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M. Keeshan and Alfonzo Colarelli, died from injuries received. Michael Bergen, fireman on passenger engine and Charles West, a car inspector, riding on locomotive, were killed. Twenty-one passengers and one employee were injured.

Engineer Whitcomb testified that he left Port Byron about 2.11 A. M.: that he stopped at the standpipe west of the station and took water enough to go to Clyde: that after he started the rail was slippery and he could not make as fast time as between stations east of Port Byron: that when at a point about one and three-quarters of a mile east of Montezuma siding, near what is known as the “second overhead bridge,” he whistled his flagman to go back: that at this time he was running ten or twelve miles an hour and brakes were applied, and when he thought the train was going slow enough for the flagman to get off he pulled out for the siding at Montezuma as fast as possible: that at a point east of this siding about the length of seventy-five or 100 cars, he again signaled the flagman: that after this last signal his train ran about its length and stopped with the locomotive about 100 feet west of the entrance to the switch, and a few moments later the collision occurred, about 2.38 or 2.39 A. M.

Edward Conley, flagman, testified that he was the flagman on the train: that some conversation was held at Port Byron, the subject of which was that the time was too short to leave there: that a stop was made at the water station and they left there at 2.22 A. M.: that after leaving there, they were so near the time of the passenger train two miles east of Montezuma that he knew it was his duty to get off and flag the passenger train, but his train was moving so fast that he could not do so in safety: that in his judgment it was running eighteen or twenty miles an hour: that he stood on the steps of the caboose about two miles trying to get off, and when about three-quarters of a mile east of Montezuma he jumped off and ran back about the distance between three telegraph poles: that the fog was so dense it was impossible to see more than the length of two cars: that when the engine of the passenger train went by him, he threw his red light into the cab: that when the locomotive passed him the brakes were applied: that he heard the signal of his engineer but once and at that time he was off the train: that he was supplied with torpedoes but did not use them.

J. M. Turk, head brakeman, testified that he heard the engineer whistle the flagman back: that the speed of the train at this time was from six to ten miles an hour and he could have got off with safety: that he heard the engineer whistle him back the second time, when they were running six or eight miles an hour.

J. J. Welch, rear brakeman, testified that Conductor Tobin said to Flagman Conley at Port Byron, "No. 3 is on time, I guess we will get to Montezuma all right:" that they stopped for water at the standpipe and after leaving there did not get much headway up the grade: that Tobin then sail, “I think we will have to stop No. 3 unless he gets a bustle on:" I think it was undestoodr unless we went faster No. 3 should be flagged; we did not go faster and it was understood this should be done. I did not hear the whistle but once, and then the train was running fifteen or twenty miles an hour. Matthias Minus, fireman, corroborated the testimony of the

, engineer.

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J. D. Kanaly, conductor of passenger train, testified that he was conductor of train No. 3; that its scheduled time to pass Port Byron was 2.33 a. M., Montezuma 2.38 a. M., and that the collision occurred between 2.39 A. M. and 2.40 A. M.

It is proper to say that at the investigation by the coroner, Conductor Tobin and Flagman Conley were not present. At the investigation, before Commissioner Rickard, Conductor Tobin was present, but by advice of counsel declined to testify.

In the book of rules of the West Shore road, regulating the movement of trains on this date, rule 99 reads as follows:

“When a train is stopped by an accident or obstruction, or fails to make running time, the flagman must immediately go back with danger signals to stop any train moving in the same direction. At a point one-half a mile from the rear of his train he must place one torpedo on the rail: he must then continue to go back at least threequarters of a mile from the rear of his train and place two torpedoes on the rail, ten yards apart, when he may return to a point one-half a mile from the rear of his train, and he must remain there until called in by the whistle of his engine; but if a passenger train is due within ten minutes, he must remain until it arrives.” Rule No. 86 says,

A train of inferior class must keep ten minutes off the time of a train of superior class following it."

