Welcome (Céad Míle Fáilte!) to Small-leaved Shamrock

Monday, March 3, 2008

Reading engine no. 563: the lone survivor?

It was Reading engine no. 563 on which William Cowhey, engineer, and his fireman William Moyer were traveling home after their shift one November night in 1892. They had hopped on the train after their own shift ended on engine no. 73, and were headed to their respective homes in Mount Carbon and Palo Alto after a long day's work. Along with the crew of the no. 563, Cowhey and Moyer went to their deaths when a powerful boiler explosion ripped through the engine.

One of the men, Michael Dobbins, survived the explosion, but was badly injured and unconscious, according to the Pottsville Republican's November 14, 1892 account of the event.

If Dobbins' injuries were indeed fatal, that would leave only one survivor of the explosion of Reading engine 562 on November 14, 1892: the train itself.

Although badly damaged, the train appears to have been rebuilt. It's wooden cab was replaced by a "modern" metal cab. Here she is, circa 1930's, more than likely the lone survivor of the fateful accident that day:

This image of Reading engine no. 563 is from the archives of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Much thanks to Ronald Bailey, President of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Advisory Council, an avid railroad historian, and licensed steam locomotive engineer, for finding and sharing this photograph.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails