Saturday, August 8, 2015

Flooded Train

Welcome to Train Week here at OPOD. We will be looking back at a day when people primarily traveled by train. We start with this picture of a train crossing a flooded area. I am not sure if the train ended up stranded, or if they just stopped for a picture. I am not sure a few feet of water would stop a train. The picture was taken in 1904. The train was part of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas and the picture was taken on the Katy.


  1. The water didn't reach the engine or the tender, so theoretically it could go, but I doubt there's much traction on the wheels. A hundred years later and people are still driving vehicles into water that is obviously too deep. I wonder if the new "driverless" cars will do the same?

  2. If there's any current to speak of in the water, it can easily sweep the train off the tracks, just as it will the autos Lady Ann'e referring to. I can't imagine the engineer heading his train into water if he's aware it coming. In this picture, I think I see one person in the door of the last car, and there are a couple in the locomotive. The rest are on the roof where their feet won't get wet. Presumably they don't think the train is going to go anywhere right now, or they'd be sitting down. And the plume of smoke is going straight up, also indicating the train's not going anywhere at the moment. If a train goes into a flat area where flood water comes up very gradually, a situation like this is possible, and they might be waiting for rescue. From the background, it looks like the general terrain in flat, so that might have happened. The name of the line indicates it's probably running through generally flat country. Maybe they're keeping the engine going in hopes the water will eventually go down and they can go on their way.

    Where I live, in Western WA, the terrain is mountainous, there are lots of rivers, and lots of floods every spring, and in other seasons as well if we get a lot of rain. ( Contrary to popular opinion, we don't.) Trains get washed out with some frequency even in modern days, with cars occasionally being overturned. They aren't the tranquil scene presented here. The railroads try to cancel the trains if they have any idea that flooding is in the cards, because they don't want to put people or cargo at risk.