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Fri Jul 9 08:45:06 EDT 2021

….but they’re sixty-five  years behind the mighty New York, Ontario and Western:

Excerpts from Robert E. Mohowski's book, 

"NYO&W IN The Diesel Age".

The Flying Diesel Corps

by Robert E. Mohowski

     On the dark rainy night of Sept. 27, 1955 train ON-2 rumbled into Hamilton, N.Y., as it had done so many times before. Engineer Les Vidler had FT 803 on a 50-car train that night and was making about 34 mph when he--or someone else in the cab-- noticed that a mainline facing- point switch was set for a siding leading up to Leland's coal trestle. The <> engineer quickly applied the brakes,but the momentum was enough to push the train up the siding, through the coal-shed doors and the barnlike structure and out the opposite end. After the noise ended and debris settled, it was found that the 213-ton locomotive had "flown" 150 feet beyond the end of the coal trestle after taking off from an elevation of 15 feet. The drawbar between the A and B units snapped, and four cars had followed the air-borne FT's. A fifth car hung off the end of the trestle. Two men in the 803's cab, Road foreman of Engines Fred Lewis and fireman Oliver Wrench, were seriously injured.

     Several theories were advanced as to who threw the switch,but, so far as is known, a state police investigation did not result in any arrests. At a dinner honoring the crewmen for their skill, courage and devotion to duty, Trustee Lewis D. Freeman said that the men had been air borne for about six or seven seconds. Each crewman received a plaque and a cast model presentation F-unit courtesy of EMD. Road Foreman Lewis also got a special note advising him"...not to try this stunt again." The 803 returned to service following repairs at Middletown.

     One of the cars involved in the wreck was loaded with chocolate bars from the Nestle plant in Fulton. Local people soon found out, and little if any candy was sold in Hamilton for some time.

©1994 Andover Junction Publications.

> On Jul 8, 2021, at 7:15 PM, NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> wrote:
> It looks as though the UP may be ahead of the NS.  After all, pictures don't lie do they?
> Gordon Hamilton
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