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out' as there was a train standing a short distance ahead. Thinking the engineer, who was then running at the rate of twelve miles an hour, had taken his warning, he went along to protect the rear of this train, but had only gone a short distance when he heard a crash and knew that a collision had occurred. He continued to the rear of train drawn by engine No. 39, and safely flagged the following train.

As in the previous collision, the engine cab and car platforms were all more or less damaged, but, fortunately, the engineer and fireman escaped with slight injuries. A guard on the Ninth avenue train was somewhat injured by the force of the collision. The delay to north-bound travel, which is light at this time of the day, was about thirty minutes, which caused a gap to south-bound trains of about twenty minutes.

In this connection I would say, that the fog of yesterday morning was one of the severest we have had to contend with, and the cause of these accidents must, on the whole, Le attributed to that fact. I am investigating the case, however, and if I find that either of the engineers were not suficiently alert on this occasion, they will be properly taken in hand. A sketch showing the location of the trains, etc., is submitted herewith.

Respectfully yours,


General Manager. February 11, 1891 – The following letter was received, reporting the accident to Car Cleaner D. T. Phelan:

New YORK, February 11, 1891. Wv. C. HUDSON, Secretary, etc.:

DEAR SIR.-On Sunday morning last, 8th inst., at 8.10 A.M., a trackman who traverses a section of structure from Fifty-third to Eighty-ninth streets, Third avenue line, discovered in the trackmen's tool-house, at Sixty-sixth street and Third avenue, the body of Car Cleaner D. T. Phelan, Jr. How or when he came to his death is involved in mystery, but evidences on the guard-rail, along side of the north-bound track at the southeast corner of Sixty-sixth street and Third avenue, tend to show that he was struck by a north-bound train, some time after 11.30 P. M. Saturday night, and blood marks from this point around and into the tool-house, prove that he either crawled or was carried by some individual to the latter position where he bled to death and was found by the trackman as above stated. Phelan was a car cleaner and reported at the usual point, Ninety-eighth street and Third avenue, at 7 P. m. Saturday night, but on account of his intoxicated condition the foreman refused to allow him to go to work, and he was seen to leave our structure immediately. He was afterwards seen in a saloon on Third avenue near Ninety-ninth street, as late as 11.30 P. M., after which we have thus far been unable to trace him, nor do we know how he reached the structure again or in what manner he came to his death, as we have been unable to find an engineer or any evidences on cars or engines, showing that he was struck thereby; there is nothing but the evidences on the track and in and around the tool-house, as I have said before, to show the manner in which the man came to his death. Sketch of the situation herewith inclosed.

Respectfully yours,


General Manager. April 25, 1891– 1. K. Hain, general manager, reported the accident to James McGuire, in the following manner:

New YORK, April 25, 1891. WY. C. HUDSON, Secretary, etc.:

Dear Sir.- I have to report that at 12.22 P. M. on 22d inst., at Fiftyseventh street, north track, Second Avenue line, a passenger named James McGuire, of 215 East Thirty-ninth street, was struck by the engine of a north-bound train and instantly killed.

Engine No. 276, Engineer McCann, upon approaching Fifty-seventh street station at the above-named time, and when about opposite the cancelling-box, felt a shock as if some part of the machinery had become broken or disconnected. The train was immediately stopped and upon investigation it was found that the hanger which supports the cylinder drip-pan was bent by reason of its having come in contact with some object on the track, and upon looking between and under the cars, the body of a man was found wedged in between the east guard-rail of the northbound track and the supports of the station platform, evidently having been struck by the aforesaid hanger and instantly killed.

He had previously passed through the station from the street, purchasing a ticket and depositing it in the cancelling-box before the train arrived, and it is not known whether he jumped or fell from the station platform to the track, as he was not seen to leave the station platform by either the engineer or the fireman of the train which killed him, or by the gateman on duty at the station. A sketch, showing the location of the accident, is herewith inclosed.

Respectfully yours,


General Manager.

NEW YORK CENTRAL AND HUDSON RIVER. October 1, 1890 - The side rod on engine No. 442, broke, at a point just south of Pawling. Employee Frank Wheeler was in cab at time of accident and badly injured. The company states, in reply to an inquiry from the Board, that their superintendent of motive power and machinery had been unable to secure a sketch showing the crosssection of the side bar in question, on account of broken parts having been thrown into the scrap heap shortly after the accident.

October 9, 1890 - Henry Strumer, while attempting to cross the track ahead of train No. 12, at Pougbkeepsie, was struck and killed. Inquiry shows that accident did not occur at a crossing.

