Bessemer, PA (near) Freight Train Wreck, Sep 1906

Heart Lake PA train wreck 9-5-1906.jpg


Dashing down the siding extending from Bessemer to Covert's Station, a Pennsylvania freight train left the track at the derail in front of the station at Covert's Station about 10 o'clock Wednesday morning, and missed by a narrow margin colliding with eastbound passenger train number 234, due at Lawrence Junction at 9:57.
In charge of Engineer HITE, Fireman HUBER and Conductor WADDELL, a special train was sent out from Mahoningtown to care for extra traffic on the Bessemer run. When about to leave the quarries, the engineer lost control of his machine, and the heavy train dashed down the siding. The grade at this point is especially steep, and in spite of the efforts of both engine crew and trainmen, the train steadily gathered momentum, and ran the length of the grade to Covert's, a distance of about 4 miles.
Narrowly escaped leaving the track at several curves, the train still refused to respond to the endeavors of the frantic crew to stop its progress.
On account of the fact that it is necessary to save all the air to make the stop at the end of the siding, it is customary to use the hand brakes for almost the entire distance.
Finally as the train neared the end of the switch, and seeing that it would be an impossibility to stop its wild journey, the crew jumped, and thus escaped injuries other than a few bruises. The engine left the track at the derail, and the engine and 8 cars were piled up in the ditch. East bound passenger train No. 234 had passed this point but a few minutes before, and if the wild freight had arrived two minutes sooner it would have wrecked the passenger by a side-swipe.
The Lawrence Junction wrecking crew were on the scene within a half hour after the accident, and at first concentrated their efforts to getting the tracks in shape for travel. The main line traffic was blocked for more than two hours.

New Castle News Pennsylvania 1906-09-05