Wrecks and Wreck Outfits

Significant Railroad Wrecks and Railroad Car Ferry sinkings in or near Michigan...

Date Location Railroad Deaths & (Injuries) Notes

September 5, 1851

Near Adrian

MS&NI

1

September 7, 1851

Elkhart, Indiana

MS&NI

1

April 5, 1853

Grand Crossing, IL

MCRR/LSMS

21

June 28, 1859

Mishawaka, IN

Michigan Southern

41

Bridge out. Description.

February 26, 1866

Denton, MI

MCRR

3

Boiler explosion. Description.

August 28, 1873

Muir, MI

Detroit & Milwaukee

4

September 17, 1873

West of Lowell, MI

Detroit & Milwaukee

2

January 17, 1874

North of Munger, MI

Detroit & Bay City

1

Train hits track hand car. Description.

July 18, 1874

Trufant station, Near Greenville

Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan

7 / 15

Tree across tracks in front of gravel train. [I&L]

October 10, 1879

Jackson, MI

Michigan Central

18

Wreck of "Pacific Express".

May 8, 1885

Grosse Ile Bridge

Canada Southern

2

Hand car into open draw bridge. Description.

September 23, 1886

South Lyon, MI

Grand Trunk

1/1

Vandals remove rail. Description.

Unknown date, 1887?

Elmwood, MI, Iron County

C&NW

8-10

Water tower falls on section crew.

January 28, 1889

Elmwood, MI, Iron County

C&NW

2

Description.  Derailment kills Lt. Governor.

October 14, 1889 (~)

Lansing, MI

Lansing Transit Ry.

3

Hoist beam on wrecker breaks, killing 3.

April 19, 1891

Kipton, OH

LS&MS

8

October 13, 1893

Jackson, MI

Michigan Central

24/20

Rear end collision, disregard of signal. Description

October 19, 1893

Nichols (Battle Creek), MI

Grand Trunk Western

28

Head on collision, disregarded orders.

Sept. 8, 1894

Pori, MI (near Ontonagon)

Milwaukee Road

1 (1)

Forest fire derailed engine.

July 8, 1897

South of Bay City

Saginaw & Bay City Ry. (E) 7 (3) Interurban car ran off open drawbridge.  Description.

December 20, 1897

Wilderville. MI (E of Marshall)

DT&M

1 / 3

Head on. Disregard train orders. Description

February 19, 1900 Ford River, MI (Narenta) C&NW 9 (12) Passenger train hit from behind. (Description)
July 29, 1900 Milwaukee Jct. (Detroit) DGH&M 1 (10) Buffalo Bill rodeo train backs into engine. [DFP-1900-0729]

August 15, 1900

Pierson, MI

Grand Rapids & Indiana

6

Caused by operator error.

November 27, 1901

Seneca, MI

Wabash

23

Head on.  Error in reading orders.

April 23, 1903

Lenox, MI

GT

2 /  1

Open switch. Collided with freight train in yard. Description.

May 4, 1903

Mayville, MI

PM

2 / 19

Collision. [MCR-1904] Description.

May 4, 1903

Detroit, MI (Canfield Ave.)

GTW/LS&MS

7

Rear end.  Unscheduled train.

August 7, 1903

Durand, MI

Grand Trunk Western

26 / 15

Wallace Bros. Circus Train.  Rear end collision.

September 13, 1903 West Bay City MC 2 / 8 Killed by dynamite explosion in car while switching. Description.

December 26, 1903

East Paris, MI

Pere Marquette

18

Head on.  Failed to deliver orders.

1904 (Early, unknown)

Detroit - Gratiot Avenue crossing

DGH&M/DUR

Multiple

At grade crossing. [MCR-1904]

1904 (date unknown)

Elmdale, MI

Pere Marquette

5

Rear end collision.

May 20, 1904 Gay, MI Mineral Range 1 "Cornfield" meet. [DSSS=2022-Q1]

October 25, 1905

Elmira, MI

BCG&A

2/8

New right of way collapsed, train fell on workers. [DFP-1905-1022]

January 28, 1907

North Bay City, MI

D&M/Interurban

Wenona Beach Line

1/1

Passenger train hits interurban. [DFP-01907-0129]

April 12, 1907

Metz, MI

D&M

1/2

Passenger train collides with switch engine. [DFP-1907-0414]

July 20, 1907

Salem, MI

Pere Marquette

30

Worst in Michigan..

Feb. 17, 1908

West Toledo, OH

NYC/T&W

8

Trolley strikes Big Four pass. train.

1908 (date unknown)

1 mile N/of Shultz

CK&S

2

Cornfield meet. Mix up of orders.

September 14, 1908

Chesterton, IN

LS&MS

1

Rear end coll. at depot. Fog.

October 12, 1908

Near Metz, MI

Detroit & Mackinac

17

Train derailed in middle of forest fire.

October 5, 1909

Carpenters, MI

Michigan Central

2

Head on. See Note 7.

1910 (date unknown)

Holland, OH

LS&MS

1

Rear ended freight.

June 2, 1910 Chase, MI (Lake Co.) Pere Marquette
1/1 Derailed train hit by another. Link.

September 9, 1910

Off Sheboygan, WI

Pere Marquette

30

Railroad Car Ferry sank.

September 19, 1910

St. Joseph, MI

Pere Marquette

1

Derailment.

   
July 12, 1910 Ortonille, MI Interurbab 1/62 Car collides with work train. Link.

January 17,1911

Grand Rapids, MI

Brake failure

1/1

Run away train. Desccription

July 3, 1911 Mills Switch, MI DUR 1 (44) Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

July 30, 1911

Dearborn

DUR

1 (20)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

October 7, 1911

Youngs Crossing, Detroit

DUR

2 (12)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

October 15, 1911

Volney Smith Crossing Detroit

DUR

1 (3)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

October 19, 1911

Rougemere Yard, MI

Pere Marquette

1  (8)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

April 15, 1912

Dexter, MI

Detroit Jackson & Chicago Ry.

2 (30)

Head on between 2 interurban cars. ICC Report [PDF]

January 2, 1913

3 Miles West of Delray, MI

Wabash Ry.

3  (0)

Derailment, broken throw rail. ICC Report [PDF]

January 16, 1913

New Haven, MI

Grand Trunk Western

2 (24)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

February 23, 1913

Republic, MI

CM&StP ( MILW)

1

Broken rail. See Note 6.

March 10, 1913

Okemos, MI

Pere Marquette

2

Derailment, loose tire on engine. ICC Report [PDF]

June 6, 1913

Waterville, MI

DUR

2 (3)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

June 15, 1913

Francisco, MI

Michigan Central

2 (1)

Unknown derailment. ICC Report [PDF]

June 18, 1913

North Yard, Kalamazoo

LS&MS

2 (26)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

July 13, 1913

MAL Crossing, n/of Jackson MI

Michigan Central

2 (44)

Head on.   ICC Report [PDF]

January 25, 1914

MAL Crossing, n/of Jackson MI

Michigan Central

3 (13)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

February 6, 1914

Foster's, MI

Grand Trunk Western

3 (3)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

July 14, 1914

Michigan Center, MI

Detroit Jackson & Chicago Ry.

2 (15)

Head on between 2 interurban cars. ICC Report [PDF]

April 15, 1915

Detroit, MI

Detroit Street Railway

15/?

Collided with a DT&I train at Jefferson Avenue. [NYT-1915-0415:1]

April 27, 1916

Clarion, MI

GR&I

1

Derailment, Click Here.

September 8, 1916

Rives Jct. MI

Michigan Ry. (Interurban)

2 (12)

Head on. ICC Report [PDF]

March 21, 1917

Waterloo, IN

New York Central

1 (19)

Derailment of trains. ICC Report [PDF]

June 9, 1917

St. Clair, MI

Rapid Ry. (Interurban)

4  (27)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

June 20, 1917

Melvin, MI

Pere Marquette

2  (1)

Derailment. ICC Report [PDF]

July 4, 1917

Orchard Beach Crossing, Manistee

M&NE and Manistee Interurban

3 (20)

Side collision at crossing. ICC Report [PDF]

Augus 30, 1917

Britton, MI

Wabash Ry.

