Thursday, 14 October 2010

100 years ago: French Railway Workers' Derail Trains

AS Northerners we tend continually to look South for inspiration and backwards for inspiration. 75 years ago 150 Welsh miners occupied a pit at Nine Mile Point in Monmouthshire: see below. But 100 years ago, during the syndicalist phase in their history, French railway workers derailed trains on the 12th, October 1910. On that day, bands on strikers on the Western Railway began to render the operation of the line impossible by cutting the signal and telephone wires, throwing the points out of order, and stopping all possible traffic by placing obstructions on the line or derailing engines and trucks. Just after 8 O'Clock in the morning strikers armed with clubs and iron bars invaded the line between Asnières and Bois-Colombes. By about half past ten 300 strikers broke into Colombes station and chucked benches on the line so as to prevent the Argenteuil trains from running. Minutes later they stopped the Cherbourg mail train and a train from Mantes. They quickly uncoupled both locomotives and derailed them on the points, completely blocking both lines.

No comments: