Frisco train wreck at Mustang, OK

Discussion in 'Chickasha Subdivision' started by ashnme, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. ashnme

    ashnme locoengr

    I am with the Railroad Historical Museum INC. in Springfield MO and we are trying to locate information about the head on at Mustang OK in 1974. We have the bell from one of the locomotives in the head on and would like to put together a display with the correct information and pictures if any are available. Thanks Bill
  2. Torsoman

    Torsoman Member

    All that information is available the Department of Transportation Web site. Click on National Transportation Safety Board; you'll find a link to "Investigations of Railroad Accidents 1911-1993."

    Here's a link:

    Investigators found empty beer cans in the cab of one of the locomotives.
  3. ashnme

    ashnme locoengr

    Thank you for the quick reply. I found the information needed. I have seen a picture that I thought was a news paper account of the accident, would anyone know if it still exists? I was working a local South of Springfield when the wreck happened and my crew was shown pictures but am unable to find any.
  4. timothy_cannon

    timothy_cannon Member Supporter

    Would you happen to know what unit numbers were involved?

  5. frinyd

    frinyd Member

    If I remember right. Units #413, and #686.
  6. Torsoman

    Torsoman Member

    My dad drove out there to get some pictures. He may have shot some slides, and since they aren't in the collection handed down to me, I'm guessing they're at the Oklahoma Historical Society. It's a place to start, anyway.
  7. I just joined this forum and saw this thread. I pinged my dad about this wreck. He worked for Frisco for 19 years at the Springfield office. Here's his response:

    "Yes, I remember the accident and I went to the wreck. But, I do not remember very much about it now and because of the railroad merger, I no longer have any access to derailment files. Probably all of the Frisco Railroad Police and Claim Department Agents that would have worked that accident have retired and many I am sure have passed away. They would have been the employees who might have taken pictures. I am sure the BN has pitched all of those files. But, if there is any current BN Railroad Police or Claim Department agents that know of any living former Frisco police or claim agents living in Oklahoma, then that would be the best contact."
  8. jim

    jim Member

    Jim Branch, if anyone is coming thru OKC and would like
    to see pictures of the wreck at Mustang give me a
    call 405 789-1154.

    E-mail address
  9. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Jim, post any pictures that would include the locomotives involved, especially GP38-2 #651. It was only three years old at the time and there are few pictures of it.
  10. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    I have acquired some photos of the Mustang head-on and a 1982 collision of Frisco 460 (BN 2315) with a sand truck. If you guys are interested let me know and I'll try to post them. Steve.|-|
  11. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    I put up a gallery for each. I remember the 2315 wreck so I included some caption information. The Mustang Head-on will have to speak for itself. Steve.|-|
  12. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Keith -

    Frisco GP38AC SLSF 651 was one of the pics I posted in my "Enid" locomotive postings several months back. Check it under the GP38AC category.

    I think I might have another pic of that unit. I'll take a look.


    ps - I just noted this is my 2000th posting on! Jeez - I need to get a life!
  13. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    The claim agent had the photos processed imediately and they are dated December 1982.

    Admin note: The date in this post references an accident involving BN #2315.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2015
  14. slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018)

    slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018) Engineer Staff Member Supporter

    Steve, thanks for posting the pictures of the derailment at Craig. The max speed on the Oklahoma sub was 55 MPH and the engineer (me) was braking at the time of derailment account a 45 MPH speed restriction over Craig inter locking, which was about 100 yards or so west of the point of impact. The only crew members injured were the engineer and and head brakeman (who quit). The train was traveling west (timetable). The truck was going actual west which would be from the fireman's side to the engineer side. The front of the engine hit the duals on the truck tractor and I have always believed climbed the area of the fifth wheel. The trucks momentum pulled the engine off to the right side of the main line. After that I do not remember what happen. When I gained consciousness the brakeman was standing over me asking how many fingers he had sticking up. (I have always been glad he did not have to give mouth to mouth recitation!!)

