Alexandria, MN Train Wreck, Dec 1892


A Freight Train Crashes Into a Caboose in Minnesota.

A frightful accident occurred on the Great Northern Railroad at Nelson station, five miles east of Alexandria, Minn., in which eight men were killed and five were seriously injured. There had been a collision on the morning before at Nelson and a number of cars were wrecked. The wrecking train had been there two days and was making up preparatory to pulling out for the East. About 1 o'clock in the morning the wrecking train caboose was left standing on the main track with a number of cars. An east-bound freight was due about 1 o'clock and had orders to side tracks for the passenger train due there at 1:20. The fireman on the freight tells the story as follows:
There is a heavy grade west of the station, and as the freight with thirty-six cars, under charge of Conductor WILLIAM NICKEY and Engineer JAMES MALONEY, approached the switch, steam was shut off and brakes called for. There was no perceptible decrease of speed, and Conductor NICKEY climbed out of the caboose, where he was, and began setting brakes, but the speed was too great to stop. When within a train length of the caboose they saw the track was full ahead, and both engineer and fireman jumped. The engine struck the wrecked train, and threw the caboose on top of the next car, setting both on fire. There were fourteen men in the caboose.
One jumped off, five were wounded, three were burned beyond recognition, and four were killed. One other was burned and nothing of his body was found.
The killed are:
NELS O. DOKKEN, Nelson; CHRIST. And OLE MATTENSON, Ossakis; JOHN ENGSTRAND, Spruce Hill; JOHN AKERSON, Spruce Hill; ENGSTRAND'S nephew, name Unknown; CON BRUMMER, Yankton, South Dakota; One Unknown.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1892-12-23