25 Cars Derailed Yet No One Hurt
From Springfield Herald, Dec.18, 1953
A train wreck right in the heart of Guyton posed a unique spectacle for the townsfolk this week. Twenty-five cars of a Central of Georgia freight (train) were derailed early Sunday morning December 6 (1953), just south of the Depot and strewn the distance of a city block, yet no one was hurt.
Cars were stacked three deep across from the Sinclair Filling Station and most of those involved were piled in a twisted tangled mass of steel heretofore unseen in the city of Guyton. Several lay in the road leaving just enough room for autos to pass and one (freight car) was rammed through the side of the old brick warehouse on Railroad Street and 2nd Avenue, Guyton’s main East-West Street.
A broken rail is believed by Central of Georgia officials to have caused the wreck. Sharp changes in temperature recently experienced in this vicinity, it is said, may have caused the rail to snap. The diesel engine and 39 cars crossed. Cars 40 through 64 were derailed and the back end of the train remained on the track.
Railway officials believe the company restriction on train speed through Guyton may have saved those of the crew who rode caboose from injury.
The train’s front end (locomotive engine and freight cars number 1-39 proceeded to Savannah while the back end of the train was re-routed to the other direction.
Several Guyton families living across the street from the accident slept through all of it. One housewife near by awakened her husband in excitement declaring a tornado had struck.
The Central’s crack train “Nancy Hanks” and several others were routed over the S and A Railway, through Springfield during the day but the company’s efficient wrecking crew had a clear track through Guyton by 7:30 p.m.
The article and photos from microfilm of the Springfield Herald was shared with us by Norman V. Turner. This was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org