Gallitzin, PA Train Wreck, Jan 1904

MATCHES SET FIRE TO WRECKAGE

Runaway Engine Crashes Into Rear of Freight in Upper Railroad Yard and Engineer William Burbank is Injured -–Three Cars Burned.

While Engineers William Burbank of this city, was bringing his engine, No. 1734, running light, off the mountain this morning, after assisting a passenger train to Gallitzin, something got wrong with the reverse lever and throttle near the “Big Pond” half a mile above BO office, and because the engineer could not work either of them, the engine ran away.

At the upper end of the yard was standing a PG-4 freight, the cabin of which had been switched to the [illegible] the freight itself wating [sic] for the block to be run to the classification yards, east of the city.

Into this train Burbank’s engine crashed, telescoping three cars loaded with merchandise and consigned to Altoona. Tobacco, law books, mattings, canned goods, etc., were scattered over the tracks.

The collision ignited some of the matches in one of the cars and they set fire to the wreckage. No. 6 fire company was called out but before they got into service the car had already been aflamed [sic]. They quickly extinguished the blaze.

Engineer Burbank had his back injured, but not seriously. His engine was pretty badly used up.

Altoona Mirror, Altoona, PA 22 Jan 1904