Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lombardstown remembers traumatic train crash


THE village of Lombardstown is to recall a traumatic chapter in its history that might have been forgotten but for the work of a dedicated local historian.

On August 5, 1912, a Killarney to Dublin train, packed with more than 250 English holidaymakers, crashed as it entered Lombardstown Railway Station, leaving one man dead and 90 others injured.

A century after the devastating crash, locals will recall the incident by unveiling a commemorative stone in the village close to where it occurred.

The stone has been commissioned by Lombardstown Community Council, which has also published The History of Lombardstown Railway Station. The fascinating book has been researched and compiled by local historian Donie O'Sullivan, with all of the proceeds going to fund local enhancement projects.

Donie explained that the illfated train had been scheduled to pass the regular 8.30pm Mallow to Tralee train in the station.

"As there was only one track, both trains were signalled to stop before entering the station for safety reasons. One train would be diverted into a siding, allowing the other to pass safely," said Donie.

As the Dublin bound train approached the station it was diverted into the siding but passed two warning signals without stopping. The train derailed as it entered the siding before ploughing embankment.

Donie said that a number of people were trapped in the first carriage, which bore the brunt of the impact.

As the village was sparsely populated at the time help was slow to arrive, but eventually the injured were ferried to hospitals in Cork by a relief train, ambulance and hastily kitted

into an out lorries.

A board of enquiry found the driver guilty of negligence and while formally charged with manslaughter he was later acquitted.

Cllr John Paul O'Shea said it was important that the community remember those involved in the crash and locals who helped in the care of the injured.

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