|Date of photo
||SVRy motorcar # 20.
Notes on back of photo:
"This is the short-lived railcar which saw one month of service before being destroyed in a head-on collision with engine # 1 passenger train, when engineer forgot about the new-fangled motorcar and ran past the meeting point. Copied from Electric Railway Journal of WWI era.
Bruce Morehead thinks Bill Larson is at right on ground. Date is about 1917. Claude Green believes the motorcar ran into a logging engine on the main line."
In an email date 9-14-2014, Bruce Pryor adds this information: The article mentioned above came from "Electric Railway Journal," vol. 52 (July-Dec. 1918), p. 342. It has the same photo accompanied by this article: "The Sumpter Valley Railway, Baker, Ore., recently built in its shops a gasoline motor car for auxiliary service on its narrow-guage line. A 45-hp White motor truck engine was used and the body was built to seat 27 passengers. A light four-wheel pilot truck was set under the head and a single pair of large diameter wheels to which power was transmitted served as the rear truck. The car was designed to make an average speed of 20 m.p.h. and operated over grades of up to 4 per cent. Excellent service was reported for the 30 days during which the motor was in use. At the end of that time it was completely demolished by a head-on collision."
Pryor also found a Morning Oregonian (May 14,1918) news article about the crash: "CRASH ON SUMPTE R VALLEY INJURES 2/Railway Motorcar Hits Engine of Lumber Company/ George Leland and Mary Seymour Victims of Accident Due to Misunderstanding of Orders. Baker, Or., May 13--(Special)--Ten persons were injured, two seriously, but probably not fatally today when a Sumpter Valley Railway motorcar collided with an Oregon Lumber Company engine traveling over the Sumpter Valley tracks from Austin. The motorcar was enroute to Baker from Batesville.
"George Leland, 56, suffered from a broken leg and injuries to his back; Mary Alice Seymour, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Seymour, sustained a broken leg and several bruises. The injured were attended by a doctor from Austin and were brought to the hospital here.
"Misunderstanding of orders by engineer Al Jones is given as the cause for the accident. The motorcar, which was put in service at the first of the month, was in charge of Conductor William Spivey and Motorman Charles Betry. It was completely demolished."
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Last modified on: December 09, 2017