Wreck at New Portage Junction, outside Altoona, PA, November 1916.
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Wreck at New Portage Junction

Credit: Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library

When a 60-car coal train coming down the Mule Shoe curve on the eastern slope of the Alleghenies, near Altoona, lost its airbrakes on November 6, 1916, the heavy freight train smashed into four standing engines with devastating results. The crash destroyed 47 of the 60 cars and killed seven men.

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