“Trolley Smashup at Spry”
The Spry trolley station was called the Chanceford station because it crossed the Chanceford turnpike there.
January 3, 1906 newspaper headlines reported another serious trolley accident on the York Railways Line that ran from York through Spry, Dallastown, Red Lion and Windsor to Bittersville. The crash happened only five months after the fatal wreck of September 1905.
This accident, between an ingoing passenger car and outbound freight car, occurred on January 2, 1906 just south of Spry, about a half mile north of the 1905 catastrophe. It was at 10:40 on a Tuesday morning, so there were fewer passengers on the car than there had been on the jam-packed Saturday car in the previous crash. At least five persons were injured, including Allan Gable of Windsor, H.J. Gillen of Red Lion, Mrs. Jamison of York and Adam Ellis of New Bridgeville. The most seriously injured was Simon W. Smith, the motorman on the passenger car.
A newspaper article of the next day relates:
“Proprietor Sprenkle of the Spry Hotel rushed to the scene when he heard the crash. He found Smith with his head wedged in the partition of the platform.” Smith was rushed to the York hospital on a special car sent out to help. He seems to have survived his injuries.
At the time of the article it wasn’t known what caused the wreck. The signal lights at the switches were said to be working and the crews: Motorman Smith and Conductor William Free on the passenger car and Motorman John Hall and Conductor Salem Spiece on the freight, were all veterans on the trolley line. (Spiece had been the conductor on the freight car involved in the bad 1905 accident.)
There was no derailment and damage to the cars was kept at a minimum as both cars had been traveling slowly. Injuries seemed to be from flying around the car due to the impact.
This was not the last accident on the York to Bittersville line–more to follow on the next crash.
Click the links below for more on York County trolley lines:
Part of Hanover line to be used as rail trail.
Progessive dinner on Hanover line.
See a restored York Railways car at York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum