Britain's Railway Disasters (Paperback)
Fatal Accidents From the 1830s to the Present Day
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Passengers on the early railways took their lives in their hands every time they got on board a train. It was so dangerous that they could buy an insurance policy with their ticket. There seemed to be an acceptance that the level of danger was tolerable in return for the speed of travel that was now available to them.
British Railway Disasters looks at the most serious railway accidents from the origins of the development of the train up to the present day. Seriousness is judged on the number of those who died. Information gleaned from various newspaper reports is compared with official reports on the accidents.
The book will appeal to all those with a fascination for rail transport as well as those with a love of history.
Michael Foley examines the social context of how injuries and deaths on the railways were seen in the early days, as well as how claims in the courts became more common, leading to a series of medical investigations as to how travelling and crashing at high speed affected the human body.
This could have been a difficult book to read, but it isn't. The text flows well and the human perspective provided by the contemporary newspaper reports prevents it becoming dry and repetitive. Of course there are some sad stories, but also some miraculous escapes, and the overall theme is improving safety and responsibility from the railways. This is a social history as much as it is a railway history, and tells an important story.Michael's Model Railways
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Reviewed byRoger Backhouse, York Model Engineers, July 2020
All this makes it a great historical book instead of being a morbid book.Unos Cuantos Trenes
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Article: 'History writer's latest book shares tragic story of station train crash' as featured byBarking and Dageham Post, 18th December 2019
History is clearly something that Foley is passionate about and this book is well researched, providing an interesting social background to these tragedies. It can therefore be of interest to those who aren't necessarily interested in the mechanics of the locomotiveEssex Life Magazine
A useful contribution to the subject, particularly to the social history aspects of accidents to the travelling public and employees of the railway companies.Railway & Canal Historical Society
Blends together a fascination for history and rail transport, producing an interesting read for history and railway buffs alike.Discover Your History