Whitesboro, NY Train Wreck, Feb 1905


Engine Boiler Explodes as Two Expresses Pass Each Other.


Two Railroad Employes[sic] Instantly Killed and Over a Score of Passengers Hurt Near Utica.

UTICA, N. Y., Feb. 4.---Two railroad employes[sic] were killed and Supreme Court Justice Warren B. Hooker, was among over a score of persons more or less seriously injured in a remarkable accident to two trains that occurred at Whitesborough, three miles west of this city, at an early hour this morning.

As the Chicago express was passing the special from Buffalo, both going at full speed, the west-bound engine exploded. A sleeping car of the other train, which was exactly opposite, was hurled from the track a distance of 100 feet, tumbling over and over in its flight, while the engine, tender, and twelve remaining cars were blown from the rails as if the whole had been a toy train.

The rear Pullmans were toppled into a ditch to the side of the track, but the forward cars had been hurled into an adjoining field at distances varying from ten to forty feet. Several flew from the supporting trucks and wheels and plowed deep into snow banks, while the engine's boiler went hurtling through the air and landed on the east track just behind the point where the Buffalo special had stopped.

John Allen of Albany, the engineer of the Chicago Express and John Brenan, also of Albany, the fireman, were instantly killed.

The knowledge that an accident had happened came to the sleeping passengers on the west-bound train when the cars slowed down with a suddenness and shock that threw the occupants of the berths backward with great force, in some cases tossing them out to the floor.

In the intense gloom of the early morning the more serious plight of the east-bound express was not observed immediately, but when the situation became known the crew and many passengers hastened to the rescue. The roar of the explosion awakened near-by residents, who also assisted in relieving the imprisoned and terrified passengers. Sleighs were procured, and several of the injured were taken to the Whitesborough Sanitarium. The work was carried on in a freezing atmosphere, which benumbed the feet and hands, and caused great distress to such of the rescuers from the west-bound train as had responded only partly clothed.


Read another article about the train wreck (below)