FanPost

April 30: Crush, TX

Crush, Texas From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crush, Texas, was a temporary "city" established as a one-day publicity stunt in 1896. William George Crush, general passenger agent of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (popularly known as the Katy), conceived the idea to demonstrate a train wreck as a spectacle.[1] No admission was charged, and train fares to the crash site were at the reduced rate of US$2 from any location in Texas. As a result about 40,000 people showed up on September 15, 1896, making the new town of Crush, Texas, temporarily the second-largest city in the state.

Unexpectedly the impact caused both engine boilers to explode. Debris, some pieces as large as half a drive-wheel, was blown hundreds of feet into the air.[2] Some of the debris came down among the spectators, killing two[3] or three[2] and injuring many more. Event photographer Jarvis "Joe" Deane lost one eye to a flying bolt.[4]

Contents

[hide]

Preparations[edit]

Before the crash at Crush, Texas.

Two wells were drilled at the site 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the town of West in McLennan County. Circus tents from Ringling Brothers were erected as well as a grandstand.[2] The train engines were painted bright green (engine #999) and bright red (engine #1001), both 4-4-0 American locomotives (two pilot axles, two drive axles, and nothing under the firebox). A special track was built alongside the Katy track so that there was no chance a runaway train could get onto the main line. Crush Texas was named after Mr. Crush who worked for the railroad and invented the Crash at Crush event. One of the descendants, Mark Crush, has history available to Texas history scholars who study this event. The trains toured the state for months in advance, advertising the event.

Crash[edit]

The moment of impact The collision of the two trains at Crush, Texas.

The event had to be delayed for an hour because the crowd resisted being pressed back by the police to what was supposedly a safe distance. About 5:00 pm the two trains, pulling cars loaded with railroad ties, were rolled to the opposite ends of a 4-mile (6.4 km) track.[2] The engineers and crew opened the steam to a prearranged setting, rode for exactly 4 turns of the drive wheels, and jumped from the trains. Each train reached a speed of about 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) by the time they met near the anticipated spot.

Unexpectedly the impact caused both engine boilers to explode. Debris, some pieces as large as half a drive-wheel, was blown hundreds of feet into the air.[2] Some of the debris came down among the spectators, killing two[5] or three[2] and injuring many more. Event photographer Jarvis "Joe" Deane lost one eye to a flying bolt.[6]

Aftermath[edit]

Crush was immediately fired from the Katy railroad. In light of a lack of negative publicity, however, he was rehired the next day.[7] The wreck was featured in an episode of the History Channel series Wild West Tech.

Scott Joplin's "Great Crush Collision March"[edit]

Ragtime composer Scott Joplin, who was performing in the region at the time and who possibly witnessed the event, wrote a piano piece called "Great Crush Collision March" to commemorate the crash; the composition was dedicated to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway. It was copyrighted on October 15, 1896, a short month after the event.[8] The piece was notable because it included instructions in the score for how to replicate the sounds of the trains' collision through playing techniques, specific notes, and the use of dynamics.[9]


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker