Main Index
History Index
Modeling Index

Trail Index


Stanhope Eagle - August 7, 1901 issue
Head-End Collision

Two Engines Run Together on the Sussex Cut-Off to Newton and One is Completely Demolished

Yesterday morning about a quarter to twelve o'clock a head-end collision took place on the other end of the cut-off very close to its junction with the old Sussex road, and just above the new quarry of the Allen Granite and Construction Company. The rock and earth from the excavation by the steam shovel in the Stanhope cut have been deposited along the fills of the Sussex road by the construction train. This has generally been done about once a day. When there are many rocks on the cars it takes quite a while to get them rolled off. The train had gone down the cut off to dump and was at the other end of the cut off. It had engine 249, which had just been brought out of the Kingsland shops, practically a new engine, and was being used on this train to get its bearings worn down before it was put on regular runs.

Train 635, with engine 122, a mixed freight train with passenger car attached, is 11:20, but which was generally known to be late, had about twelve freight cars on yesterday beside its passenger coach which contained eight or ten passengers. The construction train had been stopped on the curve just beyond where it could be seen from the straight track through Matthew Kay's property and over the Muscanetcong bridge, but the conductor had signaled for it to back further up the track. He had previously put out Patrick Whalen to flag train 635. The latter had failed to do this and his flag was afterwards found beside the railroad track. Train 635 came down the grade at a rate of at least fifteen miles an hour, but the engineer saw no flag, nor the train ahead, until he rounded the sharp curve. Although the distance was very short he put on the air brakes, reversed his engine and called to his firemen, Lester Morris to jump, but the latter did not hear him. The engineer, however, jumped for his life and escaped with no serious injury except a general shake up. When the crash came the whole fireman's side of 122's cab was torn away and the fireman with it and thrown to the switch track beside the main line. Morris had his head cut in several places which he had bandaged by Doctor Nelden who was sent for.

Charles Miller, engineer on the culm burner, 249, seeing the inevitable crash coming also jumped for his life as did his fireman. The former got cut on the left wrist. The passengers in the car were jolted when the air brakes were put on, but the crash was a much greater shock, but none of them were severely hurt.

Engine 122 was an old engine and rather small beside the culm burner, but having a moving train behind her, she drove one half of 249's tender clear upon the first car of the construction train, beside battering in all the front end, and tearing away the ash pan. The rear drivers of the bigger engine were also forced from the tracks and trucks of the tender forced up against it. Engine 122 was a complete wreck. Her tender jammed itself under the locomotive raising the rear drivers between two and three feet above the track. The front bumpers were smashed into kindling wood and the iron work broken or bent into every conceivable shape. The iron water tank was torn from the wooden foundation and driven up against the fire box and boiler. A box car next to the engine had its end smashed in. W.I. Sutton heard the noises of the crash over the hill, while lumbermen a mile away on the other side were attracted by the noise and whistling. A crowd soon gathered to see the sight. The train of 635 was taken back to Stanhope and the passengers, baggage and express matter of the afternoon trains were transferred around the wreck. The wreck train from Hoboken arrived after three o'clock to clear away the wreck. A track was built around it to assist matters. Conductor Nugent of the construction train, has been temporarily laid off, but the flagman was peremptorily discharged. The engines as they were taken through here were a sorry looking sight. This is another costly wreck for the company, but trainmaster Sickles and dispatcher Smith quickly cleared it away and had things in good running order.