THE Locomotive Inn situated in Manchester Road, Northwich, was a public house opposite the railway station from 1869 to 1974; the building was built as Valentine Buildings in 1864 with the likeness of a man on the front elevation.

Just past the pub, by the lamp post was the crossing for the salt branch railway line to Barons Quay from Northwich Motive Power Depot. The line crossed the road disappearing down the side of the pub. It left Northwich Marshalling Yards that were situated where the Tesco store and petrol station is now.

As the trains crossed the road, a man with a red flag would walk in front of it, so the speed was very slow, and motor vehicles were quite rare, and flimsy in the year 1908.

It was November 5, 1908 when the man walked into the road with his flag, leading a goods train, travelling in reverse and pushed by a steam engine. At the same time, a car containing the owner Mrs Annie Le Neve-Foster of Wilmslow, the chauffeur and one other passenger approached and was signalled to stop.

The chauffeur ignored the man and his flag and proceeded across. The car continued into the road. Unfortunately for Mrs Le Neve-Foster, the driver of the steam engine was unable to stop, and he backed his train across the road and struck the car.

This resulted in one fatality, Mrs Annie Le Neve-Foster, and two people were injured.

The photograph shows the state of the vehicle after the impact. This is believed to have been amongst the first fatal accident involving a motor vehicle and a train. In this case, one owned by the Cheshire Lines Committee Railway.

The accident was not formally investigated as a Railway Accident. At the time the Barons Quay mine and others nearby were big enough to justify a dedicated railway branch for the collection and transport of salt.

Northwich station was surrounded by a marshalling yard, and an engine shed with workshops.

All have now gone except for the station itself. Further down Manchester Road, it was crossed by a railway bridge that carried salt trains to the mines around Marston.