Saturday, June 06, 2020

Saving Lives - Describing a Hero

A plaque was unveiled in the waiting room near platform 6 at Carlisle Railway Station on 17th December 2009, in memory of a former signalman, Bill Taylor. While on duty on 1 May 1984 Bill realised that something had happened to prevent the brakes automatically stopping the rear section of a freight train from running away. Recognising that in the darkness the driver was probably unaware that the rear section of the train had become uncoupled, Bill knew he had only moments to act. The locomotive and the front part of the heavy freight train that was still coupled to it were allowed to run forward into Carlisle Citadel station. Still under the control of the driver, this part of the train was brought safely to a standstill.


After the leading part of the freight train had passed, Bill switched the points to divert the uncoupled runaway carriages onto a freight-only line bypassing the station, where a passenger train for London was picking up passengers. There was significant wreckage when the wagons derailed on a bridge over the River Caldew, but thanks to Bill Taylor’s actions, nobody was hurt and the historic passenger station was saved.


After investigation, safety procedures were changed to ensure that such a runaway would never happen again, with brakes coming on automatically to bring all wagons to a stop in the unlikely event of a similar coupling breakage. The events of 1984 are part of railway history, but the plaque has helped ensure that the memory of Bill Taylor and his prompt action will continue to be remembered.  Virgin Trains Station Manager for Carlisle Ann Turner said: 'Bill Taylor’s actions are well know in Carlisle and his quick thinking prevented a major accident in the station. When Bill’s son David approached us to commemorate the 25th anniversary we were happy to have a plaque displayed in a prominent place on the station.'


When Jesus was nailed to the cross He had a plaque placed over His head in three different languages, it said - 'THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS'. The Roman governor Pilate who had authorised the crucifixion had arranged for it to be there in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Having washed his hands of responsibility he wanted the whole world to know who Jesus was.


Although John’s Gospel refers to the writing as a 'title,' Mark and Matthew both refer to it as an 'accusation.' It was customary to set up over the heads of persons crucified the crime for which they suffered, and the name of the sufferer. The accusation on which Jesus had been condemned by Pilate was his claiming to be the King of the Jews. Ironically, the 'crime' for which Jesus was crucified is not a crime at all, but an absolutely true statement. Not only is Jesus King of the Jews, He is the King of all – the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is King over all the universe and all its inhabitants. And it was not for any crime of His own that He was nailed to the cross; it was the crimes (sins) of everyone who would ever put his or her faith in Him for salvation. 


Just as the title "King of the Jews" was written in three languages, so do those of all nations and languages recognise Him as Saviour, who He saves from all their sins, by bearing them in His own body on the cross, and of whom He is the able and willing, the perfect and complete, the loving and long suffering, the only and everlasting Saviour.

Written by a Guest Blogger


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