The Crash at Crush

Sep 15, 1896: Over 30,000 spectators watched as two locomotives were deliberately collided head-on. The event was a publicity stunt staged in Texas, about midway between Waco and Hillsboro. It was named the "Crash at Crush" after the railroad agent William George Crush, who had dreamed up the spectacle.

The event didn't exactly go as planned. The boilers of the locomotives exploded upon impact, despite the earlier assurances of engineers that this wouldn't happen, sending shrapnel into the crowd. Several were killed. Many more were injured. According to

The [railroad] did have some claims by irate relatives of the victims, but refunds, cash payments and lifetime passes took care of them. A lifetime railroad pass in the 1890s was like winning the lottery.

There's now a historical marker at the site of the collision.

More info: Farm Collector

source: Baylor University

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 28, 2021
     Category: Disasters | Nineteenth Century | Trains

That whole spectacle sounds like something you would expect from a gang of five-year old kids in a sandbox. Expect for the wholesale slaughter of the spectators...
Posted by KDP on 04/28/21 at 01:49 PM
How on earth could the boilers NOT explode? Sweet mother of pearl, I'd be in the next county.
Posted by RiChard on 04/28/21 at 04:27 PM
@KDP -- I wouldn't put wholesale slaughter past a five-year-old. I recall a Calvin&Hobbes; strip where he made a bunch of tiny snowmen, then he's on his sled at the top of the hill making a comment about "unsuspecting townspeople."

@Richard -- I'm sure the thinking was the impact would cause the boilers to just split open. Parts would go flying, and the steam itself would explode, but it wouldn't have been a typical boiler explosion shooting parts hundreds of yards.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/29/21 at 01:53 AM
So that's where the iconic image of Trainwreckords comes from.
Posted by Yudith on 05/06/21 at 05:39 AM
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