eddiebear wrote:The Woodbridge wreck happened on a shoo-fly constructed to allow for highway work. (Don't know if its the Garden State or the Turnpike, I haven't driven down that way in years.) The train was especially crowded because the CNJ was on strike and lots of NYLB commuters shifted to PRR operated Jersey Coast trains. The train (the Broker) lurched into the shoo-fly way above the limit, derailed and toppled down the embankment. Find Robert Shaw's DOWN BRAKES and there is a very good account of the wreck. It describes how the various roads, NYLB and PRR notified crews of speed restrictions - Bulletin and/or signs, etc. Remarkably, elsewhere in DOWN BRAKES, you'll read of at least one commuter who survived both Woodbridge and the CNJ's Newark Bay Bridge disaster in 1958.
This accident happened on Feb. 6, 1951 when the PRR 'Broker', an express commuter run, powered by K4s No. 2445, went past Woodbridge station (not a scheduled stop) at about 65mph. A slow order had been in effect for 8 days specifying 25mph for a 25 degree shoofly overpass over the NJ Turnpike, then being constructed.
The engine went down over the embankment, along with several cars, killing the fireman and 84 passengers. The engineer and the locomotive, which was returned to service, survived.
I ride this line every day, and in the early 1990's I watched while the Turnpike was widened to 14 lanes. This time, they built temporary steel abutments on both sides, one (NE) at the new width, and one to the SW at the old width.
They constructed a new track structure on the new width abutments.
They then dug out beneath the active railway and built permanent concrete abutments at the new width.
One weekend, the used cables to pull the old track structure out of the way and winched the new track into place.
Voila, no shoofly.
Oops, that should be a 5 degree curve.
And all the period data came from 'The Unique New York and Long Branch', by Don Wood, Sep., 1985.