HC Deb 07 September 1886 vol 308 cc1466-7
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been drawn to the accident on Wednesday night, September 1st, at Penistone Station, on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, when the greater part of an express train became detached, and starting down an incline came into violent collision with a goods waggon, and the buffer stops of the ticket platform siding; whether the train to which this accident occurred was not fitted with the same "simple vacuum" brake which was in use on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway two years ago, and the failure of which was demonstrated in the terribly fatal accident at Bullhouse, near Penistone, on the 16th of July 1884, when 24 persons were killed, and 62 persons injured; whether, in his Report of the investigation of the accident at Bullhouse on 16th July 1884, Major Marindin, the Inspector of the Board of Trade, used these words:— The value of a brake having rapid action and, above all, automatic action, in such a case as this, can hardly be contested; and, although the Board of Trade has as yet no power to insist upon the adoption of a continuous brake possessing these qualities, yet I would remind the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company that this is the second emphatic warning which has been given to them within the last six months as to the need for automatic action in the brakes used upon their line; the previous instance being on the 6th of February 1884, when, after a carriage had left the rails when running at high speed near Dinting Station, the vacuum brake pipe was severed, the brake became useless, and the carriage was dragged along off the rails for over 350 yards further than it would have been if the brakes had remained on, at the imminent risk of falling, and taking with it the carriages behind it, over a viaduct 100 feet in height. and, whether, since the condemnation of these brakes by Major Marindin two years ago, the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company have ever given any explanation of this delay in carrying out the recommendations of the Board of Trade, or any engagement to carry them out?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

(who replied) said: The Board of Trade have received a Report from the Company of the accident referred to, and nave directed an inquiry to be held; but they have at present no information as to the form of brake with which the train was fitted. The words quoted in the Question were contained in Major Marindin's Report on the Bullhouse accident in 1884, a copy of which Report was forwarded to the Company. The Board of Trade have not since received any engagement from the Company with regard to the use of brakes of automatic action; but it appears from the Return presented to Parliament in pursuance of the Railway Returns (Continuous Brakes) Act, 1878, for the six months ending the 30th June, 1886, that the stock of the Company is fitted with the vacuum brake, which is not not automatic. If the hon. Member likes to move for a copy of the Correspondence, there is no objection to its being presented.