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Bagdad, CA Train Wreck, Jun 1914


Santa Fe Limited Runs Into Open Switch and Strikes Freight Train Near Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, Cal., June 13. - Two persons were killed and twenty-three injured in a wreck last night at Bagdad, Cal., twenty-one miles from Los Angeles, when an eastbound Santa Fe limited train ran into an open switch and struck a freight train on a siding. Seventeen of the injured and the bodies of C. N. Cram and Charles W. Belden of San Francisco, the men killed, were brought here aboard a special train today.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 14 Jun 1914



Casualty List Includes Conductor E. A. Barrows and One Whose Name Could Not Be Learned.

That the death list of the wreck last Friday night at Bagdad, Calif., when the Santa Fe's eastbound California limited rammed a freight train on a siding, had grown to four persons, was admitted yesterday.

The list now includes E. A. Barrows, train conductor, who lived at San Bernardino, Calif. The names of two men killed outright were announced the night of the wreck. Who the fourth person said to have died, is, could not be ascertained. One of the women who was injured was reported to be in a dangerous condition.

A report that reached here yesterday afternoon, that the total death roll had mounted to eight persons, was scoffed at. This report was without apparent authenticity and given practically no creedence.

Train Here Early in Morning

The wrecked train, with the damaged cars replaced, arrived here at 4:15 o'clock yesterday morning, nine hours and thirty-five minutes late. The slightly injured passengers, including A. Miller, Pullman conductor, were on board. All were asleep in their berths when the train arrived. The seriously injured were taken to Los Angeles.

The composite car and dining car, which were demolished according to report, had been replaced. The steel Pullman cars escaped without damage.

This was the first time for years that passengers were killed in a wreck on the Santa Fe's desert lines.

The Albuquerque Morning Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 15 Jun 1914



Santa Fe Limited Crashes Into Freight on Siding at Desert Town; Two Killed, Nine Hurt.

LOS ANGELES, June 13. - With twelve men and women injured in a collision last night of the eastbound Santa Fe limited with a freight train at an open switch at Bagdad, Cal., a station on the desert, a special hospital train was due here this morning. The train also carries the bodies of B. M. Cram of Los Angeles and Charles Beldin of San Francisco, crushed to death in the wreck.

The names of some of the injured, as taken at San Bernardino, a division point, are as follows:

List of Injured.

E. Barrows, train conductor, injured internally.
U. G. Orendorff, Canton, Ill., body bruised.
Robert J. Kerr, Los Angeles, legs injured.
Olivia Cunningham, Oakland, Cal., bruised.
Mrs. G. Zinnow, Hamburg, Germany, injured about head; serious.
Mrs. J. A. Himmsen, Yokohama, Japan, left arm broken.
Frank Stokes, dining car conductor, left leg crushed.
A. Miller, Pullman conductor, slightly bruised.

It was reported at railroad headquarters that the wreck was caused by an open switch leading into the siding on which the freight train stood to let the limited pass.

Traveling at High Speed.

Bagdad is a little station in the desert, 218 miles from Los Angeles. It is a sink, nearly 300 feet below sea level, and limited passenger trains do not stop there. The train, therefore, was traveling at high speed when it ran into the open switch and crashed into the forward end of the freight.

A composite smoker telescoped the dining car of the limited. It is not known whether Cram and Beldin, the two men killed, were in the smoker or the dining car, but all the injured were in the diner when the crash occurred shortly before 8 o'clock last night.

The Evening Telegram, Salt Lake City, UT 13 Jun 1914



The body of Charles Beldin, of Chicago, a passenger who was killed outright in the wreck of the Santa Fe's eastbound limited at Bagdad, Calif., last Friday night, was on train No. 4 last night,. He was secretary of the Pacific Motor Publishing company in San Francisco and was on his way home to visit his mother and stepfather, Edward Karr, who was seriously ill. The funeral is to be held in Chicago.

The Albuquerque Morning Journal, Albuquerque, NM 18 June 1914



Mr. and Mrs. U. G. Orendorff, of Canton, O., who were passengers on the Santa Fe train No. 4, wrecked at Bagdad, Calif., were on the eastbound California limited, which arrived here last night on their way home.

Mrs. Orendorff was among the injured. She received a scalp wound and the report was circulated that her skull had been fractured. She was taken to Los Angeles with the rest of the injured and remained in a hospital there until recently.

[sic] Orendorff is a wealthy plow manufacturer.

The Albuquerque Morning Journal, Albuquerque, NM 18 June 1914



San Bernardino, June 22. - A number of big pearls, apparently all part of a string torn from the neck of one of the women passengers in the Santa Fe limited wreck at Bagdad over a week ago, have been recovered by workmen here from the debris of the smashed cars. Since the cars were brought to the railroad shops here the wreckage has been guarded constantly to prevent theft of jewels.

The Evening News, San Jose, CA 22 Jun 1914



Andy Miller, the Pullman conductor on the eastbound California limited that plunged into a freight on the Bagdad siding, causing the death of two passengers, was on the No. 4 which arrived here last night. Miller, although severely bruised, remained in charge of the train that collided with the freight until it reached Chicago. He made his first trip after the accident out of Chicago on No. 3 last week.

The Albuquerque Morning Journal, Albuquerque, NM, 4 Jun 1914

article | by Dr. Radut