Remembering North Dakota’s worst train accident
Published 04/15/2012, Grand Forks Herald
Eyewitness vividly recalls the dead and dying
It was a warm, sunny day on Aug. 9, 1945, when 20-year-old Marian Pederson and her parents boarded the Great Northern Railway’s Empire Builder in Grand Forks. The Pedersons’ train never made it to their destination. A mechanical problem — an overheated journal or bearing — forced it to make an unscheduled stop on the west side of Michigan, N.D. The second train couldn’t grind to a halt in time. They collided at about 7:20 p.m., the engine of the trailing train slamming into the back of the first, shearing the luxurious Pullman observation deck car and thrusting it over the top of the engine.