Thursday, April 26, 2012

1966 Train Derailment In Blades

Six cars of a Delmar to Wilmington Pennsylvania Railroad freight train derailed at Blades about noon Saturday, blocking traffic at the River Road Crossing for about seven hours. 

The accident is under Investigation.  Railroad repair crews called to the scene to help clear the tracks, believed that the accident was caused by too much speed maneuver  when an attempt was made to join two sections of cars.  The pile up barely missed a collision with a high tension power line, which might have created a serious problem. 

Troopers said the 40-car train was backing from Seaford to Blades to recouple with some of the freight cars when the accident occured.  Blades police said the brakes apparently failed, and the two section collided. 

The derailment occurred where the tracks cross  River Road, and blocked it to vehicular traffic until the scene was cleared about 7 p.m.   Cranes and equipment from the Melvin Joseph Construction Company, Georgetown, were used to raise the cars from their wheel units so the latter be placed back on the tracks.

Two of the cars arched into an inverted "V" over the crossing for about three hours before they could be lowered.  Blades police and a trooper from Bridgeville maintained traffic and pedestrian control at the scene while the cars were set back on the track.

R. M. Kettlet, assistant superintendent of the Pennsy lower Delaware Division attribute the accident to human error.  He said damage to the six derailed box cars would amount to $3,000.

N. H. Emory, of Delmar, was identified as engineer of the train, E. L. Davis, Delmar, Brakeman.

From the State Register Feb 1966

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