“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near White River Junction in Windsor County, Vermont — The American Northeast (New England)

Disastrous Train Wreck

Disastrous Train Wreck Marker image. Click for full size.
By PaulwC3, December 24, 2013
1. Disastrous Train Wreck Marker
Inscription.  At 2:10 AM on February 5, 1887 the last car of The Montreal Express derailed causing three cars to fall from the bridge and crash on the ice of the White River 43 feet below. Embers from the coal stoves ignited the spilled oil of the lanterns and fire consumed the wreckage. Twenty-five passengers and 5 crew members perished. As a direct result of the wreck, oil lanterns and coal stoves were abolished on railroad trains, and electric lights and steam heat were adopted.
Erected 2012 by Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Location. 43° 40.907′ N, 72° 23.64′ W. Marker is near White River Junction, Vermont, in Windsor County. Marker is on Vermont Route 14 half a mile north of Runnals Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is about four miles upriver from the unincorporated village of Hartford, Vermont. Marker is in this post office area: White River Junction VT 05001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Theron Boyd House (approx. 3.3 miles away); Vermont (approx. 4.2 miles away); Town of Norwich
Wide view of the Disastrous Train Wreck marker image. Click for full size.
By PaulwC3, April 28, 2013
2. Wide view of the Disastrous Train Wreck marker
The modern day New England Central Railroad still crosses the White River across the same granite abutments and piers as did the Vermont Central Railway in 1887.
(approx. 4.8 miles away); Theta Chi Fraternity (approx. 4.8 miles away); American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy (approx. 4.8 miles away); Alden Partridge (approx. 4.8 miles away); First Public Grammar School (approx. 4.9 miles away); Early Settlers & Allen R. Foley (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in White River Junction.
Also see . . .
1. Vermont Central Wreck of 1887. On Saturday February 5, 1887, the worst railroad accident in Vermont history occurred at the town of Hartford. An express train to Montreal jumped the rails and plunged over a gorge into the ice-laden White River. (Submitted on April 30, 2013, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 

2. Rauner Library Blog: The Hartford Bridge Disaster of 1887. Accounts vary, but approximately 35 people died in the crash and fire, and another 40 were injured, making this the worst rail disaster in Vermont. (Submitted on April 30, 2013, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 

3. A Train Wreck, A Song, and a memory. Not long after the wreck a folksong was written about this terrible railroad tragedy. Nobody knows who wrote it or when or where it first appeared. Local people sang the song and copies were printed in some of the newspapers. Today, over 100 years after the wreck, people still sing the song. (Submitted on May 4, 2013, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.) 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsDisastersRailroads & Streetcars
More. Search the internet for Disastrous Train Wreck.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 29, 2013, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 736 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2013, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.
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