Tag Archives: Wellington

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE WELLINGTON AVALANCHE (1910)


The Wellington Avalanche (1910)

During a multi-day blizzard in February 1910, a passenger train and a mail train got stuck in Wellington, Washington, high in the Cascade Mountains. Once the snow finally let up, it changed to rain—with tragic consequences. Early on March 1, an avalanche threw the two trains off the tracks and into a valley below, killing 96 people. It was not the only deadly avalanche in the area that year—one struck British Columbia three days later. How did the disaster change railroading in the Cascades? More… Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: THE TANGIWAI RAIL DISASTER (1953)


The Tangiwai Rail Disaster (1953)

On December 24, 1953, an overnight express train from Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand, was crossing a rail bridge over the Whangaehu River near Tangiwai when the bridge collapsed, sending the engine and first five carriages into the river. The sixth car teetered on the edge, giving a passersby and a guard time to save passengers before it plummeted into the river. Fortunately, the last five carriages remained on the tracks. What had weakened the bridge just minutes before the train arrived? More…