Posted by: bgtwindad | March 28, 2010


Frost River Daily Mail, 3/28/2010

Teens playing at a local swimming hole were shocked by the sound of crashing and screeching metal early yesterday evening as the popular CH&FR steam locomotive #761 was derailed at a nearby switch.  No one was injured, and damage to the locomotive and other equipment was minor, company officials report.

A nearby local railfan captured this video of the engine striking the switch and jumping off the tracks in a frightening manner.

WM 761 was pulling a short freight through the Watash Creek Tunnel around 6:00pm last night when it derailed over the switch just beyond the East tunnel portal.  CH&FR officials confirmed that the train included the famous Traveling Boxcar, but the car was undamaged.

Officials from the FRB and NTSB, along with local law enforcement and company accident investigators were called in, while crews from the Frost River Locomotive Works wreck team quickly re-railed the locomotive and towed it back to the shop for repairs and inspection.  Company officials indicate that the switch was quickly returned to temporary service, although a maximum speed limit of 10 mph was set over the area.  Permanent repairs will be made over the coming week as weather allows.

Switchman Bobby Joe Davis of Chestnut Hill was reported to be on duty at the switch.  Government officials declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, except to say that all areas will be investigated, from mechanical failure of the switch or locomotive to errors or negligence on the part of the engineer or switchman.

A company employee, speaking on guarantee of anonymity, said “We all love Bobby Joe like a brother, but he’s always had a bit too much of an eye for the ladies.  They never should have posted him to that switch station within sight of that swimming hole.  I just knew something like this would happen.”  When asked if alcohol or drugs might have been a factor, the employee replied, “Naah.  After he wrecked his truck that night a few years back, he went cold turkey.  He’s been sober as a church meeting ever since.  No way he was drunk.  No way.”

The railfan who captured the video reported nothing unusual happening prior to the accident, but indicated that the switch signal may not have been fully rotated into position prior to the accident.

Asked to comment on the video footage, Professor Milton Swarovski of the Frost River College’s School of Railroad Technology indicated that the engine may have struck an object on the tracks, rather than a failure of the switch itself.  He speculated that a loose piece of ballast, debris from the recent tunnel construction, or vandalism may be likely causes.



  1. TwinDad i LOVE the way you make up stories
    I also love to do this about events on my platform

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