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Date: 02/12/04 11:15
worst US train accident
Author: coachyard

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,685780,685887

run8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the 1918 BRT accident in Brooklyn, which is
> considered one of the worst railway accidents
> in the US, if not the worst railway accident altogether.

It might be the worst US rail accident ever, the number is disputed but a minimum of 92 died. During a wildcat strike called by BRT motormen on November 1, 1918 a wooden five car train derailed on a curve on Malbone St. in Brighton Beach. The rescue to stretched over six hours and the victims weren't reached for 45 minutes after the crash because of its difficult location. Dodgers



Date: 02/12/04 11:19
Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway-1918...
Author: ConductorAl

I don't have the time at the moment, but will post information from the accident investigation later this evening. Definately the worst steam road accident and one that should not have occurred.



Date: 02/12/04 11:37
worst US/Nashville
Author: coachyard

http://danger-ahead.railfan.net/features/bourbonnais/americrash_01.html

Worst US Rail Disasters

July 9, 1918, Nashville, TN: 101 killed in a two-train collision
Aug. 7, 1904, Eden, CO: 96 killed when a train derailed on a bridge during a flash flood
March 1, 1910, Wellington, WA: 96 people were killed when two trains were swept into a canyon by an avalanche
Nov. 1, 1918, Brooklyn, NY: 92 killed in a New York subway train which derailed in a tunnel in Brooklyn
Feb. 6, 1951, Woodbridge, NJ: 85 killed when a Pennsylvania RR commuter train plunged through a temporary overpass
Nov. 22, 1950, Richmond Hill, NY: 79 killed when a Long Island RR commuter train crashed into the rear of another in New York's borough of Queens
Dec. 16, 1943, Rennert, NC: Two Atlantic Coast Line trains derailed near Rennert, N.C., killing 72 people.
Sept. 22, 1993, Mobile, AL: 47 killed in the worst accident in Amtrak history. The Sunset Ltd. plunged into a bayou while en route to Miami from a weakened bridge that had been rammed by a barge minutes earlier
Oct. 30, 1972, Chicago IL: 45 killed when two IC commuter trains collided during morning rush hour
Jan. 1, 1987, Chase MD: 16 killed when an engineer drove three linked Conrail engines through a closed track switch and into the path of an Amtrak train


http://www.ezl.com/~fireball/Disaster13.htm

The Great Nashville Wreck of 1918

"That Mournful Sound"

July 9, 1918

The Union Station was crowded on the early Tuesday morning. Most railroad stations were during World War I, transporting soldiers and workers to plants geared up for war. The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis train No.4 was preparing for its trip toward Memphis.

Willis M. Farris, an honored Nashville citizen who made the lumber industry here famous the world over, went to take a seat. A young bookkeeper, seeing the older man, offered Farris his seat, which he graciously took in the crowded car.

At the same time, Robert D. Corbitt, the brakeman for the east-bound No.1 heading to Nashville from Memphis, decided for no particular reason to check out the rear of the train. That train was packed with passengers, many of them workers traveling to the DuPont plant in Old Hickory.

Among them was 18-year old George Scott, scared of the large, bustling crowd of strangers on his first trip away from home. He was headed to Nashville to play his part in the war effort, producing powder at DuPont.

An irritating vision kept awakening him on that night train from Memphis. Something horrible was going to happen. At 6 a.m. he left his seat and went to the passenger car behind his and, for no reason he could recall, he pulled the shade and waited.

The decisions made that morning would be played out for generations by survivors of the dead and descendents of the living.

Running late

The veteran engineers on both these trains were running late that morning. Engineer David Kennedy pulled his No.4 out of Union Station at 7:07 a.m., seven minutes late, while No.1 was chugging in from the west, 35 minutes late.

No.1 had the right of way so it was the trainmen of No.4 who had to keep a lookout for No.1 running past them on the double tracks heading into Union Station. If they didn't see No.1 before hitting a 10-mile stretch of single track west of the city's center, they must stop. Once passing that track fork, there was no going back.

As the trains rumbled forward, tower operator J.S.Johnson showed train No.4 a green sign from the tall, wooden tower, which ment all was clear. As he stopped to record it, "No.4 passed tower 7:15 a.m." his hand froze. He could find no entry that No.1 had passed. Johnson reported to the dispatcher who telegraphed back. "He meets No.1 there, can you stop him?" Johnson blew the emergency whistle but no one stood at the rear of doomed No.4 to hear it.

"Along about 6 that morning something kept tellimg me that something bad was going to happen," Scott told Nashville songwriter Bobby Braddock in 1983. Braddock had become fascinated with the event on Duchman's curve and interviewed survivors, such as Scott, on tape. "So about 6 that morning I came out of that coach, into the front of this coach. Instead of leaning over trying to get a little rest, I pulled the shade down over the glass."

Train No.4 snaked around the curve, blind to what was ahead, as No.1 approached the White Brige Road area. "He told me he was riding in the engine like he normally did," says Thomas Vester of Nashville, a nephew who was raised by Robert Corbitt, brakeman on No.1 that morning. "But he went to the rear of the train. Something just told him to go back there."

The end of the curve approached and the trains each chugged upwards at 60 miles per hour. A horrible sight appeared around the blind corner.

Two trains, one track.

Kennedy wildly pulled the brake lever. It was too late.

