Train Tragedy Memorials

From the Holocaust Museum Houston, we hear of another rail car being used as a museum artefact:

The refurbished rail car [a 1942 authentic round-top rail car which after WWII came to be called the Treblinka car], which goes on permanent display at the museum on March 5, was unveiled at a special ceremony Wednesday.

Peter Berkowitz, chairman of the board at Holocaust Museum Houston, said the rail car will be used as an educational tool to teach future generations about the evil consequences of hate.

About 3 million Jewish people were transported by train to death camps, Berkowitz said. A rail car that measured 10 feet by 25 feet would be crammed with as many 200 people, he said, and it wasn’t unusual for 30 percent to die en route.

And a whole line of broken rail cars are on display at a Boxing Day Tsunami memorial in Peraliya, Sri Lanka:

She was the “Queen of the Sea” (engine No.59) as she hurtled towards Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, on Boxing Day last year.

Then the tsunami struck and her carriages were flooded. Only a few dozen of the estimated 1700 passengers survived the derailment. It was the worst rail accident the world had seen.

The carriages preserved from that day are visible from the restored Galle Road. It is a jolting sight for travellers. With their broken windows still in place, they stand as a haunting reminder of the waves that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in this island nation. More than two-thirds of the coastline was devastated, with poor fishing villages among the hardest hit.

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