Birmingham Daily Post




The enquiry before T. M. Phillips, Esq., touching the deaths of thirteen of the unfortunate persons who lost their lives in consequence of this melancholy catastrophe, was resumed at the Bell Hotel, Brierley Hill, yesterday morning, at eleven o’clock.

William Fenton, Esq., Chairman of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Company, and J. S. Pakington, and W. Lewis, Esqs., directors of the Company were present. Captain Tyler, Government Inspector of Railways, was in attendance for the purpose of giving evidence as to the results of the experiments made by him on the railway near the scene of the accident. Mr. McConnell, Locomotive Engineer of the London and North-Western Railway, and Mr. Craig, Locomotive engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire line; Mr. Markham, Locomotive Engineer of the Midland Railway, and Mr. Cawkwell, the Locomotive Engineer of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, were also in attendance for the purpose of giving evidence. Mr. Sherriff, the General Manager of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line; Mr. Adcock, Secretary, and Mr. Wilson, engineer, were likewise present. Mr. King, of the firm Collis, Bernard, and King, appeared as the legal advisor of the Company. Mr. Rupert Kettle, of the Oxford circuit, instructed by Mr. Homer, of Brierley Hill, was present on behalf of Mr. Harley, of Dudley; Mr. Burbury, for the friends of Marshall; and Mr. Nelson, of the firm of Southall and Nelson, of Birmingham, for Noakes.

On the suggestion of Mr. King, Mr. George Lindsley, Locomotive Foreman at Worcester, was first examined in order to prove the weight of the train with which the Government Inspector made his experiments. He deposed: I am stationed at Worcester. I can speak to the weight of the train with which Captain Tyler tried his experiments. I weighed it on the 28th of August, by direction of Mr. Wilson, the Company’s engineer. It consisted of seventeen carriages and a van. The carriages were loaded with iron. The gross weight of the train was 116 tons 9 cwt. That weight did not include the engine. The carriages were weighed at Worcester, on the machine generally used for weighing coal and goods. The witness then detailed the numbers and weights of the several carriages, and went on to state that he put 22 cwt. weight of iron in each of the seventeen carriages. The van was not loaded, and there were two empty carriages also.

By the Coroner: They were carriages belonging to the Company, used for ordinary purposes.

By Mr. King: The carriages I weighed were used in the experiments made by her Majesty’s Inspector.

By the Coroner: They were used before I weighed them.

Mr. Sherriff remarked that as soon as the train returned to Worcester it was drawn over the machine.

By Mr. Ford: I weighed the carriages used yesterday, and have no doubt some of them were the same as those used by the Government Inspector.

By the Coroner: I did not see the experiments made yesterday; but I weighed the carriages on their return to Worcester. There were 17 carriages and one van, which weighed 110 tons 22 cwt.

By Mr. Williams: The reason of the train used yesterday being lighter than that used by the Government Inspector was, that in the latter train there were two empty carriages in addition to the seventeen loaded ones. The weight of those two carriages was 9 tons 7 cwt. In each carriage used yesterday 5 cwt. more iron was placed than in those used by the Government Inspector.

By Mr. Kettle: I superintended the making up of the train with which the experiments were made. I cannot tell the exact length of it; I did not measure it, nor can I say whether it was measured by any one. I did not make up the train to which the accident happened. I do not know of my own knowledge how many of the seventeen carriages that broke away on the night of the accident were fit to use on the day on which the experiments were made. The experiments were made on the 28th of August. I do not know anything that would have prevented us from using the carriages that broke away, except those that were damaged. I can not tell how many of them were damaged.

By the Coroner: I have no doubt some of the carriages that were in the experiment train were in the accident. We took them indiscriminately out of the siding.

Captain Tyler explained that the train with which his experiments were made was weighed with several people in the van, and when the other experimental train was weighed there was no persons in the van. That would in some degree would account for his train being heavier than the other.

