Spectacular Freight Train Wreck Here Thursday Evening
41 of 62 Cars Derailed
These freight cars were not intended to be three abreast, but that is practically how they ended up as a result of the train wreck late Thursday afternoon on the Grand Trunk main line between Port Huron and Chicago, through Imlay City.
The following is reprinted through the kind permission of C.
Clair Gross, Editor and Publisher of The Imlay City Times, Imlay
The article was sent to us by G. W. Topham, 3492 McKeen Lake R.
D., Columbiaville, Michigan. The accident took place on April
2,1970, in the afternoon.
Imlay City was the scene of a spectacular Grand Trunk freight
train wreck about 4:45 Thursday afternoon. The mishap occurred just
east of the Blacks Corners Road crossing at the viaduct which
carries the main line over the P. O. & N. tracks.
One of the derailed freight cars went down the embankment and
crashed into the Gibbard Bros. Elevator garage and storage building
at the rear of the Gibbard property. The building was badly
No one was injured in the wreck, and no one was in the Gibbard
buildings at the time of the mishap.
Work crews for the Grand Trunk started in late Thursday - try to
get the mess cleaned up so that trains could run again, but it was
late Saturday night before the direct line from Chicago to Port
Huron through Imlay City could be used. Before that, the trains
were all rerouted through Detroit
The 62-car freight train was headed east, from Battle Creek to
Port Huron, and was loaded with soft drinks, cereal, clay, glass,
plastic and lumber. Forty-one of the cars were derailed and many of
them were piled one on top of the other some three high and several
were broken open.
Fortunately, 23 of the derailed cars were empty at the time of
the accident. The freight was pulled by three Diesel engines.