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Lowell, Indiana...Milepost 44.8 on the mainline from Chicago, Illinois. The morning of May 22, 1952 this quiet little town of 1600 was rocked by a train derailment and fire.

May 22, 2002 marked the 50th anniversary of the derailment. 2002 is also the Sesquicentennial (150 years) of Lowell, Indiana. My sole purpose was to document the events of that morning through newspaper and personal accounts as well as photographic collections. To people who visit, or were not around when this accident occurred, the accident may seem trivial or insignificant. Nobody was killed or injured. To those living in Lowell, it was a potential catastrophe. Nine fire departments were called in to battle the blaze, they from Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Gary, Hammond, Lake Dalecarlia, Lowell, Schneider, Shelby and St. John fire departments.


Commerical Avenue crossing, circa 1964. The site of the accident fourteen years earlier.

As for your author, Lowell, Indiana will always be considered my hometown. Since childhood, railroads and the Monon in particular, have figured prominently in my life. Besides May 22, 1952, another red letter day in Lowell's, and Monon, history was September 30, 1967. Train Number 6, paid it's final visit to Lowell and thus ended passenger service on the Monon. My father and little sister were captured by photographer James Boyd and are now a part of the George Hilton book, "Monon Route" , on    page 277    (Dad is the one with the young child on his shoulders). I hope that my efforts will insure the 1952 wreck will always remain a part of the history of Lowell, Indiana.




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