Robert Gransmore, Inspector of Rolling Stock for the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Company, was next examined. He deposed: I live at Worcester, and was present when the train to which the accident happened left Worcester. It was my duty to examine it. I was also present when the excursion train arrived at Worcester in the morning. No complaint was made to me of any breakage having taken place. The train arrived about 12.25 p.m., a few minutes before an ordinary train. I examined the train on its arrival. I cannot say how many carriages there were, nor can I speak positively whether there were two engines or only one. There were two ordinary luggage break-vans, and two second-class breaks. One of the break-vans was a goods break, the other a passenger one. The breaks were in good condition. I found three broken screw-couplings and four side chains. I cannot say whether the engines were in good order; it is not my duty to inspect locomotives. I cannot say whether any of the chains produced are those which I found broken. I think one hook only was broken; the others were broken in the links. The broken chains were replaced by others before the train returned in the evening. The broken chains were not used again. I was on the platform when the train started on the evening. It was near half-past six. The train was divided into two portions, but I cannot tell the number of carriages in either portion. There was one engine in of each train. The first train had two breaks – one a goods break, the other a passenger break. I cannot tell what time elapsed between the starting of the two trains.

By Mr. Stewart: It is not a common occurrence for so many shackles to be broken on one train.

By Mr. Salmon: The broken shackle were replaced by others, but he side chains that were damaged were not replaced. I noticed on the arrival of the train at Worcester that one goods shackle was used to unite two of the carriages. That was used on the return journey. The broken shackle was attached to the carriage when it left Worcester.

By the Foreman: I consider the couplings used in the return train were of sufficient strength. The ordinary side chains were used in addition to the goods coupling, which took the place of the broken shackle.

By Mr. Holcroft: It is not the duty of the guards to report breakages to me, nor do I know to whom they should be reported.
Mr. Williams remarked that this circumstance appeared very extraordinary to him.

By the Coroner: There was in the first return train a second-class break-van. In addition to the two break-vans, but I do not know whether any one was placed in it to work it.

By Mr.Wheeler; I have been examined by the Government Inspector and Mr. King before coming here – once by each gentleman. When I was examined by the Government Inspector Mr. Sherriff was present. My duty is to examine all trains as they arrive at Worcester, and stop anything unfit for use. None of the carriages in the train to Worcester, on the morning of the 23rd, were detained as unfit for use.

Mr. Williams: I should very much like to know with whom the responsibility rests. He does not know whether the guard ought to report to any one or not.
The Coroner: It being his duty to examine all carriages, he is responsible if he sends out any unfit for use, whether any report is made or not.
Witness in reply to Mr. Williams: I did not examine the excursion train more particularly than others. I was surprised when I heard of the accident. I know for a fact that heavier trains than the one to which the accident happened have passed over the line safely.

By the Foreman: The last break in the first train was in the good working order when it left Worcester. Cook was the guard who worked it, and he appeared sober for anything I could see.

