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Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256

DigiTrad:
THE ALTOONA FREIGHT WRECK
WRECK OF 1256


Bob 05 Dec 97 - 12:41 PM
Bruce O. 05 Dec 97 - 01:07 PM
Bruce O. 05 Dec 97 - 01:10 PM
Dale Rose 05 Dec 97 - 01:34 PM
lesblank 05 Dec 97 - 02:29 PM
Bruce O. 05 Dec 97 - 04:49 PM
Dale Rose 06 Dec 97 - 12:34 AM
Gene 06 Dec 97 - 12:25 PM
Gene 06 Dec 97 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett 12 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM
catspaw49 12 Oct 07 - 08:53 PM
Padre 12 Oct 07 - 11:45 PM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 07 - 03:17 AM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 07 - 03:34 AM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 07 - 04:32 AM
catspaw49 13 Oct 07 - 08:10 AM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 07 - 02:53 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Oct 07 - 08:41 PM
Joe Offer 14 Oct 07 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Oct 07 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Oct 07 - 07:46 AM
catspaw49 23 Oct 07 - 05:26 PM
catspaw49 23 Oct 07 - 08:55 PM
Mrrzy 23 Oct 07 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Oct 07 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Oct 07 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Oct 07 - 01:55 AM
catspaw49 24 Oct 07 - 04:48 AM
catspaw49 24 Oct 07 - 05:17 AM
catspaw49 24 Oct 07 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett 24 Oct 07 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett 24 Oct 07 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett 24 Oct 07 - 05:37 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 07 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,harpgirl 24 Oct 07 - 10:28 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Oct 07 - 10:48 PM
catspaw49 24 Oct 07 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,hg 25 Oct 07 - 10:11 PM
catspaw49 26 Oct 07 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,Robert 13 Aug 10 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Robert 16 Aug 10 - 02:18 PM
GUEST 16 Aug 10 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 10 - 05:21 AM
Joe Offer 02 Feb 14 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,gillymor 02 Feb 14 - 09:52 PM
GUEST 02 Feb 14 - 11:15 PM
Mik2 04 Feb 14 - 02:00 PM
Mik2 08 Feb 14 - 09:40 AM
Mik2 09 Mar 14 - 11:47 AM
Nigel Parsons 30 Oct 17 - 10:21 AM
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Subject: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Bob
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 12:41 PM

Looking for lyrics to the Wreck of the 1262. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 01:07 PM

In Norm Cohen's 'The Long Steel Rail' (with music) as "The Freight Wreck at Altoona". It's by Riley Puckett. Wreck was Nov. 29, 1925. Song copyrighted Jan. 30 1926.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 01:10 PM

Corection, the copyrighted version was by a Carson Robison. Pucket's version was 1935. Cohen gives the 1st recorded version also, 1926.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Dale Rose
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 01:34 PM

Yes, the Carson Robison attribution would be more likely. I have a recording (somewhere) by Vernon Dalhart. If no one beats me to it, I will dig it out and try to decipher the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: lesblank
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 02:29 PM

The best version, IMHU, is by Doc Watson on his Vanguard CD,"Doc Watson on Stage featuring Merle Watson". It's a 1982 vinyl or a 1988 CD and is available from Vanguard, 1299 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica CA 90401.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Bruce O.
Date: 05 Dec 97 - 04:49 PM

What does best mean? To me it's always the one closest to the original, even if the author of song and tune wasn't the best performer of it. I'm primarly interested in songs, not performers. Dale's Vernon Dalhart recording may be the original, recoprded by Dalhart, Jan 15, 1926, on a Columbia recording, released in March.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Dale Rose
Date: 06 Dec 97 - 12:34 AM

Well, so far I have not found it, though Dalhart DID record it. The closest I have come to it is The Wreck of the 1256. By my count that is about six short.

Train songs by Dalhart that I have located are The Lightning Express, In the Baggage Coach Ahead, The Runaway Train, The New River Train, Billy Richardson's Last Ride, The Wreck of the Number Nine, The Wreck of the Norfolk & Western Cannonball, Casey Jones, Got the Railroad Blues, The Wreck of the Royal Palm Express, and The Engineer's Dream. It is possible that I have it on an anthology that I passed over. (Easy for me to do)

Train songs by others that I located during my search include: Engineer Frank Hawk, The Engineer's Last Run, The Nine Pound Hammer, Southern Number 111, Double Headed Train, Casey Jones, Railroad Blues, C C & O Number 558, I'm Nine Hundred Miles From Home, The C & O Excursion, The Little Red Caboose Behind the Train, When The Train Comes Along, East Bound Train, Orange Blossom Special (the original version!), The Train's Done Left Me, Engine One Forty Three, Jerry Go Ile that Car, If I Die a Railroad Man, The Wreck of the Virginian, The Davis Limited, The Cannonball, The Longest Train, The Red and Green Signal Lights, Peanut Special, Crime of the D'Autremont Brothers, McAbee's Railroad Piece, Bill Mason, then I quit looking. Gene, it's your turn.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WRECK OF THE 1262 (Doc Watson)
From: Gene
Date: 06 Dec 97 - 12:25 PM

Here's Doc Watson's version...

THE WRECK OF THE 1262

Recorded by Doc Watson/Trad.

He'd just left the point at kittanning
The freight number 1262
And on down the mountains he travelled
So brave were the men in her crew.

The engineer pulled at the whistle
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied
And the brakeman climbed out on the car top
For he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him
He tied in those brakes with a prayer
But the train went right on down that mountain
Her whistle still piercing the air.

He travelled at sixty an hour
Gaining speed ev'ry foot of the way
And then with a crash it was over
And there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage
Or the value of what the wreck cost
It's the sad scene they found in the cabin
Where the lives of two brave men were lost.

They found them at their post in the wreckage
Where they died when the engine had fell
The engineer still held the whistle
And the fireman still clung to the bell.

Now this story is told of a freight train
But it should be a warning to all
We need to be prepared ev'ry moment
For we can never tell when He'll call.

Source: DOC WATSON ON STAGE/VSD 9/10


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: THE WRECK OF THE 1256 (Robison)
From: Gene
Date: 06 Dec 97 - 12:39 PM

And while we're on the subject of trains....

THE WRECK OF THE 1256

Recorded by Marty Robbins Words and music by Carson Robison

[C] On a cold day and dark, [C7] cloudy [F] ev'nin'
Just be-[G7] fore the close of [C] day
There came Harry [C7] Lyle and [F] Dillard
And with [G7] Anderson they rode a-[C] way.

From Clifton Fort they started
And their spirits were runnin' high
And they stopped at Iron Gate and waited
'Til Old Number 9 went by.

On the main line once more they started
Down the James River cold, dark and drear
And they gave no thought to the danger
Or the death that was waiting so near.

They were gay and they joked with each other
As they sped on their way side by side
And the old engine rocked as she travelled
Thru the night on that last fatal ride.

In an instant the story was ended
On here side in that cold river bed
With poor Harry Lyle in the cabin
With a deep, fatal wound in his head.

Railroad men you should all take a warnin'
From the fate that befell this young man
Don't forget that the step is a short one
From this earth to that sweet, promised land.

SOURCE: Marty Robbins/Me And My Guitar/1983 CBS LSP-15388\BFX-15119


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM

I have found the song Wreck of the 1256 by Curly Fox on Rounder Record's cd, ''Train 45''.


