Versailles Rail Accident
The first French railway accident by Jasmyrrh Cortez
The Versailles rail accident occurred on 8th of May, 1842 in the cutting between Meudon and Bellevue stations on the railway between Paris and Versailles. Following King Louis Philippe the first's celebrations at the palace of Versailles, a train returning to Paris derailed at Meudon, traveling at 40 mph after the leading locomotive broken axle, and the carriages behind piled into it and caught insane fire. The axles had failed by progressive growth of a crack from a mechanism through a repeated stressing source on the shaft.
This accident is classified as a disaster because this is the first French railway accident and the deadliest in the world at the time, it caused between 52 and 200 deaths. The accident led to the abandonment in France of the practice of locking passengers in their carriages.
Metal fatigue had caused the May 1842 Versailles train crash. The metal fatigue was poorly understood at the time and the accident is linked to the beginnings of systematic research into the problem.
This disaster brought the attention of the society to build the world's first public railways called the Stockton and Darlington railways. Also after the accident happened, engineers took close investigation and observation to prevent these types of accidents from happening again. Engineers worked towards elite methods of creating a train by improving the flexibility towards beams so they won't fail.
A few more details about the train:
- The train was over390 feet long.
- It is composed of 16-18 carriages
- It carried over 770 passenger
- and it is also hauled by 2 steam locomotives.
An image of a train beam