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Nostalgia & History > City of San Franciso Wreck - 1939


Date: 09/10/19 18:09
City of San Franciso Wreck - 1939
Author: John

SFGate (The San Francisco Chronicle) has published a retrospective of the 1939 sabotage of the City of San Francisco in Nevada.

https://www.sfgate.com/sfhistory/article/city-of-san-francisco-train-derailment-unsolved-14425484.php?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/19 18:10 by John.



Date: 09/10/19 19:53
Re: City of San Franciso Wreck - 1939
Author: TCnR

Interesting last couple of paragraghs.

Thanks for posting this, I missed this on my usual scan of the internet.



Date: 09/10/19 20:56
Re: City of San Franciso Wreck - 1939
Author: kilroydiver

 I exchanged several emails (a long time ago) about this wreck with a gentleman that was a railroad accident investigator for many years. His conclusion on this wreck was that it was caused by excessive speed on a curve. The sabotage cover-up was a way for the company to save its hide. Dave 



Date: 09/10/19 21:09
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: Cupolau

If you can locate a copy of the book Tragic Train "The City of San Francisco" by Don DeNevi there is many interesting stories, photos and theories to what happened when 24 people lost their lives that August night in 1939. After reading what happened I wondered if this was a CYA by Southern Pacific  since there was no government transportation agencies at that time. The investigations were done by Southern Pacific. My copy is from Superior Publishing Company out of Seattle.



Date: 09/10/19 22:01
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: MojaveBill

Then again there was a war on at the time...

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 09/10/19 22:10
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: railstiesballast

The method used for the COSF was repeated with the Amtrak Sunset Limited on the Phoenix line.
I knew the SP Division Engineer there at the time and he affirmed that the derailment was caused by unbolted joint/displaced rail ends/jumper wire  that was claimed for the COSF.
Which does not answer the question about sabatoge vs. speed but there is another derailment that happened like the SP's story on the COSF.



Date: 09/10/19 23:09
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: davew833

I loved the Don DeNevi book-- I've immersed myself in it at the library on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, it's gained a reputation as "historical fiction" according to a number of reviewers, at least one of which claims to have spoken to the author himself who allegedly admitted to embellishing the truth. The photos and diagrams are incredible though.

https://www.amazon.com/Tragic-Train-City-San-Francisco/product-reviews/0875645259/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews



Date: 09/11/19 07:37
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: TAW

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The method used for the COSF was repeated with the
> Amtrak Sunset Limited on the Phoenix line.


...and BN (freight) No 82 at Snohomish Jct (WA) in ~1980 and was attempted again shortly thereafter east of the racetrack tangent east of Gold Bar. The outside rail of the curve was thrown to the outside to derail the east man. My colleague dived the east man at Gold Bar for the west. The perp apparently assumed that the "hotter" east man would go to Baring for the west. However, he failed to consider that the east man was less than an hour behind the previous east and had nowhere to go at Scenic (west end of the Cascade Tunnel). The engineer on the west man saw the setup and stretched the train, keeping it stretched over the gap, and stayed on the railroad.

There were other sabotage attempts within a few months, using other means, then they stopped. We referred to the incidents as the Phantom Trainwrecker.

The same method was used to derail C&O No 90 on BRC east of Belt Jct (Chicago) during a strike in 1968.

TAW

 



Date: 09/12/19 19:29
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: sp3811

The war hadn't reached the UK yet and was still over two years in the future for the US.
 



Date: 09/12/19 22:23
Re: City of San Francisco Wreck - 1939
Author: chakk

MojaveBill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Then again there was a war on at the time...

What war was that?  Train derailed on August 12.  Germany fired on Gdansk, Ploand on September 1.



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