List of rail accidents (1900–29)

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This is a list of rail accidents from 1900 to 1929.



February 20, 1900 Dublin.


  • June 8, 1901 – United States – A double-header freight train collides with a stopped freight train carrying 12 tons of dynamite on the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad in Vestal, New York. Five people are killed, and seven are injured.[10][11]
  • July 4, 1901 – United Kingdom – A North Eastern Railway freight train ran off the end of a loop line and was derailed at Harperley, County Durham.[12]
  • October 29, 1901 – United StatesLinwood, North Carolina. The second of two northbound special trains carrying part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show towards Danville collided head-on with a southbound Southern Railway freight train carrying a load of fertilizer. The engineer of the southbound train had been ordered to yield to the northbound traffic, but did not understand that there were two trains, setting up the head-on collision with the second train. The resulting crash severely injured Annie Oakley and killed many famous show animals, domestic and exotic, including 110 horses total.[13]
  • November 27, 1901 - United States- Adrian, Michigan Collusion of two trains of the Wabash Railroad One mile east of Seneca, Michigan. The west bound train was carrying Italian Immigrants going west from New York. Estimates of casualties ranged from 12[14] to 23[15] to 50-80[16] to 100 dead[17] with at least 50[18] to 125 injured.[19] The Unknown dead were buried in Adrian's Oakwood Cemetery; the gravesite was marked September 25, 2016.[20]
  • December 6, 1901 – GermanyFrankfurt Central Station. The luxury train Ostend-Vienna-Express, about 90 minutes late, reached the Frankfurt Terminus at about 5 a.m. The air brake failed due to a faulty valve which remained closed.[21] The locomotive over-ran the buffer stop, shot across the head of the platform and crashed through the opposite wall behind which the restaurant for 1st and 2nd class passengers was situated. There it came to a stop in midst of the tables covered with white table cloths and set for breakfast. The photograph of this scene became a favourite in most publications on the history of the Frankfurt Central Station. Nobody was hurt in the accident. In this early morning hour not many people were around, and the carriages of the Ostend-Vienna-Express had separated from the locomotive and remained on the rails. After a short time they were on their way to Vienna again. Some of the sleeping passengers hadn't even noticed the incident.[22] The Ostend-Vienna-Express carried through-coaches between Ostend and the Orient Express.
  • December 22, 1901 – United Kingdom – Liverpool, Dingle railway station. The line of the Liverpool Overhead Railway (LOR) to Dingle railway station was worked by electrically powered trains. Access to this underground station was through a tunnel about half a mile long. On December 22, 1901 an engine of a train caught fire and the train stopped about 80 yards before reaching the station. Soon all the train was on fire as well as the station. Six people died. This was the first major accident caused by an electrically powered train.[23]
  • Unknown exact date. 1900 or 1901. Tallulah Falls Railroad. A raging fire destroys most of the city, as well as the tall wooden bridge which bisected the city. Though the exact cause is never determined, it is widely believed that sparks from a passing wood-burning locomotive caught the roof of a nearby house on fire, and the fire spread. Eighty percent of the city is burned to the ground, with only the station, and a few brick buildings surviving.


Train Wreck Brindisi Italy 1902
  • January 8, 1902 – United StatesNew York City, New York: A stopped New Haven express train from South Norwalk is rear-ended in the Park Avenue tunnel by a New York Central White Plains local, due to smoke and snow obscuring signals. Seventeen persons were killed and 36 injured, the worst rail accident in New York City history. The accident inspired the State Legislature to pass a law the next year prohibiting steam operation within the tunnels of New York City on the Park Avenue line south of the Harlem River.[24]
  • September 11, 1902 – India – A mail train plunges into a river at Mangapatnan due to a bridge washout. At least 100 people are killed.[25][26]
  • December 6, 1902 – CanadaHalifax, N.S., Six persons were killed in a wreck on the Inter-Colonial, the Canadian Government railway, at noon to-day near Belmont Station, seventy miles from Halifax. The Canadian Pacific express for Montreal rolled down an embankment, completely wrecking the locomotive, the postal, express, and baggage cars and several passenger cars.[27]
  • December 20, 1902 – Byron Springs, Contra Costa County, California, United States: The south-bound Stockton Flyer crashed into the rear of the disabled Los Angeles Owl, killing 20 and injuring 25. Both trains had departed from Oakland, California. Prominent California lawyer Frank Hamilton Short and journalist Chester Harvey Rowell were passengers on board the Owl. Neither was injured.[28]
  • December 24, 1902 – United Kingdom – A Glasgow and South Western Railway freight train is derailed at Carlisle, Cumberland due to the driver mistaking a siding for a running line.[29]
  • December 27, 1902 – CanadaWanstead, Ontario. On the Grand Trunk Railway near Sarnia, a west-bound passenger express collided head-on with a freight train. Around thirty people were killed.[30]


