Collision of No. 26 and Ex 1461 West at Melborn, 1/30/1918

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Mon Mar 7 21:27:28 EST 2005

Hey Abie:
Neither of the two Roanoke papers had photos of the derailment -- but  of
course you knew that.  Years after the fact, I went to Melborn to get  a
picture of N&W 1218 passing the point of collision.  It didn't  turn out that
In reading the report, it indicates that Conductor Hines of Extra 1461  West
checked the register and relied on his memory rather than comparing 
arrivals of scheduled trains using a timetable.  He overlooked No.  26.  The
dispatcher's probable intent was to have Extra 1461 West to proceed to  the
end of double track and wait for No. 26, but there were other  contributing
factors also -- Operator Dixon issued a clearance card, but didn't  notify
Dublin.  Back in the '60s, I was involved in an incident in which the  3rd 
dispatcher notified me at the end of my trick, 3:30 AM, that he did not  
to clear an extra south (on duty at 7:00AM), but would have the first  trick
dispatcher determine a meeting point for a superior northbound train and  then
clear the extra south.  The shift changed,  the extra was  cleared and 
17 minutes into the time of a superior train's schedule before  realizing they
had nothing on No. 64.  Petrified, the conductor went to a  lineside phone,
notified the dispatcher, and the Superintendent's chief clerk overheard  the
whole thing. 
The account in the Roanoke paper indicated that the engineer of Extra 1461  
26 years old, also that reports  reaching Bristol  from Dublin indicated that 
passengers in the first coach were either killed or seriously  injured.  
This, of
course, wasn't the case.  Conductor Charlton on No. 26 was also the  conductor
on No. 37, October 20, 1920 -- the date it was in a head-ender with  No. 14 at
Rural Retreat.
Those that work in Traffic Control or double track territory have certainly  
some cold sweats.   Following was an order issued on SLSF's  Rolla 
How many meets do you make ?
      Train Order. No.  92                                     March 10, 1944
To C&E - Third, Fourth and Fifth 34
at Dillon
Third Fourth and Fifth 39 Engs 1509 4506 and 4024 hold main track,   meet
third 38 Eng 4307 at Maselle.  Hold main track meet Fourth 38 Eng 4302  on
Westward Siding Staunton.  Hold main track meet Fifth 38 Eng  4309  at
Stanton.  Hold main track meet First 34 Eng 4514 on Westward  Siding
Sullivan. Hold main track meet Second 34 Eng 4417 at Sullivan.  Hold  main
track meet Third 34 Eng 4301 at Coffeyton and have right over Fourth  and
Fifth 34 Eng 4419 and 4521 Pacific to Cuba.  Right over No. 32 and No.  36
Pacific to Dillon and Hold main track at Cuba against Fourth and Fifth  34.
                                                                 Sig.. CHR
How''d you like to have been in the death seat on Eng 1509 ?
                                                   Harry Bundy
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