|From the Ottawa Citizen Friday 16 February 1894|
Bumped over the bridge
A freight train comes to grief in a bad place
The swing bridge near the C.A.R. Depot blocked for the night by three derailed cars - the Conductor jumps to the ice below and a Brakeman hangs on.
Last evening about half past seven o'clock three cars at the rear of a long freight train derailed as the train was pulling out of the C.A.R station at a pretty lively speed.
The train was composed of 28 loaded cars and was bound for the Rouse's Point. The engine and a number of the cars had cleared the swing bridge across the canal and as the rear three cars were approaching the bridge they
LEFT THE TRACKbut from what cause it is not definitely known. It is said that the switch, a short distance to the west of the bridge where the cars appear to have left the track, was not properly locked, and it consequently flew out of place or else someone turned it before the hind truck of the event at the rear of the train had passed over.
However, the van and the two cars in front went bumping over the beams of the bridge and on arriving at the opposite side of the canal, became detached from the other cars and plunged into a heavy snow embankment.
JUMPED FOR HIS LIFEDaniel Lemieux, the conductor, was on top of the van at the time and fearing serious results jumped on to the ice below and escaped injury. One of the brakesmen John Connolly, was also on the van, but he clung to it until he was finally thrown off when the car went into the snow bank. In order to keep from being thrown off while going over the bridge, he was obliged to lie down and cling to the small platform on the roof of the van. He escaped with a shaking up.
The derailed cars were pretty badly smashed. The trucks were torn away from the bodies of the cars, and the heavy iron braces were twisted into all shapes.
Men were set to work immediately to clear the track and repair the bridge. They were engaged the whole of the night.
The Montreal train was unable to pass the wreck, and had to pull up and let the passengers off at the Archville road, on the east of the canal.
THE CAUSE UNKNOWNThere is considerable mystery involved as to how the cars came to leave the track. The brakeman claimed that the switch was locked with the regular pin used for that purpose, and under this circumstance it could not spring or fly back. They attributed it to a broken beam on one of the cars having fallen while going over the switch, thus throwing the wheels from the track. Then again it is said that such was hardly probable.
An investigation will likely be held into the matter by the railway authorities.
From the Ottawa Journal Friday 16 February 1894
A very singular railway accident occurred on the C.A.R. swing bridge last evening shortly after seven o'clock. A heavily loaded freight train of twenty-eight cars was leaving the yards for Rouse's Point. As usual the train was moving slowly over the swing bridge, in fact part of the train had crossed over and part was upon the bridge, when in some unaccountable way, the two rear cars and the van were derailed. Before the train could be brought to a standstill these cars had been dragged bumping over the timbers of the bridge. Reaching the further end of the bridge the coupling broke and the cars slid down a low embankment into a huge snow drift.
When the cars were at first derailed, conductor Lemieux, fearing that they would tumble over the bridge, jumped from the top of the van to the ice of the canal below, a distance of about twenty-five feet, but fortunately was uninjured. One of the brakemen kept on the van until the far end of the bridge was reached where the cars went into the embankment. So severely shaken up were the cars that the trucks of two of them were detached.
No one appears to know how the cars became derailed. The switch at the west end of the bridge was securely locked and the only feasible theory for the accident is that a beam of one of the cars broke and, falling across the rail, derailed the cars. No one is blamed for the accident.
Also reported in the Ottawa Free Press, same date. Summary in Renfrew Mercury 23 February.
From the Ottawa Citizen 12 August 1939
This Brakeman Had Thrilling Adventure
Down through the years there have been quite a number of accidents in the neighborhood of the Ottawa East swing (railway bridge. One of these, which almost; brought death to one man, occurred in the evening of February 15, 1894.
About 7.30 o'clock that evening three cars at the rear of a long freight train were derailed as the train was pulling out of the old C.A.R. station at a lively speed. The engine and a number of the cars had cleared the swing bridge across the canal, and as the three rear cars were approaching the bridge they left the track. The van and the two cars in front went bumping over the beams of the bridge, and on arriving at the opposite side of the canal became detached from the other cars and plunged into a heavy snow embankment.
Daniel Lemieux, the conductor, was on top of the van at the time. and, fearing serious results, jumped to the ice below. One of the brakemen, John Connelly, was also on the van. but clung to it until he was finally thrown off when the car went into the snow bank. In order to keep from being thrown off while going over the bridge. he was obliged to lie down and cling to the small platform on the roof of the van. He escaped with a shaking up.
The derailed cars were badly smashed. The trucks were torn. away from the bodies of the cars and the heavy iron braces were twisted in all shapes.The Montreal train was unable to pass the wreck that night, and had to pull up and let the passengers off at the Archville road.