road to the rear wheels.
FR2/573 1875.07.31 Fireman injured when head came into contact with an over­bridge at Tanygrisiau whilst the train was moving.
FR2/573 1875.08.14 A passenger train engine (Welsh Pony) driving wheel axle broke on approach to Duffws.
FR2/573 1875.09.23 Passenger train approaching Duffws collided with wagon
FR2/573 1875.11.05 Passenger train leaving Duffws struck object too near line. Damage to van drawbar (aka drawgear), and scratching on a carriage
NLW 1875.11.17 Broken coupling causes runaway slate wagon to strike worker fatally.
NLW 1875.11.29 Inquest for runaway of 1875.11.17.
FR2/573 1875.12.31 Wagon axle broke at Tanygrisiau, 3 wagons derailed causing track damage
FR2/573 1876.01.04 Glan y Pwll crossing gate damaged by two runaway slate wagons.
FR2/573 1876.02.29 Train leaving Penrhyn split in two when the drawbar of a carriage broke.
FR2/573 1876.03.20 Shunting engine taking empties to Duffws ran over sheep on blind curve
FR2/574 1876.03.21 Wagon in transit from Duffws to Dinas broke axle and derailed
FR2/574 1876.05.17 Wagon enroute from Tanygrisiau and Tan y Bwlch broke axle
FR2/574 1876.05.24 Wagon axle broke at Tan y Bwlch and more derailed. Damage to cargo of slate
FR2/574 1876.09.21 Timber truck left the rails and fell over causing more to do the same.
FR2/574 1876.09.26 Porter at Duffws injured his arm during shunting.
IHJF/044 1876.10.03 Door of empty wagon opened in Moelwyn tunnel, derailing wagon and breaking several chairs.
IHJF/044 1876.10.11 Mix wagons ran away from Duffws caused by guard not securing them.
IHJF/044 1876.10.19 Loco(Mountaineer) hit stop block at Duffws - derailed and track damaged.
NLA 1876-10-XX Accident with dynamite while on railway construction work - 1 killed, 4 injured.
IHJF/044 1876.12.08 Wheel came of wagon near to Harbour Station.
NLW 1877.08.25 Boy fell under truck and killed.
FR2/575 1877.12.18 David Evans got jammed between two slate wagons and received injuries which caused his death.
FR2/575 1877 Goods train derailed.
FR2/575 1877 Train travelled in the wrong direction through points.
FR2/575 1877 Train hit cattle or other obstruction.
NGRSC1/86 1878.07.09 Little Wonder in collision at Dolgaregddu Junction with Festiniog And Blaenau Railway train
NLW 1878.04.24 Collision with sand wagon at Boston Lodge
FR2/575 1878 Collision between goods trains.
FR2/575 1878 Passenger train derailed.
FR2/575 1878 Goods train derailed.
FR2/575 1878 Goods train derailed.
FR2/575 1878 Axle failure.
FR2/575 1878 Axle failure.
FR2/575 1878 One railway servant injured in accident to train.
FR2/575 1879 Goods trains derailed.
FR2/575 1879 Goods trains derailed
FR2/575 1879 Wheel failure
FR2/575 1879 Axle failure
FR2/575 1879 Axle failure
FR2/575 1879 Axle failure
FR2/575 1880 No accidents reported
IHJF/xxx 1881.03.04 George Westley, clockwinder, crushed in Goods Shed. Subject to BoT report in National Archive file RAIL 1053/70.
HGJ102 1881.10.15 Derailment of quarryman's train, was the result of a crack in the axle inside the wheel boss report in National Archive file RAIL 1053/70.
FR2/575 1881 Railway servant killed by train travelling in wrong direction through points.
FR2/575 1881 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1881 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1881 Axle failure
FR2/575 1881 Broken rails
FR2/575 1881 Broken rails
FR2/575 1881 Broken rails
FR2/575 1881-02-19 Gales so great, one carriage blown off the line near Diphwys.
FR2/575 1882 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1882 Goods train derailed
FR2/575 1882 Tyre failure
FR1/141 1882.02.06 Taliesin, derailment on Harbour Station points
IHJF/073 1883.08.xx Robert Jones, killed on line - £15 gratuity to widow
FR2/575 1883 Axle failure
FR2/575 1883 Axle failure
FR2/575 1883 Railway servant killed walking on the line to or from home
FR2/575 1884 Railway servant injured during shunting
FR2/575 1885 Goods train derailed
FR2/575 1886 Collision between passenger trains
FR2/575 1886 Passenger train derailment
FR2/575 1886 Axle failure
FR2/575 1887 Railway servant injured uncoupling vehicles
FR2/575 1888 Train hit cattle or other obstruction
FR2/575 1889 No accidents reported
FR2/575 1890 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1890 Railway servant injured through accident to train
IHJF/071 1890.11.17 David Ellis, killed at Duffws whilst running to catch train - FR Co. paid £32 to cover all claims
FR2/575 1891 No accidents reported
FR2/575 1892 No accidents reported
FR1/158 1892.06.03 Palmerston broke driving axle
IHJF/073 1893.02.xx Platelayers Trolley "ran against" 2 children at Penrhyn - no names mentioned
FR2/575 1893 Train hit cattle or other obstruction
FR2/575 1893 Axle failure
FR2/575 1894 Axle failure
