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On the day of said accident at about three o'clock in the afternoon, a sudden, violent and unusual storm passed over tbat vicinity. At the place where the accident occurred, a stone culvert, sufficiently large for the ordinary flow of water at all seasons of the year, if unobstructed, had been placed under the railroad embankment, across and over a small brook. Above and westward of said culvert and embankment, there is a ravine or gully extending a long distance, which, two or three rods above the culvert, is much wider than where the railroad embankment crosses. This ravine or gully was at the time covered by a thick growth of trees and underbrush, under which, as the Board believes from the indications, a large accumulation of leaves, brush and partially decayed vegetation bad collected, and, by the sudden and unusual rush of water through the ravine, was floated down and into the culvert aforesaid, thereby choking it and making a dam of the embankment, which, being composed largely of coarse gravel, soon yielded to the pressure caused by said overflow, and a rod or more of it was washed away immediately before the arrival of the train above mentioned at that point. Because of the grade and curve southerly of this point, the washout could not be seen by a person on an approaching train, till within a very short distance of it, so short that a train, running at an ordinary rate of speed could not be stopped quickly enough to prevent it from running into same.
It appeared that the locomotive of the train passed nearly over the excavation before it was derailed, though the tender dropped into the same; and upon it, the mail and baggage car, in which the persons above named were riding, fell, and was overturned and crushed. None of the passenger cars were derailed, and so far as
we have learned, no passenger was materially injured. That this accident could have been prevented by ordinary care or foresight, we cannot believe. The embankment was of good width and well settled, and, so far as it appeared, the culvert was of sufficient size, well built and bad remained intact, so far as known, through the frosts and floods of nearly, if not quite forty years. That both would bave remained as .beretofore under all ordinary circumstances, we have no doubt.
The rain-fall of that day and hour in that locality, in intensity, suddenness and amount, far exceeded what ordinarily might be expected. That it produced the result we have tried to describe, we can not doubt. Therefore we do not find that this accident was, in any way, attributable to want of care or misconduct on the part of the corporation operating the road, or to any of its employes.
In this connection, however, we recommend that in all cases, during and after such sudden and unusual rain-falls as above described, trains be run at a slow rate of speed till section-men or others have bed an opportunity to pass over and inspect the track.
OFFICE FOR THE BOARD. Section 1 of chapter 313 of the public laws of 1889, provides that the Board of Railroad Commissioners shall be provided with an office and suitable rooms for hearings in which its records shall be kept.” There being no suitable unoccupied rooms at the State House, the Executive Department, by their order, instructed the Superintendent of Public Buildings to procure suitable rooms for the use of the Board in the city of Augusta. Acting under said order, the Superintendent procured two of the rooms formerly occupied by the Maine Central Railroad Company in their station building in Augusta. These rooms have been refinished and arranged by the owners for the special needs of the Board, and are comfortable and convenient.
The Board has long felt the need of an office in which their books, records, maps, papers and other materials connected with said office might be kept, and also suitable rooms for hearings, which are provided for by law, might be held. These wants have been fully supplied by the provisions above mentioned, except that no safe place is provided to deposit records and papers valuable to both the public and railroad
corporations. When the addition to the State House is completed, we trust that such arrangements will be made that the Board will be provided with suitable rooms there, for bearings and for the safe deposit of the records and papers above mentioned.
Total Accidents. The following is a summary of the total number of accidents which have occured during the year: Killed.
Injured. Passengers, 3
3 Employes, 6
15 Others, 22
BANGOR AND PISCATAQUIS RAILROAD. To the above named system is now added the line extending from Milo Junction to Katahdin Iron Works, formerly known as the Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway, 18.90 miles in length, making in all 95.40 miles of railroad operated by this company. During the past season 905 tons of new steel rails, and 25,441 new ties have been laid, and 1,700 feet of new side tracks built. Beal’s Rips bridge, two spans of 130 feet each, and the long trestle bridge between Monson Junction and Blanchard, have been entirely rebuilt; also the bridge at Roaring brook on the Katahdin Iron Works Branch. Many other smaller bridges have been repaired and strengthened. Several thousand yards of ballast have been put upon the road-bed, and a large amount of ditching bas been done. A new passenger station has been built at Sebec, and another at the junction with the Canadian Pacific Railroad at Brownville. Many other station buildings at different points along the line have received necessary repairs. Five miles of new fence has been built. The rolling stock of the road is in good order. Several of the passenger cars and one baggage car have been fitted with the Baker Heater. The track is in good alignment and surface, and the road has been greatly improved in all respects. One new passenger car has been purchased and twenty freight cars rebuilt.
Bangor STREET RAILROAD. (ELECTRIC.)
miles. The track is laid with tram rails, 35 pounds to the yard, and is in good order in every respect. The cars are run at the rate of six miles per hour. The rolling stock consists of five motor cars and four open cars.
No accident has occurred since the road has been operated.
BOSTON AND MAINE RULROAD. The Eastern Division consists of the line from Portland to Portsmouth, and a portion of the Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway Road. During the past season seven miles of new steel rails, 67 pounds to the yard, have been laid in the main line of the Eastern Division between Portland and Portsmouth. The track is in good alignment and surface and well ballasted. The road-bed is wide, and for the greater part
, well ditched and drained. The bridges, with the exception of the pile bridges at Portland and Portsmouth, and the two between North and South Berwick, are iron superstructures, resting upon first-class masonry, and are in good order. Most of the wooden stringers on open culverts and waterways have been replaced by iron I beams. The pile bridges at Portland and Portsmouth are in good condition. The pile bridges at North Berwick and Great Works rivers, between North Berwick and Conway Junction, (although safe for the present) should be re-built at an early day. The station buildings along the line are convenient, comfortable and well maintained. Distance from Portland to Portsmouth, 51 miles, 50.75 miles in Maine.
The Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway Branch diverges from the main line of the Eastern Division at Conway Junction, and extends to North Conway, New Hampshire, where it connects with the Portland and Ogdensburg railroad; only 2.92 miles are within the limits of this State. The road is in good condition, well ballasted and ditched. There are three bridg's between Conway Junction and Salmon Falls; an iron plate girder over the Great Works stream, one wooden bridge over highway at South Berwick,and one wooden