  • January 28, 1903, 3:30 am – United States – In what was later called the Esmond Train Wreck 14 people, including the engineers of both trains, are killed when the Benson, Arizona bound Crescent City Express (No. 8) collides head-on with the Tucson, Arizona bound Pacific Coast Express (No. 7). A communication error was determined to be the cause of the wreck—Night operator Clough is said to have admitted that he did not deliver a second order to Conductor Parker, which would have superseded the previous order for the Crescent City Express (No.8) to proceed to Vail Station. Had the second order been delivered, it would have allowed the Pacific Coast Express (No.7) to pass unscathed.[31][32][33]
  • July 15, 1903 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is derailed at Waterloo, on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, due to excessive speed. Seven people are killed and 30 are injured.[34]
  • July 27, 1903 – United KingdomGlasgow St Enoch rail accident, Scotland: 16 killed when a train crashed into the buffers.
  • August 1, 1903 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is run into by another train at Preston, Lancashire.[35]
  • August 10, 1903 – FranceParis Métro train fire, France: electrical fire on the Paris Métro near Couronnes station, 84 killed. This led to the adoption of multiple-unit train control (with a low-voltage control circuit) and a second, independent power supply for station lighting.
The aftermath of the Wreck of the Old 97.
The first coach of the Big Four special, where the Purdue football team was seated, lies crushed between the second coach and a coal tender.
  • October 23, 1903 – Hebron, Indiana Pennsylvania Railroad One of the worst wrecks in the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Head-on collision.
  • October 31, 1903 – United States – The Purdue Wreck, Indianapolis, Indiana: A Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad football special carrying the Purdue University football team and fans to the annual Indiana University / Purdue University football game collides with a coal train. Seventeen passengers in the first coach are killed, including 14 members of the football team.
  • November 14, 190 – United States – The crew of a broken down train at Kentwood, Louisiana fail to protect it. A following train runs into the rear; 32 people are killed and many more are injured.[37]
  • December 2, 1903 – Two trains collided in the town of Greenwood, Delaware during a blinding snowstorm, one loaded with cars of dynamite and naphtha, a petroleum liquid used to make lighter fluid. The result was a violent explosion that rained fire down upon the town, killing two people and injuring dozens, while leveling every building in the area of the wreck and setting several fires including 9 houses, the schoolhouse, a hotel, and numerous freight cars. Reports were that every pane of glass in every building in the town was broken. The explosion was felt across Sussex, Kent, and Caroline counties, but help was not quick to arrive as the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company would not be established for another 20 years and all phone and telegraph lines in the town had been severed by the explosion. Eventually crews from Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. and Harrington Fire Company, Inc. arrived the next day to find the explosion had cut a hole big enough to bury the freight engine, homes literally turned on their sides from the blast, and much of the town destroyed, burned, or damaged. Over a week later, the Washington Post would report that it was not dynamite, but a secret military explosive that was loaded on the train and had caused the explosion, as investigators found the damage to be far too great for the reported contents of the train. The freight car in question had been loaded by the government and was en route to a facility in Newport News, Virginia containing, "a quantity of new explosive, a terrible instrument of death"
  • December 23, 1903 – United StatesConnellsville train wreck near Connellsville, Pennsylvania kills 66 people as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Dequesne Limited runs into timber dropped from a freight train.
  • December 23, 1903 – United Kingdom – A Hull and Barnsley Railway passenger train collides with wagons on the line at Locomotive Junction, Springhead, Northumberland.[38]




  • March 16, 1906 – United States – Two passenger trains are in a head-on collision between Adobe and Florence, on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, due to a train dispatcher's error. Thirty-four people are killed.[52]
  • April 6, 1906 – United Kingdom – A passenger train derails and fouls the adjacent line at Kirtlebridge, Dumfriesshire. The wreckage is run into by another passenger train. One person is killed and several are injured.[53]
  • June 26, 1906 – United StatesCarson Hill, California, A four car freight train on the Sierra Railway's Angel's Branch carrying 15 Tons of dynamite exploded. The blast of the explosion was reportedly heard in Stockton, California, 80 miles to the east and a wheel from the boxcar carrying the dynamite was found embedded in the roof of a shed 5 miles away, 2 killed (2 crew).[54]
  • June 30, 1906 – United KingdomSalisbury rail crash, Salisbury, England: Racing express train derails, then collides with a milk train on a sharp curve, 28 killed (24 passengers, 4 crew).
  • August 13, 1906 – United StatesElizabeth, New Jersey, Four boys were killed on the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks by an Eastbound Express. The accident occurred where three levels of tracks crossed over Broad Street.[55]
  • September 18, 1906 – Oklahoma TerritoryDover: Bridge across the Cimarron River collapses beneath a Rock Island train bound for Fort Worth, Texas from Chicago. The bridge was a temporary structure unable to withstand the pressure of debris and high water. Replacement with a permanent structure had been delayed by the railroad for financial reasons. Number of deaths is uncertain; estimates range from 4 to over 100.[56][57][58][59]
  • September 19, 1906 – United KingdomGrantham rail accident, Grantham, England: Evening sleeping-car and mail train from London to Edinburgh derailed, no definite cause ever established, 14 killed.
  • October 28, 1906 – United States1906 Atlantic City train wreck: On the newly electrified West Jersey and Seashore Railroad a Sunday afternoon passenger train, traveling towards Atlantic City, New Jersey at forty miles per hour, derails on a draw (swing) bridge over a deep tidal channel. The train bumps along the ties for 150 feet (46 m) before departing the bridge and plunging into deep water. Fifty-three die in what will remain the worst U.S. drawbridge accident until the Newark Bay, New Jersey rail accident of September 15, 1958.
  • November 24, 1906 – United Kingdom – A North Eastern Railway freight train runs into the rear of another at Ulleskelf, Yorkshire due to its driver racing a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway express passenger train on an adjacent line and not keeping a lookout for his signals.[60]
  • December 28, 1906 – United KingdomElliot Junction rail accident, Scotland; 22 killed.
  • December 30, 1906 – United States1906 Washington DC train wreck: A Baltimore and Ohio Railroad locomotive running at full speed plows into a passenger train that had just pulled out of Terra Cotta (now Fort Totten) Station along the B&O Metropolitan Branch, telescoping the rear cars and taking the lives of fifty-three passengers.


  • March 26, 1907 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is derailed on buckled track at Felling, County Durham. The signalman had been warned of the buckle by a member of the public but refused to be told to stop trains over the affected lines. Two people are killed and six are seriously injured.[63]
  • March 27, 1907 – United Kingdom – Two freight trains collide at Brocklesby. Lincolnshire.[64]
  • April 14, 1907 – Annsville, New York, United StatesBlossvale crash of 1907, a two steam engine sixty car freight train derailed killing one fireman.[65]
  • May 11, 1907 – United States – Passenger excursion train derails near Surf, California. 32 persons were killed and many others injured.[66]
  • June 1907 – United Kingdom – A luggage train is derailed by trap points at Silkstream Junction, Hendon, Middlesex due to the driver misreading signals.[67]
  • July 1907 – United States – A freight train and passenger train are in a head-on collision near Salem, Michigan due to an error by the freight train driver. Thirty people are killed.[68]
  • August 28, 1907 – United Kingdom – A North Eastern Railway freight train overruns signals and is derailed at Goswick, Northumberland. Two people are killed and one is seriously injured.[69]
1907 accident in New Hampshire
  • September 3, 1907 – Canada – Horseshoe Curve Wreck Canadian Pacific Railway – Between Cardwell and Caledon, Ontario. Seven people were killed and 114 injured (out of about 600) in the wreck, which was caused by high speed.
  • September 15, 1907 – United StatesCanaan, New Hampshire: Quebec to Boston Express wreck; 25 people killed, with nearly 39 injured. The southbound express (No. 30), heavily loaded with passengers returning from the Sherbrooke Fair, collided at 4:26 a.m. on a foggy Sunday morning with a northbound Boston & Maine Railroad freight train (No. 267). The accident, 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Canaan Station, was "due to a mistake in train dispatcher's orders." On March 17, 1907 Chas Anderson was killed due to an accident while working on the railroad. He left behind a wife Jennie and 3 children Otto, Loren, and Francis Anderson.
  • September 28, 1907 – United KingdomNewport rail accident, Newport, Wales: 1 killed.
  • September 1907 – United States – A freight train and a passenger train are in a head-on collision near Canaan, New Hampshire. Twenty-six people are killed.[68]
  • October 15, 1907 – United KingdomShrewsbury rail accident, Shrewsbury, England: Evening sleeping-car and mail train from Manchester to the west of England derailed, probably due to driver error, 18 killed.


  • February 2, 1908 – United Kingdom – The driver of a Great Central Railway train knocked himself and his fireman out when he sneezed. The train derailed due to excessive speed at Ryhill, Yorkshire.[70]
  • April 20, 1908 – AustraliaSunshine train disaster, Melbourne: Rear-end collision, kills 44 and injures around 400.
  • May 21, 1908 – Belgium – An express train is diverted into a bay platform at Contich, which is occupied by a passenger train, due to a signalman's error. Forty people are killed and over 100 are injured.[71]
  • August 25, 1908 – United States – Seaboard Railway Train Number 74. Lumpkin, Georgia. The heavy rain caused the tracks to cave in. It was 1:00AM in the morning and it was difficult to see. Both the engineer and fireman were killed. The train engine rolled over, however, the passenger cars remained in tack thus circumventing more deaths.
  • October 8, 1908 – United Kingdom – an overloaded North Eastern Railway freight train runs away and crashes at Masham, Yorkshire.[72]


  • January 14, 1909 – France – a train from Paris to Le Mans collides with another train. Orville and Katharine Wright were amongst the passengers.[73]
  • January 22, 1909 – United Kingdom – two Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway locomotives are shunted into a siding at Hindley & Blackrod Junction, Lancashire, but one of them is foul of a running line. A passenger train collides with it, killing one person and injuring 33.[74]
  • February 2, 1909 – "United States" – Two trains on the Seaboard Air Line Railway collided head on some six miles east of Abbeville, near Long Cane trestle about half past ten o'clock Tuesday night.[75]
  • March 5, 1909 – United Kingdom – A South Eastern and Chatham Railway passenger train overruns signals at Tonbridge Junction, Kent and is in collision with a mail train. Two people are killed and eleven are injured.[76]
  • April 2, 1909 – United Kingdom – The locomotive of a Caledonian Railway express passenger train loses a driving wheel due to the failure of its crank axle. The train is derailed near Crawford, Lanarkshire.[77]
  • May 29, 1909 – United Kingdom – A freight train is derailed near the Kilton Viaduct, Skinningrove, Yorkshire due to subsidence.[78]
  • August 8, 1909 – United Kingdom – A freight train is derailed on heat buckled track at Hartley, County Durham.[79]
  • August 19, 1909 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is derailed at Friezland, Cheshire. Both train crew are killed.[63]




Train wreck on April 29, 1911 in Martin's Creek, New Jersey




  • March 13, 1914 – AustraliaExeter crossing loop collision, New South Wales. A freight train entering the Exeter station collided head-on with a mail train being removed from the track in anticipation of the arrival of the freight train. Fourteen people were killed in the accident.
  • April 14, 1914 – United Kingdom – A North British Railway express passenger train collides with a freight train at Burntisland, Fife due to a signalman's error.[101]
  • June 17, 1914 – United Kingdom – An excursion train departs from Reading station, Berkshire against signals. An express passenger train is in a sidelong collision with it, killing one person.[102]
  • June 18, 1914 – United Kingdom – Baddengorm Burn, Carr Bridge, Scotland: Cloudburst washed away the foundations of a bridge, which collapsed as a passenger train crossed it. The train split in two, with one coach falling into the burn, drowning 5 people. [103]
  • June 27, 1914 – United Kingdom – A South Eastern and Chatham Railway passenger train departs from Cannon Street station, London against a danger signal and collides with another train. One person is killed.[99]
  • August 5, 1914 – United States – Neosho, Missouri, there was a head-end collision between a Missouri and North Arkansas gasoline motor car and a Kansas City Southern passenger train on the Kansas City Southern Railway near Tipton Ford, Mo., resulting in the death of 38 passengers and 5 employees and the injury of 34 passengers and 4 employees. The collision caused the pipes and tanks carrying the gasoline to burst, permitting its ignition, at once enveloping the entire car in flames, making the work of rescue impossible. Many of the passengers were burnt beyond recognition.


