Amsterdam, NY Train Wreck, Apr 1918


Engineer and Two Firemen Victims of Crash Near Amsterdam – New York Express Plunges Into Pile, but Passengers Escape.

Schenectady, April 8. -- One dead and sixty-one injured, was the toll of a wreck involving three trains, which occurred in Amsterdam shortly after noon today.

JOHN R. BOTT of No. 14 South Grove avenue, Albany, engineer of the Empire State Express, one of the trains, was blown out of his cab when the boiler of the huge locomotive exploded as a result of the wreck and his body was found 600 feet distant from the wreck.

WILLIAM BARRINGER, the Empire State Express fireman, who was also blown out of the cab, is in St. Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam, hovering between life and death.

EDWARD DAVIS of No. 1130 Midland avenue, Syracuse, engineer of train No. 16, an eastbound passenger train, is also in the hospital with a fractured skull, and little hope is held out for his recovery.

Sixty-one persons were treated at the Amsterdam City Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital, for injuries received. Most of them were lacerations, fractures and bruises, but among this number there are several who will be permanently injured.

The wreck, which was declared by railroad employees to be one of the worst in the history of the New York Central, occurred between Henrietta and Ann streets in the City of Amsterdam, opposite the Bowler Brewery, and about a mile west of the business center of the city.

A mass of distorted iron and steel, mixed with splintered freight cars, whose contents were strewn along the tracks, and the charred remains of several of the cars which caught fire, mark the scene of the wreck.

The Empire State Express was bowling along at a rate of between fifty-five and sixty miles an hour. A freight train eastbound on track four was progressing when suddenly one of the trucks of a freight car broke and the train buckled, throwing two of the freight cars across the rails of track two, directly in the path of the Empire State, which crashed into the freight.