Railway Accident 1868

Accident at Hessle on 21st April 1868

On April 28th 1868 a passenger train collided with a goods train at Hessle.

The official report into the accident, by Major General C S Hutchinson, was published on 8th May 1868 by the Board of Trade.

The passenger train was a market train from Selby to Hull which only ran on Tuesdays (one of Hull’s market days) and had made its way safely to North Ferriby, from where it departed five minutes late. As the train was approaching the Hessle distant signal, at about 25 miles per hour, the driver shut off steam to reduce speed as was the practice at that point on the line. Straightaway after doing so he saw that the signal was at danger. Immediately the driver ordered the fireman to apply the train’s brakes and then saw a goods train on the line in front.

The driver told the enquiry that he put the engine into reverse as soon as he saw the goods train and whistled for the guard’s brakes to be applied. This was done immediately but despite the actions of the driver, the fireman and the guard the passenger train struck the van of the goods train at a speed of between 6 and 12 miles per hour.