New Hamburg, NY Broken Axle Cause Train Disaster, Feb 1871



The Train Enveloped in Flames.

An Express Train Rushes into the Burning Mass.

The Engine, Baggage and One Passenger Car Wrapped in Flames.

Twenty of Thirty Passengers Burned Up.


From the Albany Journal, Feb. 7.
The Hudson River Pacific Express train left New York last evening at 8 o'clock. It was composed of an engine, baggage car, an express car, five sleeping cars and an ordinary passenger car. The engine was driven by DOC SIMMONS. PETER VOSBURG was the sleeping car conductor.
The night was clear, and the run to the point where the accident occurred was made on time.
The train reached New Hamburg about ten o'clock. As it was approaching that place a freight train was observed moving toward it at the usual speed and in order. But when the trains were within, perhaps, half a mile of each other, the exle of one of the oil cars broke, several of the cars were thrown across the track upon which the express train was moving at a speed of forty miles an hour, and, in an instant, the oil ignited and enveloped the entire freight train in flames.
At this moment, the Express train dashed into the broken and burning mass. The collision occurred upon the bridge at New Hamburg, and the engine, with the baggage cars and the first sleeping car, were thrown over the bridge on to the ice -- a distance of about six feet. As they fell, an oil car toppled over upon them, the oil, inundating the sleeping car, immediately ignited, and, in a moment, it was completely enveloped -- the flames leaping up seemingly a hundred feet in the air.
All the other cars kept upon the track, but the front of the second sleeping car received some of the burning fluid, and took fire also. Those occupying the front berths were in imminent danger, but were fortunately extricated in their night clothes, without material injury.
All the other passengers in this car escaped without injury, being able to leave by the rear door before the flames had made any serious headway.
The passengers in the other cars all escaped, with only such slight bruises as resulted from the rebound of the collision.

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