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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Railway spine was a nineteenth-century diagnosis for the post-traumatic symptoms of passengers involved in railroad accidents. The first full length medical study of the condition was John Eric Erichsens classic book, On Railway and Other Injuries of the Nervous System. For this reason, railway spine is often known as Erichsens disease. Railway collisions were a frequent occurrence in the early 19th century. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that railway cars were flimsy, wooden structures with no protection for the occupants. Soon a group of people started coming forward who claimed that they had been injured in train crashes, but had no obvious evidence of injury. The railroads rejected these claims as fake.