Railway Ghosts

RaM

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Went up on the Yamaha, kept looking at the sat nav and thinking we are near there but
cant see a thing, I mean you should see a dam great viaduct from a fair way off
but no not until you are on top of it can you see it.
Quite a nice place nothing worrying about it, it is in very good nick only had some cows
for company but the fly's were a pest, there are some holiday cottages there and it would
be interesting to spend a few nights there things may change at night.
 

WanderingFox

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There's just something about the combination of railways and ghosts that's particularly good at sending a pleasant shiver down the spine. WB Herbert's book has been a personal favourite since I found it in the local library as a young 'un. Naturally, I have a personal copy, now.

We also have a tragic railway story nearby, with a fair degree of haunting mystery and a tinge of ghostliness. Just a few miles north of us is the vilage of Charfield, which is on the main west coast line. In the early hours of the morning of 13th October 1928 a night mail train failed to stop at a signal; it collided with a freight train that was in the process of being moved into a siding, and the tail end of a third train of empty goods cars that was moving through the station was caught up in the accident. Many ended up crunched under the close-by bridge, and a fire born of gas-lighting still used in some of the older carriages soon engulfed them, impeding rescue efforts.

Two mysteries linger, one regarding the cause of the disaster. The driver and fireman of the mail train, who both survived, insisted the signal had been green, but the signal box's mechanisms were confirmed set to red, and it seems the points being positioned to allow the freight into the siding would automatically cause the signal to show red. No trace of any interference was found.

The other, sadder mystery has to do with the victims. Fifteen or sixteen people, depending on the report you read, lost their lives, and forty-one were injured. Among the dead were two children who couldn't be, and still haven't been, identified; they carried nothing to help, none of the survivors recognised them, and no-one ever came to claim them. They and the other deceased were interred in the graveyard of the village church, and a monument erected. For around thirty years afterwards a woman clad in black was reported as visiting the site, but she too was never identified.

The ghostliness? Let me quote from one of the online accounts I've consulted to refresh my memory...

In one last twist to the tale, local legend has it that in the area surrounding the crash site, people have reported strange sightings of ghostly children. The small figures stand together, hand in hand silently looking down the tracks. Locals say they are the children, patiently waiting for the day someone identifies them so they can finally rest in peace.
(Source: https://madmikesamerica.com/2017/07...y-disaster-and-the-mysterious-woman-in-black/ )

Brings a shiver...and a tear...
 
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MorningAngel

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I’m sure there’s a haunted bus thread somewhere but I can’t find it. This is as close as I can get. Have there every been any reports of ghostly trams? There used to be loads of them.
 

EnolaGaia

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I’m sure there’s a haunted bus thread somewhere but I can’t find it. ...
The closest things in whole / dedicated threads would be:

The Famous Phantom Double Decker Bus
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-famous-phantom-double-decker-bus.26320/

Haunted Bus Stop
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/haunted-bus-stop.47995/

The Creepy Bus
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-creepy-bus.62813/

Additionally, a number of posts involving buses, bus stations, and / or bus stops can be found scattered throughout the Ghosts and other forum sections.
 

MorningAngel

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The closest things in whole / dedicated threads would be:

The Famous Phantom Double Decker Bus
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-famous-phantom-double-decker-bus.26320/

Haunted Bus Stop
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/haunted-bus-stop.47995/

The Creepy Bus
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-creepy-bus.62813/

Additionally, a number of posts involving buses, bus stations, and / or bus stops can be found scattered throughout the Ghosts and other forum sections.
Yet no trams?
 

RaM

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Shankend Viaduct when I was up there this summer nice enough on a summer day what it's like at night I don't know except it will be quiet.
But maybe not for ever as there is a move afoot to reopen the old Waverley line between Edinburgh and Carlisle.

