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Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918

Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918 Disasters Education American History Famous Historical Events Tragedies and Triumphs

This photo is often mistakenly associated with the scene of the Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918, when the engineer of an empty troop train—traveling between Kalamazoo and Chicago—fell asleep at the throttle. In fact, the photograph depicts the wreck of the Fast Mail at Danville Trestle, Virginia.

The Great Circus Train Wreck, which occurred along the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan, happened when the engineer in charge of the train did not see the signals along his route - because he was asleep.  He plowed into a properly stopped train loaded with Hagenbeck-Wallace circus workers and performers. 

Eighty-six people died and more than 200 were injured in that tragedy.  To learn more about that train wreck - and to see the actual pictures associated with it - see The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918:  Tragedy along the Indiana Lakeshore (by Richard M. Lytle).

Click on the image for a closer view of the Danville Trestle aftermath.


Media Credits

Photo online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 22, 2020.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Great-Circus-Train-Wreck-of-1918/1>.
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