    That was the 2nd truck I hit, the first not doing much damage. I actually thought we would ride this one out also, but it did not work out that way. I knew we were in trouble when we started flying :)

    A friend of mine has the broken number board.

  15. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    David and I were going to call you and see if you remembered the date. I think the photos he has are reprints thus dated December 1982. There are a lot of green leaves on those trees to be December in Oklahoma. Good to hear from you. Steve.|-|
  16. Shooshie

    Shooshie Frisco Employee

    Jerome, I remember that derailment. I heard about it through the family grapevine that winter. But… was there also a head-on down southwest of Chickasha that you were firing on? Maybe just a few months after the one in Mustang? I'm trying to place the dates, but I can't remember when it happened. I just remember something about you leaping over the ditch and hurdling a fence to put the greatest possible distance between you and the calamity piling up behind you. Was that a separate event, or was it indeed the one in Mustang? I'm thinking it was another wreck, and not one of these two, because I seem to remember there was a fatality involved in this other one. Tell me if my memory is all out-of-whack. I'm thinking that indeed there was a 3rd event, because an engineer I thought a lot of, named Cecil (can't remember his last name, now) once told me that these things always happen in three's, and he used those as an example.

    He said that right after we'd hit a car at a grade crossing in Bristow, OK. He said "you keep your ears open. There'll be two more in the next couple of days." He was right. There was another in Ok City the same day, and one more somewhere on down SW on the Chickasha sub the next day. Coincidence or not, Cecil had said it would happen, and he had cited some other examples. I guess things are happening all the time, so it doesn't take too long to count three. But those were sobering stories when heard in the cab.

    Thanks to everyone for posting the pictures and stories.

    Shooshie (Mark Roberts)
  17. JohnFoster

    JohnFoster Member

    Was"t # 2315 slsf #460 the unit Frisco calander (1980).
  18. Steve40cal

    Steve40cal Member

    Yes it was but the coonskin emblem on the calendar was airbrushed on the photo. 460 didn't have one. Steve.|-|
  19. slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018)

    slsfrr (Jerome Lutzenberger RIP 9/1/2018) Engineer Staff Member Supporter


    The date of the accident at Craig was the summer of 1980, not 1982.


    I was not involved in any other accident of that nature. I believe you are referring to the head on at Mustang. The head-end crew on the east bound did in fact head for the right of way fence. Neither was injured. On the west bound train all crew members were riding on the head end. The rear brakeman was on the last unit and he was killed. The other three crew members were on the lead unit. They did not return to work account of injuries.

  20. Shooshie

    Shooshie Frisco Employee

    Thanks, Jerome,

    I think I put those two together and somehow got you crossed with the head on. I did work with someone who told me that story of jumping the fence, and though I probably didn't crew with you more than a couple of times, I managed to imagine that you were the one who told me that. I'm glad to have that straightened out after all these years! So it was the grade crossing collision that you rode out, and somehow I conflated them together. That was a long time ago, but I'll bet you remember it like it happened yesterday.

    Railroading has got to be one of the greatest jobs on earth, but it's a dangerous job, too, and one that depends on everyone doing all they can. And even then, things happen that nobody can predict, and by the time you realize it's happening, there's just no way to stop it. That's the serious side of railroading. Seeing pictures of train wrecks reminds every former kid of the thrill of running their Lionel train set off the rails, but there are major people stories in every incident, and having been in some predicaments myself, it's the people I think about when I see railcars strewn all over the right of way. And I just have to say that I'm sure glad you can tell us that story.

    All we can do after tying up at the end of the day is to count our blessings and say a prayer for those who have passed on. Nevertheless, there is a certain awe in seeing those wrecks, and I have tremendous respect for those men and machines that get out there and clean those things up. They're amazing. In a season there's not a trace that it ever happened unless you get out and comb through the dirt. Its real remnants sink into the lore, and at milepost such and such plus so many poles, the engineer shouts over to the brakeman, "remember that derailment right here?" Yep, that was a bad one.


Share This Page