October 11, 1890 - Joseph Smith, while standing on top of car, was struck and injured by the West Albany bridge. General Superintendent Theodore Voorhees writes that the bridge by which Smith was struck, crosses over the entire West Albany yard. It is not protected with guards, for the reason that it would require so many on both sides of the bridge that they would be an annoyance to the men, and interfere with their work.

October 27, 1890 - Passenger train No.32, and freight train No.59, collided at a point a little west of Cohoes; one passenger was slightly injured. On December 8, 1890, the Board wrote, asking for circumstances of collision in greater detail, and what the train orders were. The reply was:

NEW YORK, December 12, 1890. WM. C. HUDSON, Secretary, etc. :

DEAR SIR.- Replying to your favor of December 8, in the matter of accident at Harmony mills "Y," just west of Cohoes station, October 27, 1890, I to advise you that the Fitchburg railroad had an engine off the track at the west end of the Troy bridge, blocking passenger train No. 25, freight train No. 59, which should follow train No. 25, laid in the Green Island yard and received the following order from the despatcher: “Run to Niskayuna ahead of No. 25, and report 12,” to which a “13” or “0. K.” reply. was received, signed by Witbeck and Davidson, conductor and engineer of train No. 59 Train, No. 59, being a freight train, had no rights over a passenger train, but the conductor and engineer not recognizing this fact, started their train after acknowledging the receipt of the order mentioned, and collided with passenger train No. 32 just west of Cohoes station. The portion of the rulo covering the point in question and taken from our time-table rules, reads: “An order to run on the time of any particular train must not be taken to run on the time of any other train.

The conductor and engineer of train No. 59, being considered responsible for the accident, were immediately suspended from duty.

Yours very truly,



On December 16, 1890, the Board sent the following: THEODORE VOORHEES, Esq., General Superintendent New York Central and

Hudson River Railroad : Sir.— Your communication of December 12 to this Board, in reference to an accident at Harmony mills, just west of Cohoes, on October 27, is received. You state that train No. 59 received the following order from the despatcher: “Run to Niskayuna ahead of No. 25, and report, 12. Inasmuch as No. 25 had the right of road over No. 32, in accordance with rule 83 of your general time-card, it seems to the Board that if the despatcher intended No. 59 to look out for No. 32 the order should have specifically mentioned it. The order as given was certainly a confusing one. While it is not the practice of the Board to interfere with the enforcement of discipline for violation of your rules on the road, it would appear that in this case a penalty should not be enforced against the engineer and conductor of 59, but rather against the despatcher. By the Board.



October 31, 1890 — John Connelly, while attempting to cross the tracks at Oneida, was struck by train No. 21, and injured. Inquiry developed the fact that the crossing was protected with gates, and the view in both directions was entirely unobstructed.

December 4, 1890 — J. Blair, employee, had his arm caught and injured while coupling cars equipped with Janney bumpers. In reply to an inquiry from the Board, asking why Blair went between cars, if both were equipped with automatic Janney couplers, the company said that one of the cars had been previously coupled to a car which had an old style drawhead, and the pin had been used to make a connection, and this pin had been left in the drawhead. It was in trying to get this pin out to make connection between the two cars that Blair's arm was caught.

December 8, 1890 --At Fifty-third street and Eleventh avenue, New York, John Grimes was struck and injured, while attempting to cross the track. Inquiry shows that the crossing was not protected.

January 10, 1891 - Near New Hamburgh, Employee Oscar Chase was caught and injured in a collision, caused by engine No. 605 running into freight train No. 691. Engineer Best of engine No. 605 was asleep. Inquiry shows that Best admitted that he was asleep at the time of collision, and that he had been on duty about eleven hours, when accident occurred.

February 3, 1891 --At East Rochester, light engine No. 741 intended to cross over from track No. 3 to track No. 2, but the switch leading to track No. 1 being open the engine did not stop on track No. 2, but ran toward track No. 1, and was struck by engine of train No.

20. Robert Brown (employee) was fatally injured, and Thomas Fenney (employee) slightly bruised. On March 16, 1891, the Board wrote as follows:

THEODORE VOORHEES, Esq., General Superintendent New York Central and

Hudson River Railroad Company: DEAR SIR.- The report of an accident at East Rochester, February 3d, together with a sketch of the east end of the yard where accident occurred is received. Therein you say: “Light engine No. 741 intended to cross over from track No. 3 to track No. 2, but the switch leading to track No. 1 being open the engine did not stop on track No. 3, but ran toward track No. 1, and was struck by engine of train No. 20.' From the fact that switching is done on both sides of the main track at this point, and that these switches are in frequent use, the following sug. gestions are submitted for your consideration :

First. To lengthen target rod "C" so as to bring disc and lamp above the levers of the interlocking system, located a few feet west. Second. To have switch at “O” connected with distant signal on No. 1. If this had been so constructed even the negligence of switchman in leaving the switch “0” open in all probability would not have caused the accident. Third. Would it not be desirable to lengthen the crossover from "C" to "B" at least twenty-five feet, and have the switch at “B” interlocked with distant signal on No. 1 track? The immense amount of crossing at this point that was observed at a personal examination of the locality suggests that every device leading to increased safety should merit careful consideration. The sketch is inclosed, please return it with your answer.

