Railroad Wreck:  MCRR at Botsford Yard, 1924

Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum


Michigan Central Railroad

Botsford Yard at Kalamazoo




Railroad Wrecks





According to an article written by Bob Cosgrove in the NYC Historical Society publication Central Headlight, 4th Quarter, 1987, an individual drove his touring car across a private crossing and the left rear wheel fell off the crossing, sticking the car.  Michigan Central passenger train #1 was running 7 minutes late and consisted of a mail car, combination baggage/club car, five Pullman sleeping cars, two coaches and two more Pullman sleeping cars.  It was traveling 50-60 m.p.h.  The engine was 8338, a K-3 Class 4-6-2 Pacific tyoe steam locomotive.  About 4:30 a.m. the fireman called a clear automatic block signal to the engineer about a mile east of the crossing.  The train then hit the car.  The engine tipped on its right side and was badly damaged.  550' of track were torn up.  The cars remained upright, but 3-4 were damaged badly.  The fact that the cars were of the all-steel type was credited with saving lives of the passengers.  The Engineer was scalded to death by escaping hot water and steam when pipes within the cab burst.  The fireman broke his shoulder and arm.  Photos are from the Ben Higdon Collection.