 
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Lord Lucan

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The picture below is of Exeter Station, New South Wales, Australia. I lived in this village for 8 years and the station itself is of keen interest for train enthusiasts having appeared in many t.v commercial, t.v programs and movies.
A train derailment here in 1914 claimed 14 lives and on the anniversary of the event, screams and moans are said to be heard throughout the night. Whilst living there, my niece (who also has an interest in the paranormal) and I, spent some hours sitting by the tracks listening for any ghostly moans. I'm afraid we didn't hear anything remotely supernatural.
The control room (where the number 1 sign is) is also said to be haunted by a former Station Master who died on the job and is still there finishing his shift.
It's quite a beautiful little station and you can now stay there in the former Station Master's house.
exeterstation.jpg
 

WierdExeter

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Well sadly the signal boxes and the freight yards which feature so prominently in these wonderful tales have been progressively closed down and are becoming a thing of the past, so I imagine the modern railway will have fewer such ghostly encounters in the future.

Some of those old signal boxes must have been spooky places to work at night, often miles from anywhere, especially on the moors of Devon and Cornwall <shudder>
 

Lord Lucan

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Well sadly the signal boxes and the freight yards which feature so prominently in these wonderful tales have been progressively closed down and are becoming a thing of the past, so I imagine the modern railway will have fewer such ghostly encounters in the future.

Some of those old signal boxes must have been spooky places to work at night, often miles from anywhere, especially on the moors of Devon and Cornwall <shudder>
It's a sign of the times isn't it? It's happening here in Australia too. The station I posted above was manned 24 hours a day only 10 years ago, now it's fully automated.
 

Yithian

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Well sadly the signal boxes and the freight yards which feature so prominently in these wonderful tales have been progressively closed down and are becoming a thing of the past, so I imagine the modern railway will have fewer such ghostly encounters in the future.

Some of those old signal boxes must have been spooky places to work at night, often miles from anywhere, especially on the moors of Devon and Cornwall <shudder>
My father worked on the railway from the late 60s until fairly recently. I have a hazy memory from the early 80s of being carried across the tracks to a wooden signal box with bells, gauges, emergency lamps and levers of various colours to be pulled.

It was rather magical, but I suspect any survivors are consciously preserved relics now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever_frame
 

Yithian

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...which reminds me.

Prior to 1994 the Waterloo and City line in London was run not by London Underground but by British Rail (and latterly one of the odious privatised flavours that replaced it). For some reason or another there was a staff shortage one week and my father was drafted from London Bridge to fill the gap. He did so--probably volunteered--but incongruously discovered that the following day they were holding some kind of 'Bring Your Kid To Work Day'. I have some vague inkling that this might somehow have been a GLC initiative, but I could easily be conflating things (I also have fond memories of attending the final budget-draining free festival staged to mark the abolition of the GLC a few days before my birthday in 1986).

Anyway, the only way to access the signal box at that time was to walk down off the end of one of the platforms and down the tunnel--it was about fifty meters along it, I think--but what a fifty meters! I was probably about nine years old, but we all lived in Kent and 'going up to London' invariably meant a memorable day out to an attraction or a trip to Hamleys or a show. This, however, trumped any number dinosaur skeletons or stamp museums. My young mind simply could not accept the mad fact that I was walking along a tube tunnel, WHERE THE TRAINS GO!

It's one of a few different reasons why I have a soft spot for railways.

...which reminds me.

When I told some children that on my birthday one year I was invited into the cockpit of the 737 in flight, they flat-out refused to believe me. We were flying to Malta and my father (lots of charisma and no shame about asking anybody for anything) had written in advance to B.A. and said that my brother and I were very interested in aeroplanes and as it was my birthday could we please go up and see the cockpit. The best part was that he didn't tell me about it beforehand. After about an hour in the air (a night flight for added adventure), there was an announcement asking would 'The Yithian' please make his way to the cockpit. Again, absolute disbelief as I turned to my parents and pointed out that it was my name that had just been uttered. I assume this would be quite impossible with security regulations today.

