Killed by Train – Retired Railway Workers Fate (picture)

November 1936

Mexborough and Swinton Times November 20, 1936

Killed by Train
Retired Railway Workers Fate
Conisborough Tragedy


“It is a tragedy that a man who had spent so many years on the railway should lose his life in this way,” said the Doncaster District Coroner, Mr WH Carlile, at the inquest at Conisborough on Wednesday, on Thomas Philip Caine (80), retired local superintendent, Netherleigh, Elm Green Lane, Conisborough, was killed by an express train crossing the railway line at Conisborough station on Monday. Caine was stated to be very deaf.

The stationmaster at Conisborough, Thomas Stanley Pleasance, said he had known Caine for six months, and had seen him daily apart from Sundays. Caine travelled daily to Doncaster by the 2-6 p.m. train. Being an old railway servant, he was treated as a railway servant, and was permitted to cross the line by the level crossing. The train which killed him was a regular train, and he had been requested not to cross the line until that train are gone. When witness spoke to him he was in his usual happy state of mind.

Jack Hallam, ganger, 2a, Athelstane Road, Conisborough, said he was standing on the platform when he saw Caine in the middle of the “down” line the act of crossing. The fast train travelling on the “up” line would then be “nicely in the station.” Witness shouted “Look out!” But he did not think Caine heard him. The whistle of the fast train was being blown. Caine seemed to hesitate for just a fraction of a second and then made an effort forward. “I formed the impression that he thought there was something coming on the line he was on.”

Witness estimated the speed of the train at 50 mph. The line was curved and the driver of the train would not have a very long view.

“All Over”

George Adlington, plate layer, 17 wind Hill Crescent, Mexborough, said that Caine just stepped over one of the rails of the “up” line when the fast train was on top of him. Caine glanced up, and “then it was all over.” The train carried him for about 25 yards.

Louise B Senior, married, Netherleigh, Elm Green Lane, daughter of the man who was killed, said he was cheerful and in good health when he left home. He had no troubles apart from his deafness. He was extremely deaf and would not hear the train whistle. His sight was very good.

Dr MacArthur said that Caine was severely mutilated. Numerous bones were fractured. His left arm was torn up, and the right arm smashed to pulp. There was a large wound in the abdomen, with the organs protruding. Death would be instantaneous, due to laceration of the brain.

The Coroner said at his age it would be easy for Caine to forget about the fast train.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.” No blame was attached to anyone.

Popular Personality

Mr Caine, who resided with a daughter and son-in-law, Mr and Mrs George Senior, had only lived in Conisborough about six years, but his lovable personality quickly earned him the regard of his fellow townspeople. He was always cheery and had a kind word for passers-by.

Mr Caine, a native of Manchester, had a lifelong association with the railway, and though he had been retired 15 years he still kept of his interest in the railway buys daily travel to Doncaster and visits to Conisborough station. He was apprenticed in the railway service under the Great Western Railway, but on the completion of his apprenticeship he joined what was then the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway at Gorton, and eventually became running sheds foreman at Gorton. Later he was for 40 years locomotive superintendent at the neeps end depot at Sheffield, and his retirement at the age limit of 65 he received a gold watch, and this he was carrying at the time of his death.

While in Sheffield he attended Christ Church, Pitsmoor, and although his deafness prevented him from being present at services at Conisborough Parish Church, he always maintained an interest in the church.

Mr Caine, lost his wife in 1924, leaves four daughters, a fifth having died in South Africa.