2  (0)

Derailment. ICC Report [PDF]

September 20, 1917

Riverside, MI (N/Benton Harbor)

Pere Marquette

1  (19)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

June 22, 1918

Ivanhoe, IN

MCRR

68

Circus train.

July 20, 1918

Chelsea, MI

Detroit, Jackson & Chicago Ry.

15 (80)

Head on, pass vs. freight. Interurban. ICC Report [PDF]

November 23, 1918

Dexter, MI

Michigan Central

3 (2)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

February 25, 1919

Oakwood, MI

DUR

4 (44)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

February 26, 1919

2 Miles S/of Cadillac, MI

Grand Rapids & Indiana Ry.

2 (23)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

August 20, 1919

Beitner, 4 Miles s/Traverse City

Pere Marquette

6 (37)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

December 21, 1919

Francisco, MI

DUR

1 (2)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

March 5, 1920

Clarendon, MI

Michigan Central

1 (6)

Derailment, broken rail. ICC Report [PDF]

September 1, 1920

New Boston, MI

PRR / Pere Marquette

1  (3)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

September 24, 1920

Ortonville, MI

DUR

4 (12)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

February 23, 1921

Ashley, MI

Grand Trunk Western

2 (1)

Derailment. Bad engine truck. ICC Report [PDF]

February 27, 1921

Porter, IN

MCRR / LSMS

37 (20)

Description. ICC Report [PDF]

May 7, 1921

Elkhart, IN Yard

New York Central

2

Collision in yard. ICC Report [PDF]

June 18, 1921

Warsaw, MI (east of Ann Arbor)

Detroit Jackson & Chicago Ry.

5 (21)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

January 11, 1923

McDonald, MI

Pere Marquette

1

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

January 13, 1923

Alexis, OH

Pere Marquette

2 (4)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

May 8, 1923

Vinewood Avenue, Detroit

New York Central / MC

1 (1)

Collision on freight track. ICC Report [PDF]

June 12, 1923

Grayling, MI

New York Central

3

Side collision w/2nd train. ICC Report [PDF]

July 5, 1923

Durand, MI

Grand Trunk Western

5

Derailment

August 28, 1923

Edmore, near Marine City, MI

DUR - Rapid Ry.

1  (15)

Head on at meeting point. ICC Report [PDF]

January 25, 1924

Waterloo, IN

New York Central

1 (10)

Rear ended. ICC Report [PDF]

February 10, 1924

Kingsley, MI S/Traverse City

Pennsylvania RR

2  (0)

Snow plow derailment. ICC Report [PDF]

September 24, 1924

Botsford Yd, Kalamazoo

Michigan Central

1

Description.  Photos. ICC Report [PDF]

December 3, 1924

Wyandotte, MI

DUR

5 (10)

Collided with automobile. ICC Report [PDF]

January 6, 1925

Bakertown, MI (Berrien County)

Michigan Central

1

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

February 23, 1925

Oakwood, MI  (Melvindale)

Wabash Ry.

2  (2)

Head on collision, runaway.  ICC Report [PDF]

April 19, 1925

Sunny, MI (S/of Flint)

DUR

1 (16)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

July 29, 1925

Lake George, MI

Ann Arbor Railroad

1

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

September 2, 1926

Monroe, MI

Detroit Monroe & Toledo Short Line

10 (36)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

October 7, 1926

Gibson, IN

Michigan Central / NYC

4 (1)

RR motor car vs. train. ICC Report [PDF]

November 4, 1926

Goodison, MI

Michigan Central

1 (36)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

September 18, 1927

Carpenter, MI

Michigan Central

1 (3)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

March 11, 1928

Austin, MI (near Detroit?)

