Accidental death

To Britain as a whole, the railways brought social revolution, but many of the men who built them did not survive to enjoy the benefits. A subterranean hell awaited those enticed to do battle with the forces of earth and water, driving tunnels through our hills. Collapses, falls, explosions, runaways: all claimed the right to end or change lives.

This section records some of the many railway construction accidents, commemorating those who were destined to suffer "accidental death" in an era of cheap and expendable labour.
In this section...
One man falls down a shaft to his instant death and another suffers fatal injuries after a moment of misjudgement for which neither was responsible.
One of the most devastating railway construction accidents befell a group of miners who were driving a hole through a South Wales hill.
A collapse claimed five lives, including that of a 15-year-old, as a tunnel was buried beneath the rolling countryside of the Peak District.
Another example of how recklessness and an absence of regulation could have devastating consequences for railway navvies.
This Great Northern landmark brought death and injury to many of those who contributed to its lengthy construction.
Under Edinburgh's New Town, four miners lost their lives when floodwater penetrated the heading they were driving.
Ten men died after being buried by the collapse of a shaft, an event which led to a fundamental change in how railway tunnels were constructed.

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