Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 10:44 UK

Village memorial to rail disaster

Castlecary Memorial
The memorial was created by the people of Castlecary

Villagers in Castlecary in North Lanarkshire are to unveil a tribute to those killed in a horrific rail disaster more than 70 years ago.

Thirty five people died and 179 were injured after two trains collided in the village in December 1937.

The incident is among the worst rail disasters in Scotland's history.

The memorial, which features an authentic rolling stock locomotive wheel, will be placed in the village's memorial garden.

Until now, the only sign that the crash had happened in Castlecary was a small plaque placed near the rail track by Falkirk councillor Billy Buchanan.

Following Mr Buchanan's interest, villagers in Castlecary began a campaign to have a lasting memorial installed.

Signaller error

Albert McBeath, secretary of the local community council, said putting in place a fitting memorial to those who died in the disaster had become a big deal to villagers.

He said: "There was a sense among people that there really should have been something more to say that this terrible thing had happened.

"People felt very strongly about it and wanted to do something.

"Now that it's been done the village feels like a weight has been lifted and there's a great sense of pride at what we've achieved."

The train crash happened in the evening of 10 December 1937 in heavy snow when the Edinburgh to Glasgow commuter express hit a late running Dundee train at Castlecary station.

Investigations after the incident found a signaller error was to blame.

Local politicians, including the provosts of North Lanarkshire Council and neighbouring Falkirk Council will attend the unveiling of the memorial on Saturday.

The memorial was created after the Scottish Railway Preservation Society donated two railway sleepers and pieces of track. A local couple donated the locomotive wheel.


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