Friday, November 20, 2015

Pittsfield’s Ghost Train

Several witnesses saw this train in 1958, while they worked or ate at a diner located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

This famous sighting is still shared in books and magazine articles today, despite the fact, this strange train was witnessed over fifty years ago.

John Quirk’s Bridge Diner, at the corner of North and Eagle Streets sat next to a railroad track, that was infrequently used, so during one lunch hour in February, he and his customers were stunned to see a fast-moving steam engine bullet right past the diner.

Most of the trains that passed the diner moved much slower.

Despite its speed, Quirk and several others were able to describe this old fashioned train in detail—right down to the glowing coals in the tinder that powered the locomotive.

Quirk told a train official afterward, that besides a baggage car this train pulled six coaches, and was headed east toward Boston. These officials were flabbergasted, for the tracks that ran past his diner were not in use that day and, steam engines had not been used in years.

A month later, in early March, during breakfast, two employees, Steven Strauss, and Tim Koutsonecolis, and several patrons of the diner, at 6:30 a.m., witnessed the mysterious locomotive once more. Like the first time, it rocketed past the restaurant.

Witness reports were similar to the first encounter. The train was an old steam engine, pulling seven cars, and passed under the North Street Bridge.

This time, the railroad officials had so many curious inquiries, they conducted an investigation. They determined no one was authorized to use the old track when it was seen, and there was not an old steam engine, like the one described by the witnesses, within a hundred miles.

This ghost train was never seen again, and the investigators were unable to determine a reasonable explanation. At the same time they found it hard to discount the many reliable witnesses.

Chester bridge collapse.
Some believe this ghost train is connected to a train accident that happened in August of 1893. An express passenger train headed from Chicago to Boston, crashed when a bridge collapsed near Chester—thirty miles east of Pittsfield. Fifteen passengers were killed in this wreck.

In another attempt to explain these witness reports, Joseph Citro, in his book Passing Strange, states that the two sightings of this steam engine were possibly just a glimpse of the past that had somehow broken through a space-time barrier for a brief, unforgettable moment. 

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