Train wreck-Fairfield Connecticut 1915
  • January 1, 1915 – United KingdomIlford rail crash, The 7:06 express from Clacton to London passed both distant and home signals. The express crashed into the side of a local train that had been crossing the tracks. 10 killed, 500 injured (including those reporting shock).
  • March 18, 1915 – United Kingdom – A Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway express passenger train overruns signals and is in a rear-end collision with an empty stock train at Smithy Bridge, Lancashire. Four people are killed and 33 are injured.[104]
  • May 22, 1915 – United Kingdom – In the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green, Scotland, a troop train collides with a stationary passenger train and another passenger train crashes into the wreckage, which also involves two stationary freight trains. The passenger cars are wooden-bodied and a serious fire ensues. The stationary passenger train was forgotten by a careless signalman, who had himself arrived on it, following improper operating practices during a shift change at this busy location. This is the deadliest railway accident in British history, with 226 fatalities and 246 people injured.
  • August 14, 1915 – United KingdomWeedon rail crash Express train derails after the track on the up main line is forced out of alignment by a detached coupling rod from a passing locomotive heading a down express. 10 passengers killed, 21 injured.
  • December 15, 1915 – United Kingdom – A landslide near Warren Halt, Kent buries three people. A South Eastern and Chatham Railway train is derailed inside Martello Tunnel. The line is closed until 1 August 1919.[105]
  • December 17, 1915 – United KingdomSt Bedes Junction rail crash, passenger train collides with banking engine in thick fog, 19 killed.


New Haven Railroad accident on February 22, 1916
  • February 22, 1916– United States – Connecticut: New Haven Railroad. Nine are killed.[107][108]
  • April 3, 1916 – United Kingdom – A London Brighton and South Coast Railway passenger train is derailed between Crowborough & Jarvis Brook and Buxted, East Sussex.[109]
  • June 2, 1916 - United States - Clarksville, Iowa: Rock Island Railroad passenger train No. 19 crashes at Flood Creek after bridge collapses. The normally shallow creek sustained significant rain the day of the crash, and the flooded creek caused the supports on the bridge to break. On the stormy night of June 2, 1916, as train No. 19 passed through Packard, and crossed Flood Creek on the bridge, the locomotive, tender, and several passenger cars made it across before the bridge collapsed on the rest of the train causing the immediate deaths of 16, and later the death of another passenger from his injuries. According to lifelong Clarksville resident, Francis Edeker, on the night of the crash, survivors of the crash on one side of the creek sought shelter at Francis's grandparents house where the survivors were treated for injuries.[110]



  • January 14, 1918 – United States – A Houston and Texas Central Railway passenger train derails at Hammond, Texas. 17 killed, 10 injured.
  • January 18, 1918 – United Kingdom – Two Cambrian Railways freight trains were in a head-on collision at Parkhall, Shropshire due to irregular operation of tablet instruments by signalmen at Oswestry North and Ellesmere Junction signal boxes. The design of the circuitry connecting the instruments and the weather were contributory factors.[114]
  • April 11, 1918, – France – Twenty-nine men of the 4th Battalion Kings (Liverpool Regiment) killed in a troop train explosion. They were buried in the military cemetery at Chocques in the Pas de Calais.[115]
  • April 15, 1918, – United StatesCentral Islip, New York (now Islandia, New York) – Long Island Rail Road troop train leaving Camp Upton derails at Foot's Crossing (now the NY 454 bridge). Originally believed to be a result of enemy sabotage, but later found to be caused by defective rails. 3 soldiers dead and 36 soldiers injured.[90]
  • April 18, 1918 – United Kingdom – A London Brighton and South Coast Railway freight train becomes divided with the result that four wagons come to rest in Redhill Tunnel, Surrey. A signalman's error allows the following train to crash into the wagons. The line is blocked for two days.[111]
Hammond Circus train wreck
Weesp, Netherlands.
  • September 13, 1918 – NetherlandsWeesp train disaster, Weesp, Netherlands. Heavy rainfall caused the embankment leading to the Merwedekanaal bridge to become unstable. When a passenger train approached the bridge the track slid off the embankment, causing the carriages to crash into each other and the locomotive to hit the bridge. 41 persons were killed and 42 injured. In the aftermath of the disaster, it was decided to establish a dedicated study of soil mechanics at the Delft University of Technology.
Getå Railroad Disaster October 1918.
The Malbone wreck train, November 1, 1918
  • October 2, 1918 - United States - A burning trestle over Cox creek, two miles north of Arcadia, Kansas caused the wrecking of Frisco Passenger train No. 101 at about 5 PM. Engineer A.F. McCullough and Fireman Charles Mahan remained at their posts trying to stop the train. McCullough and Mahan lost their lives but saved all others on board. The engine and coal tender collapsed the weakened bridge burying McCullough and Mahan in their cabs. The passengers escaped from their coaches before the entire train was consumed by fire.[118]
  • November 1, 1918 – United States – The Malbone Street Wreck occurs on the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) in New York City when an inexperienced motorman (pressed into service due to a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers) drives one of the system's subway trains too quickly into a very sharp curve, derailing the train in a tunnel, killing at least 93 and injuring over 100.