DJ&C Ry. and DUR

1 (25)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

July 8, 1928

Flushing, MI

Grand Trunk Western

0  (16)

Circus train derailed, bad track.  ICC Report [PDF]

January 16, 1929

Fenwick, MI

Pere Marquette

2  (1)

Derailment, poor track. ICC Report [PDF]

April 16, 1929

Stanley, OH

New York Central

1

Collision in yard. ICC Report [PDF]

May 14, 1929

Dowagiac, MI

Michigan Central

1 (4)

Train vs. truck. ICC Report [PDF]

May 28, 1929

Glen Lord, MI S/Benton Harbor

Pere Marquette,MI

1  (1)

Accident, bad switch. ICC Report [PDF]

June 2, 1929

Ortonville, MI

Eastern Michigan Ry.

(61)

Pass vs. freight. ICC Report [PDF]

June 18, 1929

Morrice, MI

Grand Trunk Western

2 (1)

Rear end. ICC Report [PDF]

July 4, 1929

Pomona, MI

Ann Arbor Railroad

2

Wash out. ICC Report [PDF]

September 27, 1930

Petoskey, MI

Pere Marquette

2  (6)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

September 28, 1930

Between North Yard & Utica, MI

Michigan Central

2 (1)

Derailment, switch. ICC Report [PDF]

September 30, 1932

Plymouth, MI

Pere Marquette

0  (6)

Side collision. ICC Report [PDF]

May 3, 1937

Between Muir and Ionia, MI

Grand Trunk Western

1 (7)

Pass train derailed, bad track. ICC Report [PDF]

May 18, 1939

McBain, MI

Ann Arbor Railroad

1

Train vs. Gasoline tanker truck.  ICC Report [PDF]

October 22, 1929

Lake Michigan

Grand Trunk Western

42

RR Car ferry sank. Worst.

February 2, 1930

Ann Pere, MI

Pere Marquette

0  (3)

Derailment, speeding train. ICC Report [PDF]

February 19, 1930

Toledo, OH W/ "K" Tower

Toledo Terminal / PRR

1  (1)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

May 28, 1930

Belsay, MI  e/of Flint, MI

Grand Trunk Western

2 (12)

Derailment, open switch. ICC Report [PDF]

July 25, 1930

McGrew Jct, Flint, MI

Pere Marquette

1

Side collision in yard. ICC Report [PDF]

February 7, 1931

Nichols Yard, Battle Creek, MI

Grand Trunk Western

0  (8)

Switch opened in front of train. ICC Report [PDF]

March 6, 1931

Town Line, Dearborn MI

Michigan Central

0  (3)

Switch opened in front of train. ICC Report [PDF]

March 19, 1931

West Detroit, MI

Michigan Central

0  (40)

Head on, pass & freight. ICC Report [PDF]

September 25,1931

Edmore, MI

Pere Marquette

2  (6)

Derailment, speed on wye. ICC Report [PDF]

January 27, 1932

Elkhart, IN

NYC / Big Four

0  (13)

Rear end. ICC Report [PDF]

September 28, 1933

Fenton, MI

Grand Trunk Western

1 (1)

Head on w/switch engines. ICC Report [PDF]

February 2, 1934

Iron Mountain, MI

Milwaukee Road

0  (6)

Pass train derailed, broken rail. ICC Report [PDF]

August 10, 1934

Vermontville, MI

Michigan Central

5 (8)

Train/automobile collision. ICC Report [PDF]

August 3,, 1935

Riverdale, MI  4 Mi W/Elwell

Pere Marquette

0  (5)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

July 5, 1936

Wayne Jct. MI

Michigan Central

1 (5)

Rear end in siding. ICC Report [PDF]

July 9, 1936

Riga, MI

New York Central

1 (1)

Train vs. Road grader. ICC Report [PDF]

July 18, 1936 Dundee, MI Ann Arbor 9 Car hit by train, pushed into Raisin River bridge. 2 famlies killed.

