Jul 6, 2014

The Northern Pacific's Granite Lake Tragedy

A number of years ago Mike Applegate, Mike Lustig, Terry Frank and I visited the scene of the worst Northern Pacific
train wreck in their history where the North Coast Limited was going too fast into a 30 mile per hour curve at 70 MPH.
 
3 F unit locomotives left the track without making an impression on the rails and landed into the water of Granite Lake, Idaho about 50 miles east of Spokane, Washington. The year was the early 60s.
 
Burt and Ernie (Keith) take photos from the same spot that the passenger cars are located in the prior picture. Marvin and I stayed on the concrete support that was
the east end of the bridge.
I know the engineer and fireman were killed But I don't remember if any passengers were as well.
 
To the rescue was NP wrecker #45, a staple of the Northern Pacific's equipment based in Parkwater. (Spokane)
 
In the distance is the current NP/BN/BNSF mainline the the NP did and changed the routing to avoid this dangerous curve especially if you don't slow down enough.
 
The prior photo was taken about where the NP diesel is located on the bridge approach. It looked all different today and you could not find it easy if you don't have some historic reference where it is.
 
Editor's Note (i.e. Jerry Jr): These photos reminded me of a recent derailment on the MRL in Montana where three Boeing fuselages fell into the adjacent river:
  
 
 

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