RailPictures.Net Photo: LN 306 Louisville & Nashville Alco FA-2 at Artemus, Kentucky by Collection of Ron Flanary
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» Louisville & Nashville (more..)
» Alco FA-2 (more..)
» L&N Cumberland Valley Division (more..)
» Artemus, Kentucky, USA (more..)
» April 23, 1955
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» LN 306 (more..)
» LN 44 (more..)
» Collection of Ron Flanary (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
This derailment occurred during the infamous 1955 strike on the L&N Railroad. On Saturday, April 23, 1955, engines 306, 238, 117 and 301 (two FA2 Alco cab units spliced by two RS3 road switchers) departed Loyall, Kentucky at 12:12 PM as scheduled train 44—a Lynch to Corbin run in the Cumberland Valley Division operating timetable. Train 44 was being handled by a crew of normally non-operating employees. As the train passed the community of Himyar about 2:50 PM, the engineer made a brake pipe reduction to slow the train from 35 MPH to about 32 MPH. He later testified that he observed a man walking toward the train on the right hand side of the tracks. This man then walked over to a vehicle parked on the parallel road. Two other individuals were in the car, and they immediately drove off. The engineer’s gaze then returned to the track ahead, but as the train came out of the three degree curve and entered the tangent approaching the south switch of the siding at Artemus, he noticed the switch target was red, indicating the switch was lined directly into the standing string of stored hoppers. He made an emergency brake application, which reportedly reduced the speed of the heavy train to 25 MPH just before the collision---but obviously it was too late. All four units jackknifed as they slammed into the empty hoppers. When the coal dust settled and the grinding steel finally came to a complete stop, the four locomotives were partially or completely overturned. The first 26 cars of the train were overturned or in diagonal positions. Obviously lead unit 306 got the brunt of the damage, but all four locomotives were salvageable and would eventually return to service. Nineteen loaded cars in the train were a total loss, but only the first empty hopper in the string sitting on the siding was destroyed. Amazingly, there was no loss of life. (photo by C.T.Huff, collection of Donald Dunn)
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