I need to start pulling some of these kinds of stunts for my daughter. They really do stay with you.

Apologies for the ramble. The only ghost here is the one of my childhood.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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The first time we went abroad on holiday was in 1987 when I was ten. We were flying Dan Air, and the captain announced that any children were welcome to come up and have a look at the cockpit. A handful of us headed up there, and had a tour of the controls and an incredible pilot's-eye view of the Pyrenees....much to my Dad's jealousy.
 
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The first time we went abroad on holiday was in 1987 when I was ten. We were flying Dan Air, and the captain announced that any children were welcome to come up and have a look at the cockpit. A handful of us headed up there, and had a tour of the controls and an incredible pilot's-eye view of the Pyrenees....much to my Dad's jealousy.
Do pilots still allow kids into the cockpit? Cunning terrorists might recruit midgets and disguise them as children.
 

RaM

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I flew in 2 of the Dan Air 727's but was never lucky enough to fly in any of the Comet's
though I have been in the cockpit of one.
 

catseye

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...which reminds me.

Prior to 1994 the Waterloo and City line in London was run not by London Underground but by British Rail (and latterly one of the odious privatised flavours that replaced it). For some reason or another there was a staff shortage one week and my father was drafted from London Bridge to fill the gap. He did so--probably volunteered--but incongruously discovered that the following day they were holding some kind of 'Bring Your Kid To Work Day'. I have some vague inkling that this might somehow have been a GLC initiative, but I could easily be conflating things (I also have fond memories of attending the final budget-draining free festival staged to mark the abolition of the GLC a few days before my birthday in 1986).

Anyway, the only way to access the signal box at that time was to walk down off the end of one of the platforms and down the tunnel--it was about fifty meters along it, I think--but what a fifty meters! I was probably about nine years old, but we all lived in Kent and 'going up to London' invariably meant a memorable day out to an attraction or a trip to Hamleys or a show. This, however, trumped any number dinosaurs skeletons or stamp museums. My young mind simply could not accept the mad fact that I was walking along a tube tunnel, WHERE THE TRAINS GO!

It's one of a few different reasons why I have a soft spot for railways.

...which reminds me.

When I told some children that on my birthday one year I was invited into the cockpit of the 737 in flight, they flat-out refused to believe me. We were flying to Malta and my father (lots of charisma and no shame about asking anybody for anything) had written in advance to B.A. and said that my brother and I were very interested in aeroplanes and as it was my birthday could we please go up and see the cockpit. The best part was that he didn't tell me about it beforehand. After about an hour in the air (a night flight for added adventure), there was an announcement asking would 'The Yithian' please make his way to the cockpit. Again, absolute disbelief as I turned to my parents and pointed out that it was my name that had just been uttered. I assume this would be quite impossible with security regulations today.

I need to start pulling some of these kinds of stunts for my daughter. They really do stay with you.

Apologies for the ramble. The only ghost here is the one of my childhood.
My dad also worked for British Rail - 1960-1994 (oddly enough, vide my 'teaspoon' posts, he was given a canteen of cutlery when he passed the 25 year mark, only just thought of that!). My brother's godfather was a signalman, and we all spent many a happy hour in the signal box at Exeter St Davids, being allowed to pull levers and being told what the various bell-signals meant!

I even got to drive a shunting engine once... happy days! No ghost stories though, as far as I know, although the shunters' little shed, with its blazing fire in winter, was a spooky old place.
 

LordRsmacker

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Do pilots still allow kids into the cockpit? Cunning terrorists might recruit midgets and disguise them as children.
3 years ago, my then 15 yr-old niece flew to France to see the boyfriend that she met on an exchange trip. As she was a shy little waif, parents at both ends were concerned about her welfare and ensuring she arrived when and where she was supposed to. Apparently the crew also decided to take her under their wing (see what I did there?) and to bring her out of her shell a bit offered to let her "ride up front" in the cockpit. She, being that shy little thing, was too scared to leave her seat, so refused the offer! FFS, kids today...

