Brattleborough, VT Train Wreck, Aug 1886



BRATTLEBOROUGH, Vt., Aug. 18.----An accident occurred on the narrow gauge railroad here to-night, in which the engineer of a train and one passenger were killed and seven other passengers were seriously injured. The scene of the accident was one mile from the village, at the mouth of West River, where a bridge, constructed of wood and iron, 200 feet long, spanned the stream 60 feet above the water. The bridge broke down under the weight of a mixed train, consisting of six flat and two box cars and one passenger and baggage car, all of which went down with the structure, burying the engineer under the locomotive in 15 feet of water. The train was loaded with granite, lumber, and smaller freight all of which is a complete wreck in the river. The passenger car and the two box cars went down 35 feet with the trestle work anchored to the pier at the north end of the bridge. Among the injured are the following:

J. J. GREEN, station agent at Newfane, internally injured; has since died.
E. M. Butler, station agent at Wardsborough, spinal injury; recovery doubtful.
A. B. Ashley, station agent at West Dummerston, compound fracture of the right leg.
J. B. Worthern, conductor, ankle injured.
Michael O'Conners, brakeman, leg broken and head cut.
Mrs. Hildreth, of Hinsdale, N. H., two ribs broken.
Mr. Hildreth, husband of above, cut about the head.

The body of the engineer, H. A. Smith, cannot be recovered until the wreck is removed. Ned Prentiss, the fireman, who went down with the engine had been submerged. The wounded were taken to the Congregational Chapel. Local physicians are in attendance upon them and they are being tenderly cared for by ladies of the town. Three or four other passengers escaped with slight injuries. The bridge was built by C. E. Danforth & Co., of New York. It was designed for locomotives of 18 tons weight and cars of not over 10 tons weight although it is said that trains of nearly twice the weight named have been run over it since the opening of the of the road is 37 miles, the terminus being Londonderry. The road was built by towns along the route, and it under lease to the New-London Northern Railroad Company, which sublets the line to the Vermont Central Company. On taking possession of the road the engineers of the latter company, after a careful inspection, pronounced the bridge safe. The ill-fated train was not heavily loaded, and the accident was undoubtedly caused by the breaking of irons supporting the structure or by the giving way of rotten timbers.

The New York Times, New York, NY 19 Aug 1886