Naperville train disaster
|Naperville train disaster|
|Date||April 25, 1946|
|Rail line||Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad|
|Operator||Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad|
|Type of incident||Collision|
|Cause||Insufficient warning of stopped train|
|Trains||Advance Flyer and Exposition Flyer|
The Naperville train disaster occurred on April 25, 1946, at the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad station in Naperville, Illinois when the railroad's Exposition Flyer rammed into the Advance Flyer, which had made an unscheduled stop to check its running gear. The Exposition Flyer had been coming through on the same track at 85 miles per hour (137 km/h). 45 people died, and some 125 were injured.
According to initial interviews with the train crew, engineer W. W. Blaine of the Exposition Flyer (who survived with a fractured skull) immediately applied brakes upon seeing the first of two warning signals, but it was still too close to the first train to stop in time, and was still traveling in excess of 60 mph (97 km/h) when it struck the rear of the Advance Flyer.
This crash is a major reason why most passenger trains in the United States only travel at a speed limit of 79 mph (127 km/h) or below. The CB&Q, Milwaukee Road, and Illinois Central were among railroads in the region running passenger trains at up to and above 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in the 1930s and 1940s. The Interstate Commerce Commission ruled in 1951 that trains traveling faster must have "an automatic cab signal, automatic train stop or automatic train control system", expensive technology that was implemented on some lines in the region, but has since been mostly removed.
Sixty-six years after the crash, The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing (www.napervilletrainwreck.com) was written by Chuck Spinner in 2012. The book gives the background of the disaster and relates the stories of all 45 victims.
- "Naperville, IL Disastrous Train Wreck, Apr 1946". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- William Wendt (July 30, 2007). "Hiawatha dieselization". Yahoo Groups. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- John Gruber and Brian Solomon (2006). The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-2395-3.
- "Ask Trains from November 2008". Trains Magazine. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
- "49 CFR 236.0 - Applicability, minimum requirements, and penalties". United States Code.
- Photos of the Day: Naperville, Illinois Rail Disaster (1946)
- Naperville, IL Disastrous Train Wreck, Apr 1946
- Photos from the Naperville Train Crash of 1946
- Interstate Commerce Commission Formal Accident Report 
- More Photos of Crash
- The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing website (www.napervilletrainwreck.com)
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