Oh my God!

The two 80-ton engines met, causing an explosive sound heard two miles away. The ground quaked and the waters of nearby Richland Creek trembled. The wooden cars crumbled and hurled sideways, hanging over the embankment. One train telescoped the other.



Date: 02/12/04 13:43
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: symph1

The Ashtabula, Ohio bridge collapse in 1876 killed around 90. I wonder why it's not on this list.



Date: 02/12/04 14:49
Not in the US but in the USSR
Author: parts545

Back about 10 to 15 years ago there was a pipe line that broke near Siberia filling a valley with fuel and 2 crowded passenger trains met at the broken pipe and sparks from the overhead centenary set off a blast that killed at least 600
The pipe line operator had lost pressure and instead of shutting the pumps down he increased the pressure creating a lake of fuel.
Many were burned beyond recognition.



Date: 02/12/04 16:10
Re: Not in the US but in the USSR
Author: ChS7-321

parts545 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Back about 10 to 15 years ago there was a pipe
> line that broke near Siberia filling a valley with
> fuel and 2 crowded passenger trains met at the
> broken pipe and sparks from the overhead centenary
> set off a blast that killed at least 600
> The pipe line operator had lost pressure and
> instead of shutting the pumps down he increased
> the pressure creating a lake of fuel.
> Many were burned beyond recognition.
>

Read a short "memo" about this accident some time ago. Few comments:

1)This definitely happened post-Soviet Russia. (1993 or 1994)
2)The two trains were the reverse sections of one route.
3)600 seems a little too high for the number KILLED. I will try to find out more.



Date: 02/12/04 20:04
Re: Not in the US but in the USSR
Author: ConductorAl

Basically, the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway collision was the result of poor operating practices. While conducting their investigation, the ICC inspectors learned that the train and engine crews and operators at Shops Junction had not been observing a company bulletin that forbid westbound trains from leaving Shops Junction unless the engineman went to the tower to check the train register to determine that all eastbound trains had arrived REGARDLESS of the signal indication displayed (this signal also served as a train order signal). Instead, the crews had gotten in the practice of proceeding on the operator's word that all trains had arrived instead of stopping and checking the train register themselves (as the rules required). In the ICC report, the towerman and enginemen of No. 4 were found at fault for the actions previously mentioned while the conductor of No. 4 was faulted for delegating the responsibility of looking out for No. 1 to his inexperienced flagman. A contributing factor was that the line on which the collision occurred (like most of the NC&StL system) did not have a block system in place. It should be noted that at that time, there had been other head on collisions on the NC&StL at other locations for similar reasons. Ironically, the locomotives involved in this collision were sister locomotives Nos. 281 and 282.



Date: 02/13/04 02:58
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: csxt4617

symph1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Ashtabula, Ohio bridge collapse in 1876 killed
> around 90. I wonder why it's not on this list.

There was a wreck on the old L&N on July 6, 1944 of a troop train that killed 35 (33
troops and the engineer and fireman) near Jellico TN. Sort of have a personal
connection to this one, as my dad's stepdad was one of the troops who died.



Date: 02/13/04 05:11
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: gladhand

csxt4617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> symph1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The Ashtabula, Ohio bridge collapse in 1876
> killed
> > around 90. I wonder why it's not on this
> list.
>
> There was a wreck on the old L&N on July 6,
> 1944 of a troop train that killed 35 (33
> troops and the engineer and fireman) near Jellico
> TN. Sort of have a personal
> connection to this one, as my dad's stepdad was
> one of the troops who died.

A book (She Jumped The Tracks) by John P. Ascher investigates this accident. Purchased a copy from him on an N&S fall foliage excursion in 1994.



Date: 02/13/04 07:44
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: rresor

One other result of the Malbone Street wreck was that New York State outlawed the operation of wooden cars in the subway. BMT's wood cars were thus restricted to the Brooklyn "els", some of which (Myrtle Ave., for example) wouldn't support steel cars.

Eventually the els that remain in service were strengthened to support steel cars.

Two former BMT wood cars still remained when I worked at NYCT in the 1980s. They were at Coney Island, nicely painted in gray and cream. I suppose they're in the Transit Museum now.

The curve where the derailment occured is still an active route. The Franklin Avenue Shuttle operates from Fulton Street to Prospect Park on the Brighton Beach line. The southbound shuttle track enters a tunnel, ducks under the Brigton Line, and curves sharply to reach the southbound local platform at Prospect Park. That's where the derailment occurred.

The Fulton Street el to which the Franklin Avenue line connected is gone, replaced by the Independent Subway (built 1940) under Fulton Street. There is still a free transfer available from el to subway.



Date: 02/13/04 11:30
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: AMW Engr

How about Mobile Alabama, 1993???



Date: 02/13/04 19:52
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: csxt4617

AMW Engr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How about Mobile Alabama, 1993???

ummm, it was in the list already mentioned.



Date: 02/16/04 18:42
Re: worst US rail disasters
Author: InsideObserver

>July 9, 1918, Nashville, TN: 101 killed in a two-train collision

This is the worst /raidroad/ accident to date in terms of fatalities. One train overran a meeting point at the end of double track, and the other collided with it head on within the Nashville City limits. This happened during WWI, so news about it was rather hushed up. The aforementioned subway one is the worst /transit/ accident.



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