  • January 12, 1919 – United States – Genesee County, New York. The New York Central Southwestern Limited rammed the back of the Wolverine at South Byron. A Pullman sleeping car was pushed upward and fell on top of another Pullman sleeper, killing 22 people.[119]
  • May 5, 1919 – United Kingdom – A South Eastern and Chatham Railway freight train is in a rear end collision with another at Paddock Wood, Kent due to driver error.[120]
  • August 14, 1919 – United States – Wood County, West Virginia. A Baltimore & Ohio Railroad switching engine collides with a streetcar operated by the Parkersburg Interurban Trolley System carrying a number of children on a church picnic. 15 people were killed by scalding when the steam lines ruptured.[121]
  • September 1, 1919 – United States – Hubbard Woods crossing, Chicago, Illinois. A Chicago & Northwestern passenger train strikes Mary Tanner, a pedestrian whose shoe was caught on the rail while crossing the tracks, killing her. The impact also killed her husband William Fitch Tanner and grievously injured John Miller, a railroad flagman, when they refused to give up trying to free her.[122]
  • October 16, 1919 – United States – Marlboro, New Jersey. On the Freehold-Atlantic Highlands branch of the Central of New Jersey Railroad. Locomotive and Baggage car leave track. Train struck a truck at a grade crossing 300 yards west of the Marlboro NJ station. The train overturned with tracks torn off, the engine lay on its side. The forward cars were torn loose and were turned at right angles. Resulted in one death as the engineer, Michael Mooney was scalded to death.[123]
  • November 1, 1919 – DenmarkVigerslev train crash, Denmark: An express train collided at speed with a stopped train due to a dispatcher error. 40 people were killed and about 60 injured.
  • / December 20, 1919 – United StatesOnawa train wreck, Maine. A Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train running through Maine but between Canadian cities collides head-on with a freight train, killing 23.
  • December 22, 1919 – United States – Near Topeka, Kansas. Engineer David E. Hartigan, Sr., 23 years as an engineer for the Rock Island Railroad, was returning to St. Joseph, Missouri from Topeka, Kansas with a train load of Christmas shoppers, some even standing in the aisles. Every seat in the eight coaches were occupied. A freight train was accidentally sent on a collision course with the passenger train and they met near Elmont, Kansas. Mr. Hartigan stuck to his cab applying the brake until the collision. Mr. Hartigan was scalded to death. His sacrifice possibly saved 200 persons from death or injury. Forty people were slightly injured. No one was killed.[124]



  • February 14, 1920 – United Kingdom – Two North Eastern Railway freight trains are involved in a head-on collision near Goole, Yorkshire.[125]
  • March 14, 1920 – United States – Bellows Falls, VT.[126] The crew of a southbound freight incorrectly read the train order, confusing "Bartonsville" for "Bellows Falls". Instead of waiting at Bartonsville, they instead proceeded South, followed by a collision with a northbound passenger train at Williams River. 6[127] to 10 fatalities reported.[citation needed]
  • March 31, 1920 – United Kingdom – A North Eastern Railway passenger train is derailed at York.[125]
  • March 9, 1920 – United Kingdom – A Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway freight train becomes divided at Pendlebury, Lancashire. The rear portion runs away, pushing the banking locomotive downhill. They are derailed by catch points.[128]
  • March, 1920 – United StatesDeerfield, Illinois. A locomotive boiler explosion kills 1 and injures 3.[129]


  • January 26, 1921 – United KingdomAbermule train collision, Montgomeryshire, Wales: faulty operation of train tablet leads to head-on collision killing 17 people.
  • February 27, 1921 – United StatesPorter, Indiana over 37 people killed when the Canadian on the Michigan Central railroad and the Interstate Express on the New York Central Railroad crashed at a cross track. The Michigan Central Train, bound for Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec, overshot a block signal and derailed by a derailed device. the New York Central train crashed into the already wrecked Michigan Central train at 60 mph.[130]
  • September 18, 1921 – NorwayNidareid train disaster in Trondheim. Confusion and unfortunate circumstances lead to a head-on collision between two passenger trains killing 6.
  • October 5, 1921 – France – A collision between two passenger trains occurs in the Batignolles Tunnel, Paris due to a signalman's error. At least 28 people are killed in the ensuing fire.[131]


  • March 23, 1922, – United StatesAzusa, California, a passenger train was wrecked after hitting one of the city's steamrollers. The engineer and foreman were killed, while the stream roller driver jumped to save his own life.
July 31, 1922 wreck at Laurel, Maryland
  • May 1, 1922, – United StatesAlton, Illinois, C&A passenger train strikes fire engine on its way to a fire, at a grade crossing at 9th and Piasa Streets, Alton, Illinois, USA. The driver and officer on the fire engine seat were injured; two other firefighters jumped off. The fire engine, only a year old, was squeezed between the moving passenger train and a parked coal car, and was beyond repair. The broken pieces of the fire engine had to be hauled away in a truck, and a new fire engine had to be purchased to replace it. Alton Evening Telegraph, May 1, 1922.
  • July 2, 1922, – United StatesWinslow Junction Train Derailment, New Jersey: on the Philadelphia and Reading Railway's Atlantic City Railroad line near the Winslow Tower, at shortly before 11:30pm, a derailment of Train 33 with Philadelphia and Reading Railway Eng. No. 349. The final toll was 7 dead and 89 injured.[132]
  • August 21, 1922; – United Kingdom – A South Eastern and Chatham Railway passenger train departs from Milton Range Halt, Kent against signals and is in collision with another train. Three people are killed.[99]
  • December 13, 1922, – United StatesHumble, Texas: Traveling at moderate speed, Houston East & West Texas Railway passenger train No. 28, bound for Shreveport, sideswipes a light engine at Humble Station. The force of the collision breaks off the boiler check valve on the light engine; 22 are killed and 11 injured when high-pressure steam enters the first three-passenger coaches. Cause attributed to watchman error.


  • February 13, 1923 – United Kingdom – A London and North Eastern Railway express passenger train overruns signals and is on a rear-end collision with a freight train at Retford, Nottinghamshire. Three people are killed.[133]
  • March 30, 1923 – United StatesColumbus, Ohio, A westbound Big Four Flyer en route from Boston to Cincinnati hit an automobile at a grade crossing. the 3 occupants of the car were killed, along with the engineer, the fireman, and an editor for the Warren Democrat, another 14 were injured.[134]
  • April 15, 1923 – United Kingdom – A freight train is in a head-on collision with a passenger train at Curry Rivel, Somerset due to a signalman's error. Nine people are injured.[135]
  • July 5, 1923 – United Kingdom – A freight train and an express passenger train collide at Diggle, Lancashire, killing four people.[136]
  • July 6, 1923 – New ZealandOngarue railway disaster, New Zealand. Southbound express ploughs into mudslide killing 17. A railway worker in charge of a gang also died at the scene of cerebral haemorrhage – verified from news reports of the day.
1923 Nebukawa Train crash by Great Kanto earthquake


  • April 23, 1924 – Switzerland – Two passenger trains are in a head-on collision at Bellinzona due to a pointsman's error and the driver of one of the trains passing a danger signal. A lack of interlocking is a major contributory factor. Fifteen people are killed.[139]
  • April 26, 1924 – United Kingdom – A London, Midland and Scottish Railway electric multiple unit overruns signals and is in a rear-end collision with an excursion train at Euston station, London.[133]
  • July 28, 1924 – United Kingdom – A passenger train overruns signals and collides with another at Haymarket station, Edinburgh, Lothian. Five people are killed.[140]
  • November 3, 1924 – United Kingdom – The Lytham rail crash occurs when the lead tyre of a locomotive suddenly fractures. 14 people are killed in the subsequent derailment as the train hit a bridge and then a signal box.



