Linden, MA Train Wreck, Jun 1892


Two Passenger Trains in Collision

One Locomotive and Two Cars Wholly Ruined.

Engineer and Fireman Hurt, but No One Killed.

One of the most serious accidents that ever happened on the Saugus Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad occurred last evening about 800 feet west of the Linden station, Malden.

Train No. 459, which leaves Boston at 5:30 P. M. runs to Cliftondale. It was a new train and this was its first trip. It was three minutes late and when it arrived at Linden station it was about 6:20. Most of the passengers had been left at the various stations between Boston and Linden, and after discharging its passengers at the Linden station the conductor had orders to leave several cars of his train, which were empty, on the Linden siding. The switch on the main track was thrown and the empty cars placed on the siding.

The engine Bangor No. 178, which was pushing the empty cars was midway on the switch when suddenly train 101, which left Boston at 5:55, approached around the curve at a high rate of speed. This train is express through Linden, and it crashed into Engine 178 about midway. The crash was terrible. The force of the collision threw the engine on train 101 over on her side and stove several holes in her boiler and completely stripped her, so she is fit for the scrap heap only.

The engine Bangor 178 was thrown from the track and dragged about 100 feet by the outward train, tearing off the cab and the running gear and completely wrecking her. Freeman Smith was the engineer on the second train and John Waterman was fireman. They did not have time to jump and Smith was severely burned by steam and badly bruised about the body and Waterman, the fireman, was badly cut about the head and body.

There were four cars on train 101, the first two of which were badly wrecked, every window being broken, and the passengers, about 50 in number, receiving a severe shock, several of them being cut by flying glass and splinters. The cars were thrown from the track and dragged about 200 feet. All escaped with very slight injuries except the engineer and fireman. The delayed passengers were taken by a following train so their destinations. Wrecking trains were sent from Boston and Beverly. The inward track was not blocked. When the engines collided the boiler of the engine on train 101 exploded, tearing up the ground and tracks and scattering the earth in all directions.

In less than 15 minutes hundreds of citizens were on the scene, all eager to render aid to any who might have been hurt. The engineer and fireman of engine Bangor escaped with slight bruises. The cause of the accident was the negligence of the conductor of the Cliftondale train to send a flagman to hold the express which was following them only a minute or two behind. The loss to the railroad company will be about $20,000.

Boston Journal, Boston, MA 28 Jun 1892