A Brief History
On August 20, 1995, a horrific rail accident occurred on India’s Northern Railway. Known as the “Firozabad rail collision,” a train carrying 2,200 sleeping passengers ran into another train that stopped after hitting a giant Nilgai antelope. Officially 358 people died, although the count may have been higher.
There have been far worse rail accidents, including the “Bihar Train Disaster” in India of 1981, in which 500 to 800 people died, the 1917 “Ciurea Rail Disaster” in Romania which cost over 700 lives, and another 1917 disaster, the “Maurienne Derailment” in France, when 800 to 1,000 soldiers on their way to a much needed leave were killed.
In the US, the worst rail accident occurred in 1918, the “Malbone Street Wreck” in Brooklyn that killed 93 people.
In spite of these terrible examples, train travel is considered one of the safest forms of travel. Do you agree?
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you traveled by rail? Did you enjoy it? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Kichenside, Geoffrey. Great Train Disasters: The World’s Worst Railway Accidents. Parragon, 1997.
Krist, Gary. The White Cascade: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche. Holt Paperbacks, 2008.
The featured image in this article, a map by Arun Ganesh, Openstreetmap Project and Contributers of the National Highways, State Highways, and Railways of India, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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