Anyone remember the frightening derailment in Indiana on New Year's Day 1968?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Anyone remember the frightening derailment in Indiana on New Year's Day 1968?
Posted by dknelson on Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:48 AM

Intense cold, chemical spills, and extremely hazardous loads - this PRR wreck had it all, including an evacuation.


Dave Nelson


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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, January 4, 2018 11:28 AM

That was a bad New Years for me - a classmate was killed and her boyfriend was seriously injured by a hit and run driver as they walked the short distance to her house after having car trouble on the way home from a New Years party I attended.

So a derailment in Indiana was not on my radar.

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, January 4, 2018 12:22 PM

It can't happen anymore, both railroads are long gone. (PRR/PC/CR Indianapolis to Richmond line gone in 1986, the NKP/N&W/NS/IHRC line by 1989)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, January 4, 2018 1:36 PM
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Posted by Convicted One on Thursday, January 4, 2018 2:34 PM


Intense cold, chemical spills, and extremely hazardous loads - this PRR wreck had it all, including an evacuation.


Dave Nelson


Pictures might be nice?


At one time there was a fairly comprehensive report available on line detailing the clean-up work required in this wreck's aftermath.  What amazed me about that was how far away from the actual wreck site   the guys doing the enviro tests had to go before no longer detecting wreck related toxics in their test specimens

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:18 PM

Wow! This was unknown to me but back in the late 1950's, I was a University of Cincinnati co-op student and my work assignment was with the PRR's Buckeye Region Signal & Communications Department. One stint was with a signal gang housed in a camp train in Greenfield Indiana. I was to learn the work they did which was maintaining the pole lines that carried the wires for the signals, voice communications, plus the 100 cycle cab signal power. ROW ran about 60- 100 feet south of US 40 most of the way between Indy & Richmond crossing over 40 to the North around Cambridge. Spent some time in the Dunrieth tower. Towers are almost all gone from railroading now. Never saw a Nickle Plate train but did see many PRR trains. Track was heavy 152 lb and fairly well maintained. Graduated in 1961 and while I was offered a position on the RR, decided to work for a utility. Said things were bad on the Pennsy, but they should get better. Of course, everybody knows it became PC, then Conrail. Went looking for what I could find of this route last year and had a hard time finding any trace of this ROW. Trees trace part, a few bridge abutments, and a few culverts. some trail use but not the whole route. It was a race track between Indianapolis and Richmond and carried the PRR's frieght to & from St. Louis, plus about six passenger trains each way heading to Pittsburg & New York. Thanks for the post. 

  • Member since
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  • From: MP CF161.6 NS's New Castle District in NE Indiana
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Posted by rrnut282 on Friday, January 5, 2018 12:28 PM

An other oddity about this line:  USRA showed the line was profitable, even in isolation.  But for political or other reasons was not included in Conrail.  

Mike (2-8-2)
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Posted by LAWRENCE SMITH on Monday, January 29, 2018 7:41 PM

check this site - I've read stories about the speeds attained on this track - with 155# rail and cab signals, I believe it


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Posted by ELRobby on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 1:28 AM

This wreck was about the first of several that would devastate some communities during the dark days of the late 1960's and 1970's.  The FRA was only recently established and this was before the days of the FRA mandated track standards and FRA speed restrictions if the track did not meet certain standards.  It was probably one of the wrecks that led to the FRA standards becoming federal law  As one poster has described, you can barely tell where the PRR went through Dunreith anymore.  As I recall, the cause was a bad compromise joint between two different rail weights.

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