The Death Trap was a narrow stretch of the lower part of Palisado Avenue that runs underneath the railroad overpass. Today this is a straight road, but in the treacherous travel era of the early 20th century, it was a 90-degree hairpin turn at the bottom of a hill.
Canal transportation was no match for the speed and efficiency of the emerging railroads in the mid-19th century. But while the arrival of the railroad signaled the eventual demise of the Windsor Locks Canal, the decline in shipping on the canal was far more gradual than historians have previously supposed. One product in particular, gunpowder, was shipped through the canal for several decades after the railroad appeared.