Carl Bradley Collection

Finding aid created by California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
111 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 323-8073
Library.CSRM@parks.ca.gov
http://www.csrmf.org/
2018


Descriptive Summary

Title: Carl Bradley Collection
Dates: 1973-1997
Collection Number: MS 633
Creator/Collector:
Extent: 1 half box
Repository: California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives
Sacramento, California 95814
Abstract: A munitions train, loaded with aerial bombs headed for Viet Nam exploded in the Southern Pacific Transportation Company’s Roseville, California yard on April 28, 1973. The collection includes photocopies of news clippings, the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Accident Investigation Report No. 4187 with supporting documentation, correspondence, memos, and site drawings about the 1973 incident. For the 1997 clean-up, there are team contact lists, correspondence, and company talking points for media contact.
Language of Material: English

Access

This collection is open for research at our off-site storage facility with one week's notice. Contact Library & Archives staff to arrange for access.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the CSRM Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

Carl Bradley Collection. California State Railroad Museum Library and Archives

Acquisition Information

Gift of Carl Bradley, 2001

Biography/Administrative History

Carl Bradley was a Superintendent for the Southern Pacific Company in Roseville. He retired in May of 2000 as Union Pacific's General Superintendent at Roseville.

Scope and Content of Collection

A munitions train, loaded with aerial bombs headed for Viet Nam exploded in the Southern Pacific Transportation Company’s Roseville, California yard on April 28, 1973. Between 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., a series of explosions rocked the nearby cities of Roseville, Citrus Heights and Antelope, injuring approximately 350 people and damaging 5,500 buildings, mostly residential. Eighteen thousand people were evacuated from the area. Southern Pacific lost 169 freight cars and suffered damage to another 98 cars, a locomotive, tracks, and equipment, and with casualty claims, total losses amounted to about $23 million. The cause of the explosions was never determined. Possibly one of the box cars caught fire when braking action generated sparks which may have ignited the wood floor. Another theory is that the bombs were not properly manufacturered or loaded at the Hawthorne Naval Ammunitions Depot (Nevada) where the shipment originated and were thus unstable. The clean-up of the Roseville yard led to the discovery of approximately 1,200 unexploded bombs which were removed and sent back to the Hawthorne Naval Ammunition Depot. The full transcript of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Accident Investigation Report No. 4187 can be found online at: http://dotlibrary.specialcollection.net/. In 1997 Union Pacific Railroad construction crews at the Roseville yard unearthed nine unexploded bombs. This discovery led to a search for remaining bombs. A task force composed of representatives of the Union Pacific Railroad, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Sacramento County oversaw the clean-up. Carl Bradley was the Union Pacific Railroad's representative for these efforts. The collection includes photocopies of news clippings, the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Accident Investigation Report No. 4187 with supporting documentation, correspondence, memos, and site drawings about the 1973 incident. For the 1997 clean-up, there are team contact lists, correspondence, and company talking points for media contact.