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Engineering Tragedy: The Ashtabula Train Disaster Screening

In 1876, the luxury train The Pacific Express, departed Erie’s Union Depot for Chicago to celebrate the new year. The train never reached its destination. This December is the 146th anniversary of the worst train disaster in United State history. It happened in Ashtabula, Ohio on December 29th 1876.

A documentary was created to reflect on this event, and the The Ashtabula Foundation is hosting a special screening event on Sunday, December 11 at Lakeside High School Performing Arts Theatre. The two-hour screening will take place at 1:00 p.m. and again at 5:00 p.m.

Free tickets are available at WQLN.org/Ashtabula. Ticket registration is limited to four tickets per email. Space is limited and your ticket is valid for one showing only. Tickets must be presented at the door for entry.

Engineering Tragedy - Sneek Peak

The Ashtabula Disaster was the deadliest and most notorious bridge failure of the 19th Century and a transforming event in American History. It happened in Ashtabula, Ohio on December 29, 1876 during a raging blizzard. In this town off the shores of Lake Erie, an all-iron railroad bridge collapsed sending one of the most luxurious trains to ever ride the rails, train No.5 - The Pacific Express, plummeting 70ft into a frozen river. Of the 170 souls that were onboard, only 75 survived, most with serious injuries. Of the 95 who perished, 47 were identified, 48 were unidentifiable.

The documentary will air on WQLN PBS on the anniversary of the tragedy Thursday, December 29 at 8pm. Learn more about the documentary here.

Presented in collaboration with WQLN PBS and Beacon Productions, LLC.