Dubuque, IA Train Wreck, Sept 1887 - Investigation

Dubuque, IA Train Wreck, Sept 1887

Dubuque Wreck Investigation.

The Train Dispatcher Held responsible for the Disaster-Suits Against Railroads.

Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 22.-Special Telegram-The Railroad Commission this morning began an investigation of the cause of the recent disaster on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Road. Prominent witnesses before the commission were Train Dispatcher Rogers, who sent the fatal order, and Division Superintendent Underwood. Rogers said he endeavored to inform the conductor of train No. 4 that train No. 3 consisted of two sections, but the operator at Specht's Ferry was not in the office. He was not sure it would have availed anything if he had been there, as No. 4 had probably passed the station before his telegram reached it. The absence of the operator at Peru rendered it impossible to reach train No. 4. Regarding the change in the first order to the conductor of train No. 3, who refused to leave Dubuque until the order specified both sections of his train, Rogers could give no explanation of his ignorance as to the real situation, and why he did not hold No. 3 at Dubuque. Division Superintendent Underwood placed the responsibility for the accident on the train dispatcher for issuing indefinite orders, and on the conductor and engineer of train No. 4 for not obeying orders by waiting at Peru for the second section of No. 3 when the red flag was visible on the first section.

The railroad commissioners served notice on the agents of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul and the Illinois Central Companies of suits to be entered at the October term of court to compel them to obey the decision of the commissioners in the switching case.

Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 23 Sept 1887