N&W in 1911--Funeral train derailed

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Sat Jun 26 17:57:06 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
January 8, 1911

Special Bearing Body of Railroad President's Mother Suffers an Accident
None of The Coaches Turned Over And No One Was Hurt. According to Official Reports Train Proceeded After Delay of 6 Hours.
Train Was Running at Moderate Speed When it Crashed Into a Rock
[The article with the Bluefield dateline was too indistinct on the microfilm to transcribe, but it was followed by the following article with a Roanoke dateline.]

Roanoke, Va., January 7 (Special)--A special train of President Lucius E. Johnson, of the Norfolk and Western Railway, composed of five coaches, which left here at 9 o'clock this morning for Aurora, Ill., bearing the remains of President Johnson's mother, who died here yesterday; members of the family and a number of friends, was wrecked at 3:30 o'clock this afternoon near Kermit, W. Va., between Williamson and Kenova. Nobody was injured according to reports given out by the officials here. A wrecking crew was ordered to the scene and it was expected the track would be cleared early tonight.
While the train was running at a moderate speed, the engine crashed into a rock that had rolled from the mountain side upon the track. The locomotive, tender and all of the coaches were derailed. The coach bearing the corpse is said to have been damaged more than the others, but none tuned over. The accident occurred near the scene of the wreck some months ago [Sep. 13, 1910, at Delorme] of President Johnson's special train which was on an eastbound trip and at which time two men were killed, but President Johnson and other officials on the train escaped injury. That wreck was believed to have been caused by the breaking of a bolt about the engine.
The news of the wrecking of the train today was not received at Roanoke until 6 o'clock and the announcement caused intense excitement and sympathy for President Johnson who is extremely popular here.

[As I noted when I posted the article on the Sep. 13, 1910, wreck of the President Johnson's train at Delorme, "Unfortunately most of the article on the microfilm copy was too indistinct to transcribe, but enough was decipherable to provide the following summary:" Since then I have received a copy of the newly published book "Wheels Aflame, Whistle Wide Open--Train Wrecks of the N&W Railroad (1892-1959)" which referred to a Roanoke newspaper article mentioning that President Johnson's mother was on the special that wrecked at Delorme and that she was resting on a couch and was uninjured in that wreck.]

Gordon Hamilton
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