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Nostalgia & History > 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.


Date: 12/14/12 09:56
1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: TonyJ

Another intesting photo from the collection of Bob Foley. This photo was taken by SP Engineer Bob Kennedy (46 years service).

On July 4, 1928, 4-8-2 SP4355 was pulling the old Daylight e/b out of San Francisco towards Los Angeles. As it exited Tunnel No. 4 it hit four fruit cars of apricots crossing over the mainline, derailed and flipped on engineer's side near the passenger shelter. A large crowd is watching from the small embankment bordering Tunnel Avenue. The tender received quite a dent from the trailing baggage car. It was later determined that the signal inside Tunnel No. 4 had failed.

The photo is looking to the West from Tunnel Road. The freight car R.I.P. building is in the right background. To the left of that are the backshops and {not seen here] Bayshore Roundhouse. As a general reference, from this angle the Cow Palace would be a mile or so behind the freight car shop.

Luckily no one was killed, but there were injuries. SP engineer Jack Weir returned to work, but the Fireman never returned to work. It took 21 hours to clear the wreckage. The 4355 was known as the "Hoo Doo" by crews, was involved in other accidents at various places. I think I have a copy of the ICC report somewhere in my messy office. If so, I'll add it to this post.

Tony J.




Date: 12/14/12 15:00
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: BCHellman

According to the current ETT (#129, May 6, 1928), Bayshore was protected by Interlock and #72 (The Daylight) was due at 7.54AM. Wonder why the tower crossed a freight movement in front of the Division's hottest train?



Date: 12/14/12 17:15
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: TonyJ

BCHellman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> According to the current ETT (#129, May 6, 1928),
> Bayshore was protected by Interlock and #72 (The
> Daylight) was due at 7.54AM. Wonder why the tower
> crossed a freight movement in front of the
> Division's hottest train?


I can only guess that since the signal wasn't working properly in Tunnel No. 4, the operator at Bayshore Tower may not have known it was coming. But, as you pointed out, this was a scheduled train and you'd think he would have waited until it passed. I could tell you a story of how a Bayshore Tower operated got fooled into doing something done with a local drag and a commute train. Humans aren't perfect.



Date: 12/14/12 22:05
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: RLcabin

> I can only guess that since the signal wasn't
> working properly in Tunnel No. 4, the operator at
> Bayshore Tower may not have known it was coming.
> But, as you pointed out, this was a scheduled
> train and you'd think he would have waited until
> it passed. I could tell you a story of how a
> Bayshore Tower operated got fooled into doing
> something done with a local drag and a commute
> train. Humans aren't perfect.


The ICC accident report can be found at http://ntl1.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?websearch&site=dot_railroads
Look under 1928, then Southern Pacific Railroad. It explains the tower operator figured the move wouldn't delay #78 (The Daylight) but it was a Mission Bay crew on the drag and they took longer than expected. But that's hardly the point; the ICC found #78's engine crew apparently disregarded the distant signal which was displaying a caution indication and did not react to the home signal which displayed stop until it was too late to avoid the collision. Furthermore, #78 was likely making 60 mph in 45 mph territory.

Quote: "This accident was caused by the failure of Engineman Weir, of train No. 78, properly to observe and obey signal indications.

"Engineman Weir maintained that as far as he knew eastbound automatic distant signal 44 was displaying a clear indication, therefore, he was expecting to find interlocking home signal 24 displaying a similar indication. He did not observe the stop indication displayed by interlocking home signal 24 until his engine was entirely out of tunnel No. 4, at which time he immediately applied the air brakes in emergency; however, owing to the rate of speed at which the train was traveling it was then too late to avert the accident. The interlocking plant is so arranged that conflicting routes or signals can not be given, nor can a route or signal he taken away from a train after it has started through the interlocking plant without operating a time release. Immediately before and after the accident interlocking home signal 24 was observed to be displaying a stop indication, while eastbound automatic distant signal 44 was observed to be displaying a caution indication when the rear cars of train No. 78 were moved hack to San Francisco. Subsequent tests showed that the signal apparatus functioned as intended, and there was nothing found which could have caused the display of a false clear indication. Under these conditions it is believed that eastbound distant signal 44 was displaying a caution indication and that for some reason the indication was not properly observed and obeyed by Engineman Weir."

Regards,
RL Cabin



Date: 12/14/12 23:03
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: TonyJ

You beat me to it, RL. I just found the same report. Now I don't need to post it.

Tony



Date: 12/15/12 13:12
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: dan

big hook was close by



Date: 12/15/12 21:41
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: BaltoJoey




Date: 12/16/12 10:06
Re: 1928 wreck of the "Daylight" at Bayshore, CA.
Author: TonyJ

Quite a change of views after 84 years. You can see the sole remaining shop buildings behind the signal bridge in the Google image, The roundhouse (what's left of it) would be way in the far distance behind the small tree in the foreground.



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