The NERAIL New England Railroad Photo Archive
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Bad Day At Ayer Interlocking

Back in February 1968 a Portland-bound freight was passing through Ayer when apparently a truck frame broke on one of the cars starting a chain reaction that involved 31 other cars of a 109 car train to derail in front of the Ayer tower. You can see several of the overturned cars and the train order signal that was set askew. The westbound home signal was completely plowed down and barely visible (where the men are gathered) is the northwest corner of the tower that was damaged in the process (the repaired brickwork is still visible today). Remember, the tower operator was in the tower at that time. I can only imagine how “excited” he was to see this nightmarish event unfold before his eyes. Miraculously no one was injured in this spectacular wreck.

Photographed by Ron DeFilippo, February 18, 1968.
Added to the photo archive by Ron DeFilippo, March 10, 2019.
Railroad: Boston & Maine.

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