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deranged, and refuse to obey the power applied to it, just as the train is flying to its goal, and is already within a few rods of it, at the greatest speed, joyously sporting, as if under the usual command, and hundreds of spectators are waiting its arrival-when, lo! instead of that gradual decrease of its velocity which is customarily witnessed at the end of the race, it dashes wildly and furiously onward, and rushes with destruction on all opposing obstacles, in a single moment creating a frightful heap of ruins, and scattering death among those who waited its approach, as well as among those whom it has brought along with itself to such a catastrophe! That these suppositions are not without reason, but suggested by fact, let the following story demon
The time allotted for the first class to go through, the distance being thirty-two miles, was one hour and thirty minutes, a small fraction more than twenty miles an hour-fare five shillings. The second class of open cars seems for some reason to be less active, and is allowed two hoursfare three shillings and sixpence. I advise all to go in it, for more reasons than one. Whether our engineer had difficulty in the outset I know not; but for the first half way there was great irregularity in the degree of speed-sometimes slow as a horse would walk; then nearly at rest; then dashing on at a velocity to make one giddy. As the time was limited, the slow movements were of necessity to be made up by a proportionate increase of speed at other times. It seemed like a frolic: now slow; now upon a gallop; now racing-yea, even flying. I say with propriety-upon a gallop; and, I may add, a racing gallop; for such is the seeming of the rapid motion of a railway train, while one is shut up in the car. There is a regular mechanical jerk, not unlike that felt in a two-wheel cart, drawn by a horse with loose rein at full speed. It is difficult not to imagine that one is being run away with. At the greatest speed of the train one cannot look at near objects without becoming instantly dizzy. The head whirls like a top; but to turn the eye at the distance of a mile or two, it is very pleasant to observe the rapidly-changing relative position of trees, houses, and other objects: all seem to be in a race, going one way or the other, according as they are nearer or more remote. Sometimes a train of cars coming from the opposite direction on the other line of rails might be seen ahead; and the next moment it would brush by us at the distance of a yard with such velocity that, pent up as we were, we could no more count the number of cars than the spokes of a woman's spinning-wheel when buzzing at its swiftest whirl. The rear of the train seemed to present itself almost at the same instant with the front. All we could perceive was—it is here it is gone!
I had frequently put my head out at the window to look backward, and forward, and abroad-to make such observations as curiosity and the novel interest of the scene invited; for it was the first time I had ever tried that method of conveyance. I should judge we were running at the rate of thirty miles an hour, some few minutes after we had left the Half-way House, or place of stopping, when I looked out at the window, casting my eye forward, and, to my utter horror, I saw the engine off the rails, staggering, pitching, and plunging down the bank!-reluctantly, indeed, as if conscious of its charge and responsibility. I drew in my head, and, as my friend who sat opposite to me afterward said, though I had no recollection of it, exclaimed three times, "We are gone! we are gone! we are gone!" And surely I had good reason to make the inference; for what could the train of six or eight cars, and a hundred of souls or more in them, do but follow? I had no sooner uttered these exclamations, to the great affright of my fellow-passengers, than crash! crash! crash! went the whole concern-one car against the other-with tremendous violence, and we were all at rest in a heap! The force of the concussion may in part be imagined, as it could be estimated by the track of the engine after it was thrown from the rails, and its position in the heap of ruin that, notwithstanding we were proceeding at so great a velocity when the accident occurred, we were all brought up in the distance of three or four rods after the engine had plunged from the rails. Nor was the connexion of the train broken. The engine, as it descended the bank -which, most fortunately, was not more than six feet high, and gently inclined-ploughed and pitched as the momentum from behind urged it on; and by the time all was at rest— and time scarcely could it be called, the arrest was so sudden-the entire train lay in a circle, the engine bottom upwards, half way down the bank, the luggage-car upset, the first car containing passengers also upset, the second nearly over, the third and fourth manifesting the same disposition, and each having plunged with all the force of its headway into the back of its predecessor. The relative position of the parts may be nearly conceived from the fact, that the engine lay directly at our door, car No. 5 from the first, pouring in upon us all the steam that could escape from the safety-valve, which by the shock had been opened, favouring us gratuitously with all the benefit of a bath most uncomfortably hot. My impression at the moment was, from the quantity of steam pouring out, that the boiler had collapsed in the concussion, and let out all its contents. It was far from being inviting to escape by the door that looked that way; it was more like plunging into the jaws of death. The opposite door was so wrenched that we could not open it; besides that, the car was partly upset, rendering it next
to impossible; and, withal, our heads enveloped in such a cloud of steam that we could not see. My friend led the way by jumping through the window. There were two ladies, a gentleman, and a boy still remaining with me in the same apartment; and how we all got out I could not afterward recollect, such was the confusion and affright of the moment. Each and all, impelled by the instinct of selfpreservation, vacated their undesirable places within the cars the best way they could, and began to show their heads without. Those who found themselves alive began next to look after the dead and wounded. Having seen my own apartment cleared of its tenants, which was more than all exposed to the steam, I reconnoitred the circle, and the first object of distress that attracted my attention was the engineer, being dragged out by several hands from underneath the engine, where he was found completely buried and entangled in its fragments. He rose, covered with blood and dust. Some one took him by the hand, and congratulated him for the preservation of his life. He smiled with an expression of wildness, then fainted, and was carried away. How the engine should have turned bottom upwards, and himself caught underneath it, without instant death, was indeed marvellous. As it mercifully happened, not another individual was seriously injured, though a few carried away some slight contusions. I have never heard whether the engineer lived or died. He was sadly bruised. Immediately the peasantry from the adjoining farms, who saw the accident, poured in upon us, and offered their assistance. The disabled cars were drawn off; the engine was left in its 'position, a perfect wreck, with its wheels in the air. I observed that one of its axles was broken, and was told that was the occasion of the disaster. That, however, was a point by no means obvious, as the violence of its upsetting might have broken the axle, as well as many other of its parts, that had suffered equally. The shock had thrown the whole train into a circle. Not one of the cars retained its position on the rails on which we came, the rails themselves having been wrenched and in part dislocated from their fastenings; and a portion of the train was thrown over on the rails of the other line, and completely obstructed the entire road, so that other trains which came up in the meantime were obliged to wait till the way could be cleared for them to pass. Three of our cars, viz., those in the rear, were found, upon examination, comparatively uninjured. They were replaced on the way, ourselves and luggage stowed in heaps on board of them, and by the aid of an engine which happened along without a train, we arrived at Manchester about two hours after the regular time.