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 08:53 PM

IF you can Jonathan, post the lyrics here.

We have two very different songs which have only the fact of telling a tale of a wreck in common.....a similar number, but that's about it.

I think maybe in the 1256 song which Gene posted, Clifton Fort is probably Clifton Forge.....possibly misheard. Clifton Forge was a part of the Chessie (C&O) for many years.

The other, the 1262 sung by Doc, takes place on the Pennsy somewhere around Altoona, PA and the famous Horseshoe Curve just to the west whose location is Kittanning Point where there used to be a station.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Padre
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:45 PM

I pass the scene of the wreck of C&O #1256 every day going from home to work.


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Subject: ADD: The Wreck of the 1256 (Carson Robison)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 03:17 AM

Well, Spaw, they're two different wrecks and two different songs - but both were at least partly written by Carson Robison. This version is very close to Gene's transcription of the Marty Robbins version.
-Joe-
The Wreck of the 1256
(Carson Robison, AKA Carlos B. McAfee)
(as recorded by Vernon Dalhart)

On that cold and dark cloudy evenin',
Just before the close of the day,
There came Harry Lyle and Dillard,
And with Anderson they rode away.

From Clifton Forge they started,
And their spirits were running high,
As they stopped at Iron Gate and waited,
Till old Number Nine went by.

On the main line once more they started,
Down the James River so dark and drear;
And they gave no thought to the danger,
Or the death that was waiting so near.

They were gay and they joked with each other,
As they sped on their way side by side;
And the old engine rocked as she traveled,
Through the night on that last fatal ride.

In an instant the story was ended,
On her side in that cold river bed;
With poor Harry Lyle in the cabin,
With a deep fatal wound in his head.

Railroad men, you should all take warning,
From the fate that befell this young man;
Don't forget that the step is a short one,
From this earth to that sweet Promised Land.


Source: Long Steel Rail, (Second edition, 2000) Norm Cohen, pp. 240-242

Cohen says:
    The wreck occurred between 8:30 and 9:00 PM on January 3, 1925, on the James River Division of the C & O, eastbound out of Clifton Forge. The night was bitter cold, and the ground was snow covered. About seven miles east of Clifton Forge the train approached Rock Allen bluff. Here, around a left curve, a slode had occurred, which the engine's headlamp did not pick up until it was too late. The engine overturned into the James River and most of the cars left the track. Crewman Sydney Dillard found himself still in the cab but submerged in the icy water. Several hoboes who had been riding the cars helped pull him out of the river. They build a fre on the bank for warmth, not realizing that one of the overturned cars held a load of gasoline. The locomotive remained buried in the river for weeks, until special tracks could be laid to the water's edge in order to extract it. The engineer, Harry G. Lyle, was thirty-nine years old at the time, and engaged to be married in a few weeks.


Click to play


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Subject: ADD: Altoona Freight Wreck / Wreck of the 1262
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 03:34 AM

Altoona Freight Wreck
(Riley Puckett)

They had just left the point at Kittanning,
Freight Number Twelve Sixty-two;
She traveled right on down the mountain,
And brave were the men in her crew.

The engineer pulled at the whistle,
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied;
The brakeman climbed out on the car top,
For he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him,
He tightened [?tied in] those brakes with a prayer;
But she kept right on down that mountain,
Her whistle was piercing the air.

She traveled at sixty an hour,
Gaining speed every foot of the way;
And then in a crash it was over,
And there on the track the freight lay.

They found them at their post in the wreckage,
Both had done their duty so well;
The engineer still held the whistle,
And the fireman still hung to the bell.




Click to play


Source: Long Steel Rail, (Second edition, 2000) Norm Cohen, pp. 243-246.

notes from Cohen:
    The wreck described in this ballad befell the eastbound freight train VL-4 hauled by engine 1282 on the morning of November 29, 1925, on the Pennsylvania Railroad. The train had reached a block station 3.3 miles from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and started down the grade, when it was stalled by an application of the brakes for some reason that was never determined. The engineer started the train up without checking that the air-brake system was working properly, and he never regained contro. The train was derailed after it reached an estimated speed of sixty miles an hour on a downhill grade. The engineerman and fireman were killed; most of the cars were demolished.
Cohen says the song was copyrighted on January 30, 1926, by Carson Robison, who evidently set the words of Fred Tait-Douglas to music. The version above was recorded by Riley Puckett in 1937.

-Joe-


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Subject: ADD: The Freight Wreck at Altoona (freight #1262)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 04:32 AM

I hear the Doc Watson recording just a bit different from Gene's transcription - the main difference is that I'm sure he refers to the train as "she." Here is Norm Cohen's transcription of the 1926 Vernon Dalhart recording, the earliest known recording of the ballad. It's almost the same as Doc Watson's version.
-Joe-


The Freight Wreck at Altoona
(Carson Robison and Fred Tait-Douglas)
(as recorded by Vernon Dalhart, 1926)

She just left the point at Kittanning,
The freight number Twelve Sixty Two;
And on down the mountain she traveled,
And brave were the men in her crew.

The engineer pulled at the whistle,
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied;
And the brakeman climbed out on the car tops,
For he knew what the whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him,
He tightened the brakes with a prayer;
But the train kept right on down the mountain,
And her whistle still piercing the air.

And on down the grade she went racing,
She sped like a demon from Hell;
With the engineer blowing the whistle,
And the fireman was ringing the bell.

She traveled at sixty an hour
Gaining speed every foot of the way;
And then with a crash it was over,
And there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage,
Or the value of what it all cost;
It's the sad tale that came from the cabin,
Where the lives of two brave men were lost.

They were found at their posts in the wreckage,
They died when the engine had fell;
The engineer still held the whistle
And the fireman still hung to the bell.

This story is told of a freight train,
And it should be a warning to all;
You should be prepared every minute,
For you cannot tell when He'll call.



note that the Riley Puckett version has five verses and a significant text change in the last stanza. The Dahlart-Robison version has nine verses.
Source: Long Steel Rail, Norm Cohen


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 08:10 AM

Thanks Joe.........I gotta' get a copy of LSR. But you hafta' admit I know my railroads........LOL. Ever been to Horseshoe Curve
in your travels? Neat place even today. On one of your trips back east you need to skip the lighthouses and dig into a little railroad lore in Pennsylvania. And come see me and we'll go to a few other rail places that you will never forget.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for the tip, Spaw. I've been meaning to go to Horseshoe Curve for years. I figured I could get to the Sing Out! center and a coal mine tour at the same time. I'll tie it to my Getaway trip one of these years. This year's a quick trip, but I can go back to my leisurely rambles next year because I'll be finished with homeschooling.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: REQ: Wreck of the 1262
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 08:41 PM

and to think..it's been hiding in DigiTrad for 9 years. Search for Altoona.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Oct 07 - 03:59 AM

I hate it when that happens, Dick. Still, I think the versions we've posted are different here and there from what's in the DT.
Both are great songs, aren't they?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 05:49 PM

Joe - next time you give a sitation like Cohen....could you please include the page number?
    Noted and corrected, ya fussy so-and-so [grin] -Joe O-

New York Times, November 30, 1925 page 4 (as noted in footnote #1 by Cohen p.246.)

