B+A Train Derailment 1952
Island Falls 1952 B+A Derailment
Thursday, March 6, 1952
25 Cars Pile Up In Early
Saturday At Island Falls;
A broken wheel striking switches…freight yard is believed to have caused…25 cars of a 47-car Bangor and Aroostook…proceeding north early Saturday morning, tying up the main rail line until late in the evening.
The accident, which occurred…yards from the station at…point piled cars into a…across the right of the way…up track and crushing a…of the cars. Damage was estimated to reach as high as $50,000.
A wall at the bulk mill plant of H. F. Hood & Sons Company, adjacent to the station was crushed when a car bounced from the side of the building causing damage estimated at $1,000.
The middle section of the train jackknifed to the left of the track just after crossing a small steel bridge leading into the yard. Cars were piled side by side and one on top of another in helter-skelter fashion. Five tank cars loaded with gasoline and fuel oil were involved. One of the cars had a five foot hole punched in its side spilling its contents. No fire was caused, but firemen from Houlton and Island Falls stood by while wreckers worked.
A number of cars were…back on the rails. Operating at both ends of the wrecked section, but many of the cars had to be hauled from the right of way by powerful cranes to clear the track. Sections of rail were twisted and broken by the force of the hurtling cars.
The accident happened before 5:00 A.M. and the roadway was not cleared until late Saturday night. North and southbound trains were halted short of the wreck and passengers from both were taken by bus from Belvedere siding to Oak Field or vice versa where they boarded trains to continue their journey.
By 2:00 P.M. repair crews were swinging battered boxcars and crushed tank cars into snow-filled ditches.
Lt. Donald Herron and Troopers Thurston Haslam and Ralph Han…of the State Police were on the scene. They kept…
…to the Island Falls switch…said that a broken wheel might…unnoticed for a considerable…without doing harm until it struck a switch.
Story from the Houlton Pioneer Times March 6, 1952