Ashtabula Train Disaster Documentary Delayed

Production of a documentary about a 19th century train disaster in Ashtabula has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The documentary was to have premiered in November but director Len Brown has put completion of the film on hold.

Brown said the film is about 85 percent complete. Some filming was done in a former New York Central passenger station in Jefferson in February 2019 with other scenes filmed on the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

“We still have the Pymatuning Valley Dam, Center Village in Burton, Williamsfield Community Center and Ohio Village in Columbus,” Brown said.

Work on the documentary has been ongoing for nine years.

The disaster occurred Dec. 29, 1876, when the bridge carrying the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern over the Ashtabula River collapsed as the Pacific Express was crossing it.

The train had originated in Buffalo, New York, and was bound for Chicago with through cars from New York.

The official death toll from the disaster is 83, but historians have noted that it could have been as high as 200.

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