Freight Train Dashes Down Horseshoe Curve
And Piles Up in Altoona, Killing Two Men

Special to the New York Times

ALTOONA, Pa., Nov. 29 - Two men
were killed, a third was injured and
forty-five freight cars, with their con-
tents, werewrecked today when a mer-
chandise express train of the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad got beyond control of
the crew on the Horseshoe Curve and
dashed down the mountainside into this
city, jumping the track at Bridge
Street and crashing into another freight
train running in the opposite direction.

The dead are F.C. Scheline, aged
46, engineer, of Sharpsburg, and H.F.
Taubler, aged 27, fireman, of Aspinwall,
and G.M. Pincusty, aged 24, brakeman,
of Pittsburgh, was injured.

The VL-4, made up of fifty-eight cars,
was running east of Track A. At Kit-
tanning Point, topmost spot on the
Horseshoe Curve, noted for its scenic
grandeur, the train was flagged. After
a short stop it proceeded east again.
As the train got into motion it was
discovered that something had gone
wrong with the engine's machinery and
the engineer was unable to control it.

From Kittanning Point to the city the
railroad tracks follow a sharp descent
most of the five miles. As the train
started down this slope, picking up
momentum with each passing second,
the engineer tried in vain to check it.
Operation of the brakes produced no
result whatever. Both Scheline and
Taubler stuck to their cab as the loco-
motive, with the impetus of fifty-eight
loaded freight cars behind it, dashed
faster and faster down the mountain-
side.

As the runaway train thundered
through the railroad yards in Altoona
persons standing on the station plat-
form sought places of safety.

At Bridge Street the train encoun-
tered a series of switches. Here the
engine left the rails and the cars began
to pile up in a shapeless mass. The
engine, after jumping the track, snapped
clear of the cars behind it, ran along
the roadbed, crashed through a fence
and then fell over on its side.

Freight train No. 260, west bound,
was passing that point on a mear-by
track. Its engineer tried to gwet his
train beyond the danger zone, but was
unsuccessful His train was struck by
the zigzagging cars of the runaway and
twelve cars of his train were thrown
From the rails, most of them being
broken up, along with thirty-three cars
of the eastbound train.

http://www.grimshaworigin.org/NYtimesArticles.htm

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Freight Train Wreck at 17th Street Bridge, Altoona, PA, November 30, 1925

wreck_at_17th_St_1927.jpg (77540 bytes)

The wreck occurred when an eastbound freight train "lost its air" descending the East Slope and ran away, derailing and striking the old Seventeenth Street Bridge moving it 32 inches off its foundation. The bridge had to be rebuilt before it could be used for vehicular traffic again.

http://www.trainweb.org/horseshoecurve-nrhs/conrail.htm

PHOTOGRAPH -
http://www.trainweb.org/horseshoecurve-nrhs/Photos/Burket/wreck_at_17th_St_1927.jpg

http://www.trainweb.org/horseshoecurve-nrhs/Guide-p2.htm#17st

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�THE FREIGHT WRECK AT ALTOONA/THE WRECK OF THE 1262�

Many folksongs focus on train wrecks. One November 29, 1925, the wreck of theeastbound freight train, VL-4, led to one such ballad. After leaving the Kittanning Point Station at the Horseshoe Curve, the 1262 started down a grade. When the train was 3.3 miles from Altoona, the brakes failed, causing a derailment. The engineer and fireman were killed; most of the cars were demolished. Another folksong, � The New Market Wreck� also came about in this way.

The Railroad Comes to Pettis County Curriculum Guide Unit Four "Quality of Life" Hobo Signs - Railroad Songs Copyright � 2003. Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce.Page 77

www.sedaliakatydepot.com

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The Newlanders - audio, photo and text with liner notes.

The Altoona Freight Wreck
http://labornotes.org/node/1019/print

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Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 07:46 AM

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORATION

LOCATION AND METHOD OF OPERATION

REPORT OF PITTSBURGH DIVISON NOVEMBER 29, 1925

From: D.O.T. Collection http://dotlibrary2.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?websearch&site=dot_railroads

This accident occurred on that part of the Pittsburgh Division extending between Pittsburgh and Altoona, Pa., a distance of 113.8 miles. In the vicinity of the point of accident this is a four-track line over which trains are operated by time-table, train orders, and an automatic block-signal system. The tracks are numbered from north to south as follows: 4, 3, 2, and 1; the train involved started to run away while on track 1, was diverted to track A, which parallels track 1 on the south, at BO block station, at which point one pair of wheels was derailed, and was running on this track when it was entirely derailed nearly opposite JK block station, approximately 1 mile distant. Approaching JK block station from the west the track is targent for a distance of 5,900 feet, while the grade for the distance of nearly 12 miles between Gallitzin and Altoona is descending for eastbound trains, the greater part of this grade being between 1.5 and 2 per cent.

The weather was clear at the time of the accident, which occurred at 7.46 a.m.

DESCRIPTION

Eastbound freight train symbol VL-4 consisted of 58 cars and a caboose, hauled by engine 1282, and was in charge of Conductor Perry and Engineman Scheline. It departed from Sharpsburg, Pa., on the Conemaugh Division, at 5.45 p.m., November 28, and made several stops en route, including one at Conemaugh, on the Pittsburgh Division. It left Conemaugh at 1.30 a.m., assisted by helper engine 4587, started down the grade at Gallitzin, at which point the helper engine was cut off, and had nearly reached GY block station, 3.3 miles from Altoona, when the train was stalled by an application of the brakes due to some cause which was not determined. After a delay at this point of 30 or 35 minutes the train proceeded, passed GY block station according to the train sheet at 7.41 a.m., got beyond control of its crew and ran away, being derailed at Altoona while traveling at a speed estimated to have been about 60 miles an hour.

The first mark of derailment was at a frog located just west of BO block station, and there were wheel-flange marks on the outside of the left, rail and on the inside of the right rail, about 4 or 5 inches from the base of the rail, extending from this point to the point where the final derailment occurred. The engine and 39 cars were derailed, the majority of the cars being demolished. The employees killed were the engineman and fireman.

SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE

Conductor Perry said his train, which was what is known as a relay train, was received at Sharpsburg from the west, and that, as is customary with such trains, he received from the clerk the manifests and also a slip showing the number of cars in the train and the fact that the air brakes were 100 per cent operative, and he said he gave the original copy of this air-brake report to the engineman. No terminal tests are made with these relayed trains before departing, the instructions being to make a road test, which merely shows that the air is coupled through to the caboose. At Conemaugh, about 23 miles from Gallitzin, the engine was cut off for the purpose of taking on coal and cleaning the fire, another road test of the air brakes being made when the engine was recoupled. When the train reached Cresson near the summit of the ascending grade approaching Gallitzin, he left the caboose and went out on top of the train, and he said that prior to leaving the caboose he noted that the brake-pipe pressure, was then between 65 and 70 pounds. Conductor Perry began turning up the retaining valves and he said that when the train started down the grade extending from Gallitzin to Altoona all the retaining valves on the train were turned up with the exception of four on the rear end of the train, and that in addition hand brakes were applied on six cars at the head end of the train. He stated the number of hand brakes to be applied is left to the judgment of conductors, and when at Conemaugh he had told the head brakeman how many hand bakes to apply on the head end of the train. It further appeared from Conductor Perry's statements that before starting down the grade east of Gallitzin a brake-pipe pressure of 85 pounds is required on the head end of the train, with not less than 75 pounds on the rear end; if there is a pressure of less than 75 pounds on the rear end the engineman of the helper engine is supposed to sound a stop signal before cutting off from the train at that point. When the train passed AR block station practically at the summit of the grade, Conductor Perry heard a whistle signal, which he thought was sounded by the engineman of the helper engine, this signal indicating that it was all right for the train to proceed, and he said he transmitted a proceed signal to the engineman.

