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The Nice Thorpe Railway Catastrophe 1874 by Phyllida Scrivens

Printed in September 2021, this e-book from publishers Pen & Sword gives an account of the lives of the individuals who have been killed, injured, or in any other case immediately affected by the railway catastrophe simply outdoors Norwich in 1874.

Written by Phyllida Scrivens, this hardback e-book measures round 24.2 cm x 16.4 cm, has 216 pages of textual content and a 16-page part of up to date and fashionable black-and-white illustrations. It has a printed worth of £19.99 though Pen & Sword at the moment has it on supply at £13.99, and on the time of writing it may be obtained from Amazon for around £15.

There are 13 chapters titled: The Opening of the Yarmouth and Norwich Railway; Thirty Years Later; Collision Course; Affect; The Days Following; The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; The Docs; The Closing 4 Victims; Inquests, Board of Commerce Inquiry and Manslaughter Trial; Compensation Circumstances Spring 1875; Heroes,; Survivors; and Penalties or Classes Discovered.

The accident occurred on Thursday, tenth September 1874, and resulted within the deaths of 25 individuals. Trains left Norwich and Great Yarmouth that night and met head-on at Thorpe St Andrew, two miles east of Norwich.

A lot of the e-book is taken up with nice element concerning the passengers caught up within the accident, or by later occasions when the individuals needed to come to phrases with how their lives modified perpetually.

Though the e-book explains intimately precisely how the collision occurred and its aftermath, it concentrates extra on the individuals concerned somewhat than the crash itself. As a result of the writer has chosen to current photos of the individuals concerned within the catastrophe, particulars of the occasions main as much as the collision and its aftermath are somewhat misplaced amongst tales of human curiosity.

Chapter 3 is titled “Collision Course” and I used to be anticipating to learn an outline of the lead as much as the collision. The chapter is 40 pages lengthy, and solely within the final two pages is there any trace of an impending collision, the earlier 38 are crammed with pen-pictures about passengers on the trains.

There’s a description of the particular influence in Chapter 4, “Affect”, however as in Chapter 3, there are solely two pages dedicated to the crash whereas the remainder of the chapter is extra involved with individuals who have been affected by the crash.

The e-book does present that behind the dry historical past of a catastrophe are actual individuals, devastated households, moms with fatherless youngsters, dad and mom with misplaced youngsters, and companies which have misplaced their homeowners leading to employees with no job and with none revenue.

Maybe a very powerful final result of the accident was the adoption of the Tyler Pill System, which protected trains on single-track traces for the following 120 years.

The pages beneath are consultant of the 16-page illustrations part. The lower-left illustration exhibits a typical compartment, though the furnishing would seem to indicate it to be a first-class compartment. The lower-right illustration exhibits the lunatic asylum that was near the scene of the accident.

Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 6-7
Credit score: RailAdvent.

Though the right-hand web page beneath depicts the crash with line drawings somewhat than images, the illustrations paint vivid photos of the aftermath of the crash.

Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 8-9
Credit score: RailAdvent.

The lop-left photograph beneath exhibits a typical technique of recovering derailed rolling inventory within the 1870s, though given the horrific pile-up it wouldn’t have been as simple as proven right here. On the right-hand web page are examples of the kinds of locomotive concerned within the crash.

Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 10-11
Credit score: RailAdvent.

In abstract, it is a well-written and simply readable account of human curiosity tales that accident reviews themselves don’t relate.

If you’re searching for an account of the lives of the individuals who have been killed, injured or in any other case immediately affected by the Thorpe railway catastrophe in 1874, this e-book is for you. If you’re within the circumstances main as much as the crash, and what occurred earlier than the trains collided and afterward, then though the small print are within the e-book, they’re misplaced within the dozens of human curiosity tales.

A very good e-book in case you are a follower of Native Historical past and Railways, what you don’t get with this e-book is a lucid account of why and the way the catastrophe occurred and what the Board of Commerce enquiry discovered.

The e-book is out there to buy from Amazon and from Pen & Sword.

We want to thank Pen & Sword for offering RailAdvent with a duplicate of the e-book for evaluation.

The Evaluate

The Nice Thorpe Railway Catastrophe 1874 – Heroes, Victims, Survivors


  • Effectively-written pen photos of individuals have an effect on by the accident.
  • Creator has clearly achieved a large amount of analysis.
  • Highlights the hazards of single-track railway traces.


  • Lack of a simple description of the catastrophe.
  • Too many pen portraits of passengers concerned within the crash.

Evaluate Breakdown

  • Presentation/Structure
  • Technical Data
  • Worth for Cash

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