HC Deb 27 February 1936 vol 309 c687W

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the number of railway accidents caused by stray railway trucks and coaches being left standing on the lines by the breaking of couplings, he will make inquiries into the American and Canadian system of strong headlights being carried on the engines, thus enabling drivers to see any obstacle a long way off?


This question was dealt with in the final paragraph of my chief inspecting officer's report on the accident at King's Langley in June, 1935, from which the following is the relevant extractMy attention has been called to a suggestion that these collisions would have been prevented by the use of searchlights on the engines. Owing to curvature of the railway at the site, I think it very doubtful whether such equipment would have had even preventive effect; but, in any case, in main line operation in this country, it would not be desirable from a safety point of view. Apart from the well known inherent disadvantages of an intense beam of light, not only to the approaching driver but to the driver using it, steps are having to be taken to-day to safeguard the view of enginemen from interference by extraneous road light signals and by street and sign lighting.