1971 Wreck at Deschutes Junction, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 09.221 W 121° 15.464
10T E 639324 N 4890418
This train wreck occurred just south of the Deschutes Junction siding, about 11:20 pm on July 16, 1971.
Waymark Code: WM17Y9
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 02/16/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Blue J Wenatchee
Views: 146

On the evening of July 16, 1971, unknown persons released the brakes of four box cars loaded with moulding in the rail yard in Bend, Oregon. The cars rolled out of the yard onto the mainline, some how passing through two switches and a derail device. Once on the mainline the cars moved north gaining speed on the down grade to Redmond. Seven miles to the north at Deschutes Junction a 78 car Burlington-Northern freight train pulled by four engines stopped when it reached a red signal light. The crew was on the radio to Bend to determine the cause of the red light when the runaway cars rolled into sight. At the time of impact the cars were estimated to be moving at more than 50 m.p.h. The impact left the lead engine east of the rails, the second engine west of the rails, the third engine straddled the tracks but turned 90°. The fourth engine was only partially derailed. The first three engines and the runaway cars caught fire, resulting in a fire that was seen from miles away. The engineer and fireman died in the collision and fire, the brakeman was seriously injured but managed to crawl out of the wreakage. [Information from local newspaper articles (The Bulletin) on July 17 and 19].
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