Transporting the dead has been one of those things that has to be organised. Alongside the dedicate funeral line in London and other places, there were other options even if they were less grandiose.

Sometimes passenger rail services would carry the coffins in their brake vans. It unfortunately led to one grisly report that happened 21st June 1912. The train from Manchester to Leeds was derailed near Hebden Bridge. A coffin containing Mr Horsfield’s remains was thrown from the brake van and spilt out on to the track.  The 55 year old’s coffin was shattered so he was kept in the signal box until a new one was available.

Halifax Courier’s reporter had this comment: The coffin was found all splintered and the corpse, though unmarked, was pinned under the debris and partly exposed. There was also an untrue rumour at the time that his body was one of those recovered from the Titanic just ten weeks earlier.

It wasn’t until 1988 that British Rail announced it would no longer allow coffins to be transported.

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