Silver Meteor Wreck at Ulmers, SC : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Gentlemen, A former SAL dispatcher told me that the Silver Meteor derailed near Ulmers, SC sometime in the early/mid 1960s. Does anyone know the actual date of the accident? I need the info in preparation for an article. Thanks! John Golden

-- John Golden (, September 15, 2001


A "joint bar" is a piece of steel that is used to hold two lengths of running rail together. Typically, there were two joint bars located on each side of the web of the running rail. The joint bars would have either 8 holes or in more modern times, 12 holes. Heavy duty bolts would be inserted in the holes of the joint bar, through corresponding holes in the running rail and the whole thing would be tightened up. In order to prevent a derailed wheel from shearing off the nuts on the bolts, the bolts/nuts were alternated to each side of the rail.

In some cases where a field weld was made on a length of curved rail, a type of joint bar with a bow in the center to accommodate the field weld was used as a form of "belt and suspenders".

With the use of continuously welded rail, joint bars are less frequently used, but they are still out there.

A variation of a joint bar is a "Dutchman", which on my railroad is a compromise joint bar that can connect two different sizes of running rail. The term has different meanings on different railroads, so those of us out there who use the term for other items are asked to contribute what their definition of a "Dutchman" is.

-- Michael W. Savchak (, January 11, 2005.

I recall this derailment and thought about it again with the recent N- S mishap. Can anyone tell me what a broken joint bar is? I never heard what had caused this derailment till I was just reviewing this thread today.

-- Capers Bull (, January 11, 2005.

Harry or Joe-When you guys find the ICC report-send a copy to me please. I will add it to my files.

-- Michael W. Savchak (, September 17, 2001.

No.58 (and I'm sure there were others) was detoured on SAL's freight line through Charleston and Poston, then resumed its regular route at Hamlet. Happened to be returning to an assignment in Norfolk and was passing through Raleigh on June 1 when the Meteors made their appearance.

-- Harry Bundy (, September 16, 2001.

Interesting about detour over ACL via Charleston.I guess the trains got on in Savannah,but where did they get back on SAL? What about all other trains?

-- J.Oates (, September 16, 2001.

Somewhere around here I have the ICC report.Keep after me.

-- J.Oates (, September 16, 2001.

John: No. 58 Eng 3028 derailed at Ulmers, SC on May 30, 1964 at 8:12 PM. Investigation revealed that No. 58, was moving on a CLEAR at 77 m.p.h. (on 100# rail) when it derailed. Derailment caused by a broken joint bar.

As information, No. 58 originating Miami on May 31 operated via Charleston. No. 58 Eng 3025 departed Raleigh June 1 at 1:44 AM.

On May 31, Sunnyside Yard fielded a made-from-scratch No. 57. No. 57 Eng 3022 arr'd. Raleigh at 1:14 AM. having been delayed 28 mins. at Mile Post 14 to replace an air hose on Eng. 3024.

-- Harry Bundy (Y6B@AOL.COM), September 15, 2001.

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