By Mr. Kettle: I is not my duty to ascertain the cause as well as the fact of a breakage in all cases. If a carriage should come in much injured I should enquire the reason, but not when a coupling chain merely is broken. I do not know whose duty it is to find out the cause of breakages. It would be my duty to examine a shackle, and endeavour why it had broken. If I could not ascertain the cause of the breakage by observing the broken shackle, I should enquire from the guard. I discovered seven breakages on the arrival of the train at Worcester – four side chains and three shackles. It was a very unusual circumstance. It never before happened in my experience to have so many broken in the course of one journey. I cannot name any other instance of more than one breaking in course of a journey. Upon examining the chains that were broken I did not form any definite opinion myself as to the cause of the breakages, as I had heard the cause; but I thought there must have been a snap, from the guard not having had his break off in starting from the stations. I was informed that the chains had broken in starting from the stations. I cannot say who told me. I did not particularly examine the broken chains to ascertain the quality of the material, having heard they were broken in starting from stations. I walked along the train as it was put in the siding on its arrival. I did not take each broken link in my hand and look at it. I understood the breakages had taken place in starting from stations in consequence of overhearing conversation amongst the Company’s servants. In in examining a train I walk along each side and examine the wheels and the couplings. I pause between each carriage and look at the fastenings. It was not the duty of any other person to examine that particular train before it left Worcester. When I have formed an opinion as to the cause of a breakage, I report it to the foreman of the works, Mr. George Jones. I did not report to him my opinion as to the cause of the breakages on that day, but I reported the fact to him. I was his duty to send some one to replace the broken chains, and fresh ones were supplied under his superintendence. There was plenty of time for him to have examined the chains personally before the train returned. The shackles and chains in the return trains were of the ordinary size – the same size as those that broke in the morning. I did not tell any person in charge of the return trains my opinion of the cause of the breakages in going to Worcester. I did not form any opinion as to the cause of the breakages. I thought but little about it; they sometime break at starting and sometimes on the journey. It is my duty to ascertain the cause. I do not know why the couplings broken in the morning are not produced. I know one has been repaired. I do not know how many of the seventeen carriages which broke away are unfit for use. I have nothing to do with repairs. I am not the general superintendent of the rolling stock of the Company; but merely Inspector of the rolling stock. I cannot tell whether there is any person here who can tell where the seventeen carriages which broke away are now.

Mr. Sherriff remarked that probably some of them were in London and some of them in Liverpool at the present time.

By the Foreman: I do not think it would injure the iron of a coupling to put on a break suddenly when the train is in motion, unless the coupling actually broke. I know couplings have broken under such circumstances.

By Mr. King: It is my duty to examine the fastening of every train which comes into or leaves Worcester Station. I is also my duty to report the circumstance of every breakage to Mr. Jones, the foreman of the works. I do not consider myself competent to give an opinion as to cause of every breakage. I do not know what strain iron will bear. It is the duty of the engineer to decide the strength and proportions of the materials used in the fastenings. I thoroughly examined every coupling before the train left Worcester. It is not the duty of Mr. Jones to examine carriages.

Mr. Haines: Are you competent to know what Mr. Jones’s duties are?

Witness: Yes.

By Mr. King: All the side chains and couplings were perfect when the train left Worcester. The train was in proper travelling condition.

Mr. Wheeler: Have any of the questions now put to you been put to you before by Mr. King or the Government Inspector?

Witness: Yes; some of them.

By Mr. Wheeler: I do not consider it necessary to report to Mr. Jones the breakage of all coupling chains, but Mr. Jones must replace the chains.

The Coroner: Then how is Mr. Jones to know when a fresh chain is required?

Witness: He would know from the person who did the work. When I speak of a report, I mean a report in writing, not a mere verbal report.

Mr. Kettle here asked for the report of the seven breakages the occurred to the train in going to Worcester.

The witness explained that he made a verbal report personally to Mr. Jones, but did not make a written report.

Mr. Kettle asked what was the substance of the statement he made to Mr. Jones.

The witness said he told Mr. Jones that three coupling and four side chains had broken: but they could not be repaired, as the coaches were crowded together in the siding, and he considered them perfectly safe to go back again as they were.

Shortly before two o’clock the Coroner adjourned the enquiry for an hour, at the request of the Jury.

During the interval a very neat and well-executed model if two of the Company’s carriages were placed upon the table, for the purpose of elucidating the scientific evidence about to be adduced.

