On 22 October 1895 the Granville–Paris Express overran the buffer stop at its Gare Montparnasse terminus. With the train several minutes late and the driver trying to make up for lost time, it entered the station too fast and the train air brake failed to stop it. After running through the buffer stop, the train crossed the station concourse and crashed through the station wall the locomotive fell onto the Place de Rennes below, where it stood on its nose.
Two of the 131 passengers sustained injuries, along with the fireman and two conductors. The only fatality was a woman on the street below, Marie-Augustine Aguilard, who was temporarily taking over her husband’s work duty while he went out to get the newspapers. She was killed by falling masonry. The railway company later paid for her funeral and provided a pension to look after her two children. The accident was caused by a faulty Westinghouse brake and the engine driver, who was trying to make up lost time.
Featured Image: Montparnasse derailment / Image: via youtube.com