• Flying Yankee Derailment

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

This was the Flying Yankee (Berkshire) derailed in Walpole, NH. It looks like the lead unit/engine took quite a bit of damage. They must have had to return it to the factory to have it rebuilt. I can't image local B&M shops were equipped to fix damage like that. Does anyone have more information on this mishap?

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  by edbear
It derailed on packed ice in the flangeways at the highway crossings by the freight house that leads to bridge over Conn. River to Westminster, VT. It looks bad, but was repaired at Concord, NH car shop.
Thanks for the information. I assumed because of all the rolled and pressed stainless steel that it was beyond the capabilities of most shops to repair. Do you have anymore information or photos on the repair? They must have had to lift the head unit onto flat cars and tow it to the shop. The other cars didn't have ordinary couplers, so they must have jury-rigged something to tow them out of there. I'll bet there was some serious head scratching on how to deal with a one-off train wreck like that.
  by b&m 1566
I've been told the train has emergency couplers at both ends.
  by ExCon90
After seeing the photo I'm wondering how the engineer made out -- and would there have been another man in the cab?
Hopefully the engineer set the brakes and he and the engineer ran for the back of the locomotive. I'd love to know more details on this wreck.
  by kilroy
Post above says they ran over packed ice at the grade crossing so they probably had just enough time for an "Oh sh!t" and to hang on.
  by arthur d.
The Yankee was involved in more than one incident during its career. I'm not sure if it was this episode or another one, but the the under frame - what little there is- was broken at one point, and never properly repaired until one of the restoration attempts at Claremont. I don't remember if it was in an AWS newsletter or FYRG propaganda, but supposedly the frame is some unusual alloy and the welding process for this alloy didn't exist at the time of the damage. Repairing SS sheet metal on the other hand is comparatively easy. As far as the engine men running for the rear of the train, unless they were 3 feet tall and nimble as a squirrel, not going to happen. If you've ever been inside the unit, you'd know what I mean. The size of the opening behind the engineers seat reminds me of a water-tight door in a submarine.