  • March 14, 1926 – Costa RicaEl Virilla train accident, Costa Rica: A train falls off a bridge over the Río Virilla between Heredia and Tibás, resulting in 248 deaths and 93 wounded.[147]
  • May 26, 1926 – United Kingdom – During the General Strike of 1926, a London and North Eastern Railway passenger train is deliberately derailed by miners south of Cramlington, Northumberland.[148][95]
  • May 26, 1926 – AustraliaCaulfield, Victoria: Caulfield railway accident, night time collisions of a six-car electric multiple unit with another six-car electric multiple unit at Caulfield Railway Station resulting in three deaths and numerous injuries.[149]
  • June 7, 1926 – SpainBarcelona: The famous architect Antoni Gaudí was run over by a tram and died a few days later.
  • June 19, 1926 – United States – Just west of Manayunk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Mr. Charles Elliott, a laborer for the Pennsylvania Railroad, was struck and killed by the Passenger Extra 1524 Train at 13:26, traveling east, 550 feet east of the Miquon Station, the first station outside the Philadelphia city limit. He was 59 years old, single, and lived with his niece Ms. Andrews at Shawmont. He had worked for the Schuylkill Division for 35 years.[150][151]
  • August 7, 1926 – United Kingdom – Manors (East) station, Newcastle upon Tyne: Night-time collision of an LNER six-car electric multiple unit at 35 mph with a goods train at a junction injures a courting couple travelling in an otherwise unoccupied first-class compartment next to the luggage van. A search lasting several hours in the wreckage of the driving cab fails to find any trace of the driver, although the dead man's handle is discovered to have been tied down with two handkerchiefs thus allowing the multiple unit to proceed without a driver at the controls. The body of the driver is later found one mile further back, having been killed and dragged out of the luggage van door by impact with a bridge pier.[152]
  • August 13, 1926, – United StatesCalverton, New YorkLong Island Rail Road's Shelter Island Express train jumps the tracks and crashes into the Golden's Pickle Works factory, resulting in six deaths.[90]
  • August 30, 1926 – United Kingdom – A passenger train is in collision with a charabanc on a level crossing at Naworth, Cumberland due to errors by the crossing keeper and a lack of interlocking between signals and the gates, Nine people are killed.[140]
  • September 5, 1926, – United StatesWaco, ColoradoDenver & Rio Grande Western Railroad's Scenic Limited running southeast, exceeds the rated speed for this part of the tracks and crashes into the Arkansas River, resulting in 27 deaths and 50 injuries. Crash site is about 15 miles south of Leadville. Locomotive, tender, and six cars plunge into the Arkansas River. Crash report says that the engineer was attempting to make up time since the train was running 25 minutes late.[153]
  • September 8, 1926 – United Kingdom – The driver of a passenger train loses control on greasy rails and the train overruns buffers at Leeds.[154]
  • September 13, 1926 – AustraliaMurulla railway accident, Murulla: Goods wagons on a siding come uncoupled, roll down a slope and smash into an oncoming mail train, resulting in 27 deaths and 37 injuries.
  • September 23, 1926 – Japan – A Tokyo-Shimonoseki limited express derailed at Hataga river bridge at eastern Hiroshima, in an incident caused by heavy rain and flooding, killing 34, another 39 are injured.[155]
  • November 5, 1926 – United Kingdom – A milk train becomes divided near Bramshot Halt, Hampshire. Due to the failure of the guard to protect the train, a passenger train runs into it. One person was killed.[156]
  • November 19, 1926 – United Kingdom – A defective private owner coal wagon is derailed at Parkgate and Rawmarsh, Yorkshire. Further wagons are derailed and partly bring down a signal post. A passing express passenger train collides with the signal post, ripping out the side of the carriages. Eleven people are killed.[157]
  • November 24, 1926 – United Kingdom – A London, Midland and Scottish Railway passenger train overruns signals at Upney, Essex and is in a rear-end collision with another passenger train. Six hundred and four people are injured.[158]
  • December 23, 1926, Rockmart, GA, USA. The Northbound Ponce de Leon crashed head on into the Southbound Royal Palm, resulting in 19 deaths and 115 injuries. It was remembered later on as the world-famous folk song, "Wreck of the Royal Palm" by Vernon Dalhart.


  • February 14, 1927 – United KingdomHull Paragon rail accident: one signalman operates his lever too early, defeating the interlocking mechanism, just as another signalman operates the wrong lever. The resulting head-on collision kills 12.
  • February 27, 1927 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train is in collision with a light engine near Penistone, Derbyshire due to an error by the driver of the light engine.[159]
  • March 1927 – United Kingdom – a train is derailed at Wrotham, Kent.[156]
  • July 6, 1927 – ArgentinaMendoza, Argentina 30 Chilean army cadets are killed on their way to Buenos Aires.[160]
  • August 20, 1927 – United Kingdom – A passenger train derails due to poor track at Bearstead, Kent. The locomotive is repaired and returned to service on 23 August, but is involved in another accident the next day.[156][161]
  • August 24, 1927 – United KingdomSevenoaks railway accident: Water in the tanks of a locomotive sloshes so hard that the train derails, killing 13.