On resuming, the first witness examined was Captain Henry Whatley Tyler, one of her Majesty’s Inspectors of Railways, who deposed as follows: I live at Norfolk Crescent, London. I was ordered to report on the accident to the Board of Trade, and came and tried certain experiments for my own information. I made the experiments on the 28th of August. The experiments were made on the line between Round Oak and Brettell Lane. I desired to obtain seventeen carriages and a van, as nearly as possible similar to those to which the accident occurred on the 23rd of August, and they were furnished by the Company. They were such carriages as are in ordinary use on the railway. There were two break-vans – one behind, the other about the centre. The one about the centre was a break-carriage – one in which passengers ride, which has a break attached to it – and the other was a regular break-van. – Mr. Sherriff, Mr. Adcock, Mr. Wilson, and other officers of the Company were present, with Prickett and Cook, guards, and other persons. The carriages were loaded with iron, by my direction. I first ascertained the number of passengers likely to have been in the carriage at the time of the collision, and then directed the carriages to be loaded with 22 cwt. each, which would be as nearly as I could compute the weight of the passengers in them at the time of the collision. I think we had only one engine. We took the carriages from Worcester to Round Oak, and on arriving there seventeen carriages and two breaks and a van were detached from the engine, and allowed to run back down the line by the force of gravity. They ran down at various speeds by their own weight. The result was that the one break-van in the rear had prefect control over the whole of the carriages. I will give you the figures of one of the experiments which I marked more particularly than the others. I measured the distances in that case. The speed at which the various experiments were made varied from two or three to ten or fifteen miles an hour. We acquired a speed of ten miles an hour in 440 yards. The hind break was then applied, the train stopped in 833 yards after the application of the break, 111 yards short of the point of collision. The state of the rails was favourable on that day, the weather being dry. If the rails had not been dry, the train would not have been stopped in so short a distance. I afterwards tried at a speed of fifteen miles an hour, but that I do not think worth recording. I merely wanted to get up a speed that would go past the point of collision. The break used was an ordinary one. If the rails were slippery a train would go very much further, but I cannot say how much further unless you could define the exact degree of slipperiness. At any speed under ten miles an hour I think the break ought decidedly to have stopped that train in the state in which the rails are likely to have been on the night of the collision. If the break had been applied as soon as the train began to go backwards, there is no doubt in the world that the train ought to have been stopped in a short distance – that is, supposing the break to have been in good order. Supposing the break to have been applied when the train was going at four miles an hour, the train ought to have been stopped before the point of collision if the rails were slippery; but it could not have been stopped before arriving at the point of collision in a slippery state of the rails if it had been allowed to attain a speed of ten miles an hour; still the collision would not have been so violent as it appears to have been. These experiments have led me to the conclusion that the guard did not apply the break at all on that night when the carriages ran down the incline, or that it was applied only a short distance from the point of collision. I think it would be right to produce before you a part of the break apparatus which tends to confirm that opinion.

The screw of the break was here produced, and the Government Inspector pointed out certain indications which, in his opinion, tended to confirm the judgment at which he had arrived, that the break was not fully on at the time of the collision. He then said: I found it much bent, and that the nut was in the lower part of the greasy portion of the break screw, and that it was in the position which indicated that the break had not been turned on.

The portions of the broken coupling were then produced at the request of Captain Tyler, who said the quality of the iron was good, and that it was of sufficient strength to bear any strain to which it would be applied in ordinary use. He then proceeded: The strap of the shackler seems to have given way first, and to have been the primary cause of the accident. That strap gave way in consequence of the weld by which the eye of the strap is attached being defective. It was only holding by about one-third of its thickness. The iron is not of the best quality; but the cause of its giving way was the defective weld. Only a third of the section of the eye was holding in consequence of the bad weld.

The Coroner here suggested that Captain Tyler should produce a copy of his report to the Board of Trade.

Captain Tyler, however, said that he had proposed to do that before a Coroner at Chilham, a few days ago, who refused to receive it, on the grounds that it was not evidence, and he was not provided with a copy of his report in this case.

In reply to Mr. Wheeler, Captain Tyler said it was usual for breaks to be attached to second-class carriages, but they ought to be protected from interference by the passengers. His duty, when he was sent down here by the Board of Trade, was to report to them; and he made such experiments as he thought proper. He requested the engineer of the company to provide carriages loaded with the weight arrived at by a joint calculation, but did not instruct anyone to superintend the loading of the carriages. He had no power to direct the Company to do anything. He could merely prefer requests, and everything for which he asked was willingly furnished. He even requested that a certain amount of weight should be taken out of the carriages after they were loaded, in order to make a fair experiment. It was not wetness but greasiness which made rails slippery. Some companies watered them to wash off the grease. I only know from what I hear that the rails were slightly greasy on the night of the collision. I examined the railway servants on the subject, and was lead to believe from what I heard that the rails were slightly greasy. Having no power to command the Company to anything, they were pleased to grant me an interview with their servants, for the purpose of obtaining information.

