Runaway train, but this one came back
May 11, 2006 4:58 PM   Subscribe

When a runaway train crashed through the floor in Washington, DC's Union Station back in January 1953, the Pennsylvania Railroad immediately started to cover it up. But this coverup was in all the newspapers: the railroad just built a temporary floor over a locomotive and two railroad cars, because of all the traffic for Eisenhower's inauguration. A few weeks later, the locomotive was retrieved, repaired, and running again, like nothing had ever happened. Another page includes some pictures (scroll down).
posted by Godbert (14 comments total)
Neat story, but your links don't seem to say anything about a coverup.
posted by gubo at 5:09 PM on May 11, 2006

I couldn't find a link that had more than just a line about the floor (which was the "coverup"), but this is from the first link:
The GG1 was left in the baggage room, a temporary floor was built over the locomotive, and the station was opened just three days after the accident.
posted by Godbert at 5:11 PM on May 11, 2006

This was also a passenger train. The story says that it had a whole bunch of people on it.

I wonder if any of them wrote stories about it? Newspaper articles? Something interesting?

*Googles frantically*

If any of you find more info, post it. Train wrecks are cool. :P
posted by drstein at 5:14 PM on May 11, 2006

If you find runaway trains in stations exciting, the 1895 accident at Gare Montparnasse has a beautiful photograph.
posted by Nelson at 5:20 PM on May 11, 2006

I'm glad I wasn't eating in the food court when that happened . . .
posted by JekPorkins at 5:31 PM on May 11, 2006

I'm pretty sure I've been responsible for something like this, but it was probably in N scale. :-)
posted by fFish at 5:35 PM on May 11, 2006

Nelson, my error anaylsis book for lab classes had that picture on the cover.

It was giggle-worthy.
posted by flaterik at 5:40 PM on May 11, 2006

Silver Streak, too
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 PM on May 11, 2006

If you want to see a couple of more train wrecks, and don't mind some questionable behavior, there's a torrent of a Modern Marvels episode about train crashes floating around out there.
posted by Godbert at 6:06 PM on May 11, 2006

I am gratified to know that something like this could never happen today.
posted by psmealey at 6:46 PM on May 11, 2006

Attention! The train arriving at platforms eight, nine, ten, and eleven is arriving sideways.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:07 PM on May 11, 2006

I think I'd insist on a refund. :>
posted by bim at 8:32 PM on May 11, 2006

Federal Express: When it absolutely, positively has to get there . . . oh never mind
posted by spock at 9:47 PM on May 11, 2006

I was involved in a "trainwreck" at Union Station (former company rented it out for a holiday party during the dotcom boom... there was an open bar, bad things happened, careers were ruined...)
posted by candyland at 10:57 AM on May 12, 2006

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