FR1/158 1894.05.09 Prince broke leading axle
FR1/158 1895.11.20 Livingston Thompson ran over a sheep and was derailed
FR1/158 1895.11.20 Palmerston ran into the rear of the Quarrymans train at Tylers Cutting (sic. Oakley's Curve)
FR2/575 1895 Collision between a passenger train and a goods train
FR2/575 1896 Trespasser killed
FR2/575 1896 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1896 Axle failure
FR2/575 1896 Axle failure
FR2/575 1896 Axle failure
FR2/575 1896 Axle failure
IHJF/074 1896.08.28 Loco (Princess), tender,and quarrymans carriage derailed approaching Penrhyn station. Subject to BoT report in National Archives file RAIL 1053/85
IHJF/075 1897.07.23 James Spooner and Palmerston, Collision at Dinas Junction. Subject to BOT report In National Archives file RAIL 1053/86
FRHJ-101-10 1897.08.02 Goods Truck overbalanced and derailed at Tan y Bwlch. Reported in MT6 2124/5
FRHJ-101-10 1897.08.19 Covered Wagon behind passenger train derailed at Tan y Bwlch. Reported in MT6 2124/5
FR2/575 1897 Railway servant injured getting on or off engines, waggons etc.
FR2/575 1897 Collision between a passenger train and a goods train
FR2/575 1897 Train ran through a level crossing
FR2/575 1898 Axle failure
FR2/575 1899 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1899 Axle failure
FR2/575 1900 Axle failure
FR2/575 1900 Axle failure
FR2/575 1900 Axle failure
MT6 2124/5 1901.08.02 Passenger trains derailed between Tan y bwlch & Penrhyn
MT6 2124/5 1901.08.19 Passenger trains derailed below Tan y bwlch
FR2/575 1901 Passenger trains derailed
FR2/575 1901 Railway servant injured coupling or uncoupling vehicles
IHJF/084 1901.10.04 Derailment at 6.15pm, near Coed Y Bleiddiau Halt. E. Druitt of the BOT investigated.
IHJF/084 1901.xx.xx 2 occasions of wagons derailing below TyB No personnel named as involved
FR2/575 1901 Trespasser killed
FR2/575 1902 Tyre failure
FR2/575 1902 Passenger train derailed
FR2/575 1902 Goods train derailed
MT6/2124/5 1902.07.03 Derailment of Gravity train at Tan y bwlch
IHJF/084 1902.xx.xx 3 occasions of wagons derailing on successive days. No personnel named as involved
FR2/575 1903 Axle failure
FR2/575 1903 Axle failure
FR2/575 1903 Axle failure
NLW 1904.01.15 Train hit rock at Dduallt
FR2/575 1904 Train ran through level crossing
FR2/575 1904 Train ran through level crossing
FR2/575 1904 Miscellaneous' train in motion accident
FR2/575 1904 Dangerous slip of cutting or embankment
FR2/575 1904 Axle failure
IHJF/085 1904.02.xx Storm derailed carriage at works end of Cob.
IHJF/084 1905.xx.xx A breakaway on Rhiwbach Tramway. Tried to claim against FR - received £85
NLW 1905.08.18 Train collided with a trolley at Tanygrisiau
FR2/575 1905 Trespasser injured
FR2/575 1905 Passenger injured (see next item)
FR2/575 1905 Train ran through level crossing
FR2/575 1905 Tyre failure
FR2/575 1906 Railway servant injured getting on or off engines or waggons
FR2/575 1906 Railway servant injured in 'miscellaneous' accident whilst working on the line
FR2/575 1906 Railway servant injured in shunting accident
FR2/575 1906 Railway servant injured falling off engine or van at rest
FR2/575 1906 Axle failure
FR2/575 1906 Coupling failure
FR2/575 1906 Axle failure
FR2/575 1907 Trespasser injured
FR2/575 1907 Railway servant injured by stumbling whilst walking on the line
FR2/575 1907 Axle failure
FR2/575 1907 Dangerous slip of cutting or embankment
FR2/575 1907 Railway servant injured whilst attending machinery of engine in motion
FR2/575 1907 Railway servant suffered 'miscellaneous' injury
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant injured whilst coupling or uncoupling vehicles
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant injured whilst coupling or uncoupling vehicles
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant suffered 'miscellaneous' injury
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant injured whilst attending engine at rest
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant injured by the falling of rails, sleepers, etc.
FR2/575 1908 Railway servant injured by 'miscellaneous' on track!
IHJF/084 1908.09.23 Horse belonging to a Blaenau Ffestiniog hotel owner was injured at Glan y Pwll
IHJF/084 1909.10.26 30 tons of earthworks - Landslip near Llechwedd Coed - spotted by first up train - no injuries
FR2/575 1909 Railway servant injured whilst coupling or uncoupling vehicles
FR2/575 1909 Railway servant injured working cranes or capstans
FR2/575 1909 Railway servant injured falling from ladder or scaffold
FR2/575 1909 Railway servant injured 'by miscellany' !
FR2/575 1909 Railway servant injured 'by miscellany' !
FR2/575 1910 Axle failure
FR2/575 1910 Tyre failure
IHJF/084 1910.07.04 Accident at Dduallt - no further detail given
