Shoemaker, NM Train Collision, Nov 1895


At Shoemaker Station on the Santa Fe road, above Las Vegas, the east bound "Flyer" and a freight train, on November 25th, came into collision and three men were killed and several injured.
The following account is taken from the Las Vegas Optic:

Train No. 4, east-bound passenger, consisting of mail, baggage, chair and dining cars, with two Pullman sleepers, in charge of Conductor M. C. Drury, and pulled by engine 826, T. J. Bourne at the throttle, collided just east of Shoemaker, with freight train No. 35, in charge of Conductor J. M. ROBB and Engineer J. G. Brown, with engine 392. Both engines were demolished, the mail car telescoped and completely wrecked, the express car badly damaged, while the chair car turned on its side, the dining and Pullman cars keeping the track. No freight cars were damaged to any considerable extent.
The accident was evidently due to train No. 32, being on short time to Shoemaker, although Engineer Brown says that he and Conductor ROBB, were positive that they had four minutes in which to make the siding. Even though this was the case, according to the rules of the Atchison system, all trains should clear on the side track five minutes before the passenger train is due to pass; and in case of short time, flagman should be sent ahead.
Those killed were H. G. RUSSELL and F. D. PITNEY, both mail clerks, residing at La Junta, Colorado and Conductor ROBB, who was probably chiefly to blame the accident, was so badly injured that he has since died. About a dozen other persons, mostly employees of the railroad company were more or less injured.
The accident caused a delay of about fifteen hours in the running of trains, and the mail on the train was badly damaged, some of it being entirely destroyed by fire.
The Optic says, "The saddest cases are those of the two mail clerks, H. G. RUSSELL and F. D. PITNEY, each about thirty years of age, PITNEY a little the older. They each had a family at La Junta; RUSSELL a wife and three children, PITNEY a wife and two. These men, too, were out of their run, having doubled back from Albuquerque, on the run of J. O. Woods and C. Jameson, taking this course that they might spend an additional day with their families."

The Eagle Silver City New Mexico 1895-12-04