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UP CITY OF LOS ANGELES ACCIDENT

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Posted by Elizabethjill on Monday, February 20, 2017 1:31 PM
Dear Passengerfan, I realize your blog post is 12 years old but did you get any more info from your inquiry and did you finish your book? I am alos looking for more information about this accident. Thanks.
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Friday, November 20, 2015 9:24 PM

Welcome Nah, don't kick yourself too hard.  A lot of potentionally useful functions here are neither obvious nor intuitive, nor do they work well. 

- Paul North. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by Sonofahoghead on Friday, November 20, 2015 12:31 PM

Thanks for the tip, Paul.  I guess I need new glasses (or brain).

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Posted by fdodge on Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:27 PM

Thanks for your reply. 

My e-mail:

dodgex5@earthlink.net

Best regards,

Frank Dodge

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, November 19, 2015 9:17 PM

   Welcome, Sonofahoghead.

   To send a message to someone, click on his avatar, and when his info comes up, click on "Start conversation."

_____________ 

  "A stranger's just a friend you ain't met yet." --- Dave Gardner

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Posted by Sonofahoghead on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 11:36 AM

To fdodge.

I just signed up for this site so I hope this message gets through to you and that you are still monitoring this thread.  It was just per chance that I was talking with my brother about the crash and I Googled to note the train numbers, found this board, and saw that your last post was somewhat recent.

My father was a Union Pacific engineer out of Ogden/Evanston at the time of the 102 vs. 104 crash.. and I believe he was also a local BLE union steward of some level as well.  I am not sure what his capacity was in visiting the site of the wreck, but I do have 12 photos that I am guessing he took with his own camera since they are loose in our huge family photo box.  They look to have been taken the day of, or the day after, the crash since they are removing bodies in a few of the pictures (I realize that you lost family there so I just wanted to give you a heads up on that part).  They are very clear focus, though small in print size.  If they are, in fact, his original shots, I wouldn't suppose they have ever been published or seen by anyone for decades.. though they may be print copies he received from someone else.  He is long since deceased so I can't ask him.

Anyway, I would like to share them with you but this is my first post on this site and I am not sure how to contact you directly, and I do not want to post the photos or my email address on here for public use at this time... so I will check back here periodocally to see if you respond to this post with further instructions or contact info.  I hope to see you here.

~Sonofahoghead~

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Posted by fdodge on Monday, September 21, 2015 12:23 AM

Visited again last week and found the exact site. Also talked to someone at the museum in Evanston, WY and they arranged a meeting with a gentleman who was witness to the immediate aftermath when he was 15 years old at the time. 

The museum has a few file photos that show the rear car of the City of Los Angeles and the engine of the City of San Francisco and I can see clearly that the UP LA rear car was a leased NYC combimation car in NYC paint (silver).

Also was told that one of the private properties along that stretch of track thinks that a rail car is buried in their back yard. They have found a lot of debris and have found a very large buried object near the tracks. The only car that I can imagine would not be worth salvage would be the rear car of the City of Los Angeles.

Still a work in progress.

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Posted by ArthurL on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 1:41 AM

The two photos in the book I quoted from are attributed to the Edd H Bailey  collection.  Mr Bailey was the president of the Union Pacific Railroad from 1965-71.  He worked for the railroad all his life.  Again, the UP Historical Society would be your best source of any photos and the train consist.  The only consist I have ready access to is 1943 and things had changed by 1951.  I have also found another report of the accident in a book titled "Railroad Wrecks" by Edgar A Haine.  A number of the occupants of that rear car and others were doctors returning from an AMA conference.  At least two were killed and others tended the injured.

Art 

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Posted by fdodge on Monday, October 13, 2014 5:56 PM

This is very exciting news. Yes, I have the dvd showing the wreck.

My grandmother and uncle were in the rear car of #104. 

I am looking for any and all photos of the wreck and photos of the City of Los Angeles with consists from that exact period (1951) for modelling purposes.

Many of you have been most helpful and my family is very grateful for it.

