These are wicked and miserable accidents and derailments, some of them large-scale, caused by a single error of machinist or controller, big enough to be recorded in history books... And yet, multitudes of bystanders keep looking upon such carnage with morbid fascination, lost in time and perhaps in their mind, wondering what really took place and how the catastrophe unfolded.
Train wreck at Montparnasse in Paris, France, 1895:
(image credit: Studio Lévy and Sons)
Train wreck in Ukraine, ca 1917:
(image credit: Voron)
Wreckage of Soviet Army train on the way to World War II battle lines, and a wreck of the German supply train:
(images credit: Olgacir)
Poor Thomas the Tank Engine... did this really happen? (ask Ringo Starr who did a narration on the original series) -
But then again, our ancestors were able to laugh about it, too:
Some of the nameless Russian train wrecks (not much information about those, sadly). Pictures via Russian RailRoad Club:
(images via Ankornil, RailRoad Club)
Unintended condensation caused the car full of vapors to collapse upon itself (implode):
"The general-purpose tank car in the photo below was being steam cleaned in preparation for maintenance. The job was still in progress at the end of the shift so the employee cleaning the car decided to block in the steam. The car had no vacuum relief so as it cooled, the steam condensed and the car imploded." Keep in mind that steam has around 1600 times the volume of condensed water - also see the video!
"No one can serve two masters..."
All over the place... (this accident happened in June 2006 in Toronto, Canada, no one was hurt) -
(image credit: TopFlight)
Nowhere to go, can't backup either:
Canadian National engines vs. a landslide:
Climbing higher, and higher... No brakes on this "metro" train in Hungary:
More than 1,000 repurposed New York City Subway cars were sunk off the eastern seaboard - to serve as a sort of a marine barrier, and as a playground for scuba divers:
(read more info)
These kinds of accidents often go "unsung" and unnoticed by the general public, and my guess is, a lot of them still happen, blamed on brakes, or human error:
I wonder what happened here? Just vandalism?
This one has quite a ways to go down... "The high winds of 17 February 2006 have pushed this freight train off off of its tracks while it was crossing a bridge over the St-Laurence River on its way Montreal." -
(image credit: Andre Nantel)
Encountering something bigger than itself... a humbling and shattering experience:
When used train cars can no longer be serviceable, they get transformed (in a very practical-minded Russia, of course) into trailers and.... churches:
Disappearing into nothing; what awaits around the corner? -
Breath easy - this is Photoshop:
(image credit: Worth1000
Utterly Surreal: Tilt-Shift Train Wrecks
These are not models, these are photos of the actual super-wreck (which happened in Galt IL, May 3, 2005) re-touched with Photoshop trickery:
(images credit: AstroChimp, see the whole set here)