Great Train Wreck of 1918


A photo of the Great Train Wreck of 1918 that appeared in The Tennessean. Public domain

We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of one of the worst train wrecks in United States history. More than 100 people died. And even though it’s usually noted as the worst train wreck in American history, it was kind of a run-of-the-mill accident for the time.

Tracy's Research:

  • Farmer, Blake. “Curious Nashville: Remembering America’s Deadliest Train Crash.” Nashville Public Radio. 10/10/2017. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/curious-nashville-remembering-america-s-deadliest-train-crash#stream/0
  • Philips, Betsy. “Touring the Greatest Train Disaster in Our Nation's History.” Nashville Scene. 11/3/2014. https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/13056710/touring-the-greatest-train-disaster-in-our-nations-history
  • Coggins, Allen R. “Dutchman's Grade Railway Accident.” Tennessee Encyclopedia. https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/dutchmans-grade-railway-accident/
  • Aldrich, Mark. “Train Wrecks to Typhoid Fever: The Development of Railroad Medicine Organizations, 1850to World War I.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Summer 2001). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44445609
  • Aldrich, Mark. “Combating the Collision Horror: The Interstate Commerce Commission and Automatic Train Control, 1900-1939.” Technology and Culture, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1993). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3106455
  • McDonald, Charles W. “100 Years of Safer Railroads.” Federal Railroad Safety Program. August 1993. https://web.archive.org/web/20090731183723/http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/safety/rail_safety_program_booklet_v2.pdf
  • Borland, W.P. “Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Safety Covering the Investigation of an Accident Which Occurred on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway at Nashville, Tenn. on July 9, 1918.” Interstate Commerce Commission. Via Hathi Trust. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015021127272;view=1up;seq=35
  • “'Because somebody blundered': News of the Dutchman's Curve disaster.” Via Nashville Post. https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/education/article/20401081/because-somebody-blundered-news-of-the-dutchmans-curve-disaster

Topics in this Podcast: 20th century, U.S. history, train wrecks, disasters, trains