Baker's Bridge Station, MA Train Wreck, Nov 1905
16 KILLED, 25 HURT IN BLAZING WRECK
Montreal Express on Boston and Maine Hits a Local Train.
COLLISION DUE TO THICK FOG
Heavy Weather Hides Lights of Local Train---Quick Rescue Work By Survivors.
LINCOLN, Mass., Nov. 26.---Sixteen per-persons[sic] were killed, twenty-five were badly injured, and probably a score of others received minor hurts in a railroad wreck which occurred at 8:15 o'clock to-night at Baker's Bridge Station, a mile and a half west of Lincoln, on the main line of the Fitchburg Division of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The regular Sunday night express which left Boston at 7:15 o'clock for Montreal, by way of the Rutland system, crashed into the rear of an accommodation train bound for points on the Marlboro branch line, and which started from Boston at 7:15 o'clock.
Of the dead a dozen were passengers in the two rear cars of the Marlboro train. The other two were Engineer Barnard of the Montreal express and his fireman. No passenger on the express was injured. Of those who lost their lives a number were apparently killed instantly in the collision, while others were either burned to death by the fire which ensued, or died from suffocation.
A partial list of the dead is as follows:
WILLIAM J. BARRIS, Maynard.
Three-year-old child of Mr. Barris.
EUGENE BARNARD, engineer of the Montreal train.
______ LYONS, fireman of the Montreal train.
ANNA HILLBRIDGE, aged 5 years, Acton; died in Pullman car of the express shortly after being taken from wreckage.
DANIEL WEATHERBE, Acton.
MAY CAMPBELL, Maynard.
MAY COLLINS, Concord Junction.
NELLIE SWEENEY, Concord.
Seven unidentified bodies.
On account of the heavy traffic the local train was delayed, and it was about six minutes behind time when it stopped at the little station. It was known that the Montreal express was due, and persons who were at the station say that a trainman was sent back to set a torpedo and a red light.
The night was unusually dark, partly owing to a dense mist which came up the Sudbury River. According to those at the station at the time, the light had not been set more than a minute before the roar of a heavy train around the curve a short distance from the station was heard. Within a few seconds the headlight of an on-rushing locomotive penetrated the mist and the two ponderous engines of the express train traveling at an estimated speed of 33 miles an hour, with nine cars behind them, crashed into the local train.
The impact was so terrific that it was heard by persons living a mile distant. The leading locomotive telescoped the rear car of the Marlboro train and the second engine forced the demolished mass against the third car of the local and completely wrecked it. In those two cars all but two of the fatalities occurred and practically all of the injuries.
The forward locomotive of the Montreal train was destroyed. The engine following, although considerably damaged, did not leave the rails. One of the cars of the express was thrown from the track, but the collision apparently had little effect upon the passengers. They stated afterward that the shock was comparatively slight.
Within two minutes following the collision the firebox of the battered engine communicated flames to the wreckage of the passenger coaches and several passengers, who had been pinned in the broken seats and by fragments of woodwork, perished. Some of the passengers had been killed instantly, but just how many escaped death from the flames in this way could not be told to-night.
The second car of the local train remained standing on the irons and was not greatly damaged. The engine of this train escaped the wreck.
Passengers from both trains, railroad employes[sic], and villagers rushed to the wrecked cars and assisted many persons to escape. The flames made it difficult to reach some who were alive, but who evidently had been unable to free themselves from the mass. For a time it was necessary to lay injured persons side by side with bodies of the dead, until every effort possible had been made to rescue other victims.
After some delay messages were sent to Boston, Waltham, and Concord for doctors, nurses, surgical appliances, and wrecking trains.
Several of the bodies were badly disfigured. Thirteen of the dead were sent to Boston on the special train, together with fourteen of the most seriously injured, of whom it was feared that three would die within a short time.
The majority of those injured were women. During the evening a large number of inquiries were received by the railroad officials from friends of persons who were supposed to have been on the Marlboro Branch train. Large crowds visited the scene of the wreck, and it was apparent that many of those at the station were looking for friends or relatives.
The officials of the Boston and Maine Railroad will make an immediate inquiry into the cause of the collision. Whether the proper signals were sent at a safe distance or whether they could be seen in time by the engineer of the Montreal train cannot be told at this time. The District Court will also hold an investigation.
All the sixteen bodies have been taken from the wreck. Three of the sixteen were alive when taken out, but death ensued soon afterwards.
The New York Times, New York, NY 25 Nov 1905