HC Deb 11 June 1894 vol 25 cc811-2
MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can state what number of repaired wheels of the Mansell pattern made 22 years ago, as referred to in Major Marindin's Report on the railway accident on the 27th of April last to a passenger train at Dunphail Station, are now in use on the passenger trains on the Highland Railway, and why time was not allowed the examiner at Kingussie to go all round the train, instead of only time to examine the wheels on the light side; seeing that since the introduction of continuous brakes the strain upon carriage wheels has been much increased, will the Highland Railway Company be required to further strengthen them; whether it is the practice on the Highland Railway for the assistant guard to ride in the rear van instead of in the front break van; whether a penalty has been imposed on the Company for failing to provide a communication cord between the carriages and the engine and the brake van of the train, as required by Section 22 of "The Regulation of Railways Act, 1868;" and whether all the carriages of passenger trains on the Highland Railway are fitted with automatic brakes in accordance with the instructions of the Department to the Railway Company last year?


I have received a letter on the subject of my hon. Friend's question from the General Manager of the Highland Railway Company, who states as follows:— There are 604 pairs of Mansell's wheels of the old type, made between 1872 and 1886, in use on the Highland Railway, the older ones having been re-timbered and re-tyred as found necessary. The vehicles of the 12.40 a.m. train are thoroughly examined at Perth previous to departure. An examination is also made at Blair Atholl after running 35 miles, and at Kingussie, 72 miles, as thoroughly as time will permit. The train is again examined at Forres, 119 miles, and finally, on arrival at Inverness, it is subject to a minute inspection. This amount of inspection has hitherto teen found ample. Since 1886 all new passenger carriages built for the Highland Company have been furnished with disc wheels of the strongest design to withstand the extra strain of the continuous brake. It is not the practice on the Highland Railway for the assistant guard to ride in the same van as the chief guard, and is distinctly against the Company's Rules. The infringement of the Rules on the occasion in question has been suitably dealt with. The vehicles on the train were not adapted for the application of communication cord, but that has now been remedied. I believe all the passenger carriages of the Highland Railway are fitted with automatic brakes.