No trouble was experienced in handling the train down the grade at a moderate rate of speed, and from his place in about the middle of the train he had not noticed any heavy applications of the brakes just before the train stalled, a short distance west of GY block station, although prior to this time he had noticed that the brakes were sticking on about six cars. After the train had stalled Conductor Perry turned down some of the retaining valves and found five or six which would not release. He then turned up the retainers again and bled the air from some of the auxiliary reservoirs, after which he went to a telephone for the purpose of notifying the operator that his train had stopped and giving the operator information concerning the number of hours his crew had been on duty, after which he started ahead and met the head brakeman, who said he had been arguing with the engineman about overcharging the train line, the engineman claiming that the train line had not been overcharged. He did not, however, go up to the head end of the train and talk with the engineman for the purpose of finding out what had caused the train to stall, having met the brakeman at a point about 25 car lengths from the engine; and he said that while talking with the brakeman the engineman took the slack three or four times, finally succeeding in starting the train, although the brakes still were sticking to some extent. Conductor Perry did not notice any application of the air brakes after the train started, and as it passed GY block station, at about which time he heard the engine, man sound a whistle signal calling for hand brakes, be applied the hand brakes on two cars and shortly afterwards was able to apply the brakes on three more cars; and he said that while he did not know what was wrong he supposed at the time that the pumps on the engine were out of order. He estimated the speed of the train when passing BO block station to have been about 30 or 35 miles an hour and said he remained on the train, near the rear end, until if was derailed after the engine had passed JK block station. Conductor Perry further stated that when his train stalled west of GY block station he did not think that there was anything wrong other than the overcharging of the train line; although required when a train has stopped on the grade for some unknown reason to turn down all retaining valves and make a road test, yet such a test was not made in this case.

Head Brakeman Pincuspy said he left the engine at Cresson, previous to which the engineman had had no difficulty with the air brakes, and started back over the train, turning up the retaining valves on the first 20 or 22 cars, and that when the train finally stalled west of GY block station he had also applied the hand brakes on five cars at the head end of the train; he said that the train stalled with the engine working steam and the air brakes applied in emergency. After the train stopped he went over the cars toward the head end of the train, turning down the retaining valves and then turning them up again; he said he did not get any blow when he turned them down while the pistons remained out, causing him to think that the train line was overcharged, and when he reached the head end of the train he began bleeding the auxiliaries, not draining them, but, according to his statements, taking some of the strain off the brake shoes. In doing this, at which time the retaining valves were in the holding position, he did not bleed the auxiliaries on all the cars but would occasionally skip one or two cars, and he estimated that he opened about 12 or 15 bleed cocks; the pistons, however, would not release after this had been done. It also appeared from his statements that another reduction was made and that the brakes again applied in emergency. After bleeding the auxiliaries Head Brakeman Pincuspy returned to the, engine and had an argument with the engineman, who had gotten off the engine and had started back along the train locking at the bleed cocks; he said this argument was as to reasons for the stalling of the train, that he told the engineman he must have overcharged the train line while the engineman said the trouble was located on the train and not on the engine. Brakeman Pincuspy said that when a train stops for unknown reasons the crew is supposed to locate the trouble, make a road test to see that the air is working through the train, and then wait until the air pressure is restored before proceeding. This procedure was not followed, however, in this case. According to his statements, the flagman was recalled by the engineman, a proceed signal was given by the conductor, and the train was started with the brakes sticking throughout the train. Although the speed began to increase, yet he did not realize that the train was out of the control of the engineman until he saw the fireman on top of the first car in the train and at about the same time he heard the engineman calling for hand brakes, this being after the train had passed GY block station, and he said he then began applying hand brakes, working toward the rear end of the train, and had succeeded in setting the brakes on six cars. He estimated the speed of the train to have been about 75 or 80 miles an hour immediately prior to the time the derailment occurred near JK block station. Head Brakeman Pincuspy further stated that while the train was standing at the point where it had stalled he did not notice any closed angle cocks or any leaks in the train line, and he was unable to offer any explanation as to why the train got beyond control after passing GY block station.

The statements of Flagman Strayer concerning the movements of his train prior to the time it reached Gallitzin brought out nothing additional of importance. He said the pressure according to the caboose gauge was about 70 pounds when the helper engine was cut off at Gallitzin and that the engineman of the helper engine whistled off at that time; he afterwards qualified this statement, however, to the extent of saying that he was busy with other duties and did not notice whether the engineman of the helper engine whistled for the train to be stopped or for it to proceed. He said the brakes were working properly from Gallitzin to the point where the train stalled and that he then went back to protect his train. When recalled he returned to the caboose and glanced at the gauge, but he said he was unable to say whether or not it indicated there was any brake-pipe pressure. He then rode in his usual position, on the forward platform of the caboose, and he said he did not hear anything to indicate that the brakes were sticking, neither did he hear anything to indicate that the air brakes had been applied by the engineman, and finally when the speed began to increase he went inside the caboose and reached for the release valve. Finding no air at that point he went back to the forward platform and broke the air hose between the caboose and the rear car and he said that there was nothing to indicate the presence of any air in the train line. He did not open the conductor's valve, which was located on the outside of the caboose, saying that he reached for the first available means of opening the train line. When asked to explain why there was no air in the train line he suggested that it might have been clue to the action of some one in closing an angle cock or to the fact that the pumps on the engine might have been out of order. Flagman Strayer further stated that when the train was in the vicinity of GY block station, at which time it was running away, he had locked ahead but had not seen any fire flying from the brake shoes.

Engineman Beiter, in charge of helper engine 4587, stated that when he coupled to the rear of the train at Conemaugh the gauge showed a brake-pipe pressure of 62 pounds. The engine was cut off at NY block station, 11 miles west of Gallitzin, for the purpose to taking water, and when it had recoupled to the train the pressure was once more pumped up to 62 pounds. He said that 62 pounds was the pressure at the time the train stopped at MO block station, about 2 miles west of Gallitzin, and that when the train finally reached the summit of the grade at Gallitzin the same brake-pipe pressure was registered and that he sounded one blast on the whistle as a stop signal, at the same time gradually closing the throttle. The speed of the train was reduced and he thought it was going to be brought to a stop, but his statements indicated that his engine was cut off and that train VL-4 started down the grade without having the required brake-pipe pressure, which he said should have been between 75 and 85 pounds. Engineman Beiter further stated that the automatic brake had been used in making the various stops en route, that the brakes applied and released properly, and that in each case the brake-pipe pressure was pumped up immediately. Fireman Fenwick said he had not noticed the brake-pipe pressure unfit Engineman Beiter sounded a stop signal, at which time the pressure was slightly less than 65 pounds, and that he did not see any member of the train crew when he cut off the helper.

