A&WP wreck near Red Oak, Ga.

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To the person from Richmond inquiring about accident on the A&WP near Red Oak, Georgia -- sorry, I zapped your e-mail address prior to completing response. In its 61-year history, the Safety Bureau of the Interstate Commerce Commission (later the F.R.A.) investigated 4,189 accidents occurring between April 29, 1911 and October 2, 1972. Additionally, there were approximately 25 ex-parte reports issued. Of these reports, one covered an incident on the A&WP -- October 29, 1929 at East Point, Ga. No report was ever issued for accidents, if any, involving the Western Railway of Alabama, and seven were issued for incidents on the Georgia Railroad. What was ICC's criteria for initiating an investigation ? Casualties ? $ Loss? Rule infractions ? Probably. They've reported on accidents resulting in two fractured fingers and they've failed to publish reports involving head-enders. One noteable "no report" involved a double-headed N&W yard crew that ran through an open drawbridge and plunged into the Elizabeth River; four fatalities. Maybe some reader can shed some light on ICC's reporting procedure.

-- Harry Bundy (y6b@aol.com), September 26, 1999


The accident mentioned by Tom occurred on August 31, 1958, when A&WP Train 38, the northbound "Crescent" derailed near Red Oak, GA. no one was killed and there were few injuries, none major. I have a photocopy of the Atlanta Constitution for 9-1-58 which covers it in rather lurid detail, but omits any mention of the cause. I believe it was unknown at the time of publication.

Bob Hanson

-- Robert H. Hanson (RHanson669@aol.com), September 27, 1999.

I'm not aware of the specifics of the original question, but concerning wrecks on the A&WP at Red Oak, Georgia... I have a photo copied from Howard Robins' collection of an overturned train at Red Oak in about 1958. The lead unit was F3 #501. It was pictured laying on its side with the remainder of the train cars jack-knifed every which way behind. I don't remember which train was involved - I'll have to dig up the photo - but it was a major SNAFU!

-- Tom Alderman (Topa12283@aol.com), September 27, 1999.

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