Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Malicious Vandals Imperil Lives on a Passenger Train Passing Through Pelhamville in 1893

In the wee hours of the morning, shortly after midnight on May 31, 1893, a train of the New-York, New-Haven and Hartford Railroad Company passing through Pelhamville struck a railroad tie that had maliciously been placed across the tracks. An article about the incident appeared the following day in the New York Times. The text of that article appears below, followed by a citation to its source.



Passenger Train on the New-Haven Road Strikes a Tie Placed Between Rails.

MOUNT VERNON, May 31.--The officers of the New-York, New-Haven and Hartford Railroad Company were busy to-day about Pelhamville and Mount Vernon investigating an accident on their road that took place about midnight last night when one of their accommodation trains from New-Haven struck a tie, which had in some unknown manner been placed on the rails of the west-bound track.

The train was well filled with passengers getting back to New-York from their holiday outing, and was the last passenger train of the day into New-York. Fortunately no one was injured.

The train stopped as though the airbrake had been put on suddenly. Most of the passengers were asleep, and the sudden awakening created some alarm, but it was soon allayed by the trainmen. The only damage was to the locomotive, which had its steam chest broken by the tie. Another locomotive was summoned from New-York.

The officers incline to the belief that the tie was thrown on the tracks by some malicious or intoxicated persons. They do not think that robbery was planned, for but one tie had been placed on the track. There were many ties near at hand with which a thorough job could have been done."

Source: Many Lives Imperiled, N.Y. Times, Jun. 1, 1893, p. 1.

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