This Day in History : [ 25 / Jul ]

The first railroad accident

The first recorded railroad accident in U.S.history occurs when four people are thrown off a vacant car on the Granite Railway near Quincy Massachusetts.The victims had been invited to view the process of transporting large and weighty loads of stone when a cable on a vacant car snapped on the return trip throwing them off the train and over a 34-foot cliff.

One man was killed and the others were seriously injured.The acceptance of railroads came quickly in the 1830s and by 1840 the nation had almost 3000 miles of railway greater than the combined European total of only 1800 miles.The railroad network expanded quickly in the years before the Civil War and by 1860 the American railroad system had become a national network of some 30000 miles.Nine years later transcontinental railroad service became possible for the first time.