29 SEPTEMBER 1906, Page 2

The inquest on the twelve victims of the Grantham railway

disaster was held on Monday and Tuesday, and resulted in a verdict of accidental death. The evidence given showed that nothing was amiss with either rolling-stock or permanent way, and that the signalmen had acted strictly according to the regulations; but no explanation was forthcoming of the fact that the train, instead of stopping, passed through the- station at a high rate of speed. According to the evidence of the guard and of the signalman of the North Box, the brakes bad been applied, but too late to effect the stop, thus pointing to forgetfulness on the part of the driver. It also appeared that the driver, though a man of exceptional competence, steadiness, and general good health, had been absent for short periods in the summer owing to temporary indisposition. We may add that the evidence given lent no , support whatever to the suggestions that the fireman Talbot lacked competence and experience, or that the driver would have been loth to complain of him because he was a premium apprentice. The verdict of the jury very properly, therefore, emphasised the competence of both driver and fireman, and added as a rider the recommendation that it would be safer if . a wider curve were made at the Nottingham branch line, and' if the points on the main line at the junction were set clear as soon as a train had passed. The recommendation is based on the sound principle that, although you cannot eliminate the "" human element," you should never overlook a reasonable opportunity for minimising its shortcomings.