On Saturday morning an A train derailed on the Upper West Side in what an MTA spokesman told us was an "extremely rare event." We started wondering just how rare it is—and while it's not common, there have been at least 55 crashes and derailments over the last century. Above, you can see some dramatic photos from a few of the worst.

You can see a pretty complete list of subway derailments and accidents throughout NY history; you can also see several articles on rail crashes here. Several commenters pointed to a few of the most devastating ones, which included a 4 train derailment at Union Square on August 28, 1991 which killed five and injured more than 200. The motorman, who was drunk at the time, was going more than 40 MPH where the speed limit was 10 MPH. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison; he was released from prison in April 2002.

Then there was the Hudson River-Manhattan train which derailed on April 26, 1942, killing five people and injuring 263. Motorman Louis Austin Vierbucken was also charged with manslaughter for the incident. Here's how the Mason City Globe-Gazette described the aftermath:

Most of the injured had been trampled and kicked in the panic which is the almost inevitable aftermath of subway accidents. The lights went out, electrical connections, having been short circuited, sent out clouds of acrid smoke, and in an instant men and women locked in the cars were screaming and shouting and ramming their hands and feet through the windows, seeking escape from the car and from the smoke-filled tunnel to the air of the street above.

The worst accident in subway history happened on November 1, 1918—Anthony Lewis, who was filling in for a striking motorman, lost control of the train while entering the tunnel at Malbone Street in Brooklyn on the Brighton Line, killing 97 people and injuring over 200. Mayor John Francis Hylan told reporters at the time, "This man confessed that he had never run a train over that Brighton Beach line before. He also admitted that when running around that curve, he was making a speed of thirty miles an hour."

You can read some of the details of the horrific accident here. Here's on excerpt from the NY Times:

A post on the curve warns motormen not to go faster than six miles an hour in this part of the road. When he was asked at the examination why he had taken a job for which he was unfitted, Motorman Lewis replied: "A man has to earn a living." He said that the only experience he had had in running a motor was in switching about a year ago, but that he had been taking instruction for two days on the B.R.T. before running the train yesterday.

On the way to Flatbush the motorman said he had no intention of running away. He said he remembered nothing until he found himself at home, following the accident. He does not know how he managed to get out of the wreck, nor how he got home. He says he has an indistinct recollection of having boarded a trolley car but cannot remember what car it was. He was seated in a chair, pale as death, when the detectives reached his home. He was very nervous and seemed to be on the verge of a collapse.