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1845: Horse died on newly opened Worthing line


The Brighton Viaduct looking towards St Peter's Church, Brighton

Opening of the Brighton to Worthing Railway Line 1845

On Monday, the 24th November 1845 saw the opening of the extension of the Brighton to Shoreham line to Worthing. The first three trains from Brighton to Worthing and the first two trains from Worthing to Brighton operated without problems, but the third returning train from Worthing met with an accident just to the East of Lancing station, at 12.55 p.m.

Horse killed in accident

Three horses belonging to a contractor were pulling a train of earth wagons on a temporary line when the lead horse strayed onto the permanent line just when the train was approaching. The tender was in front of the engine and knocked down the horse before capsizing, falling onto the horse and killing one and lamed the other two.

The engine also capsized but remained on the line. Luckily the train was still going slow after leaving Lancing station so none of the passengers were injured and they were only detained for about two hours before they were transferred to another train and conveyed to Brighton. Trains were delayed for the rest of the day while the engine and tender were righted but that didn’t stop a celebration dinner being held at the Nelson Hotel, Worthing to celebrate the opening of the line. The driver of the horses was arrested as he hadn’t been holding the bridle of the lead horse and had not had sufficient control over them.

Engraving: The Brighton Viaduct as built, looking towards St Peter's Church, Brighton with Brighton railway works visible on top of the cliff.;wk

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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