The wreck of ARR #703
December 1949
By Patrick J. Durand


The main line has been cleared for traffic and now the crew is just waiting for the big hook. These accident photos were taken on December 28, 1949. Mike #703 has left the rails on a siding south of Nenana. No text accompanied the photos but you can do some interpretation of the photos. The derailment of the tender and locomotive resulted in enough force to part the drawbar. Is it possible that the locomotive started into the siding and the tender split the switch? Fortunately the hoppers were empty.


These are large format photos and I scanned only the relevant portions of 8X10 prints so move them to your imaging program and zoooooom in. They are a treasure trove of detail for modelers intersted in how the rear of the vestibule cabs and the front of the stoker equipped tender were arranged. Notice the extra hatch on the cab roof, probably to get to the manifold plumbing.


Here is a chance to see the rear of the cab disconnected from the tender, and the front of the tender with buffer, and stocker exposed. I would not build these elements in detail as they would limit the flexibility of the model but you can simulate it and hide the wire going forward from the tender.


Notice the flanger sign down the track. Looks like there was a switch stand there and it appears that the locomotive left the track after entering the unplowed siding track. Notice the plow has been folded under the pilot. Only the damaged cars are left for cleanup after clearing the main. The tender was probably skidded to make clearance for the main.

Photos are courtesy the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, scanning and commentary by Pat Durand

Page created 6/19/06 and last updated 6/19/06
© 2006 John Combs unless otherwise noted