2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

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2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

Post by shlustig »

Located on the Pittsburgh Division on the mountain about 12 miles west of Altoona.

Train #3 "Penn Texas" with Eng. 5525 and 13 cars added Eng. 1428 at Altoona as a head-end helper. The train stalled on the upgrade due to inadequate steam pressure and after a 15" delay proceeded to Gallitzin where it stopped to drop the 5525. When #3 attempted to start, the rear car Pullman "Cascade Mirage" became detached to due defective coupler and draft gear and rolled eastward on the downgrade where it derailed 3.37 miles east of Gallitzin.

The car overturned on its left side, hit the rock wall, was uprighted and partially crushed. There was 1 fatality and 13 injuries.

This accident occurred just 10 days after the famous derailment of Train #68 "Red Arrow" in the same area. In that incident, the train had doubleheaded 4-6-2's and 14 cars and overturned on a 30 mph curve at a speed in excess of 65 mph. There were 24 fatalities and 138 reported injuries.

The lead engineer survived and said that he thought the operation was normal, and the train crew apparently took no action in light of the excessive speed.

Allen Hazen
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Re: 2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

Post by Allen Hazen »

5525, I take it, was a T1. (Stalling, even with a helper, doubtless contributing to the class's reputation.) Do you know what 1428 was?
And what would the plan have been. Removing the main engine at Gallitzin (and the helper as well, I suppose, since it would have been in front?), then...? Waiting for a replacement engine to be sent out from Altoona?

D Alex
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Re: 2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

Post by D Alex »

I thought those T1's didn't go east of Crestline.

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Re: 2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

Post by NYCRRson »

In the case of the detached Pullman car the porter became a hero, he got everyone to the "back" (westward end) of the car to get them away from the point of collision.

And believe it or not the PRR loco's involved in the Red Arrow crash did not have speedometers, even though they were operating in mountainous curvy country were excessive speed on a curve could be fatal.

The PRR thought speedometers were an unnecessary luxury and expected the crews to use their watches and the mileposts....

One account says the surviving engineer noticed the throttle had become unlatched and had opened from the position he set it at, and he closed down on the throttle, but by then it was too late.

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Re: 2/28/47 - GALLITZIN, PA

Post by amtrakhogger »

FWIK, T-1's did run as far east as Harrisburg.
You think that was slow? Next time it will be even slower! Ya see, the headlight will be coming through the steam and its
never gonna get there!

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