Steam Train Collision


The era of steam trains below Park Avenue came to an abrupt halt on January 8 1902 at 8:20 a.m. when an inbound express from South Norwalk, Conn., stopped in the tunnel at 56th Street, waiting for clearance into Grand Central. It was snowing again, and a local from White Plains, despite warning signals as far back as 63rd Street, crashed into it, shredding its two rear passenger cars. Firefighters who climbed the walls down into the tunnel found a panorama of horrors including three men hanging out a window in mid-escape, but scalded to death by escaping steam. In all fifteen were killed and 36 injured. The Engineer, John M Wiskar said he could not see the signals due to the steam. No railroad officials were punished, but in 1903, the State Legislature mandated the conversion from steam to electric power. The first electric engine went into service in 1906, and the change was completed in 1907.

Collision, Jan 8, 1902

Related Sites

Related Playlist