St. Johnsville, NY Train Runs Into Landslide, Apr 1887



Albany, April 19. -- The Western express on the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, due in this city at 2 o'clock A. M., ran into a landslide at a bend in the road about midway between East Creek and St. Johnsville last night. The earth became loose last evening and slid down, covering all four tracks for a distance of 120 feet to a depth of from four to six feet. The midnight express came thundering along at the usual rate of speed. East Creek was passed on time, 11:45 o'clock, and the first indication of any trouble was the severe shock felt through the train by the engine plunging inito the mass of clay and dirt. The engine then lunged sideways, broke from her couplings, and rolled down the embankment into the swollen Mohawk River.
Seven of the eight cars were deraiiled. EDWARD KENNAR, the engineer, was instantly killed, and EUGENE WILEY, the fireman, had a leg broken. KENNAR had been employed by the road for 30 years, and was considered one of its most faithful attaches. He resided in West Albany, and leaves a widow and a daughter aged 20 years.

Utica, N. Y., April 19. -- Wrecking trains with large gangs of men were sent to the scene of the wreck near St. Johnsville as soon as possible after the accident, and by 9 A. M. track No. 3, the west-bound freight track, was clear. The fast Chicago and St. Louis express, No. 5, from New York, due in Utica at 12:30 A. M., was the first to come west, reaching here at 9:35. An east-bound engine running light, and following the wrecked train, brought the sleepers and drawing room car, with such passengers as desired to return, to Little Falls as soon as the derailed cars were placed on the track. Superintendent PRIEST subsequently took such passengers as desired to connect for New York back to the landslide, which had in the meantime been made passable for pedestrians, and they were transferred to train No. 29, coming west, which then returned to Albany. The only passenger injured was GEORGE VAN ALLEN, of Oneida, and his wounds are not serious.
Great credit is given to Conductor DOXTATER, of the wrecked train, for his successful efforts to stop express train No. 5, from the east, which was done within seven car lengths of the landslide. Engineer KENNAR'S last words were: "Boys, flag the trains."

The New York Times New York 1887-04-20