Hiram, GA Train Derails On High Trestle, Jan 1908



Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 7. -- The second section of the Coliver Special, running from Cleveland, Ohio, to St. Augustine, Fla., was wrecked this afternoon between Dallas and Hiram, Ga., on the Southern Railroad. The accident occurred on a trestle 25 feet high, over the bed of Copper Mine Creek.
Five of the seven cars in the train were derailed, and a score or more passengers, most of them residents of Ohio, were injured. The only persons seriously hurt are Engineer EDWARDS, Road Foreman of Engines SNAPP, and a negro fireman, named EDWARDS, who will probably die.
The Coliver Special is an excursion train run every year from Cleveland, Ohio, to Florida points and Cuba under the direction of General Passenger Agent COLIVER of the Big Four System. It started from Cleveland yesterday at 12:25 P. M. in two sections. The train was late at Dallas, and it was nearly 8 o'clock this afternoon when the second section slowed down to cross the trestle at Copper Mine Creek.
The engine passed the bridge in safety, and then left the rails and turned on its side. The baggage car turned over on the bank. FIve heavy Pullmans following crashed through the trestle and fell to the bed of the creek. One car in the middle of the train broke in two through the strain, pinning down JACOB ROTH of Erie, Penn., and his wife. They were not seriously hurt.
On board the train were some 200 excursionists. That they escaped without fatal injury is considered remarkable. E. E. NORRIS of Atlanta, Superintendent of the Atlanta Division of the Southern Railway, sustained a fractured collar bone.
The accident occurred about 1,000 yards south of where the Seaboard Air Line crosses the Southern Railway tracks, on a bridge. A frieght[sic] train was passing on the Seaboard Air Line when the crash came, and the conductor of the freight saw the wreck. Running his train into Hiram, he sidetracked every thing but a caboose and one car, and ran these back to where the passengers were slowly extricating themselves from the wreckage. Forty of the passengers, most of them women, were brought into Atlanta over the Seaboard tracks.
A report that the train caught fire was denied by every one aboard. One of the Cleveland passengers bound for Cuba crawled from a window of the second Pullman.
"The minute I get back to Cleveland," he said, "I will give $1,000 to charity."
The trestle on which the accident occurred was about 200 yards long. The engine struck a telegraph pole beside the track, and for several hours no details of the wreck were available by wire.

The New York Times New York 1908-01-08


More on Coliver Special train wreck

The Feb., 1950 issue of "Railroad Magazine" has a much longer story by Herbert G. Monroe on this wreck, although it calls the Special and the Agent "Collver". It was reprinted in 1952 in "Tales of the Rails", published by The World Publishing Company.