train derailment reserch in 1941

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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train derailment reserch in 1941

Postby CDBrown » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:37 pm

My great grandfather was an the engineer or maybe the conductor of this train derailment in 1941 April 26, it was train #348 of the reading company. I am doing research b/c I want to know about my Great Grandfather. I can't find any info on the net I've put hours into it and I did come up with a court case against Reading RR in 1943 and 1944 and a passenger survior and wittnesses give accounts of event before the derailment but no mention of my geat grandfather. Iam working on finding a obituary on my GGF but that is a road trip to the reading Library that a bit scary for me but I will do it for the info . I love to see an article on this train to. I do have a pcture of my GGF on train 343. Any info or help would be appreciated. Anybody interested in the article I have I e-mail or fax it to you
Thanks Cindy
Sorry I forgot to introduce myself I'm so excited about finally finding out what happened and having an article posibly and filling in a piece of history of my family.

So I'm Cindy and I'm happy to meet you and hopefull that your forum can help me.
CDBrown
 

Postby geep39 » Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:15 pm

Cindy:
You might find what you want at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington. Many have found things that you wouldn't expect. Someone even found MY DAD's employment records from the Reading Co. (he started about 1950). I won't guarantee that you'll find what you're looking for, but maybe.....
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Re: train derailment reserch in 1941

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:58 pm

CDBrown wrote:My great grandfather was an the engineer or maybe the conductor of this train derailment in 1941 April 26, it was train #348 of the reading company.
Is this excerpt from this link about your wreck?
http://dotlibrary1.specialcollection.ne ... se&rn=2487"

[If the link doesn't work, then try:
http://dotlibrary1.specialcollection.ne ... _railroads
or
http://specialcollection.dotlibrary.dot.gov/
choose "ICC Historical Railroad Investigation Reports", then "1941", then the first entry for "Reading"


INVESTIGATIONS OF RAILROAD ACCIDENTS 1911 - 1993

File Number 2498
Railroad READING RAILROAD
Date 04/26/1941
Location MANAYUNK, PA.
Accident Type D.

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

INVESTIGATION NO. 2498

THE READING COMPANY REPORT IN RE ACCIDENT AT MANAYUNK, PA., ON APRIL 26, 1941

Inv-2498

SUMMARY

Railroad: Reading
Date: April 26, 1941
Location: Manayunk, Pa.
Kind of accident: Derailment
Train involved: Passenger
Train number: 35
Engine number: 602
Consist: 4 cars
Speed: 40-45 m.p.h.
Operation: Timetable, train orders and automatic block-signal system
Track: Double; 3 degree curve to right; vertical curve
Weather: Clear
Time: 6 p.m.
Casualties: 1 killed; 90 injured
Cause: Accident caused by boards being on high rail of curve

INVESTIGATION NO. 2498

Accident at Manayunk, Pa., on April 26, 1941, caused by boards being on high rail of curve.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION 1

On April 26, 1941, there was a derailment of a passenger train on the line of the Reading Company at Manayunk, Pa., which resulted in the death of 1 employee and the injury of 89 passengers and 1 employee. This accident was investigated in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Public Utility Commission.

No. 35, a north-bound first-class passenger train, with Conductor Dunkelberger and Engineman Heltzinger if charge, consisted of engine 602, of the 4-6-0 type, two coaches, one combination car and one baggage car, in the order named; all cars were of steel construction. This train departed from Reading Terminal, Philadelphia, 75 miles south of Manayunk, at 5:45 p.m., according to statements of the crew, 2 minutes late, passed Manayunk at 5:59 p.m., according to the train sheet, 2 minutes late, and became derailed while it was moving at a speed estimated as 40 to 45 miles per hour.

