By Lewis, PeterBy Nisbet, Alistair
The development of railways in Britain came in the 1830s as a result of the needs of industry and of the public eager for the novelty and cheapness of rail travel. These early railways were beset by accidents caused by collisions and mechanical failure, and the 1870s produced mor...e disasters than any other decade before or since. On Christmas Eve in 1874 the worst accident in the history of the GWR occurred at Shipton-on-Cherwell, several miles from Oxford, when the 10 a.m. from London Paddington to Birkenhead derailed, killing thirty-four passengers. The fracture of a single tyre was enough to cause this catastrophe due to the lack of continuous braking and inadequate communication between the driver and passengers. The authors detail the history surrounding this tragic event using the accounts of eyewitnesses, archive newspaper articles and reports.Read more
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Dr Peter Lewis is an Open University senior lecturer in Engineering. He is the author of two previous books for Tempus, Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay and Disaster on the Dee.Alistair Nisbet has written many articles for the railway press, such as Backtrack magazine, on historic railway accidents and related topics. He formerly worked for the MOD at Bicester.
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