Middletown, PA Train Accident, Feb 1912

Bravery of Switch Engine Driver Averts Serious Accident

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 20 -- The Pennsylvania special, east bound, the eighteen-hour flyer between Chicago and New York on the Pennsylvania railroad, ran into a draft of freight cars that had been shifted to the passenger tracks through an error, a short distance west of Middletown, nine miles from here, today. The engine of the special and the shifting engine handling the freight cars were demolished and two firemen were seriously injured. None of the passengers was hurt.
The accident was due to a brakeman of the shifting crew throwing a wrong switch, allowing the shifting engine to run on to the passenger track. When the engineer of the shifter saw the express bearing down upon him he reversed his lever and was running backward when the collision occurred. The engineer of the express said he was running sixty miles an hour, and that the action of the engineer of the shifter in reversing his lever and sticking to his post probably averted a worse accident. Both engineers were slightly hurt.

The Indianapolis Star Indiana 1912-02-21