Bridgeport, CT Train Wreck, Jul 1911
EXPRESS WRECK COST 12 LIVES
Worst Disaster in Recent History of New Haven Road.
DEAD ENGINEER IS BLAMED
Scores of Passengers Were Injured, Among Them Being Several Members of the St. Louis National League Baseball Team.
Bridgeport, Conn. -- Twelve persons were killed and fifty injured in one of the most disastrous wrecks on the New Haven railroad when the heavy night train, known as the Fedral[sic] Express running between Washington and Boston, left the rails at the Fairfield street embankment while running at fifty miles an hour or more, and crashed down twenty-five feet into a stone abutment. Of the train, which consisted of six Pullmans, a day coach and one baggage coach, only three cars were left on the track. Some of the Pullmans were smashed to pieces and caught fire, and the bodies of some of the dead were burned almost beyond recognition.
Among the passengers were twenty-two members of the St. Louis National League baseball team on the was from Philadelphia to Boston. They were in two Pullmans at the rear of the rain which remained on the track. None of the players was injured.
At least 150 persons were on the train at the time. Some of them were from Washington, some from Philadelphia, and some from New York.
When the wreck occurred six of the nine sleeping cars composing the train rolled off a viaduct thirty feet in height at Fairfield avenue. One of the cars fell squarely on top of another and crushed it as hough[sic] it had been an egg shell.
All of the 150 passengers had been injured to some extent. Most of those on board were promnent[sic] in one way or another.
The injured, many of them beyond all medical aid, were removed to St. Vincent's hospital, Bridgeport, and the Wright hospital. Persons near the scene of the catastrophe threw open their homes to the less severely hurt.
The train was an hour late and was running fast to make up for lost time when it approached the viaduct at Fairfield avenue. The time of the wreck was placed at 3.30 o'clock a. m. There is a tower at the viaduct from which signals are given to passing trains. What happened when the Federal Express came along will probably not be known until after an official investigation. Either the tower-man threw a crossing switch which swung the train from one track to another, or the train ran into an open switch and was hurled from the rails.
There was first a rumble and then a great roar and crash and the heavy tarin[sic] plunged down the embankment 400 feet beyond the trestle. The locomotive, one of the biggest on the road, smashed into a great stone abutemnt[sic], shattering huge pieces of rock from it and throwing it many yards away. First the baggage coach, then the Pullmans followed the locomotive, and the cars were piled one on another in a tangled mass.
The work of identification was necessarily slow. Most of the passengers in the sleepers were asleep and wore only thir[sic] nightclothes, and thre[sic] wer[sic] no marks to til[sic] who they were. Others were burned beyond recognition.
Th[sic] following is a list of the known dead:
CHRISTIE, C. W., Philadelphia.
CURTIS, ARTHUR M., New York, engineer of the Federal Express.
ROGRS[sic], MRS. GWENDOLYN, and infant son, of Washington, D. C. MRS. ROGERS was traveling with her husband, Sergt. GEORGE E. ROGERS, U.S.A. , and two children, second child uninjured.
RYAN, WALTER A., New York, fireman of the Federal Express.
SAUNDERS, GEORGE, Norwich, Conn.
WALLCOTT, HELENA B., Washington, D. C., wife of CHARLES D. WALCOTT. Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1911-07-14
[Transcriber comment .. may be the worst spelling I have seen in an article of this size !!!]