Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Sports, Transportation

Bridgeport Train Wreck, July 11, 1911

On July 11, 1911 the Federal Express Train wreck, one of the worst railroad wrecks in Bridgeport’s history occurred around 3:15 that summer morning.  On board was the St. Louis Cardinals National baseball team, as well as many other passengers.

The train, which had been running late, was run by a crew trying to make up time.  A crossover switch was missed, and the train jumped the track and tumbled down a 20 foot embankment, near the intersection of Fairfield Avenue bridge near state street.

The scene was one of immediate horror.  The dawn brought to light the twisted metal of the train, with bodies strewn throughout the rubble.

At least 13 people were found dead in the wreck; many more were seriously injured.  Pieces of the train were strewn in the back yards.  The locomotive and five train cars were destroyed.

The site of the train wreck was recorded in photographs, with local citizens poised in front of the debris.

Many of the photographs were made into postcards and sent throughout the country.  In 1955, The Federal Express train crashed again in Bridgeport.  There was only one casualty.

Mary Witkowski
Mary K. Witkowski is the former Bridgeport City Historian and the Department Head of the Bridgeport History Center, Emeritus. She is the author of Bridgeport at Work, and the co-author with Bruce Williams of Bridgeport on the Sound. Mary has had a newspaper column in the Bridgeport News, a blog for the Connecticut Post, and a weekly spot on WICC. She continues to be involved in many community based activities and initiatives on local history and historic preservation.