Mr. Wheeler further asked whether a train would be as easily stopped if the rails were immersed in water as if they were quite dry, but the gallant Captain laughingly said he had never tried the experiment, and did not choose to give an opinion on such an absurd question.

In reply to Mr. Ford, Captain Tyler said fog made rails greasy, but water washed the grease off.

In reply to Mr. Kettle he said: My opinion is that the defect in the coupling iron and the none application of the break had conduced to this accident. I asked to see as many of the broken chains that broke in going down as could be found, but have seen only one half link. Looking at this broken side chain and examining the crystals where it is broken, I think it would be better if a superior quality of iron were used.

Mr. Kettle asked if it was proper iron of which to make coupling chains for passenger carriages.

Captain Tyler replied that it was no doubt best to use material of such quality, but taking into account the weight of metal in the broken link submitted to him, he thought it would do with fair usage. Sudden jerks might be called unfair usage. ...ft........ the Captain continued more important that the shackles should be of good quality than the side chains, which are adopted as an additional precaution, and it is a question whether they ought to be used at all. The shackle which broke is not of the very best quality of iron. I heard the evidence of Gransmore this morning as to the examination of the train, and am of opinion that he did all that was his duty to do. Assuming that he is the only person who has the examination of such matters on behalf of the Company. I do not see what else he could have done without taking off the shackles and testing them by weight or hydraulic pressure. You can only test them by view when on the carriages. You cannot test them usefully by sound. The strap of the shackle which broke is not of the best quality of iron. It appears to be of the same quality as the iron of the shackle itself. Each strap would have to bear half the strain on the shackle, and at the same angle.

In reply to further questions, Captain Tyler said: It is impossible to give anything more than an approximate opinion as to the distance the train would have gone on the night of the accident before it attained a speed of four miles an hour, unless the exact state of the rails could be ascertained. I should think it would probably go from 100 to 200 yards. I should think that on the night of the collision the guard might be applying his break have stopped the train short of the spot at which it occurred, if he had allowed the train to attain a speed of seven miles an hour before using his break.

By the Foreman: I think that if the break had been applied within 160 yards of the station on the night of the accident the guard might have stopped the train short of the point of the collision.

By Mr. Kettle: I should think the train would attain the speed of seven miles an hour in 300 or 400 yards if the break were not applied. In my opinion the guard must have applied his break within the distance of the station, in order to have stopped his train short of the point of collision.

By Mr. Fenton, Chairman of the Company: The flaw in the shackle strap could not have been seen by the officers of the Company before the fracture occurred; but it might have been detected by actual strain. I believe these shackles are supplied by the carriage builders, but I am not aware whether it is usual for the companies to test them. I have no reasonable doubt that the carriages of the experimental train were loaded with iron according to my directions; it is stated on the oath of Mr. Gransmore.