(BTW, she is the same lass who was accused of being a witch by her school. Perhaps the view is better on a broomstick)
 

Lord Lucan

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...which reminds me.

When I told some children that on my birthday one year I was invited into the cockpit of the 737 in flight, they flat-out refused to believe me. We were flying to Malta and my father (lots of charisma and no shame about asking anybody for anything) had written in advance to B.A. and said that my brother and I were very interested in aeroplanes and as it was my birthday could we please go up and see the cockpit. The best part was that he didn't tell me about it beforehand. After about an hour in the air (a night flight for added adventure), there was an announcement asking would 'The Yithian' please make his way to the cockpit. Again, absolute disbelief as I turned to my parents and pointed out that it was my name that had just been uttered. I assume this would be quite impossible with security regulations today.
In 1980 my father and I traveled around the Philippines then onto Hong Kong and back home to Sydney. In Cebu I bought a katana style soldier's blade which was a remnant from WWII. We flew from Cebu to Davao to Zamboanga to Manila to Hong Kong on Philippine Airlines with it as checked baggage. Upon entering Hong Kong, it was impounded at Kai Tak airport until departure as the blade was over a certain length. On our flight home (with Cathay Pacific), we were escorted onto the aircraft by two police officers, one holding the sword who saw us seated and then took the sword to the cockpit for safe keeping. You can imagine my surprise, two hours out from Sydney when my name was called by the Captain asking me to come to the cockpit where I was warmly welcomed by the flight crew and my sword given back to me. My surprise was nowhere near as great as my fellow passengers as they watched a 15 year old boy walking down the aisle holding a samurai sword and quietly taking his seat.
There is no possible way on Earth that something like that could or would happen today.
 

Cochise

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My father worked on the railway from the late 60s until fairly recently. I have a hazy memory from the early 80s of being carried across the tracks to a wooden signal box with bells, gauges, emergency lamps and levers of various colours to be pulled.

It was rather magical, but I suspect any survivors are consciously preserved relics now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever_frame
There still are a few traditional signal boxes about, but they are very much on borrowed time.

Some idea of where they still are can be gleaned from this page - it lists when boxes are due to be replaced and what with. Not all the boxes being replaced are traditional lever frames, though.

https://www.signalbox.org/sectionc.php
 

Naughty_Felid

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Frideswide

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That's a Ripping Yarns type picture. The original Henty stuff rather than the TV series....
 

IbisNibs

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I visited a year or two ago (it being in my neck of the woods) and combined it with a visit to Whitrope Tunnel (now closed off because of a partial roof collapse), and Hermitage Castle (a place with an uncanny and supernatural reputation of it's own).
Ooo! I like castles too, haunted or otherwise. I looked up Hermitage Castle and found this aesthetically pleasing and well researched blog post about it: https://hauntedpalaceblog.wordpress.com/tag/hermitage-castle/
 

CALGACUS03

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Ooo! I like castles too, haunted or otherwise. I looked up Hermitage Castle and found this aesthetically pleasing and well researched blog post about it: https://hauntedpalaceblog.wordpress.com/tag/hermitage-castle/
Very interesting article! Thanks Ibris. I was already aware of the history of Hermitage, but it was nice to read an article that combines it so nicely with the supernatural stories that are associated with the castle.

I recall visiting it with my mother and a school friend when my friend and I were probably about six or seven. My mother, who had one or two supernatural experiences of her own, was very 'freaked out' by the building and couldn't wait to get away from it!

Unfortunately, I didn't experience anything there either then or on either of my more recent visits.:(
 

CALGACUS03

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With my vast knowledge of aviation (I’m word perfect on Radio 4’s Cabin Pressure) I believe it’s a no thanks to the terrorist ruining people’s fun.
Or maybe it's because of this. I believe that that clip is taken from a well regarded documentary! :)
 

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MorningAngel

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