Accident at the Gare Montparnasse March 24, 2011Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Popular Culture.
Today I ran across a way cool photograph from October 22, 1895:
This dramatic derailment happened to a Granville-Paris Express train that had a faulty Westinghouse brake, although the engine drivers were blamed for speeding as they tried to make up for time lost earlier in the day. The engine careened across almost 100 feet of the Montparnasse train station concourse, crashed through a two-feet-thick wall, shot across a terrace, and sailed out of the station, plummeting onto the Place de Rennes 33 feet below. One woman on the street below was killed, by falling masonry; everyone on the train survived, although there were a few minor injuries. A conductor incurred a 25-franc penalty (I have no idea why, and the Wikipedia article didn’t say), and the engine driver a 50-franc penalty. As near as I can figure out, 50 francs worked out to approximately 1,850 euros, or approximately $3,000 2011 dollars.