Mr. James E. McConnell, engineer of the London and North-Western Railway, was then examined. He said I live in Wolverhampton. I have been asked to examine the break apparatus. I am not in any way connected with the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line. I was also asked to examine the couplings and side chains now produced. Taking the screw coupling, or shackle, I consider there can be no doubt that the failure has been owing to the imperfect welding of the strap. I find there has been a flaw in the link of the strap where it fits onto the stud of the nut. That flaw is about one-third of the entire area of the link or eye of the strap; the sound part being a film round the outside, of about one-eigth of an inch in width. The inner portion, which is not exposed to view, is black, as though it had never been welded. That of course reduces the strength of the strap to one third. The effect of the strap breaking, in my opinion, has led to the breakage of the screw coupling, by the nut becoming angled across by a sudden jerk. That led to the breakage of one of the side chains and the stripping of the nut of the other and consequent separation of the carriages and the accident that ensued. The iron of which the hook of the side chain is made is not the best, but it is of fair quality. It is not a fibrous tough iron. The iron of which the screw coupling is made is, I consider, very good iron. I cannot tell without testing it by fire or tension. I cannot pronounce whether it is the best, but it is of good quality. A tough iron is best for such a purpose, but I cannot say whether this is tough without testing it. It is fine-grained iron. The quality of the link is inferior, and I am inclined to think it has been over-heated in welding. There is some good iron in the hook, and some a little middling. I heard the evidence of the last witness, but have not tried any experiments myself. I also heard the evidence of the guard, an upon the evidence of Cook I am of opinion that the last break had not been applied when the train was approaching Round Oak Station on the night of the collision. The consequence would be the breaks of the engine tender and front van being applied, the momentum of the latter part of the train would force the buffer springs forward, bringing the carriages closer together, and the subsequent rebound would test the weakest coupling. The jerk broke the eye of the strap, and then what I have described before led to the separation of the carriages. If the guard in the last van had applied his break as soon as the carriages stopped, there would have been no accident. If the carriages had parted, they would have been stopped within a very short distance.

By Mr. Wheeler: the London and North Western Company make their own carriages at Saltley and Crewe. In purchased carriages the shackles and side chains were attached complete when bought. It is customary in our works to test some of the shackles—not all. We sometimes purchase shackles. They are bought by tender; but I do not know the price at which the last were bought. A certain per centage of the purchased shackles are tested in an hydraulic press. An ordinary third-class carriage holds about thirty two or forty persons. A second-class will hold twenty-five to thirty, and a first eighteen. We generally reckon fifteen passengers per ton.

By Mr. Kettle: The eye of the strap is the worst of the three pieces of iron; it is inferior iron, but I have seen much worse. There is a flaw in the welding. I think the hook is not so good as the screw-coupling; it is not so equal. I think it is likely the crystalline appearance of the strap may have been produced by the mode of breakage, which would be by a snap. Constant jarring will disintegrate the fibres, and when a breakage takes place the appearance will be crystalline. When that disintegration of fibre has taken place, the iron will break more easily. We do not from time to time test our couplings to see whether that disintegration is occurring. If in one of our trains it were reported that seven couplings had broken in one journey, I should first enquire under what circumstances the breakage had occurred—whether there had been any unusual jarring, and I should then direct the carriage inspector to examine the couplings, and remove any that might appear defective. I have known three or four carriages separate, which might cause six or seven breakages altogether in a very heavy train. When I test a coupling I always break it, and I do not think it is safe to do otherwise. The test may damage the coupling without actually breaking it, to an extent that would render it unsafe to use it afterwards.

By Mr. Nelson: Knowing seven breakages had occurred in going to Worcester, I would have allowed twenty-seven carriages to return in one train.
By Mr. Burbury: I think it probable I might have attached the second engine necessary to draw the heavy train up the incline behind the train instead of in front. Putting tow engines in front has tendency to bring greater strain upon the couplings. I should have put a second engine behind the train, and have sent the whole of the train up at once; but there are objections to that course, and there is a recommendation of the Board of Trade against it being adopted. Still we have sometimes to make a choice of evils.

By Mr. Wheeler: It is entirely a question of speed and gradients how many breaks are necessary to a given number of carriages. Fast trains require more breaks than slow ones. On the London and North-Western Railway perhaps two breaks to twenty carriages is about the ordinary average. We should not dispatch a train of fifteen carriages without two breaks.

By Mr. Fenton: I think the price given ought to have commanded the best quality in workmanship and material. I valued the rolling stock after it had been in use two years by the contractor.

