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SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

August 10, 2017 09:27PM avatar
One hundred years ago today, on August 11, 1917, Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR engine No. 8 with northbound train no. 3 derailed on the New Vineyard Road grade crossing in Fairbanks, ME and rolled over on her side. Engineer Frank Hodgman was pinned in the cab and severely burned by a jet of live steam from the broken turret blowing right on his head and neck. He was reported to have been conscious and speaking when extricated from the wreck, but he soon lapsed into unconsciousness and finally died from his injuries 10 weeks later.

Amazingly, though the combine behind the engine also derailed, the car remained on the ties and the whole consist reportedly rolled past the overturned engine before coming to a stop.

I recently acquired some photos of this wreck that I have not seen published elsewhere, so I thought I would share them with the forum. The photographer is unknown, but I suspect it was SR&RL master mechanic W. H. Caswell, who was famous for his habit of taking photos of wrecks, derailments, and other mishaps on the railroad.

No8_wreck1.jpg

No8_wreck2.jpg

No8_wreck3.jpg

Jerry DeVos has pointed out in his series of books on SR&RL equipment that the various pictures of this wreck are the only images of No. 8 with air brakes (air pump and brake hoses); all earlier photos show the engine with Eames vacuum brakes.

It's interesting to note that there are no known photos of No. 8 in service after the 1917 wreck, so the engine may never have been repaired. It is known to have been present at the Phillips roundhouse fire of 1923, but it could just have just been stored out of service, and it was certainly not repaired after the fire. The remains of No. 8 were later shoved out to the 'Old Stone Fort' with the other hulks, where it was photographed as late as 1935. The engine was presumably scrapped soon after that time.

-Philip Marshall



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2017 10:04PM by philip.marshall.
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SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today Attachments

philip.marshall August 10, 2017 09:27PM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today Attachments

philip.marshall August 10, 2017 09:50PM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

christensenge August 11, 2017 11:53AM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

Stewart Rhine August 11, 2017 04:26PM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

B. Barry August 11, 2017 07:35PM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

Dirk Ramsey August 11, 2017 08:51PM

Re: SR&RL No. 8 wreck on 8/11/1917 -- 100 years ago today

Chris Walker August 12, 2017 04:39AM



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