  • January 17, 1929 – United States – near Aberdeen, Maryland: Pennsylvania Railroad train bound for Baltimore rear-ends a freight, then a third train hits the derailed freight. 5 dead, 38 injured. An unlit semaphore stop signal was invisible in heavy fog. Bandleader Fletcher Henderson, traveling with several of his musicians, is among the injured but conducts an engagement in Baltimore that night.
  • January 1929 – United Kingdom – An express passenger train overruns signals at Ashchurch, Gloucestershire and collides with a freight train. Three people are killed.[168]
  • February 2, 1929 – United Kingdom – Due to a signalman's error, a passenger train is diverted into the bay platform at Bridgeton Cross, Renfrewshire and crashes into a horsebox. Many people are injured.[169]
  • February 12, 1929 – United Kingdom – A London Midland and Scottish Railway express passenger train is in a head-on collision at Doe Hill, Derbyshire due to a signalman's error. Two people are killed.[170]
  • June 9, 1929 – United Kingdom – a London and North Eastern Railway steam railcar 220 Waterwitch overruns signals at Marshgate Junction, Yorkshire and comes to stand foul of the main line. It is struck by an express passenger train.[171]
  • August 25, 1929 – GermanyBuir: The D29, running from Paris to Warsaw, derails some 300 metres west of Buir station, near the town of Düren. Due to ongoing construction work, the train is supposed to be diverted to a siding, but the train driver given wrong instructions in Düren notices the signal too late, entering the siding at 100 km/h instead of 50 km/h. 13 passengers are killed as the train derails, 40 are hurt. This led to the introduction of the La, the German railways' book of temporary speed restrictions on the network and the distant signals indicating to expect the home signal showing to slow down if necessary.[172]
  • October 4, 1929 – United Kingdom – The driver of a freight train passes a danger signal at Tottenham Hale, London. An express passenger train runs into it.[173]
  • November 20, 1929 – United KingdomBath Green Park runawayBath, Somerset, England: A freight train runs away and crashes in Bath Green Park goods yard, killing the driver and two railway employees in the yard, and severely injuring the fireman. The runaway was caused by the crew being overcome by fumes while travelling through Combe Down Tunnel.[174]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trevena 1980, p. 16.
  2. ^ Trevena 1980, p. 15.
  3. ^ Robertson, Kevin, "Odd Corners of the G.W.R.", The History Press, Stroud, England, 2010, ISBN 978-0-7509-3458-9, page 134
  4. ^ Trevena 1981, pp. 17–18.
  5. ^ "Whole Car Load Of Travellers Killed." New York Times 25 June 1900. Print.
  6. ^ Spence 1975, p. 76.
  7. ^ Hoole 1982, pp. 1, 8.
  8. ^ Trevena 1981, pp. 19–20.
  9. ^ Trevena 1980, p. 17.
  10. ^ Smith, Gerald (8 July 2015). "Vestal tracks site of death, destruction in 1901". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  11. ^ Hadsell, Margaret. "No. 10 Blown to Smithereens". Vestal Town Crier. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Earnshaw 1989, p. 5.
  13. ^ "Buffalo Bill Derailed in Davidson County," by Caron Myers (Our State: North Carolina)
  14. ^ Gendisasters New York Times Nov 27, 1901
  15. ^ Michigan Railroads
  16. ^ The Minneapolis Journal Nov 28, 1901
  17. ^ New York Times Nov 27, 1901 GenDisasters
  18. ^ New York Times Nov 27, 1901 GenDisasters
  19. ^ The Minneapolis journal., November 28, 1901, Image 1
  20. ^ The Toledo Blade Sept 25, 2016
  21. ^ Markus Meinold: Die Lokomotivführer der Preußischen Staatseisenbahn 1880 – 1914. Hövelhof 2008. ISBN 978-3-937189-40-6, p. 129.
  22. ^ Markus Meinhold.
  23. ^ Railways Archive
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  26. ^ "London, Monday, September 15, 1902". The Times (36873). London. 15 September 1902. col A-B, p. 7. 
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  28. ^ "18 Persons Dead". The Lewiston Daily Sun. December 22, 1902. 
  29. ^ Trevena 1981, p. 21.
  30. ^ Petrolia > Wanstead Ontario
  31. ^ "22 Dead; 45 Injured: The Estimated Casualties of the Southern Pacific Catastrophe Yesterday", Arizona Daily Star, January 29, 1903
  32. ^ "Story of the Esmond Wreck Vividly Told", Arizona Daily Star, February 1, 1903
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  37. ^ Kitchenside 1997, p. 27.
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  40. ^ Shelby County, OHio
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  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ Gendisasters Warrensburg MO Train Wreck Oct 1904
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  55. ^ The New York Times, Published August 14, 1906, "Fast Train Kills 4 Boys"
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  57. ^ "Dover". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
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  85. ^ "Burned In Wreck Of Excursion Train. Two Dead, Eight Missing, and More Than Fifty Injured at Martin's Creek, N.J.". New York Times. April 30, 1911. Retrieved 2013-12-02. Easton, Penn., April 29. A train, carrying 169 school teachers, friends, and relatives, bound from Utica, Syracuse, and Waterville, N.Y., to Washington, was hurled down a forty-foot embankment at Martin's Creek, N.J., nine miles north of this place, about 3 o'clock this afternoon. 
  86. ^ "INVESTIGATIONS OF RAILROAD ACCIDENTS 1911–1993". Interstate Commerce Commission Report. October 18, 1912. File Number 1-B. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  87. ^ Tuesday, July 11th from