Operator Sease, on duty at GY block station, said train VL-4 was moving at a speed of about 25 miles when the engine passed that point. He did not see any fire flying from the wheels nor did he hear the engineman calling for hand brakes, but he said there were two members of the crew on top of the train setting the hand brakes, one of these men being located on about the fifteenth car from the engine while the other apparently was about 30 or 35 cars back of the engine. Operator Sease did not realize at this time that the train was beyond control, but as a matter of precaution he notified the operator at BO block station to be watching for the train.

Operator Chappell, on duty at BO block station, said he had intends d to detour train VL-4 from track 1 to track A, and this arrangement was not changed. As the train went through the crossover the engine seemed to sway to one side but righted itself, and he did not know until some time afterwards that any portion of the train had been derailed at that point. He estimated the speed of the train to have been about 50 miles an hour, and said that there were two men on top of the train applying hand brakes. Operator Chappell further stated that the only fire he saw was coming from the driving-wheel brake shoes and that the tires on the driving wheels seemed to be red-hot.

An eyewitness who was standing at JK block station said that as the train approached that point he could see that the pony-truck wheels were derailed, while fire was flying from under every car in the train. He estimated the speed of the train to have been about 35 or 40 miles an hour.

L. F. Axe, assistant foreman car inspector, said that as soon as he reached the scene of the accident, at about 8.15 a.m., he examined the brakes on the last 19 cars and the caboose and found that only five of the brakes were still holding, the balance having released. Later a terminal test was made, and it found that all the brakes applied properly except in the case of one, car on which the brakes were cut out and another on which the brake was inoperative, on account of a leaky cylinder-packing leather; this test was made from a brake-pipe pressure of 70 pounds. Car Inspector Brannen stated it was about 9.30 a.m., when in company with Mr. Axe, and one other employee, a yard engine was coupled to the rear of the 19 cars and caboose, the train line charged to 70 pounds brake-pipe pressure, and a 20-pound reduction made, and he said that on examining these cars they found four on which the brakes were not working. Two of these were the cars previously referred to by Mr. Axe, the other two involving release valves which had stuck in the open position. These were closed and the test was then repeated and on this occasion there were only two cars on which the brakes did not apply. These two employees were asked for their opinion as to what caused the train to run away, and Mr. Axe said from what he had seen he judged that the train did not have sufficient pressure when coming down the grade, otherwise there would have been air in the auxiliaries when they were examined after the occurrence of the accident, while the brakes on all of the cars which were not damaged would have remained applied as it was, while the air was still applied on several of the cars, yet it was just barely holding.

The air-brake test which was made of the 19 cars and caboose which remained on the rails after the occurrence of the accident showed that in addition to the two cars on which the brakes were inoperative, as noted by Assistant Foreman Axe, there were two other cars on which the piston travel was 81/2 inches, one on which the piston travel was 91/2 inches, and one on which the travel was 101/2 inches. It was also noted about 30 or 35 minutes after the occurrence of the accident that there were only five cars on which the pistons were out of the cylinders, one of these being the car on which the piston travel was 101/2 inches.

Chief Car Inspector Walker said he understood that train VL-4 was assembled at Columbus and relayed at Dennison, Ohio, and again relayed at Sharpsburg, and that at the two stations last named the instructions, in effect, were to make only a road test of the air brakes in the case of a relayed train; should a train be assembled at Sharpsburg, however, it would receive a terminal test. Mr. Walker also said that the air-brake instructions provided that on starting down grades a brake-pipe pressure of at least 85 pounds should be carried on the engine, in the case of a light-tonnage train, such as the train involved in this accident, and in case a train stops for a reason unknown to the crew the train is to remain at that particular point until the crew is satisfied that the brakes are in condition to control the train; after turning down the retaining valves and releasing the brakes, the valves are to be turned up again and the brake-pipe pressure restored before proceeding. He considered it to be practical for trains of the size, involved in this accident to start down the grade without stopping at the summit for a test either of the air brakes or of the retaining valves, provided it is known that the brakes are in good condition and also provided that the required pressure is maintained; in fact, he stated that the only difficulty experienced on this grade was due to trains breaking in two or stalling due to the extra attention paid to keeping up the brake-pipe pressure and keeping down the-speed. He further stated no retaining-valve tests are made in this particular territory other than to see that the pipes are intact and coupled to the valves and that the valves appear to be in working order.

Assistant Trainmaster Gerard, located at Sharpsburg, said that in the case of relayed trains the clerk who handles the waybills secures information as to the number of operative air brakes either from the conductor or the yardmaster; he then writes down this information on a blank form and turns it over, together with the waybills, to the conductor who is to have charge of the train when it leaves Sharpsburg. No terminal or retaining-valve tests are made on such trains, the conductor of the incoming train being expected to know of any inoperative brakes and to furnish information concerning them. If there are any cars on which the brakes are inoperative, it is provided in the instructions that these cars are to be cut out of the train and repaired before being forwarded to their destination. In this connection it might be stated that the car inspectors at Sharpsburg shopped one car on account of a broken arch bar and another car on account of a broken truss rod.

Train VL-4 had been made up at Columbus, Ohio, on the after-noon of November 27, at which time a terminal air-brake test was made by car inspectors. These inspectors stated that the air brakes on the train were in good condition, with a piston travel of between 6 and 8 inches, but that they did not make any test of the retaining valves other than to see that they were open. These inspectors also stated that a road test was made after the engine was coupled to the train for the purpose of determining that the air brakes were working through to the caboose. The terminal test was completed at about 5.45 p.m. and the road test at about 6.20 p.m.

Machinist Gilchrist, located at Sharpsburg, said he had worked on the air brakes on engine 1282 on November 27, prior to its departure on train VL-4 on November 28. The reservoir pressure was all right but he changed the brake-pipe pressure setting from 75 pounds to 70 pounds. He said he had a report that the air gauge registered improperly, but on testing it lip found it to be only 11/2 pounds out of the way, and therefore did not make any repairs. He did, how-ever, find that the piston travel of the driving-wheel brakes was about 7 inches and said he adjusted this travel to about 51/2 inches. He did not notice anything wrong with the operation of the pump and said he considered the air-brake equipment on the engine to be in good condition. Examination of engine 1282, which is of the 2-8-2 type, showed that the driving-wheel tires had been badly over-heated, four of them being loosened. Careful examination of such parts of the air-brake equipment of the engine as could be tested failed to develop anything wrong with the exception of a slight leak to the atmosphere at the rotary valve when in the release position, but in this case the valve handle and stem bore evidence of having been struck by something when the engine was wrecked. The work reports show that considerable trouble had been experienced with the air compressor and that finally on November 24 it had been removed and another compressor applied which had been previously inspected and tested.

CONCLUSIONS

This accident was caused by failure to know that the air-brake system was in proper condition to control the train before allowing it to proceed from the point at which it had stalled on a heavy descending grade, for which Conductor Perry and Engineman Scheline are primarily responsible.

The investigation developed that after the train had stalled, at a point where the grade was about 1.70 per cent descending, the only thing done by the members of the crew was to endeavor to release the brakes so as to allow the train to proceed, no attempt being made to ascertain the nature of the trouble responsible for the stalling of the train. The engineman had to take the slake several times before he finally succeeded in starting the train, at which time many of the brakes still were sticking, and it appears that after the train had once been started it never again was under the engineman's control. The reason for the stalling of the train was not definitely ascertained. However, all the evidence indicates that the emergency application which stalled the train was due either to undesired quick action of a triple valve at some point in the train or to an open brake pipe probably caused by a burst hose. The theory of an overcharged brake pipe, advanced by Brakeman Pincuspy and Conductor Perry, is not tenable.

