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Train Wreck in History
The late Bill Arballo, former Mayor

Text quoted from Del Mar Reflections by Bill Arballo, page 25, Del Mar Media Group 200

Train wreck at 9th and 10th Streets, December 31, 1940.
Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society.
Click to enlarge.

On New Year’s Eve in 1940, residents were in a festive mood and there were parties everywhere.

“It had rained for several days, and the ground was soaked.

“Shortly after 8 p.m., a passenger train passed through the village heading south. Less than 45 minutes later, a northbound freight train plunged down a 65-foot embankment when a bluff collapsed at the foot of Ninth [sic] Street [probably closer to 8th St]. [...]

“By mid-morning, Ninth [sic] and 10th streets were crammed with onlookers, and not long afterward, there were hot dog wagons, popcorn vendors and souvenir hawkers at the scene.

“The carnival atmosphere prevailed for several days until giant cranes were able to remove the locomotive and freight cars.”


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