Winsted, CT Freight Train Wreck, Jan 1895


Freight Train of 13 Cars Piled in a Heap on the New England Near Winsted

Winsted, Conn,. Jan 28 -- The worst wreck the Philadelphia, Reading and New England Railroad has experienced in years occurred at 4:10 this afternoon, two miles west of here, when east-bound local freight No. 22 in charge of Conductor Thomas Burns and Engineer John McMahon, both of Hartford, composed of 15 cars and a caboose, left the rails on a curve. Thirteen cars were piled up and jammed into one mass of twisted iron. The engine ran off the rails for 200 feet beyond the wreckage, and Engineer McMahon, his fireman, Louis Brande of Hartford, Brakeman William Loomis and Flagman John Gurke were injured. Brakeman Michael A Granville and William H. DeMunn were bruised and cut. Granville was taken out from under a pair of car trucks. DeMunn was taken to the Hartford Hospital, with hands injured and perhaps both men are internally injured. Engineer McMahon and Conductor Burns think a brake shoe on the box car behind the engine dropped, causing the car to jump the rails, pulling the engine off.

The train was running down grade 15 miles an hour. At the time of the accident all the train men were on top of the cars attending to the brakes, and the accident threw all the brakemen except Granville a distance of 29 feet into the meadows.

Fourteen cars were smashed beyond usage. The loss is estimated at $40,000. Passenger trains transfer at the scene of the wreck. A Hartford wrecking crew arrived about 8 o'clock, but the road will be blocked all night and probably all day tomorrow. Cars were piled into the air 25 feet. The train consisted of 14 loaded and one empty car.

Boston Journal, Boston, MA 29 Jan 1895