Early rail travel on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) was a much slower, less reliable and even hazardous form of travel as this following account suggests:
An engine of this class [built by W. Fairbairn & Sons, of Manchester] , piloted by one of Bury's singles [Bury, Curtis and Kennedy], was bringing down a heavy train from London to Brighton, on 2 October, 1841, when the pilot engine ran off the road and buried itself in the side of Copyhold cutting, between the Ouse Valley viaduct and Hayward's Heath Station, two passengers being killed and three coaches smashed. The cause was attributed to a four-wheeled engine of this that engines 1-4 preceding a six-wheeled one, and it was in consequence had a pair of trailing wheels added.
Account and images from Locomotives of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway 1839-1903, by John Christopher · 2014
For the detailed inquest into the accident please follow the link.... https://manage.wix.com/dashboard/540769d6-b31c-4f2a-bbda-fcae89e52a4b/blog/5ed79067aff1ef0017d9bce2/edit
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.