Chumhill rail accident

The Chumhill railway accident occurred 26 February 1913 in England, killing two. The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway maintained an exemplary safety record throughout its short existence, from 1898 to 1935, and no passengers or members of the public were ever killed or injured.

Chumhill railway accident
Date26 February 1913
Coordinates51°06′48″N 3°58′25″W / 51.1133°N 3.9737°W / 51.1133; -3.9737Coordinates: 51°06′48″N 3°58′25″W / 51.1133°N 3.9737°W / 51.1133; -3.9737
OperatorLynton and Barnstaple Railway
Incident typerunaway
Causewet leaves on the line


There were, however, two accidents resulting in fatalities to railway employees. The other was at Braunton Road.

On 26 February 1913, four men of the Chelfham Bratton track gang were travelling in wagon No. 10 - a 4-ton open. They were in possession of the token and the wagon contained leaves and debris collected from trackside cesses. Whilst running down the 1 in 50 gradient from Bratton Fleming to Chelfham, the speed increased and the vehicle's brakes were unable to control the descent. Upon reaching a sharp reverse curve by bridge 25, the wagon left the track, coming to rest at the foot of the bank.

George Barrow was killed outright and William Welch died a few days later on 2 March. They were both buried in Bratton Fleming churchyard. The two men who survived, Foreman Ganger George Dymond and F. Dinnicombe, attributed the accident to wet leaves on the line.

The wagon was recovered, repaired and returned to service, with the replacement planks left unpainted for some time after the accident.


  • Gower, P.; Gray, B.; Vingoe, K. (1999). The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway — Yesterday and Today (First ed.). The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-537-3.[page needed]
  • Brown, G.A.; Prideaux, J.D.C.A.; Radcliffe, H.G. (1986) [1964]. The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway (Third impression; 1971 New ed.). David and Charles. ISBN 0-7153-4958-9. (re-published by Atlantic in enlarged format, 1996. ISBN 0-906899-68-0)[page needed]