Author Topic: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN  (Read 3110 times)

techguy57

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Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« on: July 14, 2005, 02:18:24 PM »
Has anyone ever heard about a large explosion that happened on the the Milwaukee Road line near lewis, IN.  I'm not sure of the exact date but am guessing this happened in the 1940's based on what I've been told. My grandfather remembers this and said that the force of explosion knocked him and his father, both of whom lived nearby, to the ground. This line is the one that runs between Terre Haute and Linton.  I'll post more info when I find it but for now if you know anything please let me know.  Thanks!

Mike

techguy57

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Re:  Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 04:22:36 PM »
Okay, some updated info to share to anyone interested in this topic:

I discussed this with my grandfather this weekend and he was of course a wealth of information on the topic.  The accident occured March 1953 when a ammunition train bound for Crane Naval center derailed in Lewis, IN on the Milwaukee Road right-of-way.  Tragically, 2 people were killed, and pretty much the whole town was damaged.  The train was carrying 105mm and 155mm artillery shells which exploded for several hours.  Miraculously most of the townspeople were at a social event and were not seriously injured and the train crew all managed to survive.  More details and pictures as I delve into more.

Mike  

tailkinker45

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 08:39:04 PM »
Hi Mike,

My mom was with grandma and grandpa, waiting at the crossing because church had let out that evening.  Mom was 10 years old and was "dating" Paul "Mugs" Morse's son Bobby.  And actually, no one died which is amazing. 

Here's a cool magazine article about the explosion
http://books.google.com/books?id=4kgEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=%22ammunition+train%22+Indiana&source=bl&ots=ripFZbDErT&sig=6boryTxT-8sqPiUl6bVbMPDXtJI&hl=en&ei=Jn5ATa-MA4Gs8AbFxJTTBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22ammunition%20train%22%20Indiana&f=false

In 1980, I went to Student Health at IUPUI and was talking to the Dr.  Turned out that it was her brother that took the pictures of the explosion. Weird coincidence.

Every once in a while a farmer will STILL dig up a shell and have to call the military out to disarm the doggone thing.

I looked on Google maps today and I protest!  They don't even show Lewis as a town.  The streets are there but it's not named.  It may not be much anymore but doggone it, it's still my hometown!

speedyd

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 08:50:40 PM »
This location is where the RR cross Hwy 59 North of Lewis. IN Lewis is 2 miles north of Shakamak State Park.
High & Dry Line

hallbf

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 10:11:51 PM »
Here is a link to the ICC accident report.  A broken rail was determined to be the cause of the derailment.

IU_Tower

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 10:10:30 AM »
Here is a link to the ICC accident report.  A broken rail was determined to be the cause of the derailment.

What link?

Hehehe...that LIFE article is neat. Whoever thinks Schlitz is GOOD beer..... BLECH! They don't call it "headache in a can" for nothing....

Russ Schwartz

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 11:57:51 AM »
"When you're out of Schlitz,
You're out of beer!"

IndyHog

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 06:33:07 PM »
"The beer that made Milwaukee famous"  Still around according to Wikipedia, part of the Strohs empire. Now thats a match made in heaven........
Meet the new boss, he's the same as the old boss......

JohnIII

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 09:49:00 PM »
I drank that stuff in college one time, a friend of mine (and a voice education major at that!) talked me into trying it.  He said it wasn't too bad after about 4, but the challenge was getting four of them down!
The Milwaukee Road Yahoo Chat group has talked about this before.  Bet that was quite a mess.!
Modeling the Beer Line, downtown Milwaukee, WI in the mid 60s. Trains n' Beer! I'm in heaven! 🍺

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robert_b1

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 11:35:40 PM »
Google says:

http://www.nrhs.com/almanac/rr-almanac-1940-1959.pdf
Quote
March 28, 1953 28 are injured when the derailment of a Milwaukee Road freight train near Lewis, Indiana causes explosions in three cars loaded with high-explosive powder and artillery shells.


hallbf

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 11:40:17 PM »
What link?

Hehehe...that LIFE article is neat. Whoever thinks Schlitz is GOOD beer..... BLECH! They don't call it "headache in a can" for nothing....

Whoops.

http://ntl1.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?browse&rn=3481"


bassman

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 08:35:02 PM »
I am 66 and heard and watched as it was burning didn't know of any socials going on (left in car with Bob& his mom Roselie  My mom brother & 2 sisters left town) Paul was yelling for every one to get out of town He worked as engineer knowed what was on the train( saved lots of lives for sure)
Didn't go too far out Rose didn't want to leave Husband at track  sure was nice fireworks took prob. 45 to50 min. to start blowing shells leveled our house and then burnt it   

Denna Merritt

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 09:16:49 AM »
My mom, grandparents and great grandparents lived in Lewis when this explosion happened.  I was online looking for the Life Magazine article when I ran across this post.  My grandparents were Oris and Bessie Campbell.  Bessie's parents, my great grandparents, Thomas and Mable (Foreman) Metcalf, lived next door to them I believe and both of their houses were devastated.  That's my grandma Bessie in picture number 3 on page 56 and that is her dad in picture number 4 on the same page.  As a matter of fact, I was looking this up because a distant cousin of mine has the buffet that belonged to my great grandma Mable and survived this disaster and wanted to know if I want it.  I was looking for the article to see if the buffet was shown in any of the pictures.

cbalducc

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 10:41:57 AM »
Here's Lewis:

http://g.co/maps/bkskx

Is that a coal mine NE of Lewis?

God bless,

CKB

Denna

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2012, 04:55:36 AM »
I believe so, yes.

trainmaster53

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2012, 02:00:00 PM »
Is Lewis Indiana North of Crane or South of Crane. And Does the Indiana Railroad Go Through Lewis Indiana?

cbalducc

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 11:19:19 AM »
Lewis is north of Crane on the Indiana Railroad.

God bless,

CKB

Bret Kalber

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Re: Historical Railroad Explosion near Lewis, IN
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2013, 08:12:18 AM »
If I'm not mistaken I live in that same location or right next door.  I bought my house one year ago from M Criss, neighbor is S Kent, of whom informed me of historical data related to Lewis.  I was raised in Riley and have never heard of this until recently.  Just my addition to posts.   Thank you