The Imperial Limited. No. 96, engine 847, was rolling through early morning fog into Hammnd when, around 05:30, the rear two sleeping cars became detatched from the train. The brakes were applied when the separation took place and they came to rest about 300 yards west of the station.
The crew stopped and backed up their train to retrieve the cars. The flagman raced up the track to stop the Soo Express, a Minneapolis to Montreal train which was running 15 minutes behind the Limited. He placed torpedoes on the track. After the errant sleeping cars had been recoupled he returned to his train. The reassembled train was running at about 7 mph when the Soo Express, train No. 8, roared out of the fog. Having failed to hear the torpedoes it was travelling at an estimated 35 mph. Its horrified engineer, John Gaffney, and fireman Welsh saw the marker lights of the Limited loom up out of the fog too late to stop. They set the brakes and jumped out of the cab. The locomotive completely demolished the rear sleeping car and overturned the next car. The remaining cars of the Imperial Limited stayed on the track.
Luckily, there was only one person, a porter, in the rear car. He was seriously injured. While there were 27 people in the second car, only three suffered minor injuries. After receiving medical attention, two of these, Mrs. Harriet Keene of Whitman, Massachusets, and Mrs. James Fagan of San Francisco, continued on with their journeys.
An exhibition of rare coolness was given by a young girl in the overturned car. After the accident happened, there was a wild scramble to get out of the car by all the passengers save this young lady. She calmly remained inside until she had dressed herself completely. The Ottawa newspaper reported that she then crawled out with a smile as if a railway collision was simply an ordinary incident in a night's travel.
The rear sleeping car, the Oconto, built by Barney and Smith in 1892, was a total los. The second car, the Aylmer, which had been built in the CP's shops that year, was repaired and saw several decades more of use.
RG 46 C-II-1 vol 1533 file 7120
Doug Smith - Canadian Rail Passenger Review Number 3 - Ottawa Evening Journal 11 September 1905.