September 30, 1936

Urania, MI

Ann Arbor Railroad

0 (13)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

January 3, 1937

Adrian, MI

Wabash

3

Locomotive exploded. [SEN-1937-0104]

March 7, 1937

MichiganCity, IN

Pere Marquette

0  (5)

Derailment, kinked track. ICC Report [PDF]

June 9, 1937

Lansing, MI at depot

Grand Trunk Western

0

Derailment, brake rigging. ICC Report [PDF]

September 12, 1937

Vulcan, OH  (N/Nasby Tower)

TA&W / Toledo & IN Ry

3  (9)

Side collision at interlocking. ICC Report [PDF]

December 17, 1937

Beech, MI

Pere Marquette

0  (34)

Derailment, spread track.  ICC Report [PDF]

February 13, 1938

4 miles N of Monroe, MI

Michigan Central

0  (14)

Rear end collision, 2 pass. ICC Report [PDF]

March 30, 1939

Michigamme, MI

Duluth South Shore & Atlantic RR

2

Derailment from landslide. ICC Report [PDF]

December 2, 1939

Kalamazoo, MI

Grand Trunk Western

1 (2)

Train vs. automobile. ICC Report [PDF]

June 12, 1940

Bessemer, MI

Chicago & Northwestern

1 (5)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

May 22, 1941

Z Tower, Toledo, OH

New York Central

0  (30)

Collision w/freight. ICC Report [PDF]

October 7, 1941

Sault St. Marie

Canadian Pacific?

2

Bascule bridge collapse.

January 13, 1942

2 miles S of Mullet Lake, MI

Michigan Central

1

Derailment, broken rail. ICC Report [PDF]

August 23, 1942

Green Oak, MI W/South Lyon

Pere Marquette

3  (23)

Pass train hit automobile. ICC Report [PDF]

October 28, 1942 Hamtramck, Caniff & GTW Grand Trunk Western 16 (27) DSR bus struck by GTW passenger train. [DFP]

October 30, 1942

Durand, MI (West of)

Grand Trunk Western

1 (25)

Pass train hit freight cars. ICC Report [PDF]

August 19, 1943

Hughart, MI

Michigan Central

1 (1)

Derailed, stone on rails. ICC Report [PDF]

March 16, 1944

Wyandotte, MI

Detroit Toledo & Ironton

1

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

December 28, 1944

Sibley, MI

Michigan Central

2 (25)

Train vs. car accident. ICC Report [PDF]

June 30, 1945

Eaton Rapids, mI

Michigan Central

2 (6)

Head on collision. ICC Report [PDF]

December 7, 1945

Smith's Creek, MI

Grand Trunk Western

0  (3)

Read end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

July 22, 1946

Fort Custer Yard, MI

Michigan Central

3 (3)

Head on in yard. ICC Report [PDF]

May 2, 1947

Dean Yard, Midland, MI

Pere Marquette

0  (3)

Rear end, in yard limits. ICC Report [PDF]

January 18, 1948

6 Miles w/Of Battle Creek,  MI

Grand Trunk Western

3 (1)

Derailment, broken journal. ICC Report [PDF]

June 26, 1948

West Unity, OH

NYC / Wabash

1 (7)

Side collision at interlocking. ICC Report [PDF]

January 3, 1949

Rock, MI

Chicago & Northwestern

1 (15)

Derailment, bad wheel. ICC Report [PDF]

October 27, 1949

2 miles N of Richland Junction MI

Michigan Central

2 (1)

Derailment, bad track. ICC Report [PDF]

August 26, 1950

4 Miles N/Elmira, MI

Pennsylvania RR

0  (14)

Rear end collision. ICC Report [PDF]

November 26, 1950

Andersonville, MI

Grand Trunk Western

1 (9)

Rear end, freight/pass. ICC Report [PDF]

March 14, 1951

Penford, MI

PRR / DT&I

0  (3)

Side collision at interlocking. ICC Report [PDF]

March 15, 1951

Trenton, MI

New York Central

3 (17)

Psgr derailment, broken rail. ICC Report [PDF]

August 28, 1951

Nottawa, MI

Pennsylvania RR

0  (6)

Psgr derailment, broken rail. ICC Report [PDF]

December 14, 1951

L'Anse, MI

Duluth South Shore & Atlantic RR

2 (2)

Derailment, out of control. ICC Report [PDF]

