Woodbine, PA Circus Train Wrecked, Oct 1885



Philadelphia, Oct. 22 -- The first section of ADAM FOREPAUGH'S three circus trains was wrecked at 8:30 o'clock last night at Valley Creek switches, near Woodbine, a small station on the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and five of the eighteen cars in the train were smashed. It was daylight this morning when the unbroken cars resumed their journey to this city. Travel was delayed for five hours, and on both east and west bound tracks nearly a mile of passenger and freight trains was delayed on either side of the wreck. The accident was caused by a hot-journal, which culminated in the snapping of an axle on one of the trucks of a flat car. Three other flat cars were quickly piled on top of the first one with the broken axle, and a big stock car, containing 25 circus horses, jumped the track and toppled over on the west-bound track, tearing up the rails and ties for a hundred feet. In the card containing the horses one animal was killed and several injured. Twenty of the horses were taken into a farmer's barn at Malvern Station. The circus men had to cop the roof out of the car to extricate the frighterned animals that had got their legs tangled up so that they kicked each other in their frantic efforts to get free. The band wagon in which the musicians used to be perched, the chariot in which the Goddess of Liberty, wrapped in the Stars and Stripes, sat; ADAM FOREPAUGH'S buggy, and the beehive chariot that was drawn by eight ponies in the street parade will be seen no more. The Woodbine farmes will use these once gorgeous vehicles for firewood in the low-down grates this Winter, together with the remnants of four other wagons, four other flat cars, and the stock car.
The accident at Valley Creek switches makes the sixth smash-up of FOREPAUGH'S trains this season. Last Saturday, on the Wabash Road, two cars and three wagons were demolished, and nine valuable animals were killed. The stock claim agent of the road settled for the horses on the spot at $300 a head. A few weeks ago, out in Iowa, one of FOREPAUGH'S trains was wrecked and 20 cars were smashed. Three or four persons were killed and a number were injured. The three circus trains arrived at the Winter quarters, at Lehigh avenue and Edgemont street, at noon to-day.

The New York Times New York 1885-10-23