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  93. ^ "Federal Inquiry In Glen Loch Wreck. Inter-State Commission Hurries Men to Investigate the Disaster That Killed 4 and Injured 40". New York Times. November 29, 1912. Retrieved 2014-01-03. Stirred by the wreck of the Pennsylvania express at Glen Loch, Penn., last night, when four persons were killed and more than two score persons were injured, Charles C. McChord, Inter-State Commerce Commissioner, who has charge of the commission's accident bureau, at once ordered Chief Inspector H.K. Belnap to the scene to investigate the accident. 
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  107. ^ "Three New Haven Trains Piled in Wreck". New York Sun. February 23, 1916. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  108. ^ "9 Dead, 65 Hurt In Triple Wreck On The New Haven". New York Times. February 23, 1916. Retrieved 2013-12-29. Local Train Smashes Into the Connecticut River Special Near Milford, Conn. Then Sidewiped By Freight. Running Back from Stalled Express to Signal, Flagman Is Killed Before Crash. Yale Alumni Aid Injured. Priests and Nuns Also Attend the Victims. Engineer May Have Run Past Block Signal. ... 
  109. ^ Hoole 1982, pp. 2, 19.
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  112. ^ "Modane, France (1917)". Danger Ahead!. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
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  116. ^ Hart, Peter, "1918; A Very British Victory", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, England, 2008, ISBN 978-0-297-84652-9, page 333
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  118. ^ The Fort Scott Tribune Oct. 3, 1918; The Sun Pittsburg, Kansas Oct. 3, 1918
  119. ^ <> "21 Killed in Sleep as Limited Rams the Wolverine; Southwestern Demolishes Rear Coaches of Waiting Train Near Batavia, N.Y. Steel Cars Telescoped All Passengers in Last One Meet Death or Injury in Mass of Tangled Metal. Officials Blame Engineer: Bay Plain Danger Signals Were Set but He Denies It—Both Trains from Here. Steel Car Ground Into Debris. Eight Bodies Identified. 21 Killed as Limited Rams an Express: Trainmen's Stories Vary". The New York Times. January 13, 1919. 
  120. ^ Earnshaw 1993, pp. 8–9.
  121. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  122. ^ "Wouldn't Leave Wife; Both Die Under Train: Husband, Failing to Release Her Foot from Rail, Refused to Save Himself.". New York Times. September 2, 1919. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  123. ^ Matawan Journal 10-16-1919
  124. ^ Newspaper article/obituary titled "Engineer Hartigan met hero's death. Sticks at throttle when two trains collide near Topeka, Kansas. Veteran employee of Rock Island Railroad had been with company for 46 years' continuous service – funeral tomorrow morning." Also the December 27, 1919 St. Joseph Observer Newspaper ran a story on it.
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  128. ^ Earnshaw 1993, p. 10.
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  137. ^ Casper Star-Tribune Online – Casper
  138. ^ Hoole 1982, p. 25.
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  140. ^ a b Hall 1990, p. 84.
  141. ^ Hoole 1983, p. 4.
  142. ^ Hallam, Greg (1999). "Chapter 3: The Sunshine Route – Brisbane to Bundaberg". Volume 6: The Sunshine Route – Brisbane to Cairns. SunSteam Inc. Archived from the original on 2003-04-11. Retrieved 2003-04-11.  Retrieved from the Internet Archive on 2006-06-09.
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  144. ^ DRGW.Net : ICC 1181
  145. ^ Gray, Edward (1998). Manx Railways & Tramways. Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7509-1827-5. 
  146. ^ "Twenty Killed in Train Wreck". Evening Independent. October 27, 1925. 
  147. ^ The Times March 16, 1926, page 16:'Costa Rica Train Disaster'
  148. ^ Hoole 1983, p. 44.
  149. ^ Kingston historical web site
  150. ^ Internal report from J.C. White to R.R.N, Pennsylvania Railroad, Norristown, Pa. June 19.
  151. ^ Internal note of testimony from E.H. Miller, C.F. Donohue. E.C. Paull to J.C. White of Pennsylvania Railroad, Norristown, Pa., June 19, 1926
  152. ^ British Railway Disasters. Shepperton: Ian Allan Publishing Ltd. 2004. pp. 190–192. ISBN 978-0-7110-2470-0. 
  153. ^ Haine, Edgar A. (1994). Railroad Wrecks. New York: Cornwall Books. pp. 104–106. ISBN 978-0-8453-4844-4. 
  154. ^ Earnshaw 1989, pp. 20–21.
  155. ^ Masao Saito: Japanese Railway Safety and Technology of the Day. In: Japan Railway and Transport Review 33 (December 2002), S. 4–13 (6f). (PDF-Datei; 2,41 MB)
  156. ^ a b c Earnshaw 1989, p. 22.
  157. ^ Earnshaw 1993, pp. 14–15.
  158. ^ Hall 1990, p. 85.
  159. ^ Hoole 1982, p. 26.
  160. ^ ¿Quién fue el responsable del desastre ferroviario de Alpatacal?
  161. ^ Gerard & Hamilton 1891, pp. 41–42.
  162. ^ [3]
  163. ^ a b Earnshaw 1990, p. 19.
  164. ^ Earnshaw 1993, p. 17.
  165. ^ Moody 1979, p. 37.
  166. ^ a b Trevena 1980, p. 35.
  167. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 21.
  168. ^ Trevena 1980, p. 36.
  169. ^ Earnshaw 1989, p. 23.
  170. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 22.
  171. ^ Hoole 1982, p. 28.
  172. ^ Hans-Joachim Ritzau: Schatten der Eisenbahngeschichte – Katastrophen der deutschen Bahnen. 1993. ISBN 3-921304-86-5; Peter Müllenmeister: Erlebnisse eines Buirer Eisenbahners in seiner 50-jährigen Dienstzeit (4. Eisenbahnunfall des D 23 Paris-Köln-Berlin-Warschau auf Bf Buir am 25. August 1929) – Eyewitness’ report by a railwayman then stationed at the station of Buir; Photographs of the accident.
  173. ^ Earnshaw 1990, p. 16.
  174. ^ Smith 1978, p. 87–88.


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External links[edit]