I have a few more notes about the circumstances and findings of the wreck.
Engineer Lloyd Wilmurn (63) ,a 39 year veteran of the central and fireman Peter Andrew (42) , a 20 year employee were in the cab of Gp7 #1532, witch was running long hood forward (a common CNJ practice) did not survive along with all the passengers in the 2nd coach. All the survivors were rescued from coach #932 before if broke loose and fell into the oily bay. Among the survivors were 3 passengers that lived through the PRR's Broker wreck of February 6th 1951. They are Lloyd Nelson, Campell Jeffrey, and Gustave Platz, very lucky indeed.
The normal power for that train was a single FM H-24-66 trainmaster, none being available that morning the 2 geeps were cut it as power. After the 2 locos were removed from the channel the speed recorders showed that the train passed automatic signal 82 2,250 feet west of the bridge at 41 mph, the speed restriction on the bridge is 45 mph. The signal read Approach......Proceed preparing to stop. This means that they should have slowed to about 20 mph as it passed the signal. The next signal, R26, 490 feet from the open draw read RED over RED over RED, stop. #3314 was going 42.5 mph when it hit the derail just past the signal. The train was put into emergency 8 feet from the edge of the open span by someone in the cab.
Out fo the 2 Gp7's I could not find definite info about one, #1526. Reports of what happened to #1526 after the wreck are not consistent. some say that it was rebuilt, some that it was scraped. There was probably some renumbering that was not well documented. As for 1532 It was returned to service after a rebuild from GM. This gave it all the internal upgrades to make it a Gp9, but it retained it's 7 body minus the distinctive CNJ squared off long hood for HEP equipment. It was not permitted to be used it passenger service anymore and considered a "Jinx" unit. It served in freight service On the newly acquired L+NE division in Pennsylvania. In 1974 it was placed on the High bridge branch after the central abandoned there trackage in PA. It was the last Gp7/9 to wear the Green and Yellow tooth past stripe scheme. It was added to Conrail in 1976.
As for the cause of the wreck , it was considered to be some kind of a medical emergency in the cab of the lead unit. Because of the condition of the train crews bodies a proper autopsy was not able to be preformed, It is unknown why the train was traveling at that speed or who put the train into emergency.
Last edited by e-paw
on Jul 5th, '10, 16:28, edited 2 times in total.
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