125 Years Ago

An Awful Ride to Death


December 29, 2022

Herald of Dec. 23, 1897

A runaway freight train on the Pennsylvania Railroad descended the mountain from the east end of the Gallitzin tunnel to Altoona, a distance of 13 miles, on Monday evening, at the rate of a mile per minute, crashing into the rear of another freight train standing immediately in front of the passenger depot.

The runaway train consisted of 43 cars loaded with merchandise and grain. It started down the mountain near 6 o’clock. A slight rain which was freezing on the rails as it fell made the track very slippery. Before the engineer had time to apprehend the danger, t...

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