The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Rail Disaster: 1933

Rail Disaster: 1933

GRAVE OF MUD

        WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 1933 -- While thousands worked to overcome the havoc wreaked by the storm in the Capital, 300 trainmen struggled with the wreck of the Crescent Limited. The crack extra-fare express was hurtled yesterday from the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad when flood waters undermined the central abutment of the bridge over the Eastern Branch [Anacostia River], just inside the District. All day and all night the crews of railroad men worked, first with acetylene torches to clear debris from the approaches to the bridge, and then with three cranes to lift aside the wrecked cars. Late in the evening a derrick lifting the crushed engine from a grave of mud uncovered the body of the engineer, Arthur H. Bryde, of Washington. The body of J.H. Faye, the fireman, of Havre de Grace, was recovered earlier in the day. It had been ground into the mud of the embankment by a coach.

August 1933. Washington, D.C. "Crescent Limited train wreck." Another look at this wreck. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Re: Re: Wrong truck

They are definitely Tender trucks. PRR Class 2D-T4 to be precise.

Crescent Question

"Wasn't the "Crescent" usually pulled by a Southern RR locomotive?"

The Crescent Limited operated from New York to Washington on the Pennsylvania Railroad, on the Southern Railway from Washington to Atlanta, on the Atlanta & West Point / Western Railway of Alabama from Atlanta to Montgomery, AL, and on the Louisville & Nashville from Montgomery to New Orleans.

This particular train would have originated in Penn Station behind an electric locomotive (probably a PRR P5). PRR steam replaced the electric in Wilmington, DE; a Southern Railway Ps4 would take over in Washington (there may also have been an engine swap midway to Atlanta in Salisbury, NC). In Atlanta, WofA 190 or A&WP 290 (which were purchased specifically to haul this train) would take over, and an L&N locomotive would the train on the final leg of the journey.

PRR

A Southern 4-6-2 would pull it south of Washington. Guess this wreck must have been at the PRR bridge at 38.917N 76.9435W, where a PRR engine would pull the train.

Locomotives

Wasn't the "Crescent" usually pulled by a Southern RR locomotive?

Re: Wrong Truck

I stand corrected; how I missed them being outside bearing I have no idea. They probably are from beneath the tender, as the lead truck there is missing. Doubt they're from a car, as those appear to be all heavyweight equipment with six-wheel trucks.

Wrong truck

On a railroad, a truck is the assembly of wheels, springs, brakes, and centering devices which ride on the rails, supporting and guiding the car or locomotive it supports.

The engine is unmistakably, as pointed out, a Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 class 4-6-2 Pacific.

But, neither of the two trucks visible near the center of the photo came from that engine. K-4 pilot trucks were inside bearing. Perhaps, these were from under the tender, or from one of the passenger cars.

Men dead; locomotive saved.

It's a K-4 Pacific type, seen many times on this site. Don't know what number it is, but it was definitely rebuilt. The first K-4 to be scrapped was #8309 in 1938, after a different wreck which occurred in Pittsburg when it plummeted off a high fill and then dropped another fifty feet over a concrete retaining wall into one of the city streets. The leading truck of the K-4 seen above is sunk in the mud dead-center of the photo.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.