A map, certified to by P. B. Wittmer, a civil engineer of the road, was presented, showing the alignment of the road between Port Byron and Montezuma, and a profile of the grades; it also shows that the distance from Port Byron to the water pipe is 3,043 feet, and that from the water pipe to the second overhead bridge is 10,400 feet.

From this statement, it will be seen that the distance from Port Byron to the point where Engineer Whitcomb testified he first signaled his flagman back is about two and one-half miles, and from the water tank about two miles.

On September 8, 1891, an experimental trip was made by a locomotive of the same class and in like condition of repair, with the same number of cars that were in Tobin's train, August 6. This train was placed in the same position as the one of August 6. It started from Port Byron at 11.14), arriving at water tank, took water and started again at 11.21, consuming six and one-half minutes in going 3,043 feet. The speed of this train, from the time it left the water tank until it passed the second overhead bridge (the point where the engineer testifies he signaled flagman back) was such that a trainman would have no difficulty in stepping from the caboose. Two and onequarter minutes were used by this train in moving its length, about 1,950 feet, when it left the water tank. After it had covered one mile it took one minute and thirty-five seconds to move its length, a rate of speed less than fifteen miles per hour. This trial was made at midday, under favorable circumstances, and the employees making it consider it a fair one. This being admitted, this record of time must enter largely in the discussion of this case. Flagman Conley testified that his train left the water tank at 2.22

The engineer testified that the rail was bad and he could not make as good time as usual; it is fair to assume, therefore, that the record of time made by this experimental train, under most favorable conditions, was not less than the time used by Tobin's train. This

A. M.

being the fact, it will be seen that when Tobin's train was about 5,000 feet west of Port Byron its time was 2.241 A. M.

As No. 3, passenger train, was scheduled to pass Port Byron at 2.33, its rate of speed would bring it to the water tank about 2.34. This would show that while at the water tank, Tobin was near the ten minutes' limit of clearance, and when but the length of his train westward, he had encroached on the limit of time in rule No. 86 and should have promptly protected his train as per rule No. 99. There seems to be no reasonable excuse why this was not done. The preponderance of evidence is that the speed of the train between the water tank and the second bridge was such that a man could get off safely: that this matter of short time had been the subject of conversation not only at Port Byron, but after leaving this station: that the necessity of flagging the passenger train under certain conditions was conceded.

These conditions arose inasmuch as the increased speed was not obtained, and it was criniral carelessness on the part of Conductor Tobin and carelessness on the part of Flagman Conley to neglect to properly protect their train as per rules Nos. 86 and 99.

The Board is of the opinion that it was the duty of Conductor Tobin, when his train stopped at the water tank, to send bis flagman back, from the fact that the time used in this stop brought him so near to the ten minutes' limit. The failure to do this, after he had trespassed on the ten minutes' clearance rule, was a reckless disregard of bis instructions.

The Board is also of the opinion that Conley's evidence that he stood on the steps of the caboose about two miles trying to get off does not relieve him from censure for these reasons, that the application of the brake on the caboose and a few cars next to it on the rear of this long train, going up a grade, would soon have reduced its speed, if not stalled it. The fact that Conley did not provide himself with torpedoes, although he testified the fog was very dense, was & violation of rules.

The extenuating circumstances in his case are that he was in the caboose with his superior officer, the conductor, who did not order him to set brakes and go back.

CONCLUSIONS. First. The Board finds that Conductor Tobin was guilty of carelessness in not sending his flagman back when the train stopped at the water tank; and was guilty of criminal carelessness in neglecting to send him back, or to go back himself, when at a point the length of his train west of the water pipe, where he trespassed on the ten minutes' limit of time as specified in rule No. 86.

Second. The Board finds that Edward Conley was negligent in failing to set brakes to slow up his train, when he knew it was his duty to get off and flag train No. 3, and, also, in failing to provide bimself with torpedoes.

