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Songs and Stories
     March 23, 2020      #4F-83 SsK
On the morning after the wreck, the two derailed locomotives are surrounded by workers repairing the torn-up rails. The view is to the east, with the Dearborn Avenue crossing visible in the background. At left is the passenger train locomotive, which was headed east on the main line. At right is the

LOOKING BACK: A major train wreck on the Big

MIRANDO HACIA ATRÃS: un gran choque de trenes en el Big

By Jack Klasey

On the morning of Nov. 9, 1948, a highly unusual scene was visible only a few blocks north of downtown Kankakee: two large railroad locomotives lay sprawled on their sides alongside the Big Four Railroad tracks between the Schuyler Avenue and Dearborn Avenue crossings.

The engines had been derailed at about 10:30 p.m. the previous evening, when Big Four passenger train 438, bound for Cincinnati from Chicago, collided with a freight engine.

The wreck occurred about four blocks west of the Big Four depot, where the passenger train had been scheduled to stop.

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A powerful crane hoists the derailed Big Four passenger locomotive back onto the tracks. The front-end damage shows where the locomotive struck the freight engine, throwing both off the rails.

Kankakee County Museum Photo Archive

Jack Klasey
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