Railway Accidents

The following accounts have been taken from Local newspapers of the time

30 September, 1865
A Man Crushed to Death at Vochriw   We have another deplorable accident to record. A flueman, aged 55, John Lewis, who worked at the Vochriw colliery, was killed shortly after coming up from the pit. It is pretty well known that the colliers working at Vochriw and living in Dowlais, generally ride to and fro on the engines and coal trains. On Saturday, about 5.30pm, the train had just started, and deceased tried to get on to the engine as it passed. He fell and was run over by the tender. His injuries were so great, he died on the spot.

6 March 1869
Fatal Accident Inquest   An inquiry was held on Thursday week at the Rising Sun Inn, Vochriw, before G. Overton, Esq., coroner, touching the death of Lewis Phillps, who was killed the previous day. From the evidence, it appeared that the deceased had come there to seek employment, and in coming down from the pits over a tip, came rather suddenly on to a siding where there were some trucks being shunted. Deceased, no doubt, thinking he had sufficient time, endeavoured to cross the line, and was caught by the trucks and jammed between them. The engine driver, and another man came immediately to his assistance, but deceased never spoke, and died within a quarter of an hour.The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” The deceased had only  been married for just seven months.

23 March 1872
Fatal Accident at Dowlais: Loss of Three Lives    A shocking accident occurred on Tuesday last on one of the lines belonging to the Dowlais Company, running between their works and Vochriw. It appears that about 5.30 p.m. a coal train left Vochriw with a number of colliers in one truck, and three more in the tender, the truck containing the men being the next behind the tender. The train was proceeding along at the usual speed, when on rounding the curve, where there is also an incline, a stationary engine was seen on the line ahead. The distance was too short to stop the train, and a violent collision ensued, which threw some of the carriages off the rails, and completely blocked the line. The violence of the collision was so great that the buffers of the truck immediately behind the tender were forced through the tender instantaneously, crushing two of the occupants to death, and so injuring the third that he died the next day. Several of the trucks were more or less smashed, but strange to say, the men who were in the truck escaped with nothing more than a few slight blows and a severe shaking. An inquest was formally opened by Mr. Overton at the Dowlais Inn on Wednesday afternoon, and adjourned for a week. The names of the deceased are John Harris, overman, William Williams, collier, and William Francis, collier.

7 September 1872
Shocking Accident at Vochriw   A dreadful accident happened on the Brecon and Merthyr Railway, at Vochriw, on Wednesday evening. A coal train was shunting, when the guard, John Williams, took an iron bar to sprag the wheels of a truck as the train was moving too fast. In doing this, the bar struck him violently throwing him across the rail. The unfortunate man was so fearfully mutilated that he died about six hours afterwards ”. Deceased was a single young man.

23 May 1874
The Railway Accident   A railway crash occurred at Merthyr Station on Saturday afternoon, 16th May, at 3p.m.  A train of 25 laden coal wagons with two locomotives in front collided with a passenger train standing at Merthyr Station. Fifty five people were injured. One woman died the following week.

30 June 1877
Colliery Death    Early Wednesday morning, a haulier, Thomas Lewis Jones, aged 43, last living at 37 East-street. Dowlais was killed in the Vochrhiw Colliery when he was crushed by a train.