Atlantic City, NJ Train Wreck, Jul 1896

He was running the express, which leaves Philadelphia at 5:40 p.m., and is due here at 6:56. He ran across the meadows at the rate of 40 or 50 miles an hour, and came in sight of the excursion train just as the latter pulled ahead at the crossing. He doubtless was unable to distinguish upon which track the special was running. His only guide as to what he should do was the light in the tower.

GREINER, holding the throttle on the other engine, knew that both trains must go over the intersection. He got the white light to go over first, so the living say, and tried to make the go. He failed, and one of the worst railroad collisions of modern times passes into history.

Striking the excursion train obliquely as it did, just as the engine and first car had cleared, the big Reading locomotive crashed thro [sic] and crumbled up the remaining five cars, and, having performed its horrible work, toppled over, 30 odd feet away in the marsh.

[illegible] ENGINEER'S STORY.

CAMDEN, N.J., July 31 - JOHN GREINER, the engineer of the Bridgeton excursion train, brought his locomotive to the round house in this city shortly after midnight and later he was interviewed at his home. He said: "My train left Atlantic City at 6:40 o'clock. It was about two minutes later when we reached the drawbridge. Just as we were leaving the drawbridge I looked out of one of the cab windows and saw the Reading express flying shoreward. It was then probably about two miles away. There was a Camden and Atlantic City accommodation train running in the same direction that the Reading flyer was going. From what I could observe the trains were racing. I looked up at the tower and saw that I had a clear track. The signals are interchangeable and the fact that white was against me threw the red against the Reading express.

As the express came thundering down upon the crossing, I saw that a collision was unavoidable. "My God, Horace," I said to my fireman,"he's not going to stop." Then I left my seat and jumped quickly upon the engine's steps. For an instant I was undecided whether to jump or not. Something prevented me from jumping, however, and I sprang quickly into the cab again. The next minute the collision came. Had I followed my first impulse and jumped I would have been crushed to death alongside the track."

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1896 Atlantic City NJ Train Wreck

My great-grandparents, Job and Mary (McConnell) KIGER were passengers on this excursion train that crashed. Mary suffered a serious back injury from which she never fully recovered. Job passed away in 1899 supposedly his death was hastened due to crash and worry about his wife's injuries.