Third. The Board recommends to the West Shore and to all other railroad companies in the State, to consider the propriety of modifying their rules with regard to extra or special trains so that passing points shall be definitely determined by the train despatcher, rather than be left to the discretion of the conductor of the inferior trains, as at present. The Board makes this recommendation in view of the fact that, in many cases within its knowledge, conductors, with the desire of moving their trains rapidly, encroach upon the time of following trains with great danger to the traveling public. In the particular case under consideration it resulted in a disastrous accident. It appears to the Board that either the rules should be modified in this way, or that, if impracticable, an absolute block system should be put into operation.

by the Board.





November 16, 1891.

An examination of the premises was made by a member of the Board, October 23. It appears that Crook's crossing is about half & mile west of Gifford, a station of the Rapid Transit line; that on October 6, at 8.10 A. M., a covered butcber's wagon, in which were John Jones, Mrs. Edward and infant daughter and Antonio Branten, while passing over the crossing, was struck by passenger train No. 4, by which John Jones, Mrs. Edward and infant daughter were instantly killed and Antonio Branten seriously injured.

At this point the highway passes over the railway track at an acute angle and between the two, on the westerly side, the angle is filled in with a thick growth of trees. The railroad curves sharply a short distance beyond the crossing, and the only positive warning for persons passing south would be the locomotive whistle. On the opposite side of the track is an embankment that obstructs the view of approaching trains from persons going north until about fifty feet from the track.

At this examination Superintendent Gannon stated that the matter of placing electric bells at unprotected crossings had been under consideration for several months previous to this accident. His attention was called to the embankment, with the suggestion that the cut be widened at this point; also, to the advisability of cutting down the trees growing in the angle near the crossing. The first proposition was deemed practicable. As to the second, no assurance could be giver, from the fact that the woods did not belong to the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company.

This line is about twenty-one miles in length. It has about fifty grade crossings, twenty-five of which are protected by gates or fagmen. The number of grade crossings, it will be seen, is large when compared with the length of the road.

It is believed that if the bank at this crossing was cut down, the increased width of road would enable persons crossing to obtain a view of approaching trains a much longer distance off than at present Some arrangement should be made with the owner as to cutting down the trees in the angle on the west side. In addition to these



changes, an electric bell should be erected and put in operation at this crossing and at other crossings where the view of approaching trains is less than one-quarter of a mile.

RECOMMENDATIONS. The Board recommends that the embankment on the west side be cut down; that the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway Company confer with the owners of the woods in the angle on the east side, with the view of obtaining the right to cut down these trees adjoining its line which now obstruct the view of a south-bound train; that an electric bell be erected and placed in operation at this crossing, and at all other unprotected crossings on the line of this railroad where there is not a clear view of at least one-quarter of a mile.

By the Board






November 23, 1891.

The facts and circumstances attending this accident, as developed by testimony taken before a coroner's jury and by correspondence with the railroad company, were as follows:

“Pick-up” freight train, engine 597, Engineer William Davis, Conductor J. W. Brando, consisting of sixty cars, thirteen loaded, had just slowed up for the Hyde Park water plug and was running about eight miles an hour, when the train was run into by way-freight train, Engineer Munger, with engine 788, Conductor Archibald Gardener, consisting of nine cars and caboose. William Farrington, brakeman of the first train was crushed in the collision. Arthur Small, fireman, and Daniel Crockwell, brakeman, of succeeding train, were killed by their jumping from their train before the collision; it is probable that if they had not jumped they would not have been killed.

The “pick-up” train is reported as having passed the indicator at the north end of the Poughkeepsie yard at 5.45 A. M. and the wayfreight at 5.55 A. M. Engineer Munger of the way-freight states under oath that he looked out and the time marked was 5.45 A. M. and that signals were all clear. It appears that he then continued at a pretty sharp rate of speed until he came to the semaphore signal south o Hyde Park; he states that when he saw this semaphore signal it was clear; that when he rounded the curve just north of it, however, and came in sight of the flagman's shanty he saw a train ahead of him, but too late to stop before the collision; that he blew for brakes and reversed his engine and that he and his fireman then jumped from the train.


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