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Western Railroad Discussion > Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today


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Date: 04/28/08 20:22
Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: RailDawg

I can't believe it's been 35 years since that happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we lived about 2 miles away.

It was an unbelievable sight and the sound was tremendous!

Anyone here witness this event?



Date: 04/28/08 20:42
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: dan

sorry i blew up



Date: 04/28/08 21:36
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: espee99

Went through on number 5 a few hours before the fireworks started. Believe they found some unexploded bomb as late as three or four years ago.



Date: 04/28/08 21:53
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: SDP40F

No not me.

I understand when they rebuilt Roseville yard (the second time) they still found

ammunition berried under the tracks. They had to call in personal from BOMB disposal unit

to get rid of all of it. All they did back then was to cover it up.



Date: 04/29/08 06:10
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: WAF

espee99 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Went through on number 5 a few hours before the
> fireworks started. Believe they found some
> unexploded bomb as late as three or four years
> ago.


Could have not gone through on Number Five before the fireworks started. The fireworks started at 8:30a. Five went up the East Valley to Tehama wye and down the West Valley to Davis. Six detoured on the WP Higgins to Alazon(NV.. Weso-Alazon normal route for 6)



Date: 04/29/08 06:42
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: galenadiv

About three years ago I saw a presentation on the Roseville Yard cleanup at the Maintenance of Way Club of Chicago. The crew found one bomb, then another and another. The railroaders realized they were out of their element and called in professionals to locate and dispose of the ordnance. As I recall, they uncovered dozens and dozens of highly lethal items that had been lying there under the dirt in an active yard for more than 30 years.



Date: 04/29/08 06:42
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: BNSF-E9

I lived on El Camino Ave (north Sacramento) when it happened, and could hear and feel it that far away. I can only imagine what the folks in Roseville must have gone through that day. Hard to believe it was 35 years ago.



Date: 04/29/08 06:52
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: Woodman

I lived in Biggs about 60 miles away and we could feel it and hear it. I was out in the yard when it happened and had no clue what it was. As a fire fighter retired, I remember seeing the picture of a firefighter on a ladder truck that was never found. Someone took the picture of him fighting the fire and then the explosion, and no more person. A tragic day.



Date: 04/29/08 10:03
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

galenadiv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> About three years ago I saw a presentation on the
> Roseville Yard cleanup at the Maintenance of Way
> Club of Chicago. The crew found one bomb, then
> another and another. The railroaders realized they
> were out of their element and called in
> professionals to locate and dispose of the
> ordnance. As I recall, they uncovered dozens and
> dozens of highly lethal items that had been lying
> there under the dirt in an active yard for more
> than 30 years.

Not True



Date: 04/29/08 10:04
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

SDP40F Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No not me.
>
> I understand when they rebuilt Roseville yard (the
> second time) they still found
>
> ammunition berried under the tracks. They had to
> call in personal from BOMB disposal unit
>
> to get rid of all of it. All they did back then
> was to cover it up.

Not True



Date: 04/29/08 10:05
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

galenadiv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> About three years ago I saw a presentation on the
> Roseville Yard cleanup at the Maintenance of Way
> Club of Chicago. The crew found one bomb, then
> another and another. The railroaders realized they
> were out of their element and called in
> professionals to locate and dispose of the
> ordnance. As I recall, they uncovered dozens and
> dozens of highly lethal items that had been lying
> there under the dirt in an active yard for more
> than 30 years.
Not True



Date: 04/29/08 10:07
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

Woodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I lived in Biggs about 60 miles away and we could
> feel it and hear it. I was out in the yard when
> it happened and had no clue what it was. As a
> fire fighter retired, I remember seeing the
> picture of a firefighter on a ladder truck that
> was never found. Someone took the picture of him
> fighting the fire and then the explosion, and no
> more person. A tragic day.

This is the most flagrant fabriction I have ever heard about this incident.



Date: 04/29/08 10:11
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: Lackawanna484

Here's the Navy's summary of the event:

http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/media/ashore/issues/spring01/Roseville.htm

From this story, it appears there were a lot of changes required for the shipping of explosives by rail.



