Skip to Main Content

Historical marker.

Horrible Train Wreck Happened Here

Field review by the editors.

Chatsworth, Illinois

The state historical marker is in a flat, quiet area of cornfields and distant farms. It's hard to visualize the 19th century freak calamity that killed 85 train passengers in the crash and inevitable fire that seemed to accompany every train wreck back then.

The Great Chatsworth Train Wreck happened at midnight on August 10-11, 1887. The crash of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad excursion train was a horrific disaster of the era, still considered one of the worst wrecks in American rail history, according to the historical marker.

Railroad crossing of today, north of the historical marker.

The marker goes on to point out that the train had "two engines and approximately twenty wooden coaches -- [traveling] from Peoria to Niagara Falls, struck a burning culvert. Of the 500 passengers, about 85 perished and scores were injured."

Also see: Circus Performer Graves | Durand, MI Circus Train Wreck | Ashtabula Horror

Horrible Train Wreck Happened Here

US Hwy 24, Chatsworth, IL
Three miles east of Chatsworth on US Hwy 24. Railroad is visible on N. 1200 Rd E.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Farm Town Jet FighterFarm Town Jet Fighter, Cullom, IL - 9 mi.
Wabash TurntableWabash Turntable, Forrest, IL - 9 mi.
Jerry's Hat MuseumJerry's Hat Museum, Forrest, IL - 9 mi.
In the region:
Cyber-Woman Engineer, Urbana, IL - 44 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Illinois

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Illinois.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Illinois Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park, Colorado (Apr 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings