Groseclose Wreck in Early 1920s

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Sep 22 16:16:41 EDT 2017

I am attaching two photographs of a wreck thought to have happened at
Groseclose on the Bristol Line in the early 1920s.  Some old head on the
Bristol Line (whose identity I have now forgotten... may have been Bill
Hill, Agent at Glade Spring) loaned me the original box camera prints back
in the 1960s, and I made photocopies.  He told me that he believed the
photos were taken at  the Groseclose wreck where a double-headed eastbound
passenger train overturned.

The 1940-hire Enginemen (like Bill Whittaker and others) and the 1926
Conductors (like Wilbur F. "Bud" Aliff) pointed out to me the spot where
the wreck had occurred.  All reported that the cause of the wreck had been
overspeed on a curve.

The interesting thing about this wreck is that, in every verbal account I
ever heard,  R.H. (Race Horse) Smith is said to have been riding the engine
that night and was greatly begrimed by the coal which partially covered him
up when the engine overturned.

Since the train was an eastward train at night, it was probably No. 18, the
Memphis Special.  That was always a heavy Pullman train in those days and
was frequently double-headed.

Has anyone seen these photos before?  Has a positive identification ever
been made of the location and date of the wreck pictured?
          -- abram burnett,

superannuated old brakesman
                  Sent to You from my Telegraph Key
Successor to the MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH LINE of 1844

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