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America’s Worst Railroad Accidents

We have seen many serious railroad accidents in recent years in America. Just this week a tragedy occurred on the Metro in Washington DC in which smoke filled a train and killed one woman and injured 70 more.

Although these accidents call into question the safety of railroads, the trend since the first train crash in the United States in 1833 has been in the direction of safer railroads.

As Virginia railroad accident attorneys who help injured workers across the country, we are well aware that there is no ground for complacency. There are still too many accidents on the railroad.

The first head-on railroad collision occurred here in Hampton Roads in 1837 on the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad. A logging train and a passenger train collided head-on, killing three people.

Here are five of the worst railroad accidents in US history:

July 9, 1918 – Nashville, Tennessee – 121 dead.

The worst train accident in US history occurred in 1918 at Dutchman’s Bend in Tennessee. A signaling error meant two trains loaded with passengers hit each other at 50 mph. As well as the 121 people who died, 57 injuries were reported.

August 7, 1904 – Eded, Colorado  96 Dead

An express train from Colorado Springs to Pueblo was crossing Porter Creek Gulch in heavy rains when a flash flood hit the wooden bridge and derailed the locomotive. The train plunged into the creek, claiming 96 lives and leaving only 24 people on the train alive.

 November 1, 1918 – Brooklyn, New York – 102 Dead

An underground rapid transit train derailed on a curve near a tunnel under Malbone Street in Brooklyn, crashing into a concrete partition. The accident killed 97 and five later died of their injuries. The train was being driven by an inexperienced driver because his colleagues were on strike.

September 6, 1943 – Philadelphia – 79 Dead

The Congressional Limited, the fastest train of its era that connected Washington, D.C., to New York City caught fire in North Philadelphia, causing an axle to snap. The train derailed and flipped into an overhead signaling frame. Servicemen were on the train and 79 passengers from two of the train’s 16 cars were killed. Another 117 were injured.

February 6, 1951 – Woodbridge, New Jersey – 85 Dead

A Pennsylvania Railroad train called The Broker derailed on a bridge and plunged down a 20-foot embankment. The train was going too fast. Eight cars crashed onto a street below.

Usually someone is to blame for a railroad accident, be it human error, faulty infrastructure or a mechanical error. Those who have lost loved ones, have grounds to make a recovery. Our passenger accident injury attorneys can help you if you are injured or lose a loved one on the railroad. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.997.6254

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