Contact Us

When Disaster Struck The Mohawk Valley

Subscribe to Lite 98.7 on

It was shortly before midnight on April 20, 1940 when a speeding passenger train on route from New York to Chicago entered Gulf Curve in Little Falls, the sharpest curve on the entire New York Central rail system.  The luxury train had left Albany several minutes late and was already overdue at Utica’s Union Station.

That part of the track was bordered by a rocky embankment.  According to, it’s believed the engineer was trying to make up the time and was simply going too fast for that section of track.  It’s estimated the train was travelling at 74 miles per hour instead of the posted limit of 45 for that curve.  The locomotive left the rails and exploded against the rocky cliff.  11 other cars also left the track and were ripped apart by the rocks.  Many of the 250 passengers were already in their sleeper cars at the time.

Ambulances, doctors and nurses were called in from across the valley.  31 people aboard the train were killed.  26 were passengers and 5 crew members.  At least 50 were seriously injured.  They were taken to hospitals in Little Falls, Herkimer, Ilion and Utica.  The story was front page news in the New York Times and papers across the country.

That dangerous section of track has since been rerouted.

Canal Lift Lock at Little Falls was Highest in World


Subscribe to Lite 98.7 on

Best Of Lite 98.7

Recommended For You

Best Of The Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for LITEHOUSE CLUB quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive LITEHOUSE CLUB contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.