To us, who were passengers, this accident was not a very trivial matter; and we might naturally expect that it would
make quite a report—that it would at least be a topic of conversation at Manchester and Liverpool for the remainder of the day, and that somewhat of the particulars of the disaster would be detailed in the Liverpool and Manchester journals.
"Well," said I to a fellow-passenger from New-York, who came on the railway to Manchester on the evening of the same day, and who, I thought, was a little wanting in sympathy, that he did not congratulate us for our merciful preservation, on the first salutation as we met at the Star Inn-"what do they say at Liverpool?"-"Nothing new, sir." A little vexed at his apparent insensibility, I said, "I do not ask for the news; but what do they say of our upset this morning?"- "What upset?"
He had spent the day at Liverpool, in the busy world, had come to Manchester by the same conveyance, but had not heard a syllable of our disaster. I asked if he did not see the wreck. "No." That, however, might easily have been overlooked, when one was not expecting it, and coming on at such an amazing rate, shut up in a close carriage. Indeed, it could not be expected that he would see it, except by mere accident. I had supposed, however, as the rails at the point of our arrest appeared to be wrenched, and in one or two places nearly or quite torn up, that there would have been an interruption of the passing for repairs. But as there are two ways all through, and crossing-places from one to the other at short intervals, that section, with due notice to the engineers, might easily be avoided till the necessary repairs could be effected.
That the Manchester and Liverpool journals are not disposed to give any unnecessary alarm to the public by a detailed recital of such accidents, the very slight notice of our misfortune, which appeared in them the next day, was sufficient proof. The world would scarcely know that it was any thing worthy of record. There seems to be a sympathy between all adjunct interests, which happen to be in some degree mutually dependant. Liverpool and Manchester are justly proud of this stupendous work of art, and this amazing facility of intercourse, and transportation of their wares and merchandise. They are deeply interested in maintaining its good reputation as a safe conveyance for passengers; and notwithstanding there have been some frightful and destructive disasters now and then, on railways and in steam conveyances by water, it is yet gravely maintained that the invention is a great saving of life and property for any given amount of business and travelling; and I am inclined to the belief that such is the fact. On this assumption, any unnecessary alarm is rather an evil than a benefit to the public. Still, I suppose a traveller, who has
met with an accident of this kind, has a right to tell his story without being liable to the charge of malevolence.
All the passengers by that train were not a little discomposed for the time, as may be imagined. Their senses were half driven out of them by the shock; particularly was it so with the females. The remainder of the distance, about twelve miles, was passed in a very nervous state of feeling, every one seeming to anticipate the renewal of a like scene; and, to tell truth, the best judgment and the strongest minds could not very well approve such overburdening of the three less injured cars, into which we were crowded; constantly suffering the apprehension that they might fall down under us, from the failure of parts that must have been weakened by the shock and wrenching they had suffered. Some of the most timid could hardly persuade themselves that they had escaped alive; and continued pale and trembling till we got through-the ladies clinging to their friends, and imploring protection.
My friend, who had been a fellow-passenger in the ship, and who had darted out at the window of the car to escape from the steam, had plunged down the opposite bank, leaped a fence, and run for his life at right angles with the railroad, through a low and wet morass, I know not how far, till he thought himself safe. I looked for him in vain, till some ten or fifteen minutes he returned, puffing and out of breath, and made report of the travels he had accomplished in the meantime. It was not till he became more composed that he discovered he had received a severe contusion in one of his legs; nor could he divine how it happened, but rather conjectured that it was by jumping out of the window, or perhaps by leaping the fence when he ran down into the morass. It was the steam that frightened him and sent him out in that direction. Being an American, and having heard much of the sad effects of steam let loose in our country, he was resolved to make sure and get out of the way of it. And, indeed, any one would allow there was some apology, if he could conceive how it blew away at us, directly into our apartment of the car, when first we came into a heap.
I had several times gone out at Liverpool to see the railway trains come in and go out, and had enjoyed it much. I had even walked out some two or three miles, and taken my station upon a bridge, to espy their first appearance at a distance, in coming from Manchester, to observe their rapid approach, led on by the little, quick, and spiteful engine, spitting a volume of steam at every breath, as if vexed and goaded by its task; or rather snorting like a highmettled steed, that takes the bit in his teeth, dashing forward in spite of his rider, and running away with him. Now it is in sight-now it is here-and now away it hies to