A Wild Gravel Car Causes Commotion

   Posted by: admin   in Railroad, Tara

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 6, 1904

A Wild Gravel Car Causes Commotion

A Broken Flange Allows Trucks to Jump the Track

Ran Three Miles on the Ties

But the Car which was in Middle of Train was not Ditched and Train Came Across Bridge into the city Safely

With death trailing grimly in the rear, and all unconscious of the terrible peril, that was pursuing them, a gravel train crew on the Illinois Central, experienced a thrilling escape last night.

From about half the distance between here and Tara, clear to the depot, a wild car, loaded with gravel, bumped along on the tied, smashing the track, and threatening to ditch the train at every lunge.

There is a down grade nearly all the distance and the train was running at a furious speed. The flanges broke on one side of the car, which was located about the middle of the train, and the dumb peril, lunged about in a wild effort to free tiself from the bonds which held it. Today, the trainmen are wondering how the car could have been pulled so great a distance without wrecking the entire train.

However, trainmen are accustomed to face death and peril in a hundred different and unexpected forms, and today, the engineer of the gravel train is smiling grimly, as he thinks of that ride, with death, as an unannounced companion, as it sat beside him in the engine cab.

Today, a crew of workmen is engaged in repairing the damage which the wild car did to the track. It will require fifteen kegs of bolts, fifteen kegs of spikes and fifteen barrels of braces to repair the damage. On the Des Moines river bridge, where the wild car was hurled across on the ties, nearly all the heads of the bolts are severed, and will have to be replaced. For the entire distance the wild car left its trail of destruction which bears mute testimony to the deadly peril in which the train crew made that perilous ride.

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