Unwanted distinction: ‘Wreckingest road’

“In seven months there had been eight passenger train pile-ups on the three main lines running down the east coast to Florida resorts — the Seaboard, Atlantic Coast Line and Florida East Coast Railway. Three of the wrecks were in North and South Carolina, where the swift streamliners slide through the night.

“In James Boyd’s ‘Marching On,’ a novel of the South in the 1860s, Big Bill the Brakeman, who rode the historic Wilmington-Weldon (N.C.) run, bragged that he worked on ‘the wreckingest road in the Union.’ The Carolinas were beginning to wonder if they were getting to be the wreckingest states.”

— From Time magazine, Jan. 14, 1946

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