Conductor Perry turned down a few retaining valves and bled a few auxiliaries at the rear of the train, and then went directly to the telephone, from which point he proceeded toward the head end of the train and met the brakeman at a point about 25 car lengths from the engine. While Conductor Perry was talking with the brakeman at this point, the engineman was taking slack on the train in an effort to start it, the brakes still sticking, and finally got it moving while the conductor and brakeman were still engaged in conversation. No member of the train crew had an opportunity to know anything about the condition of the train behind the twenty-fifth car from the head end. After the train once started it was absolutely beyond control. When Flagman Strayer mounted the caboose after being called in he did not notice the brake-pipe pressure indication on the air gauge, but when the speed of the train increased unduely he broke the air hose between the caboose and rear car and found no air in the brake pipe.

This accident very forcibly calls attention, not only to a woeful lack of rule observance on the part of the responsible members of this train crew, but also to lack of adequate safeguards by the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. to insure that trains shall be safely operated on this descending grade.

In the first place, this train broke over the summit of the grade with the rear end not charged to the pressure required by rule. The nonchalance with which this fact was treated when attention was called to it by the designated signal from the engineman of the helper engine indicates that the rule is more honored in its breach than in its observance. Next, this train was moved from Columbus, Ohio, to the point of accident, a distance of approximately 300 miles, passing through two established terminals at which the engines and crows were changed, without any test of the brakes other than the ordinary road test to determine that the brake pipe was open throughout the train. No information as to the efficiency of the brakes on this train was had by the crew which took charge of it at Dennison or at Sharpsburg. It was particularly essential that full information about brake conditions should have been furnished the crew which took the train at Sharpsburg, the last terminal passed before descending the grade on which the accident occurred. The evidence is that it is the regular practice of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. to operate trains of this character as this train was operated. This is a bad practice which should be corrected.

The test which was made of the brakes on the cars which remained intact after the accident disclosed brakes with unduely long piston travel, and at least two that were wholly inoperative. It is reason able to assume that this was typical of the brake conditions on the entire train, a state of affairs which would not have existed had a proper brake test been made at Sharpsburg and the necessary repairs made.

It is a regrettable circumstance that serious accident such as the one herein considered often seems to be the only means of effecting a correction of unsafe practices of long standing. While the operation of trains on Gallitzin grade is nominally by means of air brakes, it has long been the practice not only to permit but to encourage the use of hand brakes in connection therewith, the number of hand brakes used being left to the judgment of enginemen and conductors in charge of trains. The control of trains on this grade, therefore, is partly by air brakes and partly by hand brakes. This practice, like all practices which involve a division of responsibility, leads to a reliance upon one method to correct deficiencies in the other, leading to the result that, sooner or later, both methods will inevitably fail when most urgently needed.

The lesson to be learned in this connection is that if trains are to be controlled by means of air brakes they must be so controlled absolutely and without reservation. This means that the air brakes must be maintained in an efficiently operative condition at all times, and employees must be properly instructed in their use. The converse is true of the hand-brake method. Both methods can not safely be used together; and in this connection it may be proper to observe that the use of hand brakes to control the speed of trains is unlawful.

The employees involved were experienced men. At the time of the accident they had been on duty about 14 hours after about 10 hours off duty, with the exception of Head Brakeman Pincuspy, who had been off duty about 24 hours.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 05:26 PM

Thank you garg.....I suppose to add on to this.........Has everyone noticed that the engine number in the report and the song (and on other account) don't match?????? The song say 1262 but the report is 1282...hmmm????? My best guess is that the song may have come from a news account but the report is accurate. 1262 was an engine numberr to a type not used on the Pittsburgh Division whereas the 1282 was a Mikado, by far the biggest choice of the day on the Pennsy for hauling freight.

The engine involved here was a PRR Mikado Class L1 Locomotive with Mikado wheel arrangement 2-8-2. Built betweem 1914 and 1919, they were built by the PRR at their Juanita shops and also by Baldwin Locomotive Co. A few were built by Lima Loco Works as well.The L1 's were built as freight haulers and shared the same boiler with the passenger type K4 Pacifics (4-6-2). Both classes used the same PRR exclusive (and classic looking) Belpaire firebox (see the photo-the firebox is the very squared off section next to the cab. The flat-sided squared off design made both the Belpaire firebox and most PRR engines readily identifiable).

The wrecked #1282 and oddly enough, the #520 in THIS picture were BOTH built in 1916 at Baldwin. I say oddly because the #520 is the only surviving PRR Mikado L1.

The engines came in at about 60,000 pounds and the PRR used 62 inch drivers so you have some idea of the size. Here is another shot of a PRR Mikado "back in the day." Over 61,000 pounds of startup tractive force made them a powerful hauler but they had no stoker which put a lot of excessive work and effort on the fireman and they often were not fired to capacity. They were retired in the 30's but used some during WWII because of need.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 08:55 PM

Well this has been really bugging me.

I called a friend who is another son of a PRR railroader who collects old stuff from the Pennsy, C&O,B&O, and Nickel Plate, like timetables and freight schedules from the past hundred years. He's looking but it may take awhile. He too thinks (after some quick checking) that the number 1262 was on an aging Atlantic type or possibly a B6 Switcher on the Eastern Division at that time. He also has some material on the wreck and I linked him this thread to look at as well. Its hard to find all of that type of info frankly.

Here's the problem. The Pennsy was a monstrous railroad that not so humbly called themselves the "Standard Railroad of the World." They had some justification for this, but in one area they were anything but standard.....and that was, sadly, in engine numbering. Where other lines used blocks of numbers for build runs of specific types, for reasons known only to god, the PRR used random numbers! Even worse? Yeah, it gets worse. After an engine was scrapped, the number was often reused by another entirely different type.

What I AM absolutely sure of is that the never was a Mikado numbered 1262 and that the probability of it being another type would be remote. The only other candidate at the time for a possible type would have been a Pacific K class which was eventually used in freight as well as passenger service and in its various classes from K2 to K5 (mainly K4) was one of the Pennsys most famed engines. HOWEVER....I can't find a that number anywhere in the Pacific class info I have and neither could Jimmy Blundo.

I'm willing to bet this is what happened:

Most of the wreck stories were taken from one story called into the times much like they are today. Notes taken etc., then relayed in. Others copied them. If a local paper had it first, they also had it "lifted" by others for the next edition. Note how hard it is to read numbers on freight steamers in service and then think how easily you could mistakenly see an 8 as a 6. The report was a different story but for a news piece the error was probably never caught and if it was......did it really matter?

I'll hear back from Jimmy in a few days I figure. I hadn't talked to him in a long time so we had a nice visit. His Dad was also an Engineer with mine on the Pennsy Panhandle Division but Carl was killed in a wreck in the fog over around the Ohio River when his freight, CP6, out of Columbus bound for Conway yards in PA., rear ended a switcher swapping cars on a siding, a signal malfunction.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 09:39 PM

Hey, they got the number wrong on Engine 143 also - it was apparently 134. But this is excellent info, is this the source of the train wreck song about a house I had bought for our own?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Oct 07 - 10:01 PM

Mr. SCpawn you are slowly learning About

Thank you, for the links

Sincerely
Gargoyle

At the decade.... "no one gave a damm" .... as the DT evolves into a legitimate academice resource....the attributions of: Source, Pub, Time, Page, URL becomes more and more important....

