• NOV. 7, 1962 - PAN, OHIO

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by shlustig
55 years ago at Pan, Ohio on the former Lake Erie, Alliance & Wheeling RR line which morphed into the Alliance Division, then folded into the Cleveland Division and then the Lake Division, there was a rear-end collision in which 1 employee was killed and another injured.

The first southbound train Dpd. Minerva at 10:30PM with 2 units and 61 cars, followed at 11:45PM by the second train which was cab lite and picked up cars en route. Both trains cleared the main track at Shepherd's to meet a northbound train. After the meet, the first southbound Dpd. at 1:50AM followed 10" later by the second train. The second train set out its consist at Amsterdam, then proceeded cab lite at about 2:20AM and at about 2:35AM struck the rear end of the first train which had stopped to work at Pan.

The casualties were the Conductor and Flagman of the lead train who were in their caboose at impact.

This was timetable / train order / no block territory in which each crew is responsible to protect itself. There was no evidence of any fusees having been dropped by the lead train. The crew of the following train stated that the crew of the lead train did not mention having to work at Pan. Due to curvature and lay of the land, the sight distance on the caboose was less than 200' and impact speed was 20mph as shown on the speed tape.
  by BR&P
So the official cause was failure to protect?
  by shlustig
Correct. In timetable / train order / no block territory each crew was responsible to protect itself. Cabooses on such lines usually had at least one box of 10" fusees as 10" was the normal separation required by timetable special instructions.

Hard to believe that this rear-end crew did not do anything to comply when they knew that there was another train following them.
  by BR&P
Well, they paid a high price for it. And were far, far from the first to do so.

FWIW, I don't recall NYC using anything but 5 minute fusees. But that's a long time ago.
  by shlustig
5" fusees were the norm in signalled territory; 10" in timetable / train order / no block territory.
  by NKP1155
While there is no question flagging nor torpedos were not provided, part of the problem was poor dispatching. At that time there was a second shift operator at Phillips and no where else between Minerva and Dillonvale. So the RR relied on the closely spaced train crews to work it out in a curving hilly territory. The 2 dispatched less than an hour apart were given a much better chance to collide than if the first got past an open Phillips station prior to letting the second one out of Minerva. Since these were trains of empty coal hoppers, the moves were not under the pressure of a mail train. A bigger time buffer could have been provided, say wait for the northbound to arrive Minerva prior to the second train getting underway. The DS could have issued a message or order for the 2nd move to expect the 1st at Pan and proceed past Pan at restricting speed if the 1st train had departed. Better yet, the second move could have proceed later that day when Phillips was open.