A little known event in the storied history of the New York Central’s Twentieth Century Limited was the Amherst, OH Triple Train Wreck of 1916. On March 29th, 1915 three trains collided just west of Amherst. It all began near dawn when New York Central train No. 86, the Buffalo Limited, stopped near the Amherst switch tower at a stop signal only to have the second section ofram into the rear end of the train. Telescoping the cars and knocking several onto the westbound tracks. Moments later the westbound Twentieth Century Limited, train No. 25, plowed through the wreckage of both trains. 47 people were injured and 27 more lost their lives.
The cause of the wreck was attributed to the extremely thick foggy weather and a switch malfunction.
In order to commemorate this historic event the Amherst Historical Society has planned a day’s worth of activities for the public. The event kicks off at 10 AM at the Amherst Sandstone Village where there will be a dedication ceremony for the installation of a new plaque marking the approximate location of the wreck site. At 11 AM the event moves to Crownhill Ave Cemetery where flowers will be placed on the five unidentified graves of victims. From 5-8 PM Festivities will resume at Grange Hall at the Sandstone Village where visitors will be able to view a vast collection of photos and information on the wreck and Amherst’s railroad history. I will be setting up an operating O-Gauge model train layout featuring trains of Amherst past and present. Additionally Ray Bottles, the last brakeman to serve on the 20th Century Limited, will be on hand with stories and memorabilia from his many years of railroad service.
For more information just ask me!