IHJF/084 1910.09.13 Accident, near Tan y Bwlch, involving train of slates from a number of quarries.
IHJF/084 1911.07.19 Palmerston broke driving axle
FR2/575 1911 Railway servant injured whilst coupling or uncoupling vehicles
FR2/575 1911 Railway servant killed getting on or falling off engines, waggons, etc
FR2/575 1911 Railway servant injured stumbling whilst walking on line
FR2/575 1911 Tyre failure
FR2/575 1912 Railway servant injured whilst attending to the machinery of engines in motion
FR2/575 1912 Railway servant injured by the falling of waggon doors, lamps, bales, etc.
FR2/575 1912 Railway servant injured 'miscellaneously'
FR2/575 1912 Passenger train derailment
FR2/575 1912 Train running through gates or other obstacle
FR2/575 1912 Tyre failure
IHJF/084 1912.01.22 Up 06.35 Passenger train (Livingston Thompson) derailed at Tan y Bwlch
FR2/575 1913 One railway servant injured by falling of rails, sleepers, etc.
FR2/575 1913 Railway servant injured at work on line
FR2/575 1913 Railway servant injured 'miscellaneously'
FR2/575 1913 Passenger train derailment
FR2/575 1914 Passenger train derailment
FR2/575 1914 Railway servant injured coupling or uncoupling vehicle
FR2/575 1914 Railway servant injured 'miscellaneously'
FR2/575 1915 Goods train derailed
- 1915.10.21 Accident on Down Train
FR2/575 1915 Train ran through level crossing gates
FR2/575 1916 NO RETURNS PUBLISHED
XD97/17940 1916.11.17 8.30 a.m. passenger train from Portmadoc 17 November 1916 – tree blown down in front of engine, no one injured.
FR2/575 1917 NO RETURNS PUBLISHED
FR2/575 1918 NO RETURNS PUBLISHED
FR2/575 1919 NO RETURNS PUBLISHED
FR2/575 1919 Welsh Pony off the track Duffws station. Signal fitter had repaired points and failed to adjust the blades afterwards.
FR2/575 1919 Bull came through gate of Sandpit Siding at Boston Lodge and was struck by a passenger train. Owing to a long train of wagons on the siding, the gate had been left open.
FR2/575 1919 Palmerston and James Spooner derailed at Harbour station in the same week
FR2/575 1919 A month later, James Spooner burst a cylinder whilst starting the 4.15 p.m. train from Blaenau, a mishap possibly caused by a crack due to the Harbour derailment.
FR2/575 1920 No accidents reported
FR2/575 1920 Owing to a broken axle on a gravity train, twenty-two wagons fell into the field at Dduallt.
FR2/575 1920 On the same day two gravity trains collided in Minffordd station (one being stationary) and three vehicles including a brake van were written off for rebuilding completely.
FR2/575 1920 Owing to a rock fall at the Maenofferen Quarry, seven slate wagons were buried; some were only fit for scrap (Nos. 230, 468, 616 and 859). The remainder might be rebuilt. Coal wagons were sent up to the quarry to collect the pieces but Maenofferen filled them with their own scrap and the F.R. discovered them at Glaslyn Foundry.
FR2/575 1920 It was said at this time that every wagon which went out to Rhiwbach came back damaged.
FR2/575 1921 One goods train derailed
FR2/575 1922 One goods train derailed
FR2/575 1922 Axle failure
FR2/575 1922 Axle failure
FR2/575 1923 No accident statistics published after this date for individual minor railways
WH2/66 1924.07.01 Down train split in Moelwyn Tunnel due to misunderstanding of NWNGR coupling (Palmerston & Moel Tryfan)
XD97/16060 1925.09.25 4 wagon runaway derailed at Tan y bwlch by Will Jones
FR 1926.05.08 Accident at Penrhyn Crossing. Fitter alighted train and fell down embankment


See also[edit]

References[edit]

The above list is taken from various sources including:
FRHJ = Festiniog Railway Heritage Group Journal IHJF = Johnson, Peter (2007). An Illustrated History of the Festiniog Railway. Hersham: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860936-03-1. OCLC 180463433.

FR1 = Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 1 - History and Route. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-8536-1167-X. OCLC 2074549. FR2 = Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 2 Locomotive and Rolling Stock and Quarry Feeders. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 085361-168-8.

WH1 = Boyd, James I.C. (1988). Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Vol. 1. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-365-6.

WH2 = Boyd, James I.C. (1989). Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Vol. 2, The Welsh Highland Railway. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-383-4.

MTn = National Archive file No.

RAILn = National Archive file No.

XD97 = FR archives. Gwynedd Archive ref no

NLW = National Library of Wales

NLA = National Library of Australia

CDH - Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald