Dayton Train Crash 1942

Dayton Train Crash 1942

                                Norfolk Southern's main line through Dayton today near the site of the 1942 freight train crash. 

Downtown Dayton Train Crash injuries four trainmen

On Friday April 24, 1942, the day started out as any other normal day in Dayton until a train accident occurred on the main line in downtown.

A northbound freight train crashed into the coal tender of a switch engine near the Schild Canning Company.

Three men were injured and given treatment here at the hospital before being sent home. Those men were Fireman Gordon W. Morton of Lookout Mountain who had a broken nose and other bruising, Engineer John Vandergriff of Sale Creek sustained back injuries, and Fireman J.H. Goldston of Oakdale had a broken arm.

Engineer C.W. Blanford of Chattanooga was injured more seriously and was kept in the hospital with a concussion and abrasions.

The train was pulling sixty cars and was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crashed into the tender. The resulting crash derailed seven railcars, all of them empty at the time.

The switch engine was switching a coal car onto the spur line of the Schild Company and the tender was still on the main line in the path of the approaching freight train.

The crash occurred just off the street which brought many of Dayton’s merchants, businessmen and residents running to investigate what had caused the loud crashing sounds.

Three of the freight cars were demolished. Twenty-five gasoline tank cars were among those cars being pulled by the freight train, but these were not damaged in the crash.

The crashed caused damage to 100 feet of rail line and damaged nearby telegraph lines.

The mail train to Dayton was delayed while repairs to the track were being completed. Service to the rail line was restored with a few hours.


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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

1 Comment

  • Wanda Morgan

    May 19, 2021 at 10:10 am

    I didn’t know about this. Thanks for posting.

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