The T&T Wreck of March 16th, 1927

Boiler Explosion at Death Valley Junction

Harry Gower writes in his book 50 Years In Death Valley:
"The morning train once pulled into D.V.J. with its usual flourish and coming to a stop with screeching brakes, the locomotive blew up with a town shattering roar, killing both men of the engine crew." {Note the conflicting description of explosion volume by the conductor below - Ed.}
 
The engine involved was the T&T second #6 which had been acquired from the LV&T upon its demise. It was repaired and sold to Six Companies for work on constructing the Boulder Dam. - {Myrick}

 

"Tonopah Daily Bonanza" -- March 17th, 1927

Fireman Killed In T. & T. Blast

Charles Taylor, fireman, was killed and J. J. Floyd, engineer on the north bound tonopah & Tidewater train, received serious injuries when the boiler of their engine exploded at Death Valley Junction at 8:15 yesterday morning. Floyd was taken to a Los Angeles hospital and Taylor's body was sent to San Bernadino for burial.
The accident is charged to low water in the boiler similar to an identical experience in the vicinity of Regans Springs some years ago. {December 29th, 1910 - Ed.}
 
Tonopah Daily Bonanza -- March 17th, 1927
 
Courtesy of the Central Nevada Historical Society
Newspaper scan by Bill Metscher

 

"Goldfield Times" -- March 18th, 1927

Freak Accident Throws Trainmen from Cab Window

"It was one of the strangest accidents I ever heard of in railroading," said W. H. Trinkle, conductor of the Tonopah & Tidewater train that lost both its engineer and fireman when the boiler of the locomotive exploded at death Valley Junction, wednesday morning about 8 o'clock.
Mr. Trinkle, who was interviewed by a representative of the Times in Goldfield, Thursday morning, tontinuing {sic}, said: "Despite the fact that C. W. Taylor, the fireman, was killed instantly, and J. J. Floyd, the engineer, was thrown 80 feet from the cab of the engine, there was little noise to the explosion. In fact, the passengers, who were over at the eating house for breakfast at the time of the explosion, knew nothing about it until they returned to the train later. The noise was more like a loud pop than one might expect to hear from a boiler exploding."
"The brakeman had just signalled Floyd to back up, and he was about to do this when the accident occurred. I was beside the train glancing in his direction at the time. There was a dull noise beneath the rear of the boiler, and next instant I saw Floyd fly out of the cab window and land in the sagebrush. Taylor's experience was similar, except that he was thrown only 20 feet. His death was instantaneous."
"Floyd was conscious when we picked him up and hurried him to the hospital at the Junction. Later he was removed to Los Angeles for treatment."
According to Mr. Trinkle, neither the engine cab nor the locomotive itself was, from outer appearance, seriously damaged. The engine was detached from the train and the engine from the south bound train was coupled up and the train proceeded to Goldfield. There was only a delay of about two hours.
Floyd was 19 years old and had been railroad but a short time. Taylor had been with the T. & T. Co., for about 10 years.
 
Goldfield Times -- March 18th, 1927
 
Courtesy of the Central Nevada Historical Society
Newspaper scan by Bill Metscher

 

"Reno Evening Gazette" -- March 21st, 1927

"GOLDFIELD, Mar. 21. - (Special) - Word was received here Saturday {March 19th - KA} of the death in Los Angeles of J. J. Floyd, engineer of the Tonopah and Tidewater railroad, who received fatal injuries in an engine explosion at Death Valley Junction early in the week. Charles W. Taylor, the fireman, was killed instantly.
 
Courtesy of Bill Metscher

 

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01/20/2008