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Albany, NY area Spuyten Tayvil Creek Train Wreck, Jan 1856

ANOTHER BRIDGE CATASTROPHE !!

FRIGHTFUL RAILROAD ACCIDENT.

New York, Jan. 14.
The down train from Albany, on the Hudson River Railroad, met with an accident last night of a frightful character. Whilst crossing the bridge at Devil Creek, the locomotive, two baggage cars and one passenger car went through the bridge into the river. One engineer and one fireman, and a small boy are missing, and no doubt have been drowned.

It was briefly mentioned yesterday that the train on the Hudson River Railroad, which left Albany on Sunday afternoon, met with a serious accident, the bridge at “Spuyten Tayvil Creek” having given away, precipitating two engines, two freight cars, the mail and baggage car and one passenger car into the water. It occurred at 2 o'clock on Monday morning. Both engines, with one passenger car and two baggage cars were smashed. HARRY DAWSON, the engineer of the first engine, was badly scalded, as was also the fireman on the same engine. DAWSON is a brother to the engineer that was on the train at the time of the Poughkeepsie disaster.
MR. GEO. UPTON, the messenger of Wells, Butterfield & Co.'s American Express, was among the injured. He was severely bruised -- his ankle dislocated and one of the small bones of his leg was broken. He had in charge nearly a million of dollars, but notwithstanding his severe injuries he refused to leave his Express and remained in the cars seven hours in the cold with the Express matter. No instance of courage and endurance like that has ever been on record.
The south end of the bridge that runs over the creek gave way. It appears that large quantities of heavy ice had been banging against the piles all night, and injured them to such a degree that when the engine was passing over the south end its heavy weight caused it to give way.
When the bridge gave way, the forward engine, as it went over, struck a bank about half its length from the bridge and immediately it rolled over and fell partly into the river.
The tender of this engine dropped into the river and disappeared. The rear engine also dropped into the water, while its tender threw a complete somerset, and followed the engine, disappearing altogether from the view. The two freight cars followed the tender of the first engine, one of which entirely disappeared, and of the other only a part is to be seen. The baggage car fell on top of the tender and then turned up and immediately dove and stood perpendicular in the water.
The first passenger car dropped off the bridge endwise, striking the end of the baggage car that was already in the river, and then stood perfectly perpendicular. This car was full of passengers, all of whom were pitched helter-skelter.
The second passenger car did not run entirely off the bridge -- part rested on the track and part hung over the end of the bridge.
The last car is not materially injured, however, its seats are all more of less broken, ripped or torn up. The engineer and the fireman in the rear engine were both killed. The engineer's name was GEORGE PARIGEN. The engineer and the fireman on the forward engine are both severely injured, burnt, scalded and otherwise hurt.
Old and experienced railroad men, who have seen many railroad accidents, say this wreck presents a sight never before equaled in the way of the pilling up of cars, engines, &c. A train with thirty cars had only a few hours before this accident occurred crossed over safely.

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article | by Dr. Radut