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Accident at the Gare Montparnasse March 24, 2011

Posted 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.



1. Drew - March 24, 2011

Funny, I was just in Paris a couple weeks ago and saw this on a postcard at the Musee D’Orsay. I just assumed without looking too closely at it that it happened there when it was the Gare D’Orsay.

Crazy picture, no doubt. Sad that someone was killed. Not the sort of thing you’d be on the lookout for as you walk past a train station.

2. mikayla - September 12, 2012

got that right

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