Steam to Victory 2020

Commemorating Wartime Railroading & the West Lafayette Disaster of September 11, 1950

This year the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum will present a socially distant, “virtual” Steam to Victory event to commemorate the importance of wartime railroading and the September 11, 1950 Troop Train Disaster that occurred just east of West Lafayette, Ohio.

Visitors to the museum’s social media sites will be treated to a series of posts and videos exploring aspects of wartime railroading, historic materials related to that history, and information and images depicting the 1950 collision between a military troop train and a passenger train that killed 33 American soldiers. Posts will begin Friday, September 11 and end during the evening of Saturday, September 12.

“The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum wanted to continue our annual Steam to Victory events this year, and we felt that a virtual event was the best way for us to reach as many people as possible during the current public health situation with the Covid-19 virus,” said Executive Director, Noel Poirier. “It will allow us to combine historic military materials with unique, modern-day views of our Roundhouse museum’s extensive railroad collection.”

The Roundhouse has partnered with the West Lafayette Historical Society to display its extensive collection of historic materials relating to this tragic accident. This collection includes original newspaper accounts, historic newspaper press photographs, personal photos, old artifacts from the wreck site and much more. These items will be displayed in the Roundhouse’s Depot exhibit building on public tour days of Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during September and October 2020.

“We wanted to take this unique opportunity to bring attention to a tragedy that occurred 70 years ago in our own backyard, and use it to discuss the much larger story of the historic and important use of America’s railroads to quickly transport millions of soldiers and their military vehicles during wartime,” explained Poirier. “It is an honor for us to present this very local page of that much larger history.”

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The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum would like to thank the following for their assistance in presenting Steam to Victory 2020:
  • Given-Dawson Funeral Home (West Lafayette, OH)
  • June and Dan Markley (West Lafayette, OH)
  • Jim Cassler, Brian Cassler, and the 5th Rangers, Co. B.
  • Dick Master, Don Shaffer, John Crowl, and Lance Miller who helped with the military vehicles.
  • The Village of West Lafayette, Ohio
West Lafayayette Monument
West Lafayette, Ohio monument to the September 11, 1950 Troop Train Disaster