Without a REAL reference to primary source....someone's profession/professor/ may be left hanging in polymere.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 01:50 AM

RE: 1282 - the government report would stand up in court....and I would wager its accuracy over a Folk Ballad issused in early 1926.

As Usual....Stick to the FACTS...CS...stick to the facts as reported.

Cohen, p.243 notes it as 1282

CS Mudcat 23, Oct. 2007 8:55 pm. a friend...thinks... that the number 1262 was on an aging Atlantic type never was a Mikado numbered 1262.... your reference is sketchy....WHO, WHEN, HOW????

Department of Transportation Report Nov. 29, 1925 records:

DOT Paragraph #2
"hauled by engine 1282"

DOT Paragraph #13
"Machinist Gilchrist, located at Sharpsburg, said he had worked on the air brakes on >engine 1282"

DOT Paragraph # 13

"Examination of engine 1282, which is of the 2-8-2 type"

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Consider it as "poetic liscence" let it be "leid" to rest


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 01:55 AM

Mr. Spaw.... I cannot fathom posting the 10:01 to this thread.



I believe is clone is "at Play" with prviously deleasted postings.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 04:48 AM

I have no idea what you're talking about to begin with unless you're just agreeing with what I posted in your usual confusing style when you do anything other than a site reference or a copy/paste.

Honest to gawd Garg, between your spellings and syntax in combination with your own weird self, it becomes a serious chore to figure your posts out. I take it you agree with the idea that the news folks got it wrong and it travelled to us in song with the wrong engine number thanks to their inaccuracy. The actual number as stated by the report was 1282. If that's what you meant please send me an award.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 05:17 AM

Oh yeah.......Something else these two wrecks DO have in common was the engine type. Thankfully the Chesapeake and Ohio always used a block numbering system. Engine 1256 was also a Mikado built by Alco(Richmond) in late 1924. As this wreck happened in January of 1925, this locomotive was basically brand new. Bless you Chessie for having an easily researched numbering system.

There are no surviving C&O Mikados but here's a nice photo of the Chessie version for comparison. THIS ENGINE, number 2338, was built in 1925.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 02:00 PM

I seem to be hung up on this thread but its a kind of therapy right now so bear with me.....LOL.

There is already an abundance of worthless and unneeded information on this thread (do you really care that the engines were both Mikados or that the Pennsy used Belpaire fireboxes?......yeah, I thought not!) but I guess there's always room for more so...............

In looking for pictures I ran across an interesting tidbit of info. First, here's a small picture of the C&O 1252 wreck. It notes that Head End Brakeman Hardy Lyle was killed in the wreck but Long Steel Rail says he was the Engineer. Personally, although I know LSR is a fine work, I'll go with the Chessie Historical Society. ALSO---and even more intersting is that the Fireman of 1256, Sidney Dillard, was now Engineer Sidney Dillard in 1951 when THIS wreck occurred 12 miles away. Here is another picture of yet another Mikado, this one upside down. If Mr. Dillard survived the second wreck, I think I would have suggested retirement(;<))

I'll try to add more worthless drivel at another time.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 02:53 PM

I have heard of these 2 songs. The wreck of the 1256, and Train No.1262.
Here are the lyrics.

WRECK OF THE 1256

On a cold and dark, cloudy ev'nin'
Just before the close of day
There came Harry Lyle and Dillard
And with Anderson they rode a way.

From Clifton Fort they started
And their spirits were runnin' high
And they stopped at Iron Gate and waited
'Til Old Number 9 went by.

Down the main line once more they started
Down the James River cold, dark and drear
And they gave no thought to the danger
Or the death that was waiting so near.

They were gay and they joked with each other
As they sped on their way side by side
And the old engine rocked as she travelled
Through the night on that last fatal ride.

In an instant the story was ended
On here side in that cold river bed
With poor Harry Lyle in the cabin
With a deep, fatal wound in his head.

Railroad men you should all take a warnin'
From the fate that befell this young man
Don't forget that the step is a short one
From this earth to that sweet, promised land.


TRAIN NO.1262

She'd just left the point at kittanning
The freight number 1262
And on down the mountains she traveled
So brave were the men in her crew.

The engineer pulled at the whistle
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied
And the brakeman climbed out on the car top
For he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him
He tied in those brakes with a prayer
But the train went right on down that mountain
Her whistle still piercing the air.

He traveled at sixty an hour
Gaining speed every foot of the way
And then with a crash it was over
And there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage
Or the value of what the wreck cost
It's the sad scene they found in the cabin
Where the lives of two brave men were lost.

They found them at their post in the wreckage
Where they died when the engine had fell
The engineer still held the whistle
And the fireman still clung to the bell.

Now this story is told of a freight train
But it should be a warning to all
We need to be prepared every moment
For we can never tell when He'll call.

Wreck of the 1256 I heard by Curly Fox on the CD ''Train 45,''
and the song Train No.1262 I heard on the tape, Flatt & Scruggs
sing songs of Rivers and Rails.
                                  Thank You


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Subject: The Longest Train
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 05:10 PM

Hi, Me again,
anybody want lyrics to the song, The Longest Train, well, I listened
to a record by RCA Victor called, ''The Railroad in Folksong,'' and
I listened carefully and wrote down the words, and I just thought you
dudes might like it.

The Longest Train (Recorded by J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers.)

The Longest train I every saw,
was the day I left my home.
The engine had left at 6 o'clock,
and the driver never left town

Look up, look down the lonesome road,
where you, and I must go.
To the pines, to the pines, where the sun never shines,
Where I shiver when the cold wind blows.

The prettiest little girl I ever saw,
was walking down the line.
Her cheeks was painted rosy red,
and her hair hung down behind.


Look up, look down the lonesome road,
where you, and I must go.
To the pines, to the pines, where the sun never shines,
Where I shiver when the cold wind blows.

The train, run bad 4 miles from town,
and killed my girl you know.
her head was found in the driver wheel,
and her body I never could find.


Look up, look down the lonesome road,
where you, and I must go.

                                  Thank You


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,Jonathan Hewlett
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 05:37 PM

I know about the song Engine One-Forty-Three, and I also know it involved the C&O Railroad with engineer, George Alley. I also know that he was driving, the C&O's, FFV, ''Fast Flying Vestibule'' and had a train wreck near Hinton, West Virginia, October 23, 1890. His train
crashed against the rocks, and his engine was turned upside-down and landed right into the river. He was taken to the doctor, but it was too late. He died, very quickly. That is all that I know.
                                                       Thank You


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:14 PM

Somewhere I read/heard this verse, I thought it was from the Vernon Dalhart version, maybe it's shown earlier in the thread but I don't think so. I believe it was before the verse that starts "It's not the extent of the damage."

The engine was broken in pieces,
The freight cars were thrown far and near
A mile up the track lay the wreckage;
'Twas the worst wreck in many a year.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:28 PM

Can any of you braniacs help me find information about Madison Goodson. He worked the L&N railroad from Pensacola to River Junction near Chattahootchee Florida from the turn of the 20th century. He was Ida Goodson's father and he played piano and was a deacon at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola Florida.

