Burlington, NJ Train Wreck, Aug 1855

Burlington, NJ Camden & Amboy Train Wreck, Aug 1855



We find the following particulars of the late dreadful accident on the Camden and Amboy Railroad, Wednesday night, in the Philadelphia papers of Thursday:

The train of cars which left Philadelphia, at 10 o'clock, consisting of five passenger cars, baggage car and locomotive had reached Burlington just before 11 o'clock. It then stopped, waiting for the arrival of the 8 o'clock New York train, from Jersey City, which passes at this place. After waiting from five to ten minutes and the New York train not appearing, the Philadelphia train went forward slowly, watching for the approach of the downward train. It had gone forward about a mile and a quarter, when the New York train came in sight. The whistle for the brakes and to reverse the engine, was blown, and the Philadelphia train commenced backing, and soon got under rapid headway for Burlington again. In this reverse movement, the passenger cars, usually placed behind and coming after the locomotive, were now in front, and pushed forward by the locomotive. The engineer being with the locomotive, of course had not the advantage of seeing what was ahead of the backward going train. He had run but a quarter of a mile, and a mile from Burlington, when the first passenger car came in collision with a light pleasure wagon, driven by DR. HANNEGAN, of Columbus, N.J., who attempted to cross the track in front of the cars.
The wagon contained DR. HANNEGAN, his wife and two children. The former, it is said, is hard of hearing, and by this infirmity caused an accident nearly similar, but not so fatal, near Beverly, about a year ago. The doctor had seen the cars pass as he was driving down the road and supposing all safe, neglected to keep a proper lookout. The first passenger car struck the two horses in the wagon, just as they were crossing the track, killed them instantly, and threw one thirty feet on one side of the track, and the other forty yards on the other side. The wagon was turned round and upset, none of its inmates being injured, except in slight bruises. The front car, A, after striking the horses, ran forward, and off the track, about one hundred yards and over a small embankment. The second car, B, was thrown directly across the track. The third car, C, went through car B and stopped diagonally across the road, the fourth car, D, followed and ran into C. The fifth passenger car and the baggage car stopped without leaving the track. The two latter were not injured, but three of the other passenger cars were knocked to pieces, and many of their occupants were killed, wounded and maimed.


Read another article about the wreck (below)