Very truly yours,


On March 21, 1891, Mr. Voorhees wrote, saying, that above recommendation had already received attention and work about completed.

February 6, 1891 — Annie M. Murphy was killed and James Gannon injured, while crossing the track at Morris Heights' station, to take south-bound train No. 224, and was struck by train No. 7 north-bound. Engineer of engine No. 850 did not see train No. 224 at station, owing to dense fog, although he had slowed down. Inquiry shows that there are no distant signals at this station, inasmuch as there is a long tangent at that point and the view is usually unobstructed.

March 8, 1891 – An accident occurred, which did not result in the loss of life or injury.to any one. In reply to a communication from the Board, asking for circumstances, etc., the following letter was received:

NEW YORK, March 12, 1891. WM. C. Hudson, Secretary, etc. :

Sir.-I beg leave to acknowledge receipt of your favor of the 10th instant, in regard to the burning of a baggage car on train No. 5 on the night of March 8.

beg to state that the baggage car was Lake Shore and Michigan Southern No. 61, on train No. 5, which left New York at 6 P. M., March 8. Leaving Schenectady the car contained forty pieces of baggage, and was in charge of B. McNeil, baggageman. A United States mail weigher named Scooffy,went into the car after leaving Schenectady and weighed the mail received at that point, remaining about four minutes, and then went back again into the smoking car, where he remained until the train was stopped, which he says was about 10.56 P. M. He at once went forward and opened the baggage car with a key which he had for that purpose, and stepped into the car, but the sinoke and flame was so thick that he found it impossible to remain in the car a moment. He got out and jumped on the ground.

The fire at the time was under such headway that the conductor and engineer feared that it would be communicated to the balance of the cars, and also to a freight train which was standing on the adjacent track.

The baggageman, it seems, had gone to sleep after leaving Schenectady, was awakened by the smoke and found the car burning about the center. He immediately stopped the train, got out on the front platform, where he remained until the car had nearly reached Amsterdam:

The conductor of the train finding it would be impossible to save anything in the car, directed the engineer to pull ahead beyond where the freight trains were standing on the adjacent track, but in the confusion, the engineer misunderstood his orders and ran on as far as Amsterdam. The local fire department there promptly responded to the call and the fire was extinguished.

Of the baggage and mail contained in the car, nineteen pieces of baggage were entirely destroyed and the remaining twenty-one were considerably damaged, with but two or three exceptions. Of the mail, six sacks of paper mail and five pouches of letter mail were totally destroyed. Sixteen sacks of paper mail were badly damaged, the balance were saved.

On examining the car, after the fire, the floor was discovered in sound and good condition. The fire was evidently in the roof, and almost certainly took place from the oil lamp with which the car was lighted. The car was heated by steam. There is no probability that fire originated from the steam pipes.

Respectfully yours,


June 23, 1891 – A collision occurred at White Plains between train No. 39, north-bound, and south-bound work train, caused by failure of engineer of former to observe danger signal which was set against him. Seven passengers and seven employees were injured. The following letter was received in reply to a letter of inquiry from the Board:

NEW YORK, July 28, 1891. Wm. C. HUDSON, Secretary, etc.:

DEAR SIR.- Replying to your letter of July 23, in which you state that the Board asks for greater detail regarding the White Plains accident of June 23. The following is a copy of the explanation given on the regular report and forwarded to the Board on the 21st inst. :

The above named were injured in collision between train No. 39, north-bound, and south-bound work train, caused by failure of engineer of No. 39 to observe danger signal which was set against him.”

This accident occurred in front of the Superintendent's office at White Plains. At this point, north-bound trains cross from the west to the east track, in order to land their passengers on to the station platform, the cross-over being protected by a semaphore signal and also a target at the switch.

The evidence brought out in the investigation of this accident would indicate that the engineer of train No. 39 disregarded the semaphore signal and also the signal target at the switch.

The work train with which No. 39 collided, was on its own track, being south-bound, and had the right to proceed. The engineer of train No. 39 was undoubtedly responsible for the accident, and he has been discharged.

Yours truly,


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