Frank Dodge

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Posted by ArthurL on Monday, October 13, 2014 12:38 AM

Frank,

I have received your e.mail.  I am glad that you have caught up.  The only car identified in Robert Darwin's book, The History of the Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne was the rear car on 104 which was New York Central lounge sleeper "Royal Crest" which was split full length by the impact of the lead diesel unit on 102, a CNW unit as listed in the report above.  The book states that most of the passenger fatalities occurred in "Royal Crest".  The book also confirms that Wyuta siding was in Wyoming, just east of the state border.  I would again recommend that you contact the UP Historical Society.  Jim Ehernberger whom I believe to still be an active member, or other members of the Society are very likely to be helpful.  Did you get a copy of that video?

Art

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Posted by sandiego on Saturday, September 20, 2014 12:21 AM

"So, the accident was AT Wyuta, which was a UP siding. Not a town or camp. And the accident was in Utah and not Wyoming. Am I correct?"

NO. Point of accident somewhere around MP 921.5 to MP 921.7 while state line is MP 922.8. Mileposts are increasing from east to west so accident was in Wyoming. Also, all of Wyuta siding is in Wyoming.

Kurt Hayek

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Posted by fdodge on Friday, September 19, 2014 7:29 PM

What a wealth of information here! Thanks to all for your input.

So, the accident was AT Wyuta, which was a UP siding. Not a town or camp. 

And the accident was in Utah and not Wyoming.

Am I correct?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, September 19, 2014 6:31 PM

With the new signal installation (CTC) one has to wonder if there could be a system that the dispatcher could order lens heaters to activate whenever snow is present ?  approach lighting seems to indicate battery capacity might be exceeded ?  Of course Cab signaling and future PTC should mitigate the problem ?

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Posted by timz on Friday, September 19, 2014 5:35 PM

Chart says state line at MP 922.82.

Wyuta was still a center siding in 1965.

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Posted by wanswheel on Friday, September 19, 2014 1:25 PM
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Posted by fdodge on Friday, September 19, 2014 9:48 AM

Thanks for all the info.

For a reference, what milepost would be at the state line (Utah and Wyoming)?

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Posted by sandiego on Friday, September 19, 2014 2:01 AM

About 3.5 miles west from point of accident. I am estimating accident was around MP 921.5 to MP 921.7, based on the timetable location given, and the distances given in the ICC report.

Kurt Hayek

"I photographed mp 925. Where would that be in regards to the point of accident?"

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Posted by fdodge on Friday, September 19, 2014 12:18 AM

I photographed mp 925. Where would that be in regards to the point of accident? 

And how do I post a picture here?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:15 PM

A 1948 UP employee time table (reprinted in a volume by the UPHS) shows Wyuta at MP 921.7 on the First Subdivision of the Utah Division.  4.5 miles west of Evanston and 5.9 miles east of Wahsatch.  A center siding of 124 car capacity is listed.

Jeff

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Posted by sandiego on Thursday, September 18, 2014 5:07 PM

Using the ICC accident report and Google Maps the location of both Wyuta siding, and point of accident can be determined.

Call up Google Maps and go to Satellite View; enter in Evanston, WY for location. The Wyoming-Utah state line is west of Evanston and shows on the map. Go north at the state line from Highway I-80 to the UP mainline (the tracks are close to the highway in that location).

After locating the tracks, zoom in as much as possible (the imagery is poor here). Now, start going east along the tracks; you will that the two main track are close together at the state line. A short distance east of the state line the tracks start curving to the left (described as a 1 degree curve 1522 feet long). At the east end of this curve note that the main tracks are now spaced farther apart to make room for the center siding between the mains. Signal 9224 is somewhere at the east end of this curve, and is also west of the west switch (on EB main) for Wyuta siding; the siding switches are on tangent track past the east end of the curve.

Continue east along the tracks (tangent for 3203 feet according to ICC report) until you see another curve to the left (described as a 1 degree curve 817 feet long). The point of accident was on tangent track 199 feet east of the east end of this last curve (total length of this tangent was 2359 feet).

With Extra 1475 East on the center siding any train going around this last curve could not see around the full length of curve (a "blind curve"); regardless, given the prevailing snow conditions at the time there is doubt in my mind whether Train 102 could have stopped in time when traveling at 77 MPH even if they approached the rear end of Train 104 on completely tangent track.

