Green Mountain train wreck

The Green Mountain train wreck is the worst ever railroad accident in the state of Iowa. It occurred between Green Mountain and Gladbrook on the morning of March 21, 1910, and killed 52 people.[1][2]

Green Mountain train wreck
Telescoping of the wooden coaches
DateMarch 21, 1910
8 am
LocationSpring Creek Township, Tama County, Iowa,, between Green Mountain and Gladbrook
Coordinates42°9′53″N 92°46′00″W / 42.16472°N 92.76667°W / 42.16472; -92.76667
CountryUnited States
LineChicago Great Western Railway
OperatorRock Island Line
Incident typeDerailment

A train wreck earlier that morning at Shellsburg meant that the Rock Island Line trains were being diverted from Cedar Rapids to Waterloo over Chicago Great Western tracks via Marshalltown.[3] The trains concerned were the No. 21 St Louis-Twin Cities and No. 19 Chicago-Twin Cities; which had been combined into a ten car train with the two locomotives travelling backwards, tender first.[citation needed] The new combined train now had two wooden cars sandwiched between the locomotives, a steel Pullman car, and other steel cars.[2]

Between Green Mountain and Gladbrook, just east of the Marshall County border, the lead engine left the tracks and hit a clay embankment coming to a sudden stop. The steel cars sliced through the two wooden coaches: a smoking car and a ladies' day coach containing many children.[1] There were no fatalities in the Pullman cars.[4] One of the uninjured passengers said, "I saw women in the coach crushed into a bleeding mass, their bodies twisted out of human shape. I have seen what I shall see all my life when I dream."[3] A relief train arrived two hours after the accident. It was later reported, "The sight was one of horribly crushed, mutilated, and dismembered bodies."[5]

Victims edit

One the day after the wreck, the New York Times reported 46 dead (45 in the main headline, 46 in the continuation on page 2). The Times identified 36 names, adding that "ten are so badly disfigured that their identity cannot be discovered.[6]

Legacy edit

No official cause was ever released for the wreck, nor were any charges of neglect made[1] although the crash did result in the introduction of new safety procedures.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Rasdal, Dave (March 1, 2010). "Iowa's Great Train Wreck". The Gazette.
  2. ^ a b c "Fatal Train Wreck 100 years ago". KWWL News. March 22, 2010. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Forty-Five Dead in Train Wreck". Afro American. March 26, 1910. p. 2 – via Google News.
  4. ^ "Gladbrook, IA Train Wreck, Mar 1910 - Horrifying Disaster". Lincoln Evening News. Lincoln, NE. March 22, 1910. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2010 – via GenDisasters.
  5. ^ Haine, Edgar A. (1993). Railroad Wrecks. pp. 74–78. ISBN 0-8453-4844-2.
  6. ^ "45 Dead Taken From Rock Island Wreck". The New York Times. p. 1. March 22, 1910.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)

External links edit