Skip to Main Content

Spike People: Train Disaster Memorial.

Spike People: Train Disaster Memorial

Field review by the editors.

Naperville, Illinois

On April 25, 1946, the worst disaster in the history of the Burlington Railroad took place on this spot when a speeding commuter train plowed into a stationary one. 45 people were killed; 125 were injured. The disaster effectively ended high-speed passenger rail travel in the U.S.

Spike People: Train Disaster Memorial.

In 2014 Naperville artist Paul Kuhn fashioned a memorial to the train wreck, "Tragedy to Triumph." It weighs over a ton, and is made of over ten miles of welding wire -- and 5,000 steel railroad spikes. The sculpture depicts a sailor and a worker from the city's Kroehler Furniture Factory -- which was next to the crash site -- helping an injured woman out of the wreckage, between two real sets of skewed, half-buried train wheels.

Spike People: Train Disaster Memorial

210 E. 4th Ave., Naperville, IL
On the north side of E. 4th Ave., at the east end of the Naperville commuter train station platform.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Laughing LincolnLaughing Lincoln, Naperville, IL - < 1 mi.
Whale of a SchoolWhale of a School, Naperville, IL - < 1 mi.
Dick Tracy StatueDick Tracy Statue, Naperville, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Towering Tomb of The Little Giant, Chicago, IL - 28 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