United States

This Day in History: Great Train Wreck of 1918

On July 9, 1918, two passengers trains collided west of downtown Nashville - causing one of the deadliest crashes in U.S. railway history - killing an estimated 101 and injuring 170 others.

'Train No. 4', headed to Memphis, collided with 'Train No. 1', coming from Memphis, in present-day Belle Meade, which is one of the richest cities in the country.

The two trains collided head-on, in an area called "Dutchman's Curve." That crash in now referred to as the "Great Train Wreck of 1918."

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) declared the wreck was caused by human error - specifically the crew of Train No. 4, tower operators, the lack of accurate train location systems and the construction of the trains.

The wreck caused most passenger trains to switch to steel framing, as opposed to wood or wood-steel combinations.

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