Warren County Historical Society Presents …

 

The Digital Version “REWIND”

February 1, 2018

 

The following story comes from our friends at the John Thurman Historical Society.

 

 

 

 

Fatal Train Collision in Warren County

 

       In 1863 the Adirondack Railroad company was formed under the control of Dr. Thomas Durant and was built to help develop the forestry and mining industries that were prominent in the area.  On December 1st the railroad tracks were laid, reaching as far north as Hadley, New York.

 

       A resort business that began in the Town of Thurman after 1880 benefited greatly from the addition of the railroad.

 

       The railroad was a success.  The major shipping service along the railroad continued until 1930, when it was concluded due to economic changes.  While the railroad continued transporting freight, it ceased transporting people in 1956.  The very last freight train to travel on these rail lines was on November 16 1989.

 

      In August 26, 1946 two trains were involved in a collision near The Glen, resulting in the death of one person and injuries to 12 others.  Luckily, over 340 people were on the trains involved and were left unharmed.

 

       Of the 340 people, 318 were children who were returning home after spending time in various camps in the Adirondacks.  The children were riding on the southbound train which contained seven coaches.  The northbound train was composed of one mail coach and another which carried baggage.

 

       Orders were given for the southbound train to wait at The Glen for the northbound train to pass.  The south-bound train failed to stop and so both trains collided.

 

       Most of the damage in the accident occurred to the engine cabins of the trains.  Crew members who were in the cabins at the time just before the crash were able to jump off the train and away from the danger.  However, the engineer of the  northbound train was unable to get out of the cabin before the collision, and he was the only fatality.

 

       After the accident five buses were called to the scene to take the children back to their homes. Investigations were carried out in the following days to find the cause of the accident.

 

This historic marker marks the site of the wreck

 

A poem written after the author talked with a man who was early on the scene of the train wreck.

 

This material comes from our friends at the John Thurman Historical Society.  It was found on a manuscript found in our files.  It was re-worked by Ethan Snowball, a junior at Queensbury High School.  Photographs are from the John Thurman Historical Society and the Thurman Town Historian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren County Historical Society // 50 Gurney Lane // Queensbury, NY 12804 // (518) 743-0734

 

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