June 3, 1952

1 mile W of Elkhart, IN

New York Central

2 (7)

Broken wheel on motor car. ICC Report [PDF]

June 29, 1952

East of Linden, MI

Grand Trunk Western

0  (6)

Head on between 2 freights. ICC Report [PDF]

September 26, 1952

East of Burton, MI

Grand Trunk Western

2 (5)

Passenger train too fast in turnout, derailed and hit 2nd pass. train. ICC Report [PDF]

October 3, 1952

Onota, MI

Duluth South Shore & Atlantic RR

1 (5)

Motor car vs. train. ICC Report [PDF]

September 14, 1953

MAL Crossing, n/of Jackson, MI

GTW / NYC

1

Train vs. RR motor car. ICC Report [PDF]

November 18, 1955

Newport, MI

New York Central

9 (3)

Train vs. truck. ICC Report [PDF]

November 16, 1957

1 mile W of White Pigeon, MI

New York Central

1 (32)

Psgr train derailed, excess speed. ICC Report [PDF]

June 10, 1967

Thompsonville, MI

Chesapeake & Ohio

4 (28)

Train vs. truck. ICC Report [PDF]

July 22, 1989

Freeland, MI

CSX

0 (15)

Derail, hazmat, 1,000 evacuated. ICC Report [PDF]

November 15, 2001

Andersonville, MI

CN

3

2 freights, 1 in siding

Other Notable Disasters in Michigan

Date
Location
Railroad
Problem
March 4, 1889 Windsor, ON  Grand Trunk Western  Car ferry "Transit I" was destroyed by fire. 
April 17, 1905 Durand, MI  Grand Trunk Western  Depot nearly destroyed by fire. 
November 12, 1906  Detroit, MI  Michigan Central Railroad  Third Street Station burns. 
May 29, 1909 Manistique, MI Ann Arbor Railroad Car ferry #4 capsizes
March 8, 1910  Manitowoc, MI  Ann Arbor Railroad  Car ferry #1 burns 
February 1, 1968 Michigan New York Central System Penn Central formed, declared bankrupt in June, 1970

 

Wreck Outfits

Railroads in history operated wreck "outfits", usually special trains which were kept in terminals under steam, ready to head out to derailments and other disasters. Crews for these trains were usually men selected from maintenance right-of-way crews and roundhouse crews. Each wrecking outfit contained a large powered derrick as its main tool. Sometimes, railroads borrowed wreck outfits from other railroads, if they didn't have their own close by wreck outfit or in large derailments requiring more than one crane. In addition to picking up and removing locomotives and railroad cars, the wreck outfit also built temporary tracks to open the road as quickly as possible. Flat cars on the wreck outfits brought new ties, rail, and tempoary wheelsets for cars that needed to return to the shops for repair.

Railroad Base Location Notes
     
DT&I Ford Rouge Road wreck crew
LS&I Marquette  
C&NW Green Bay, WI - 150 ton In 1958. Sent to Naults.
C&NW Escanaba - 100 ton As of 1953, likely earlier.
Michigan Central Detroit - Livernois Yard Tunnel wrecker - Note 1
Michigan Central Detroit - Livernois Yard Road wreck crew.
Pere Marquette Detroit Road wreck crew 1907
Pere Marquette Grand Rapids Road wreck crew 1907
Pere Marquette Saginaw yard Road wreck crew 1907
Soo Line Gladstone  X-3. Preserved
     
     

Note 1 - The Michigan Central maintained a special wreck crew for the Detroit-Windsor International railroad tunnel. The Industrial Brownhoist derrick could be operated by steam or third rail electricity in the tunnel and the approaches to the tunnel. This derrick remains operational and is located at Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford.

