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Does anyone have information about a derailment that happened in Willits, sometime between 1958-1960?

According to my brother, someone left a switch unlocked and two ten year old kids threw the switch while a train was going over it at about 50 MPH.  It was a huge wreck that took out a massive amount of track and communication wires, and it came close to taking out the depot as well.  I have been unable to unearth any trace of this on the internet.  (But, I did learn that you can buy a train wreck at Target.)  He said the kids survived, but only because no one from NWP got their hands on them.  I wonder what they did to the guy who left the switch unlocked. 

If there is anyone that knows of this incident, I would like to hear more about it.    

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Comment by steve lang on July 22, 2016 at 2:44pm

re Target train wreck - all i'm get'n is something about a new p.c. restroom policy

Comment by Jack Encell on June 19, 2016 at 5:17am

Michael h Harrison: I wonder what ever happened to her.   I picture her as having lived her life as a barfly in a downtown Willits bar, and 60 years later still telling the story of the day she threw the switch.  But, I have to say, the guy who left the switch unlocked is equally stupid. 

Comment by Michael H Harrison on June 18, 2016 at 7:04pm

To throw a switch that close to a train going that fast either takes balls or stupidity. I vote the latter of the two.

Comment by Jack Encell on June 18, 2016 at 5:52pm

Than you NipponSharyoFan very much. You are search wizard!  I managed to figure out most of what it says.  My brother was an electrician mainly concerned with communications at that time and the fact that the poles were between the two tracks and got wiped out explains why he knew about it up it Fort Seward. I can't imagine that $2,000 would fix all of that even in 1959.  Because teletypes and all communications were wiped out from Willits North, he no doubt heard about this word of mouth, and in the process the 15 year old girl became two 10 year old boys.  I just don't understand why the workmen wore "toasy 'auilui\iuy j)lt"ht ivpalrlng 'tiiiack"

As I recall, most trains going North were almost always empty. 

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