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Red for Danger: A History of Railway Accidents and Railway Safety

Red for Danger: A History of Railway Accidents and Railway Safety - L. T. C. Rolt

Newton Abbot, London & North Pomfret: David & Charles, 1976, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine of the dust wrapper. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Gift inscription to the first blank.

3rd (revised) edition, 1st printing, first published 1966. Contains: Black & white photographs; Tables; Appendices [2];

From the cover: “The fate of the Flying Scotsman in a blizzard at Abbots Ripton and the frantic but fruitless efforts of the railway staff to avert a second catastrophe ; the sequence of trivial but fateful mistakes which ended in the terrible head-on collisions at Norwich and Abermule; the disasters in the high Pennines at Hawes Junction and Ais Gill; the structural defects of the first Tay bridge which led to its fall one wild December night in 1879; the packed runaway coaches of the Warren Point excursion rushing headlong down the Armagh incline; these are only a few of the dramatic and tragic events described in Red for Danger, which covers every major accident on a British railway between 1840 and 1940. Nor is the story one of un-relieved tragedy. There is a strong comic element is some of the mishaps which Mr. Rolt relates, while the episode of the runaway locomotive on the Somerset & Dorset line is sheer knockabout farce.

Because they have been based on official records and the evidence given by eyewitnesses, these stories from the railway past are brought most vividly to life. Although each story is complete in itself so that the book may be dipped into or used as a work of reference, Red for Danger is no mere haphazard collection of sensational stories. For Mr. Rolt reveals the painstaking thoroughness with which railway accidents are investigated — often fascinating pieces of real-life detective work — so that the cause may be established and guarded against in the future. In this way the theme of the book becomes clear. It is the paradoxical truth that these disasters have helped to make our British railway system the safest in the world. Red for Danger is therefore not only a chronicle of misfortune but of positive achievement, tracing the history of railway safety devices from the days of the hand-signalling ‘policeman’ to the automatic train-control and signalling equipment of our own time. Red for Danger will appeal not only to all who are interested in railways but to a much wider public as well.”


Size: 8¾" x 5¾". Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 297 pages.
£23.30
Red for Danger: A History of Railway Accidents and Railway Safety