Note 2. Lieutenant Governor James H. McDonald and two others were killed on the C&NW line near Elmwood, MI when the truck under the last car broke and derailed the car. While in motion, the car tipped on its side, then struck two different stumps tearing the car to pieces. McDonald, who was playing cards at the time, died instantly. He was brought back to his home in Escanaba for burial. [Livingston Argus, 1990-0124] 

Note 3. C&NW passenger train No. 21 known as the Felch Mountain accommodation, which runs between Metropolitan and Escanaba, was wrecked in a read-end collision at Ford River switch at 6:30 Thursday night. Nine persons were killed, three are missing, five seriously and four slightly injured. The dead included the baggageman, brakeman, and passengers. The Metropolitan train had stopped at the switch to take a passenger on. Owing to heavy snow or the dense smoke from charcoal kilns, about 100 feet from the track, the rear end of the train was enveloped in smoke and prevented the crew of the incoming freight, No. 289 (Green Bay to Ishpeming) which was running on special time orders, from seeing the red lights on the rear of the accommodation. With the exception of two people, the bodies of those killed were burned in the wreck. Injured were taken to the nearby Sears Brothers' store while train crews fought desperately, assisted by the uninjured passengers, to gain control of the fire which threatened the destruction of the wreck before all the injured could be removed. The scene at the wreck was an appalling one. Scores of people from surrounding towns drove to the scene to learn if any of their friends were on board the ill-fated train.  [LAS=1900-0217][SJH-1900-0217]

Note 4. MCRR. One of the most terrible railroad accidents that has ever occurred in the history of railroad fatalities took place here this morning, whereby twelve persons were killed and a good many more or less seriously injured. It was another of those awful rear-end collisions of which Michigan is getting its full share and which reflect so seriously upon the system of handling trains while there is a rush of traffic. An excursion train left Watertown, N.Y. in two sections. The first section reached Jackson at about 9 o'clock this morning and stood on the main track to give passengers bound for the White City on pleasure bent the opportunity to eat breakfast in the depot lunch-room. The male passengers made the customary rush for the counter while many ladies remained in the coaches, which accounts for the fact that more women were killed and injured than men. The second section came tearing through the yards and rushed into the stationary train. 'The fireman jumped, but the engineer, with death staring him in the face, stood his post when death seemed imminent. When the locomotive crashed into the first train, a series of cries that froze my blood filled the air. [DFP-1892-1014]

Note 5. A disaster was averted but the engineer was killed. PM train No. 7 approached Grand Rapids Union Station when its brakes failed. The engineer through the reverse lever to try to slow down the train, which was travelling through the yards at 70 mph.  Approaching Wealthy Avenue, the train jumped the tracks. The engineer and fireman jumped, killing the engineer and injuring the fireman. The 100 passengers on board were not injured. [SJDP-1911-0117]

Note 6. CM&StP passenger train No. 2 derailed on a broken rail at 8 mph as it was approaching the depot at milepost 9.3 at Republic. All cars derailed except for the last Pullman car. The conductor was in the baggage car, probably preparing space for baggage to be loaded onboard at the Republic station, when he got crushed to death between a heavy safe that had moved when the car rolled to the side. He was the only person killed in the wreck. For more information, go to the Diamond Drill newspaper from March 1, 1913. Info from James Harlow:  https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/Icon/sn96076817/1913-03-01/ed-1/seq-1/

Note 7. Two trains collided head-on near Carpenters, MI. They intended to meet at Lapeer but one was operating slower than expected. Apparently the southbound freight train was not making the time, or the northbound freight was making better time, than was originally anticipated by the train dispatcher when he first fixed the meet between the two trains at Lapeer. With this being the situation, the train train dispatcher decided to move the meet between the two trains farther north to advance the northbound freight train against the southbound freight train.

Both freight trains would have received a train order to change the meet -- at Lapeer or at a train order station farther south for the northbound train, and the southbound train at Otter Lake station or a station farther north, to "meet extra [eng no.] north at Carpenter instead of Lapeer".  The change of meet order would have been issued in the exact same language to each train. For reasons unknown, the engineer of the southbound freight did not fulfill his changed train order instructions to meet the northward extra freight train at Carpenter instead of Lapeer, and as the northbound extra freight train arrived at Carpenter for the meet, the southbound extra freight train collided with the northbound extra freight train, killing both engineers.

Carpenter station was 5.16 north of Lapeer.