NACOGDOCHES – Just in time for Halloween, an exhibit titled “Blood on the Tracks: Wrecks, Derailments and Collisions” is being hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University’s Center for Regional Heritage Research at the Nacogdoches Historic Depot, 101 Old Tyler Road.
Kelley Snowden, director of the center, said the exhibit provides a brief look into the types of accidents that occurred and the responses of railway companies.
“We discovered that railway companies spawned a new profession, the railway surgeon, to better address the types of injuries suffered by employees,” Snowden said. “They created ‘hospital cars’ that could be brought to the scene of accidents to provide emergency care, and they also established their own hospitals.”
In its early years, railroad work and travel could be quite hazardous. Accidents, derailments and collisions – either between two trains or an automobile and a train – were not uncommon, and injuries frequently included limb loss. This spawned growth and development of another business – the production of artificial limbs (prosthetics). With no regulations in place at the time, the promises made to patients needing prosthetics were frequently outrageous, Snowden said.
This exhibit will continue through Nov. 16. Hours are 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.