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Accidents and Disasters

View Resource San Francisco Streets and Tracks Destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire
Streets and tracks after earthquake and fire

Pavement bricks and damaged trolley tracks appear amidst what would otherwise seem a standard San Francisco street scene, with buildings undamaged by fire and the earthquake. The photographer's negative number, 68, shows in the lower left corner, suggesting that this one of a series of pictures taken to illustrate the havoc. Well-dressed figures stand on the street and sidewalks. Photographs of...

View Resource Floods Force Canadian Pacific Detours (editor's title)
Canadian Pacific freight train at Stoughton, Wisconsin

Extraordinary rain storms and resulting floods damaged many Midwest rail lines, especially in Wisconsin and Iowa. The flood water also affected Mississippi River communiities from Illinois to the south. The Canadian Pacific main line across Wisconsin was closed where it crossed the Reeseville Marsh and trains were rerouted. Rail enthusiasts would recognize the unusual justaposiion of the Canadian...

View Resource 2008 Flood Damage in Wisconsin (editor's title)
Damage to tracks in Wisconsin

Heavy, repeated rains in southern Wisconsin in the first half of June 2008 wrought heavy damage on homes, businesses, highways, and, notably, railroads. (Flooding washed out one highway and embankment that impounded a lake, Lake Delton, a tourist favorite; the lake vanished. It was a dozen miles north of this view. Nearby, Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society closed for the summer because of...

View Resource The Mississippi River Flood of 1951 (editor's title)
Section Crew in a Flood

Photographs of disasters dot albums and newspaper "morgues" the world over, but the 1951 spring floods along the Upper Mississippi and its tributaries were worthy of attention, resulting in the highest water since 1880. Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the locale for this image, lies on relatively low land and it floods relatively frequently, the lake in the view usually being high ground. The...

View Resource Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge Fire, May 8, 1974 (editor's title)
Poughkeepsie Bridge burning

Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge fire on May 8, 1974, on the Penn Central Railroad over the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. The fire caused enough damage to permantly close the bridge to rail traffic. Trains were diverted to alternative routes, and many railroad facilities in the area closed, including the large yard at Maybrook, New York. It was likely started by a spark from an eastbound...

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and Trainmen

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