Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> 1929 SAUGUS TRAIN ROBBERY   > LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Great Saugus Train Robbery: Espee Train Wrecked.


Webmaster's note.

This report references one or more of the enduring lies that the inept horse thief and train robber Thomas Vernon told about himself: that he was "Buffalo" Tom, the rodeo star; and that he was Thomas Averill, the fantasy love child of Jim Averill and Cattle Kate. He was neither.


Chronicle Banner

Story Story

ESPEE TRAIN WRECKED


Rails Loosened
by Bandits


Limited No. 59 Leaving Here
at 6:10 p.m. Ditched
Near Saugus


Engineer Only Casualty;
Posses From Here
Start Hunt


SAUGUS, Nov. 10. (Excluive) [sic] —

Bandits turned train wreckers one mile north of here tonight and in an attempted hold-up of the West Coast Limited Train No. 59 of the Southern Pacific sent the engine, baggage car and smoker hurtling into a ditch and derailed another coach.

Engineer Ball of the fast passen­ger train, running between Los An­geles and Sacramento, was pinned beneath his overturned engine and was so badly scalded from escaping steam that it is feared he may die. No other members of the train crew were hurt and all passengers escaped without injury.

Investigating officers were unable to determine the exact number of bandits engaged in the hold-up at­tempt, but first reports were that at least two masked robbers rushed into the last two sleeping coaches and held up passengers. No esti­mate can be made of the amounts obtained.

A posse from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office and a spe­cial detail from the Central Police Station were rushed to the scene, and are attempting to pick up the trail of the bandits, who are believed to have made their escape during the excitement of the wreck.

Bolts and bars on ten rails were loosened by the wreckers, according to the reports of the railway offi­cials. The train left Los Angeles at 6:10 p.m. and about 7:30 was speed­ing around a left curve at a point near Baker's Ranch. The loosened rails gave way beneath the heavy weight of the train and the engine swerved from the roadbed, dragging the other coaches with it.

A special train to detour the pas­sengers of the wrecked limited is expected to leave Los Angeles at 11p.m. for the scene. Southern Pa­cific officials estimate that the tracks can be cleared within five hours, and that little delay will be caused in traffic. The special train will he detoured over the Southern Pacific tracks on the Valley route, according to the first reports from the railway heads.

Engineer Ball was rushed to the hospital at Newhall for emergency treatment, and then hurried in an ambulance to the White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.

Railway officials reported that a similar attempt had been made to wreck the Lark, passenger train of the Southern Pacific, last week. They said the limited passed over a loosened rail near Santa Susana safely. Detectives said the rail bolts and spikes had been removed, although the signal lines, were in­tact. They believe there is a pos­sible connection between this attempt and the wrecking of the West Coast Limited tonight.


Newspaper images: 9600 dpi jpeg from 300 dpi jpg of original newspaper from the collection of Alan Pollack
1929 SAUGUS TRAIN ROBBERY

THE ROBBERY

thumbnail

Passengers / Earliest Known 11-10-1929

thumbnail

Daybreak 11-11-1929

thumbnail

Newsreel Footage

thumbnail

Loren Ayers x5

THE MANHUNT

thumbnail

Boynton Story

thumbnail

Pollack Story

thumbnail

LAT 11-11-1929

thumbnail

Vernon Captured

thumbnail

Mugshots 12/1929

thumbnail

Extradition 12-12-1929

thumbnail

AP 12-19-1929

THE FAKERY

thumbnail

REAL: Tom Vernon Prison Records

thumbnail

REAL: Horse Theft 1920

thumbnail

BOGUS: Tom Vernon Letters 1929-1963

thumbnail

BOGUS: Tom Vernon's Fake Photo ID 1962

thumbnail

BOGUS: Vernon's Own Story in 3 Parts

thumbnail

BOGUS: Cattle Kate Story 12-7-1929

thumbnail

BOGUS: Vernon Retells Story in 1953

thumbnail

BOGUS: Sweetwater Incident 1967

thumbnail

BOGUS Sideshow: Lester F. Mead
'Confessor' 11-1929

thumbnail

REAL: Buffalo Vernon 1884-1939

THE AFTERMATH

thumbnail

1957-1958 x3

thumbnail

Pardon 1964

thumbnail

Death Cert. 1967

thumbnail

After the Wreck
No. 5042 x3

• A New Ending (Now Obsolete)


RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply