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Premium Member
451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received this in an e-mail the other day, and will post here verbatim so the MLS crowd can enjoy it just the way I did .... I can't speak for the accuracy of the information, but it makes an interesting read nonetheless. Any pacific coast experts who can shed some light?

Matthew (OV)


By August of 1938 the train activity on the Pacific Coast Ry was
dwindling sharply. The little narrow gauge line had suffered the fate of most West Coast
narrow gauge roads and lost much of it's traffic to trucks and automobiles.

The footage of the burning wreckage at the end of the video was of
Pacfic Coast No. 6.

On August 10, 1938 PCRy engineer Front Hampton and his brother Stuart
as fireman were running #106 on a freight train near Los Alamos, a portion
of the line that saw very little freight traffic. As they approached the
main highway crossing in broad daylight they used plenty of bell and whistle
to announce their crossing. A driver of a Packard automobile stopped at the
crossing and waited for the little 2-8-0 #106 to cross. Unfortunately for
all, a truck carrying 5000 gallons of gasoline was traveling too fast on the
highway at the same time when the driver spotted the narrow gauge train
making its crossing. The driver applied the brakes but realized they would
not stop and he jumped for his life.

The truck slammed in to the engineers side of the cab of #106 and
turned the little engine over on its fireman's side and the entire train
truck and Packard was engulfed in the inferno of the burning gas. The driver
of the Packard bailed out of his car as it was captured by the fire. Fireman
Stuart got free in the cab and managed to free his brother Front just in
time to escape a certain death. The highway was closed for 24 hours and all
power in the area was lost when the power lines in the wreck scene were

Miraculously all the people involved in the wreck escaped. Not so the
little #106. She was badly damaged by the wreck and the ensuing inferno.
With little freight traffic left and a couple spare locomotives still
available for service the decision was made to scrap the famous little #106.

The locomotive also starred in a movie a 1935 motion picture entitled
"DIAMOND JIM", which covered his affections towards a "Lillian Russell" It
starred longtime motion picture and television actor "EDWARD ARNOLD"--- not
to be confused with longtime Country Music singer "EDDIE ARNOLD" ...

Today all that remains of Pacific Coast Ry #106 are her number and
builder plates and the memories she made in her movie role and her role in
one of the most famous excursions in the West.

520 Posts

Many thanks for posting this very interesting piece of railroad history. I found the description and video highly enjoyable.

Premium Member
116 Posts
Thanks so much for that historical footage. Really interesting to learn about a little known part of railroading history

Regards ,

Joe Mc

Premium Member
1,269 Posts
"This video has been removed by the user"

Not very interesting viewing.

What happened?
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