All images via Dark Roasted Blend
Pictures like these hark back to an era when rail transport was the dominant mode of long-distance transport – yet like all technological innovations of their time, locomotives were prone to human and mechanical error. Major derailments and other accidents occurred with alarming frequency during the Industrial Revolution just as they do now – steam seemingly no more a safeguard against mishap than electric power.
This famous photo of a train wreck at Montparnasse in Paris in 1895 shows that negligence and near misses are nothing new – a faulty brake and drivers who were trying to make up for lost time blamed for what could have been a far worse disaster. When the express train overshot its buffer stop, the engine hurtled 98 feet across the station, crashing through a wall and plunging 33 feet into the square below, where it stood on its nose. Incredibly, everyone on the train survived, though one woman was killed by falling masonry.
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