Date: 04/29/08 10:21
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

RailDawg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't believe it's been 35 years since that
> happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we
> lived about 2 miles away.
>
> It was an unbelievable sight and the sound was
> tremendous!
>
> Anyone here witness this event?

YES I was there



Date: 04/29/08 10:45
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: WAF

JLY Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RailDawg Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I can't believe it's been 35 years since that
> > happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we
> > lived about 2 miles away.
> >
> > It was an unbelievable sight and the sound was
> > tremendous!
> >
> > Anyone here witness this event?
>
> YES I was there

How was your hearing afterwards?



Date: 04/29/08 15:05
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

RailDawg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't believe it's been 35 years since that
> happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we
> lived about 2 miles away.
>
> It was an unbelievable sight and the sound was
> tremendous!
>
> Anyone here witness this event?


Did not witness this horrible day. I used to work with the famous Elie Brown that went into the bowl and pulled some LPG cars out to prevent further explosions.. After this event he became an Asst. Trianmaster.



Date: 04/29/08 15:31
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JLY

SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RailDawg Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I can't believe it's been 35 years since that
> > happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we
> > lived about 2 miles away.
> >
> > It was an unbelievable sight and the sound was
> > tremendous!
> >
> > Anyone here witness this event?
>
>
> Did not witness this horrible day. I used to work
> with the famous Elie Brown that went into the bowl
> and pulled some LPG cars out to prevent further
> explosions.. After this event he became an Asst.
> Trianmaster.

I was there 15 minutes after the first car went up at 8:05AM and until the yard was restored to service and was involved in every phase of the incident. There was no propane in Antelope yard that day and I don't recall any famous Elie Brown that went in to the yard that day after the first explosion. Who was he and where and when did he become Asst Trainmaster?
After the first explosion you could not get a union member employee closer than the yard office, two miles away.
This is from first hand experience not second hand conjecture.
JWL



Date: 04/29/08 15:51
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: JBRioGrande

Thankyou for the remembrance. I remember it well. It was a big deal. In Nam it was just another day at the office, on the perimeter of Engineer Hill in Pleiku, and elsewhere, after the Tet offensive of 1968. We had B-52's dropping those cans just off our perimeter for months. The sound, the concussion.....man, they were falling like rain. The ground shook so bad that dust rose into the air as thick as tule fog, and was choking thick, sucking all the air, and you couldn't see crap! Our lungs took a beating, and you had to get down on the ground to keep from vomiting. The concussion pounded every organ in your body, and then tried to rip your skin off. Those around Roseville only got a small taste of a battle zone 35 years ago, but it was enough to make a lasting impression in the grey matter.
Yep....That was quite a day in Roseville......We pray it never happens again. Remember our troops..............and the 20th Combat Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, 937th Group, in Nam, 37 years ago.



Date: 04/29/08 16:41
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

JLY Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > RailDawg Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > I can't believe it's been 35 years since that
> > > happened (April 28, 1973). I was a kid and we
> > > lived about 2 miles away.
> > >
> > > It was an unbelievable sight and the sound
> was
> > > tremendous!
> > >
> > > Anyone here witness this event?
> >
> >
> > Did not witness this horrible day. I used to
> work
> > with the famous Elie Brown that went into the
> bowl
> > and pulled some LPG cars out to prevent further
> > explosions.. After this event he became an
> Asst.
> > Trianmaster.
>
> I was there 15 minutes after the first car went up
> at 8:05AM and until the yard was restored to
> service and was involved in every phase of the
> incident. There was no propane in Antelope yard
> that day and I don't recall any famous Elie Brown
> that went in to the yard that day after the first
> explosion. Who was he and where and when did he
> become Asst Trainmaster?
> After the first explosion you could not get a
> union member employee closer than the yard office,
> two miles away.
> This is from first hand experience not second hand
> conjecture.
> JWL


The story Elie told me that he was on a switch job... went into the bowl and pulled out a string of cars. Charlie Babers was impressed and made him an Asst. Trainmaster soon after this incident.`1974-75?



Date: 04/29/08 17:05
Re: Roseville Ammo Train Explosion 35 years ago today
Author: WAF

Charlie Babers was still the Oregon Div Super in 1973. Didn't come to SF until 77?



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