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Indiana R.R. Man
Look at 1853
Wed Mar 28, 2007 13:21
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1853
January 6, 1853 Andover, Massachusetts, United States: The Boston & Maine noon express, traveling from Boston to Lawrence, Massachusetts, derails at forty miles an hour when an axle breaks at Andover, and the only coach goes down an embankment and breaks in two. Only one is killed, the twelve-year-old son of President-elect Franklin Pierce, but it is initially reported that Pierce is also a fatality. He was on board but is only badly bruised. The baggage car and the locomotive remain on the track.
March 4, 1853 Mount Union, Pennsylvania, United States: A Pennsylvania Railroad emigrant train stalls on the main line with engine problems in the Allegheny Mountains near Mount Union, and when the brakeman sent to flag protect the rear of the stopped train falls asleep in a shanty, an oncoming mail train shatters the rear car, killing seven, most by scalding from steam from the engine's ruptured boiler, the highest single U.S. accident toll up to this time.
April 16, 1853 Cheat River, West Virginia, United States: Two Baltimore & Ohio passenger cars tumble down a hundred foot ravine above the Cheat River in West Virginia, west of Cumberland, Maryland, after they are derailed by a loose rail.
April 23, 1853 Rancocas Creek, New Jersey: Engineer of Camden & Amboy's 2 p.m. train out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania misses stop signals and runs his train off of an open drawspan at Rancocas Creek. Fortunately, there are no fatalities.
April 25, 1853 Chicago, Illinois, United States: An eastbound Michigan Central Railroad express bound for Toledo, Ohio, rams a Michigan Southern Railroad emigrant train at level Grand Crossing on the city's South Side at night. Twenty-one German emigrants are killed. The Michigan Southern engineer, who was running without a headlight, could have avoided the accident by either observing a stop signal or by accelerating his train, but did neither. Grand Crossing will be grade-separated after this accident.
May 6, 1853 Norwalk, Connecticut, United States: First major U.S. railroad bridge disaster occurs when a New Haven Railroad engineer neglects to check for open drawbridge signal. The locomotive and four and one half cars run through the open drawbridge and plunge into the Norwalk River. Forty-six passengers are crushed to death or drowned and some thirty others are severely wounded.
May 9, 1853 Secaucus, New Jersey, United States: A Paterson & Hudson River Railroad emigrant train has a cornfield meet with an Erie Railroad express in Hackensack Meadow near Secaucus, killing two brakemen, but no passengers.
August 12, 1853 Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States: Thirteen passengers are killed and fifty injured in a head-on collision on the main line of the Boston & Worcester between a seven-car excursion train with 475 on board, bound for Narragansett Bay via Providence, and a two-car train bound from Providence to Worcester. They collide at the Valley Falls station, near Pawtucket. Believed to be the earliest wreck photographed, with the daguerreotype taken by a Mr. L. Wright of Pawtucket forming the basis for an engraving a fortnight later in the New York Illustrated News.
5 October 1853 Straffan, Ireland; 16 killed after a rear-end collision when a train breaks down and the crew neglect to place any warning signals to the rear.
December 1853 Secaucus, New Jersey, United States: The same two trains that crashed on May 9, 1853, a Paterson & Hudson River Railroad emigrant train and an Erie Railroad express, collide again, within one mile of last spring's wreck site near Secaucus. A brakeman and one passenger die, 24 others are injured.

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