Stonington, CT Train Wreck, Jul 1912

Stonington Train Wreck, photo from Stonington Train Wreck, photo from


Signal Out of Order on New Haven Road at Stonington.

STONINGTON, Conn., July 23.---An express train bound east over the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad crashed into a freight engine at the railroad yards at Stonington Junction, reducing both locomotives practically to scrap iron and considerably damaging rolling stock. Three men were killed and four seriously injured.

The dead are J. F. Conley of Boston, head brakeman on the freight train:
Cecil Cheney of Midway, an engine cleaner, and an unidentified man, believed to be a tramp.

The injured are Frederick G. Hadley of New Haven, fireman on the express, right hand and part of left hand cut off; Charles H. Mansfield of New Haven, engineer of the express, right side scalded; James Martinsen of Patterson, N. Y., a jockey, cuts and bruises, and Patrick Connell, a jockey, of Patterson, N. Y., cuts and bruises.

A part of the wreckage struck the signal tower, tearing out one corner and forcing Fred E. Wilbur of Stonington, the tower man, to jump for safety. The wreckage took fire.

In one of the wrecked cars were a number of polo ponies consigned to the Point Judith Polo Club at Narragansett Pier, and two of these were so badly injured that they had to be killed. In the other wrecked car of the express were three or four automobiles, and these were ruined.

Engineer Mansfield said that the first he knew of an impending collision was when his fireman yelled to him that the home signal was red, and told him he had better "pull up." He did so, and just before the crash they jumped.

An investigation of the signal apparatus showed that a wire between signals had broken, preventing the tower man from setting the distance signal against the express.

The New York Times, New York, NY 26 Jul 1912