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New Jersey Herald - December 12 1872 issue
Railroad Accident at Franklin

 A serious accident occurred on Monday evening at the rock cut near the Franklin depot, at the connection of the Sussex and Midland railroads. Conductor Burrell's train on the Sussex road, which leaves Newton at 8:18 P.M. was a little behind time, and arrived at the junction at about 9:15. The switchman had the switch turned for the Midland, but hearing the Sussex coming turned the switch for them and signaled with his light for them to come on. The Sussex then pulled ahead and entered the switch at the rate of about ten miles an hour. The Midland train came rushing in the cut about the same time, at the rate of at least 30 miles an hour, and the switchman seeing them coming and gaining so fast, threw the switch over for them and ran for his life. Mr. Quackenbush, the engineer of the Sussex locomotive, did not see the Midland train until the head lights of the locomotive shone in the rear of his cab. Seeing that a collision was inevitable he and his fireman jumped from the engine. The engines collided, the Sussex striking the rear trucks of the Midland engine, and knocking them from under her, severing the Midland train and bringing the first milk car on the Sussex engine, and wedging the two together in the cut.

Miraculously no one was injured, but the wreck was so bad that at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning the cut was not yet clear. The Sussex engine was not then out, and the extent of her injuries was not known, although they are believed not to be very great. Of fifty cans of milk in the stoven car, which is almost completely wrecked, but two were spilled.

From all we learn no blame can be attached to the Sussex train. Mr. Burrell, the conductor has always acted with the greatest prudence in running his trains, and Mr. Quackenbush has the reputation of being one of the most careful of engineers.

The locality of the accident is a very dangerous one, and may at some day be the cause of loss of life, unless something is done to prevent similar accidents in the future. We would suggest to the two companies the erection of a switch signal as the best means of prevention.