The train crash
We had to travel to school by goods train from the siding near our farm into town; the trip into town by train sometimes was very fast taking only a few minutes, however when the wheat harvesting was on, sometimes the train was overloaded and with the extra load the old steam engine had a hard time slowing going down the hills.
Before the train left the Uppingham siding , to go down to Greenethorpe, it had to be taken down in two or three sections as the grade was very steep. Even in sections the train sometimes had problems slowing down for the bend at the bottom of the grade.
In 1956 the train left the tracks at the bottom bend they say it was doing 90 M.P.H. when it crashed. I remember thinking “ why was the grass growing into the window” – the carriage was upturned and the windows on the other side so high up that we couldn’t get out.
When some local farm hands and other passengers pulled us out of the train the carriage we were in was on fire. The other carriages were scattered everywhere with two carriages standing on their ends forming an A shape and the locomotive was on its side with steam and thick black smoke belching from it.
The trestle was destroyed in the crash so they put on a, very old bus (a 1948 Maple leaf Chevy with a outthrust bonnet) on to take us to school in Greenethorpe, but the bus also had to take the older kids to high school, the bus used to slow down to a slow crawl so we had to run beside it and jump on to it.
J E Blair