Kurt Hayek

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Posted by dakotafred on Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:07 AM

The ICC report on the accident (see above, contributed in 2004) is a slog, but identifies Wyuta as site of a siding 1.23 miles in length between the two tracks of the main line.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:44 AM

dakotafred

fdodge

Wyuta is now a myth. No one seems to know what or where it was. Indications place it in Utah though, not Wyoming.

Doubtless the name was of railroad coinage, applied to a company installation -- a siding? -- in the middle of nowhere, that disappeared when the installation did.

And with employee turnover over the generations, institutional knowledge of it also passed on.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by dakotafred on Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:42 AM

fdodge

Wyuta is now a myth. No one seems to know what or where it was. Indications place it in Utah though, not Wyoming.

Doubtless the name was of railroad coinage, applied to a company installation -- a siding? -- in the middle of nowhere, that disappeared when the installation did. It shows as 7 miles west of Evanston in my 1951 Official Guide, but does not appear in a 1970 employee timetable.

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Posted by fdodge on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:43 PM

I visited the area last week (Sept. 2014). The modern road bed is elevated some but there are remnants of the old track still intact. Found a little bridge over a drainage with the art deco script "Road of the Streamliners" still intact. There is no track connected at either end. I believe this is very near where the accident happened.

Wyuta is now a myth. No one seems to know what or where it was. Indications place it in Utah though, not Wyoming.

Anyone with any info or photo leads? Or specific car numbers of the 104 consist?

Regards,

Frank

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Posted by fdodge on Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:12 PM

Mudchicken, Sam, Johnny and Art.

Gentlemen, thank you for your responses, I'll follow your leads and see what I can find.

Art, thanks for the message.

Best regards,

Frank

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Posted by ArthurL on Monday, October 29, 2012 4:44 AM

Frank,

I have film of this accident scene on a video titled "Train Wrecks Crashes and Disasters" originally available on DVD from Questar Videos Inc of Chicago in 1995.  I believe that the DVD by the same title currently available from Pentrex is a current digital edition of the same original film.  Try www.pentrex.com and look for the same title.  The commentary on the video matches the detail already provided on this thread and is comprehensive.  I hope this helps.

Art

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, October 28, 2012 10:07 PM

kenneo
The above is all true. What is not said is that it was the practice of many of the passenger qualified engine service employees to operate their trains as #102 was being operated to maintain schedule keeping. If you were late, you often had to explain why, and this was not usually a pleasant experience. (I have a cousin who was in engine service for the UP during that time period. He told stories.)

The accident report also does not adequately indicate what the weather was like that day. It was, quite simply, a blizzard of very wet snow.

Wyuta is on the Utah-Wyoming line and East of the summit of the Wasatch.

Photographs of this oops have been published. They are not for the faint of heart.

The name "Wyutah" said to me that it is on, or near, the border between Wyoming and Utah. Combining the names of two states into one name is quite common; here are some more examples--Texarkana, Florala, Alaga (this one is on one side of the Chattahoochee, so it is entirely within one state), Monida, Virgilina, Texico, Kanorado, Calneva, Calada, Moark, Delmar (which is on the Delmarva peninsula), Tennga, Pennmar, Texhoma, and Uvada.

Johnny

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Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, October 27, 2012 2:49 PM

mudchicken

Probably in National Archives by now...Record Groups 399 and 398

http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/rip91.pdf

[NOTE: THis shows as a PDF of 282 pages, FYI.]

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/agency_reports/SORNs.pdf (Have fun with the 1974 Privacy Act)

[ NOTE: This PDF is a 30 page explanation in 'Federalese' of the above mentioned Privacy ACT

 PHEEEEW! Bang Head   ]Crying

 

Got my rail heating stuff out and warmed up the links...Mischief

 

 


 

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, October 26, 2012 11:15 AM

Probably in National Archives by now...Record Groups 399 and 398

http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/rip91.pdf

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/agency_reports/SORNs.pdf (Have fun with the 1974 Privacy Act)

 

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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