I have looked around on the L&n site but I don't know how to best search for this information.

Abby


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 10:48 PM

Explain you interst / connection HARPY ..... and there might be reason to dig.

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 11:14 PM

Perhaps grave robbing or necrophilia Greg? Geeziz Garg, are you doin' a whole helluva' lot else?

Hey Harpy......How's tricks? I don't belong to any of those cool genealogical type sites but I'll do whatever checking I can for ya'. Leave the Gutter Spout a note so he feels important 'cause he really can do great research as you know........You'd think after all these years he wouldn't be such a dick but he is....an not even a hard-on.....just a floppy little thing above two tiny balls dessicated from lack of use.

Any additional info is helpful, ue., birth/death years and where maybe.....that sort of thing. Ever in an accident on the L&N?

Shallow Running Crank Bait


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 25 Oct 07 - 10:11 PM

Hey, SRCB, how are you?

Okay....I am writing an ethnography of Ida Goodson. Ida was born near Marianna Florida and grew up in Pensacola. She lived in a neighborhood called "Hawkshaw( I think they called it that) which was nine or ten blocks north of the L&N depot in Pensacola which was on the bay. She had six sisters, all of whom played piano. Her sister Wilhelmina was married to DeDe Pierce and was known as Billie Pierce. They lived in New Orleans and toured and are well known in jazz circles. Ida played mostly in north Florida. Ida played at the many jazz clubs in Pensacola and was well respected as a musician. She once played for Bessie Smith. The Goodson's were extraordinarily talented musicians. Ida won a Folk Heritage Award in Florida in 1987.   

I am trying to find out more about her family. I am doing my research in the Florida State Museum Archives and Library and I am also hoping to travel to Pensacola to interview some folks who played with her.

I am learning to do ethnography and have written one on Veronika Jackson and one on Elizabeth Cotten. Is that enough?

gargoyle would like her piano playing. But I can't send him anything because he's so damn mysterious and all....but his Seboomook picture is cute!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 11:42 PM

Great zot Harpster! That's great work and sounds like you're doing well. Hate to be that serious with you but that's pretty neat. I'm impressed!

Haven't found anything myself, but I did find a great L&N site for other stuff!

Spaw


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Subject: Wreck of the 1262 Doc Watson - Station Name
From: GUEST,Robert
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 09:48 AM

Hello!

Sorry to revive an old thread, but this one coincide best with what I search for. I have read this thread with great interest, however I must ask if anyone here might know what Doc Watson say instead of "Kittanning"? The recording is found on the CD/LP On Stage from 1970, but also on Youtube - a clip from 1988.

Since he must use some known station or somesuch name it could be obvious to some who might have heard this: "Shecamy" (that translates best of what he is saying or more like pronouncing. It could be "She-came-in" (as one word) but that I think unlikely. "Shecaemie" ?

Hopefully some of you might know a name or place that Watson is referring to?

Thanks for reading!

Robert


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,Robert
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 02:18 PM

Anyone knows of a name pronounced that way in the US or should I create a new thread for this? I think it's better to have the question in this thread though...

Since Kittanning can't be correct in this case if it wasn't another way of spelling that (very unlikely), I hope someone here can help, after all this seem to be the best place on the web for those kind of questions.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 02:20 PM

"I hope someone here could help" it should be.

Regards,

Robert


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Subject: Lyr Req: Wreck of 1262 (Doc Watson's version)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 05:21 AM

Okay, since threads disappear so fast here, I post a specific lyrics request. This version appears only on Doc Watson On Stage (1970) or here .

Clearly this text appears in Wreck of 1262 origins at the forum Except for what Doc sings instead of "Kittanning" (the station name which the train leaves, I think).

This message is more of a "clarifier" if for those of us who aren't from US or Britain if Kittanning should be pronounced this way or if Doc sings something else entirely. He's been known to add different lyrics than most common versions of traditional songs, so I wouldn't be surprised if he has changed this one too...

So if anyone could give some light to this subject it would be appreciated.

Best Regards,
Robert

(By the way: My other posts to the different thread: Wreck 1262 (origins) can be deleted by an administrator to avoid confusion to readers as this is essentially the same message).


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Subject: ADD Version: Wreck of the 1262 (from Doc Watson)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 09:08 PM

Refresh. Can anyone come up with any other corrections to Gene's transcription of Doc Watson's version of "Wreck of the 1262"?

-Joe-
This is what I hear:

Here's Doc Watson's version...

THE WRECK OF THE 1262

Recorded by Doc Watson/Trad.

She'd just left the point at Kittanning,
The freight number 1262;
And on down the mountains she traveled,
So brave were the men in her crew.

The engineer pulled at the whistle,
For the brakes wouldn't work when applied;
And the brakeman climbed out on the car top,
For he knew what that whistle had cried.

With all of the strength that God gave him,
He tied in those brakes with a prayer;
But the train went right on down that mountain,
Her whistle still piercing the air.

She traveled at sixty an hour,
Gaining speed ev'ry foot of the way;
And then with a crash it was over,
And there on the track the freight lay.

It's not the amount of the damage,
Or the value of what the wreck cost;
It's the sad scene they found in the cabin,
Where the lives of two brave men were lost.

They found them at their post in the wreckage,
Where they died when the engine had fell;
The engineer still held the whistle,
And the fireman still clung to the bell.

Now this story is told of a freight train,
But it should be a warning to all;
We need to be prepared ev'ry moment,
For we can never tell when He'll call.

Source: DOC WATSON ON STAGE/VSD 9/10


The only things I corrected were substituting female pronouns for male when referring to the train. I agree with the poster above that the name of the town sure doesn't sound like "Kitanning." It's sounds like Doc is singing "Chicannie," or something like that, but I think he just got it wrong. All the versions of the song in Norm Cohen's Long Steel Rail say Kitanning, a town 79 miles from from Altoona, Pennsylvania.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 09:52 PM

You've got it the way I've always heard it,Joe and I always thought Doc was saying Chicannie or Shikannie. On Stage is one of my favorite LP's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 11:15 PM

http://www3.gendisasters.com/pennsylvania/14412/altoona-pa-freight-train-crash-nov-1925

Press report at the time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: Mik2
Date: 04 Feb 14 - 02:00 PM

The video from 1988 I mentioned is here

from Philadelphia Folk Festival part 7

Doc Watson here sings the 'station' name exactly as 18 years earlier.

It starts with a 1 minute story of his friend 'Philadelphia' Jerry Ricks - the blues musician.

I found the nickname 'Philadelphia' on Wirz discography page and elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: Mik2
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 09:40 AM

Thanks, Guest@ for the info link.

Gillymore and Joe , thanks for the help!


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Subject: Wreck of the 1262 - Flatt & Scruggs (1967)
From: Mik2
Date: 09 Mar 14 - 11:47 AM

I just located another version of Wreck of 1262 that uses another ''Point" or location:

It is on the Flatt & Scruggs album "Hear the Whistle Blow" (1967)

Lester Flatt pronounces it ' Chiekanu or Shecamou ' .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Wreck of the 1262/1256
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 10:21 AM

Shame about the spam which has brought this thread back to the top.
But a great thread to re-read.
I'll raise a glass to Spaw tonight.


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