Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Train tragedy in Maine history

There is an interesting post about Maine Railroad Accident Reports from 1874 over on the MaineGenealogy blog. If this sample is any indication, Victorian era railroads were a bustling and fast-paced environment, and resulted in a wide range of serious injuries, usually ending in amputation or death. A surprising number of these were the result of simple slip-and-fall accidents.

The accounts themselves are quite interesting to read, such as this one:
January 16. The night express train from Boston was thrown from the track near Newport station, and ran along for a short distance, tearing up the rails and badly frightening the passengers. Frank Jackson, a brakeman, was thrown on to the ground with great violence and injured internally. Charles Estes, also brakeman, was thrown off and his ankle sprained. None of the 49 pass[e]ngers on board were injured.
MaineGenealogy blog has a wide range of these reports available in its archives, which can be found at http://www.mainegenealogy.net/blog.html.

If you're curious about current railroad accident figures, the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis has a page that lets you run reports from railroads all over the country (you can specify time frames, specific states, etc). Click here to peruse their handy report-generating page.

No comments: