The train disasters at Aisgill

Today it’s the 100th anniversary of a truly terrible train crash that changed the way the train industry used signalling systems. The crash that took place at Aisgill, near Mallerstang in Cumbria on September 2nd, 1913, is commemorated today outside the county, at the original signalling box which is now at a museum at Butterley in Derbyshire. It wasn’t the only terrible crash of that period on the fabled Carlisle to Settle line, sadly.

It’s sometimes difficult for people to grasp that for most of history, it was really quite hard to get into Cumbria. We see that whalloping great stripe of motorway cutting up the Eden Valley, interlinking with various roads west, and can’t imagine that for a long time it was actually rather tricky to traverse.

Princess Margaret Rose steam train at Aisgill c. Ken Crosby

Princess Margaret Rose steam train at Aisgill, 1993 c. Ken Crosby

I remember that my Cumbrian granda (never grandad. Cumbrian grandfathers have no last consonant) always added the word, ‘up’ to Shap. You never went ‘to’ Shap, or ‘through’ Shap; always ‘up’ Shap. And whilst we know intellectually that Shap is Continue reading