Photo: 1921 Tacoma train tragedy

Photo: 1921 Tacoma train tragedy

In 1921, just three days after Christmas, two engines were leading a train from Silverton to Durango after a heavy snowstorm. As the engines neared what is known as the High Bridge, just south of Tacoma, a mixture of snow, mud and large boulders came sliding down the hillside, slamming into the first engine, causing it to derail. The second engine, with a snowplow and pulling the tender, also derailed and followed the first engine down the slope for 100 feet, coming to rest in the Animas River. Two brothers were acting as engineer and fireman in the lead engine; the younger brother, the fireman, was crushed by the engine as it rolled down the embankment. His brother jumped and saved himself. The crew of the second engine was thrown into the river but survived and were treated for hypothermia and minor injuries. The passenger car with about 20 travelers became uncoupled from the tender and stayed on the railroad grade, along with a baggage car and caboose. Read more local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory

– Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org

Photo: 1921 Tacoma train tragedy

In 1921, just three days after Christmas, two engines were leading a train from Silverton to Durango after a heavy snowstorm. As the engines neared what is known as the High Bridge, just south of Tacoma, a mixture of snow, mud and large boulders came sliding down the hillside, slamming into the first engine, causing it to derail. The second engine, with a snowplow and pulling the tender, also derailed and followed the first engine down the slope for 100 feet, coming to rest in the Animas River. Two brothers were acting as engineer and fireman in the lead engine; the younger brother, the fireman, was crushed by the engine as it rolled down the embankment. His brother jumped and saved himself. The crew of the second engine was thrown into the river but survived and were treated for hypothermia and minor injuries. The passenger car with about 20 travelers became uncoupled from the tender and stayed on the railroad grade, along with a baggage car and caboose. Read more local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory

– Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org
click here to add your event
Area Events