Co. Donegal Railways again. ......

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21 Feb 2018
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This is the next post in a series about the railways of Co. Donegal. It focusses on one viaduct on the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway (L&LSR) - the Owencarrow Viaduct - and specifically on an accident which occurred there in 1925


In the February 1963 edition of The Railway Magazine there was a letter from L. Hudlass which said: "The accident on the Owencarrow Viaduct, on the Letterkenny & Burtonport line, Ireland, of January 30, 1925, involved a westbound train running from Londonderry to Burtonport, on the Burtonport extension of the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway. The 380 yd.-long viaduct, sited between Kilmacrenan and Creeslough in County Tirconaill is in wild and open country and, on the day in question, a gale of 100mph caught the train broadside on and one carriage plunged through the parapet, pulling another with it. The couplings held and neither of the vehicles fell into the valley, but roof destruction caused several passengers to be thrown out, three people being killed outright.

The earlier posts in this series can be found on this link:

 
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341o2

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In On the Narrow Gauge by Patrick Whitehouse, the incident is described with the following additional details.

On the approach to the viaduct, the regulator had to be kept open, despite the falling grade. As they ran onto the viaduct, Bob McGuiness looked back, all was well, it was the fireman John Hannigan, who looked back as they cleared the last of the steel spans and saw the first coach (the six wheeler) rise into the air. The train was immediately stopped, and it was found that the second coach had previously derailed and dragged for sixty feet along the steel section of the viaduct, when it lost the support of the parapet along this section, it fell over.

Unfortunately a pile of loose stones was dislodged which is what caused the deaths and injuries. One passenger was very fortunate in that she was thrown clear, landing into the bog below feet first and ran home.

Subsequentially, the company installed a wind gauge and stopped all traffic if things looked dangerous
 
Joined
21 Feb 2018
Messages
514
In On the Narrow Gauge by Patrick Whitehouse, the incident is described with the following additional details.

On the approach to the viaduct, the regulator had to be kept open, despite the falling grade. As they ran onto the viaduct, Bob McGuiness looked back, all was well, it was the fireman John Hannigan, who looked back as they cleared the last of the steel spans and saw the first coach (the six wheeler) rise into the air. The train was immediately stopped, and it was found that the second coach had previously derailed and dragged for sixty feet along the steel section of the viaduct, when it lost the support of the parapet along this section, it fell over.

Unfortunately a pile of loose stones was dislodged which is what caused the deaths and injuries. One passenger was very fortunate in that she was thrown clear, landing into the bog below feet first and ran home.

Subsequentially, the company installed a wind gauge and stopped all traffic if things looked dangerous
Thank you, 342o2. An interesting incident from nearly 100 years ago!
 

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