End of the line for Northern Pacific caboose 1107

At an auction in Valley Falls, Kansas a few weeks ago I came across this original 8×10 photo showing the aftermath of a disastrous wreck in the Northern Pacific railroad’s yards in Dickinson, North Dakota. According to notes on the photo, the wreck occurred on November 21, 1930 while “making up extra 5003 west”.

The aftermath of a November 1930 wreck on the Northern Pacific railroad in Dickinson, North Dakota.
The aftermath of a November 1930 wreck on the Northern Pacific railroad in Dickinson, North Dakota.

I could not find any record of the wreck in the Interstate Commerce Commission accident reports that have been digitized and placed on the internet, but the photo itself provides some clues as to what had happened. Essentially it appears as though caboose 1107 was squashed between locomotive 5003 and boxcar 19761, killing all of the crewmen who were in the caboose. Whether the locomotive was pushing the caboose to attach it to the rear of the train or was moving down the track by itself is unclear. The carnage indicates that locomotive 5003 was moving at a pretty good clip when it hit the caboose.

According to notes on the back of the photo, four men were killed in the wreck: A.C. “Mush” Galloway, Conductor; George Vredenberg, Brakeman; D.C. “Micky” Dross, Brakeman; and J.S. Beres, Brakeman.

Northern Pacific caboose 1107 was destroyed in the wreck, while nearly new 2-8-8-4 “Yellowstone” locomotive 5003 was repaired and served for another quarter century before being scrapped in 1955.

A close-up view shows the utter destruction of caboose 1107. The initial impact was so hard that it knocked the marker lights off the caboose.
A close-up view shows the utter destruction of caboose 1107. The initial impact was so hard that it knocked the marker lights off the caboose.
Another close up views shows parts of locomotive 5003’s pilot on the ground amongst the splinters that were once the cupola end of Northern Pacific caboose 1107.
Another close up views shows parts of locomotive 5003’s pilot on the ground amongst the splinters that were once the cupola end of Northern Pacific caboose 1107.

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