Historic Wallace Idaho

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1913 Train Wreck

The Weekly Press Times

Wallace, Idaho

Friday, May 30, 1913


FREIGHT DITCHED BY WASHOUT NEAR NEW JERSEY MINE
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No. 93 Strikes Washout and Five Cars Plunge into River -- Crew Unhurt
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Five cars in river below Osburn as result of washed out banks by high water -- ore lost in stream (from Thursday’s Daily)

KELLOGG, May 27 -- Five cars in the river, the track washed out for 50 feet opposite Moose Gulch, and traffic on the Wallace branch crippled are the results of an accident which occurred about 6:30 o’clock this morning, when No. 93, the regular west bound freight, ran into a washout.

The accident, while a serious one, was decidedly fortunate for none of the crew was injured, although the engine crew jumped when they saw the trouble ahead a few car lengths distant.

In the river are two cars of merchandise and three cars of ores and concentrates, one car of crude ore remaining on the track with the caboose.

The locomotive passed over the washout, but the car immediately behind the tender pitched into the river, carrying the remainder of the train with it. The locomotive was derailed and ran for several hundred feet over the ties, but did not tip over. Little trouble was experienced in placing it on the tracks again.

The train was in charge of Conductor M. Brennan, while Andy Ross was at the throttle and Fred C. Wolf was the fireman. "The track did not appear to be washed out," said Ross, "and the first I noticed anything wrong was when we were about four car lengths from the washout. I saw trouble and yelled ‘JUMP’ to Wolf. He took the window and I took the gangway, and that was all I saw of it until I picked myself up."

The crew in the caboose had a hard experience. They tried to gain the back door of the car, but the bumping threw them toward the head end as fast as they progressed.

The ore shipments included one billed to Grand Forks, two to Tacoma and one to Pueblo, all from properties up the canyon. The merchandise was chiefly way freight.

Immediately following the wreck, the section gang was placed at work. The track is washed out completely for about 30 feet and there was considerable filling done before a temporary track could be put in place. The wrecker was dispatched from Tekoa and arrived shortly after 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Assistant General Manager J. D. Stack also arrived at the scene and took personal charge of the clearing up of the wreck.

The fact that the freight preceded the passenger train out of Wallace doubtless saved a terrible loss of life, for had the passenger struck the washout at the same speed as the freight was traveling, about 35 miles per hour, the loss of life would probably been great.

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