Acton, CA Train Wreck, Oct 1919


San Joaquin Flier, of Engine, Tender and Seven Cars, in

Accident 35 Miles North of Los Angeles. 


Engineer and Fireman Killed; Relief Train Huried [sic] to Scene, as Many Injured Reported in Serious Condition.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29. -- Late reports from Acton, Calif., where the San Joaquin flyer was wrecked this afternoon, were that at least six were killed and 120 injured.  Of the injured, only about 60 were expected to require medical attention.

The cause of the wreck, as stated by officials of the Southern Pacific, was at attempt of the engineer, Frank Feilder, who was killed, to round a 10 percent curve at a speed of 35 miles an hour, which was too great for the heavy train of 12 coaches.

The engine jumped the track at a curve going down grade and the baggage cars and coaches followed.  Three coaches slid beside the engine on the right side of the track, another went to the left and three others piled up at right angles across the track.  Four coaches, the dining car and three pullmans stayed on the rail.

May Be More Dead

The exact number of killed will not be known until the wreck is finaly [sic] cleard away tomorrow morning.  Some of the passengers asserted that from 10 to 20 lost their lives and one man declared he had counted nine bodies.

A relief train which arrived at the scene of the wreck from Los Angeles at 9:30 and was due back here about 12:30 a.m. bringing the bodies and some of the slightly injured.

The crew of the freight train which reached the scene about half an hour after the accident, assisted by uninjured passengers and doctors called from nearby points, placed the injured in the three pullmans which remained on the track.  The pullmans are being routed to Los Angeles by way of Mojave and Barstow and thence over the Santa Fe and were not due here until tomorrow morning.

Survivors Brought In

Survivors of the wreck and a few of the less seriously injured were loaded into the two cabooses of the freight train and rushed to Los Angeles by the freight engine.

The wrecked train was the "stub" operating between Los Angeles and the southern portal of tunnel 12, which is blocked by a cave-in.

All traffic on the valley lines below Marcell was tied up by the cave-in.  Northbound No. 159 did not leave tonight, and southbound No. 105 did not arrive until later.