• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Bodies On Trains

Status
Not open for further replies.

JBuchananGB

Member
Joined
30 Jan 2017
Messages
944
Location
Southport
Although the body was alive in this case. On some BR standard compartment stock a compartment facing the corridor external door had a window where the large lower half was hinged. I was told this was for stretched cases. Was this correct and if so was it ever used for that purpose?
I can confirm that this was indeed for stretcher cases. Sometime about 1970 I accompanied a patient from Oldchurch Hospital Romford to Edinburgh. My mother was the almoner at the hospital. Ambulance to Kings Cross, then boarded the overnight train using the hinged window arrangement. Well the stretcher went in that way. Met at Edinburgh by an ambulance crew to convey the patient to hospital. He was a roofer who lived in Galashiels, but had fallen off/through a roof while working in the Romford area. Kicked my heels around Edinburgh for a few hours then on the 10am service back.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

181

Member
Joined
12 Feb 2013
Messages
799
It can still be done on Amtrak (although currently suspended, presumably due to COVID).

I recall a few years ago someone tried to take a body on an EasyJet flight from Manchester to Poland and tried to pass the corpse off as just being a bit under the weather and needing helping, because a living person could be carried much cheaper than cargo! Did this ever happen on trains?
Staying in the USA, I seem to remember a play on Radio 4 some time ago (1990s?) about a train journey in America (I'm not sure whether it was set in the then-present or some earlier era) where a train passenger was trying to conceal the fact that their 'ill' relative in the top bunk was in fact dead, and some years later a news report of something similar happening in reality. (A long shot, but does anyone else remember either the play or the news report? The only detail that I can remember is that the play featured Copland's Saturday Night Waltz as incidental music).
 

65477

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2017
Messages
103
When I first came onto the forum this morning the headline pop-up advert was for a pre paid funeral plan!
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
6,837
Although the body was alive in this case. On some BR standard compartment stock a compartment facing the corridor external door had a window where the large lower half was hinged. I was told this was for stretched cases. Was this correct and if so was it ever used for that purpose?
Yes, this was detailed in the journal of the Friends of the Nat Railway Magazine in the last year or two, in a detailed article about carrying invalids by rail over time, that covered, IIRC, ambulance trains in wartime, and ways in which railways took people on pilgrimages to Lourdes, where of course some passengers might have had significant disabilities etc.

Note - just seen other informative post on this from @Gloster

I've seen this in the past on the platform at Horsted Keynes, Bluebell Railway:


wheeled coffin carrier
 
Last edited:

Mcr Warrior

Veteran Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
11,526
Anyone know where the item at Horsted Keynes was actually in use previously, or has someone in the Bluebell's renovation department just got imaginative with an old trolley?
 

WesternLancer

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
6,837
Anyone know where the item at Horsted Keynes was actually in use previously, or has someone in the Bluebell's renovation department just got imaginative with an old trolley?
gets a short mention here but assume that is repairs, AFAIK it was original - not sure where from

This 50 page RCHS article might be the definitive written work on the topic for this thread!


Includes pre grouping tariffs and is fully referenced too!

From construction in the 1830s, the UK rail network brought mobility not only for the living but also the dead. As a technological advancement railways revolutionised the transportation of coffins through providing an efficient, swift and cost-effective mode of conveyance; wherever a station existed, a coffin could be despatched or received.
 

JModulo

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2013
Messages
523
Location
67A
I can recall of a few instances where the person involved in a fatality has been taken away by train due to access to difficult locations. The RMT caused a bit of noise due to this.
 

Ashley Hill

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
3,076
Location
The West Country
Up until the early 1990s it was the guards resposibility to go back and remove the body from the line,unless it was thought suspicious and you then had to mark where the body was before removal. Thankfully I never had to do it but I relieved a guard once who's train had been involved in a fatality,he was as white as a sheet from carrying out the removal.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top