William Huskisson

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Today marks an unusual railroad anniversary. On this date in 1830, William Huskisson was the first person to be widely reported as being killed by a railroad train.  There apparently were earlier fatalities, but by those who were not worthy of mention.  They most likely would be operating crews in boiler explosions and other situations caused by inexperience with early technology.  This would include the “qualified” locomotive fireman who tied a rag around the boiler pop-off valve because the noise bothered him.

Huskisson, on the other hand, was a major personality and his death made people aware of the railroad.  As could be expected, Huskisson was an investor in the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, and he would not be the last investor killed by the railway.

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