The employee killed was the engineman and the employee injured was the fireman.
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Postby Franklin Gowen » Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:48 am

Cindy,

If your great-grandfather was the engineer of this train (#35 - a Philly-to-Reading Express), then he was running L7sb "camelback" engine #602 the day he died. No wonder he was killed if it rolled sideways off the track at speed. The "camelback" type steam locomotives (of which these L7's were just one group) had the engineer's cab on the side of the boiler, midway along its length; not at the rear next to the tender. While the more typical rear location was not invulnerable, it was still safer than the other location. I'm sorry to hear that your great-grandfather perished this way.

Steam locomotives with the cab arranged in this sideways, mid-boiler style were later deemed too dangerous and were outlawed sometime between 1945 and 1950 (corrections welcome!). I'd like to think that your great-grandfather's death helped in some way to make government eventually act to pass that safety regulation.
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Postby JimBoylan » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:05 am

Franklin Gowen wrote:Steam locomotives with the cab arranged in this sideways, mid-boiler style were later deemed too dangerous and were outlawed sometime between 1945 and 1950 (corrections welcome!).
Another fatal problem was the side rods getting loose and hitting the cab above. Some roads like the Reading and Jersey Central ran their existing "Mother Hubbards" or "Camelbacks" into the 1950s almost until they stopped using steam altogether. Diesel locos made outlawing moot.
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Postby Steam man » Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:00 am

Franklin Gowen wrote:Steam locomotives with the cab arranged in this sideways, mid-boiler style were later deemed too dangerous and were outlawed sometime between 1945 and 1950 (corrections welcome!). I'd like to think that your great-grandfather's death helped in some way to make government eventually act to pass that safety regulation.


Actually it was much earlier than that. The ICC banned new construction of camelbacks in 1918,however did make a few exceptions up to the early 1920's. The construction of new camelbacks was outlawed for good in 1927. This didn't obviously forbid the further operation of the already built camelback engines. In addition to the dangers to the enginman from the side and mainrods due to crankpin failure, the other main reason they were outlawed was due the lack of ability of the engineman and fireman to communicate as they were separated by about 20 foot of engine boiler and a whole bunch of noise.

Communications would include "calling signals " as well as other other track conditions ahead, as the fireman was pretty much blind to any dangers from his viewpoint on the foot plate. Egress from the cab for the engineman was also very difficult due the layout of the same. The life of both the engineman and fireman was not a very easy one while on board these engines.

The cab was a very hot place in the summertime, and many engineman would sit on window armrest while at the controls to escape the heat. This wasn't a company approved practice as you can imagine. The fireman was exposed to all elements of the weather on the footplate, in addition to having to feed the gaping maw of the firebox door while being bounced all about at track speed.

For referance here's a photo courtsey NE Railfan of the Reading Company L-7sb class engines, this is the sister engine to # 602, engine # 611 :
Image

And WELCOME ABOARD Cindy!!
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Former Block Operator- PRSL
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Reading Accident 1941-

Postby Becky S » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:05 pm

Cindy-I think that we are related here. Your great grandpa is Edward right, That would make him Joseph's son. Joseph is my great grandpa Henry's brother. There are a lot of engineer's in this family. I'm just getting started with my research on the railroad(genealogy has been going on for years). I'll send you what I learn as I go.

Becky
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Re: train derailment reserch in 1941

Postby J.RedHawk » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:41 am

Hi Cindy,I am Joseph Aaron Heltzinger no.3. My ggd was Charles Heltzinger Engineer for Reading RR the last eng no. 2001 he opperated.I was looking up some family on line and came a cross this web site.My dad Earl is dead but I remember him talking about kids putting wood on the tracks and one of our family members being killed.
Joseph
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Re: train derailment reserch in 1941

Postby J.RedHawk » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:29 am

J.RedHawk wrote:Hi Cindy,I am Joseph Aaron Heltzinger no.3. My ggd was Charles Heltzinger Engineer for Reading RR the last eng no. 2001 he opperated.I was looking up some family on line and came a cross this web site.My dad Earl is dead but I remember him talking about kids putting wood on the tracks and one of our family members being killed.
Joseph

Sorry the no. 2001 is incorect it was 3001
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