Greenville, NJ Passenger Train Wrecked, Jan 1885




Jersey City, Jan. 30. -- A serious railway accident occurred at Greenville, N. J., three miles west of this city, at 9:15 o'clock this morning.
The Philadelphia and Reading express, in charge of Conductor J. A. BEDELL, with Engineer W. AIKEN, left Philadelphia at 7:30. The train was composed of four cars, two coaches, a parlor car, and a combination smoker and express car.
Just beyond Greenville the forward trucks of the smoker left the rails and the car pounded along on the ties. As it passed the switch with a final bound it dashed into a train of loaded coal cars standing on the switch.
The whole side of the car was torn out and the furniture and fittings piled up in a confused mass upon the terrified passengers. The parlor car turned over on its side, and the next coach stood up on end, with the rear car partly under it.
About 70 passengers were on board and it is remarkable that many were not killed outright. As far as can be ascertained the injured are as follows:
W. CALHOUN, of Philadelphia, head cut severely, both thighs injured and severe internal injuries.
B. WINK, of Philadelphia, seriously cut.
J. KELLY, of Philadelphia, left arm injured.
J. T. HALLOWAY, of Philadelphia.
J. CONNELLY, of Philadelphia, shock and cuts.
E. C. NAPHEWS, Philadelphia, bruised and cut.
H. D. CORCORAN, Philadelphia, head cut.
CHARLES FRALLY, Bound Brook, cut and bruised.
H. C. WADE, Bound Brook, cut and bruised.
The rear brakeman broke the upper windows of the rear coach and helped out the passengers. The newsboy, D. CURRAN, said he was in the rear car, and after the car had bumped along for a few moments it stood up on end and then he fell over the stove and was pulled out of the window. The overturned stoves set fire to the wreck in several places, but was extinguished by the efforts of the brakeman and rescued passengers.
A Long Branch express train came along nine minutes after the disaster, but was stopped by a danger signal. A special train was sent out from Jersey City and brought back the passengers from the train.
Those from Philadelphia were all more or less the worse for their shaking up. Torn clothing, dirt-begrimed faces, with blood stains here and there, betokened the ordeal through which they had passed.
Several gentlemen who were cut and bruised severely refused to give their names for publication on account of alarming friends in this city.
The track is torn up for a considerable distance and the tender and cars are piled in a confused mass.
The cause of the accident cannot be ascertained, but it is certain that the cars were off the track for some distance beyond the switch, thus proving that the latter was not the cause of the disaster.
Mr. W. Seaman, of Bayonne, N. J., who was on the accommodation train which arrived within five minutes of the accident to the express, says that it was occassioned by one wheel of the tender leaving the track, which opened the switch so that the smoker switched off and ran into a coal train standing on a siding, dragging the other cars with it. The engine broke loose and ran a quarter of a mile before it was stopped. The smoker was completely wrecked, the Pullman car and three coaches following were badly smashed. Four coal cars were destroyed, and the coal was scattered over the ground for 50 yards.
The track was so badly torn up that it will require relaying at the place of the accident, and trains will consequently be badly delayed.
It now transpires that no one was killed in railroad accident here this morning. The wounded have all been placed in the hospital, and at last reports were doing well.

Biddeford Journal Maine 1885-01-31