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Train Derailments/Accidents/Incidents - *Photos & Videos*

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A tough night on the railroad. Four years before it would help open the new overpass through downtown Fort Wayne, Nickel Plate Road no. 767 sliced through a Wabash passenger train in New Haven on July 15th, 1951 at just under 60MPH. The wreck claimed four lives and seriously injured the crew aboard the 767. The Wabash train had mistaken the Nickel Plate's green signal for its own and proceeded through the crossover. It was the second wreck in 14 years at the site before the mainline was realigned to ease its sharp curve into town.



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On December 18, 1940, Northern Pacific No. 235, the Logan-Butte stub train, was running at 60 mph about halfway between Three Forks and Willow Creek, MT. The crew was Engineer Joe Jondrow, Fireman Lloyd Baxter, Conductor Ernie Summers, and Brakeman J. W. Hill. The train consisted of this Class Q-5 engine, no. 2238, an RPO, two baggage cars, one coach, and one tourist sleeper.

At 5:55 a.m., just after the train had passed milepost 9, the left back side rod broke and the rear section of it swung about the No. 3 pin and punched holes in the inside and outside throat sheets. What happened next happened fast and it was ugly...

The contents of the boiler escaped through these holes to the atmosphere and into the firebox, where the two left and right rows of arch brick were blown down and the dump sections of the grate across the back of the firebox were blown open, permitting escaping steam and water to enter the ashpan and into and around the cab. Basically, this action instantly wrapped both engineer and fireman in live steam and burning coal. NP used mostly lignite and it pretty much burned in suspension. Think of it this way: the breach of the boiler blew live steam and much of the firebox's contents into the cab.

Joe Jondrow and Lloyd Baxter were suddenly on fire and being scalded. They both jumped from the cab at 60 mph, that's how desperate they were. The train line hadn't been broken, nor had Jondrow even had time (or the presence of mind) to make a brake application, so the train continued on with nobody in the cab. It coasted about a mile before finally coming to a stop. As the train coasted, the broken side rod continued its gyrations about the pin, breaking off various pieces of piping while also striking the ties and right-of-way at intervals--finally shearing off the air compressor bracket from the boiler and throwing it and the compressor 50 feet to the left of the track and some 2,000 feet west of where the sheets had been punctured. Train line air flowed back into, or toward, the main reservoir as a result, helping finally to bring the train to a stop.

Conductor Ernie Summers found Engineer Jondrow lying dead some 2,000 feet west of the point of the accident and on the north side of the track. He had essentially been burned alive. Fireman Baxter was found on the south side of the track at about the same point, but alive and severely burned. He was taken to a hospital and died 20 hours later.



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By the looks of the diesel, I wouldn't know what it hit? The counter weight on that digger looks to be the answer? and then maybe the boom swung into the diesel's side???

Probably a good result for what could have happened??

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