Mr. William Grindley Craig, locomotive engineer, and carriage and waggon superintendent of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, was the next witness. He said: I received a telegram from Mr. Sherriff, on the 30th of August requesting me to come and make a series of experiments. I came on the following morning, and made experiments for the purposes of testing the breaking power of the break-vans of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Company, between Round Oak and Brettell Lane stations. The experiment train consisted of two engines, a goods break-van, two break-vans, five empty passenger carriages, and twenty-three loaded with iron (23 cwt. each), and a passenger break-van, with four passengers in it. The gross weight of the van was 5 tons, 6 cwt., and 2 qrs. The total weight of the train, exclusive of engines, was 185 tons. The


(Seems to be a bit missing here, Oops!)


was one of the passengers in the van. I got into the passenger break-van, in the rear of the train, at Brettell Lane, and on approaching Round Oak Station, at a speed of about five miles per hour, No. 131 third-class carriage, which was the eighteenth vehicle from the rear of the train, was uncoupled and allowed to recede down the incline towards Brettell Lane, at a speed of about four miles an hour. The break of the van was applied, and the detached carriages were brought to a stand in ten yards. The gross weight of the eighteen carriages was 101 tons 3 cwt. The second experiment: we coupled the carriages again, and went towards Round Oak at a speed of about four miles an hour. We uncoupled No. 133 carriage, which was twenty carriages from the rear of the train, the gross weight of which was 112 tons 15 cwt. These detached carriages were allowed to recede at a speed of three miles per hour. The break was then applied, and the detached carriages were brought to a stand in 88 feet from where the break was put on . The third experiment: We connected the train, and again detached the same carriages. We allowed them to attain a speed of 42 miles an hour when the break was applied, and they were brought to a stand in eighty-eight yards from the point where the break was applied. I then had the break taken off, and allowed the twenty carriages to recede at a speed of fully five miles an hour. The break was then applied, and the train was brought to a stand in seventy yards. I then connected the twenty carriages with the front portion of the train, and approached Round Oak Station at a speed of eight miles an hour. On nearing the station the speed was reduced to six mile and carriage No. 56, the 28th from the rear of the train, was detached. These twenty-eight carriages weighted 154 tons 16 cwt., and they were allowed to recede down the incline at a speed of three miles an hour. The break was then applied, and the twenty-eight carriages were brought to a stand in 218 yards. I again connected the whole train, and returned to Round Oak Station at eight miles an hour. I then uncoupled the whole train from the engines, making thirty-one vehicles, weighing 179 tons 13 cwt. 2 qrs. They were allowed to recede at a speed of six miles an hour, when the break was applied, but could not pull up the train without the assistance of the second break. I then allowed the same train to recede at a speed of three miles an hour, when the break was applied, and the speed did not increase more than one mile per hour in 700 yards. After that the speed increased to six miles an hour. The second-class break was then applied, and the train was brought to a stand. The eight experiment: We travelled with the whole train towards Round Oak, where I uncoupled all the passenger carriages (twenty-eight), weighing 160 tons 2 cwt. 2 qrs. On finding that the train was receding, I had the block applied, and it was brought to a stand in ten yards. That experiment was repeated, and we brought it up in nine yards. It was again repeated, and we brought up in seven yards. Again, and brought up in 32; and again repeated, and brought up in fifteen yards. After having finished the testing of the breaks, I had the coupling of one of the carriages reduced in size, in order to see whether, when it was reduced in size, it would bear the strain of an engine starting the whole train. I reduced it from 18 inch in diameter to w inch. The train was then started up the incline with the reduced chain attached to the twenty-eighth carriage from the rear of the train. The coupling did not break. I have also measured the strength of one of the couplings, and I find the weakest part of it was equal to a strain of 13 tons, which the last experiment proves.

Mr. Kettle did not cross-examine Mr. Craig, and after a conversation between Mr. King, who stated that the Company had several other witnesses in attendance, the Coroner and the jury, who expressed an opinion that they had heard sufficient to enable them to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion as to the cause of the accident, it was decided that no further evidence should be given.
It being nearly seven o’clock, the enquiry was adjourned until Thursday (to-morrow) morning at ten o’clock, when the depositions will be completed, the Coroner will sum up, and the verdict be returned.