THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD

No. 53 - p230-231

APRIL 1974

RIVAL  ENGINE  DRIVERS  AT  CYFARTHFA

ALLEGED  ENGINE  TILTING

    Evan John Hopkins, engine-driver, was charged with doing an unlawful act at Cyfarthfa Works, by running his engine into another locomotive on Saturday night last, near the blast-furnace. - Mr. Hoare appeared to prosecute; Mr. Beddoe defended. Charles Hoare, Vaynor House, produced a plan of the railroads.

    William Edwards, 2 Section Houses, Georgetown, spare-hand driver, said that on Saturday night he was driving No.10 engine in the works, near the blast-furnace. He had a wagon load of pig iron behind him. He was coming out of No.3 and No.4 bogie road, and wanted to get water for his engine. In order to get to the water he had to cross over the roads by the weighing machine and go back along the ladle or furnace road. He saw No.9 engine opposite the weighing machine between him and the points of the cross-over. Witness whistled to the driver to get out of the way, and called out. Defendant was then in the coal truck getting coal for his engine. The firemen were with him. Hopkins called out - 'You will have to wait until I get coal.' Witness called in reply that he was short of water, and thought to push prisoner's engine past the points, because his water was getting lower. When about a foot distant from prisoner's engine, he stopped, and asked Hopkins to move back. He did not reply, and witness started pushing his engine beyond the points, so that he might cross over and get water. Defendant jumped on his engine, moved the lever, and pushed witness's engine back to No.3 and 4 bogie road. On the way down he saw William Griffiths, night traffic manager, who jumped on witness's engine and then on No.9. Witness kept steam on all the time, and so one engine was pushing against another.

Peckett official photograph of 436, which became CYFARTHFA No.9.   (IRS Collection, courtesy F. Jones)

    The Clerk:- 'It was enough to cause an explosion.' Witness then said that the prisoner took his engine back, and he followed, and when near the coal trucks, prisoner again pushed against the engine, and ran back again. Witness came back and stopped, when prisoner again shoved him back. Someone had turned the points, and his engine ran down on the main line. He kept steam up because it would not have done to let the engine run back. Prisoner backed his engine when witness slackened his brake, and his engine began to move towards prisoner's. Someone had turned the points again, and the two engines met just on the crossover, their buffers being jammed. Prisoner backed and tried to get free. Witness's steam was off and prisoner's engine went off the line. The traffic manager had told witness to go and get water.

    By Mr. Beddoe:- 'He did not know that prisoner was under 18 years of age. He did not know whether his engine was the heavier of the two. He did not bump his engine against No.9. There was no damage done to witness's machine. He did not know who gave information about it. He was at work when prisoner was arrested.'

    William Griffiths, Caepantywyll, night traffic inspector, said he saw the engines steaming against each other, No.9 pushing No.10. No.9 was blowing off fire. He told Hopkins to go back out of the way and he refused, saying, "No, if I go to ...., I won't." It was by his direction that No.10 followed No.9 back. He then saw what followed as described by the last witness. By Mr. Beddoe: 'Only the [brake] screw of the No.9 was bent by getting off the road.' ....

    Prisoner was committed for trial at the Assizes, bail being allowed. He pleaded not guilty and reserved his defence.

    (Apart from paragraphing to improve readability, the above account is as it appeared in "The Merthyr Express" for Saturday, 26th August 1899. Frank Smith, who sent the cutting, mentions that the Chief Librarian of Merthyr Tydfil was unable to find a report of the Assize Court hearing in any later issue of the newspaper.

    According to the Society Records of Crawshay Bros Ltd, Cyfarthfa Ironworks, Merthyr Tydfil, locomotives CYFARTHFA No.9 and CYFARTHFA No.10 were both 0‑4‑0 saddle tanks. No.9 (Peckett class W2 No.436) was despatched new to Cyfarthfa on 3rd December 1884: No.10 (Peckett class W4 No.447) was also delivered new, being ex‑works on 23rd March 1886. The subsequent fate of No.9 is not known but No.10 passed to the Cwmbran Ironworks, Monmouth, of Guest Keen & Nettle folds Ltd, and latterly worked as a hire loco for A.R. Adams of Newport with the name MALCOLM. KPP)

A period photograph of Cyfarthfa Ironworks showing Peckett locomotive CYFARTHFA 8.   (Collection F. Jones)