An Accident In Waiting? - The Hyde Rail Disaster 1943
The Hyde disaster involved the daily passenger express train from Cromwell to Dunedin. In 1936, a year-round daily passenger express train was introduced, replacing a thrice weekly express that had been augmented by slow mixed trains. This service left Cromwell at 9am and reached... read full description below.
||1 January 2011
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Description of this Book
The Hyde disaster involved the daily passenger express train from Cromwell to Dunedin. In 1936, a year-round daily passenger express train was introduced, replacing a thrice weekly express that had been augmented by slow mixed trains. This service left Cromwell at 9am and reached Dunedin at 5:20pm; in 1937, the schedule was accelerated by half an hour and it was this timetable that was in force on 4 June 1943. The train was hauled by a steam locomotive, AB 782, and consisted of seven passenger carriages, a guard's van and two wagons of time-sensitive freight. The day was a Friday and it was to be followed by the King's Birthday long weekend, and this boosted patronage to 113, with many passengers travelling to the Winter Show in Dunedin or horse races in Wingatui.
Prior to the accident, some passengers became concerned about their safety. Regular travellers were aware that the train was travelling at excessive speed and one who had moved from his seat to stand with friends in another carriage was forced to return to his seat as the movement of the train made it uncomfortable to stand. In the minutes immediately preceding the accident, luggage and parcels fell from racks above the seats
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