Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1914, February 17 - Passenger train derailed by a broken rail at Mountain, CPR Winchester sub.  Engineer killed.



From Board of Railway Commissioners File?
Derailment mileage 94 Smiths Falls subdivision. Accident was caused by a broken rail which was shattered into a dozen or twenty pieces, showing that it was a heavy blow, or impact from the wheel of an engine.  This extreme cold weather in the last twenty days has in a good many cases been responsible for accidents. The constant cold makes the rails very brittle and any slight heaving of the track may leave a space under the rails which is hard to detect and a blow coming on that fractures it.  Engine 2227, second class 1978, first class 1096, Diner "St. James", Sleeper "Kiminive", Parlour car "Maitland" all derailed.

There is a picture on the file showing the engine on its side.  "The only passenger in the cars hurt was Mr. E. Bowles of New York.  The engine turned a complete somersault.  Robert Grant, of Montreal, the engineer, was found dead with his hand on the throttle.

Ottawa Citizen 18 February 1914

ENGINEER KILLED IN DERAILMENT OF C.P.R. EXPRESS
Montreal-Toronto Passenger Train Struck Broken Rail Near Mountain Station. Miraculous Escapes of the Fifty Passengers Aboard. Robert Grant Was One of Oldest Engineers in Service.

Smith's Falls, Feb. 17. Engineer Robert Grant, of Montreal. was instantly killed, Fireman Ernest Anderson of Smith's Falls, sustained a bruised hip and nearly a dozen passengers and members of the train crew were badly shaken in a wreck on the C. P. R. between Mountain and Inkerman about 1.30 this afternoon. The Montreal-Toronto flyer, running at a speed of about forty miles per hour, struck a broken rail. the engine being ditched and the entire train leaving the track. Engineer Grant was buried beneath the locomotive, and his fireman was hurled some distance into an adjoining field.
The escape from death of many of the other passengers and trainmen is considered miraculous as two of the coaches were badly smashed by coming in contact with the overturned engine. There were, however, not more than fifty passengers on the train and comparatively few in the cars which bore the brunt of the shock.
The train was a heavy one. consisting of the baggage, mail and express cars, six day coaches, two Pullmans and diner. Had not the engine overturned, it is probable that no great damage would have occurred. Several of the cars ran past the engine safely, but two of the coaches fouled it and were wrecked. The other cars were not overturned.
The wreck is believed to have been due to the action of frost heaving and breaking a rail.
GRANT'S LONG SERVICE.
The late Robert Grant was one of the oldest engineers of the C.P.R., having been in the employ of the company for the last thirty years. He came to this country with his wife from Scotland, and settled at first in Toronto. He was about 65 years old and was considered one of the most capable engineers on the road. He and his wife left here a few months ago, when they moved to Montreal. Besides his wife there are three daughter, and one son living, the former in Manitoba and the latter in the service of the company at North Bay.
The fireman, Ernest Anderson, who was with Grant on the train, is a married man and lives in Smith's Falls. He was thrown out of the cab clear of the wreck. Anderson evidently leads a charmed life, as he was in the wreck which occurred east of here last summer when the fast express was hurrying to Montreal in record time to catch the mail boat. He was then found on the track practicallv unhurt.
Conductor Morley Munroe, formerly of Smith's Falls, but now of Montreal was thrown about in one of the coaches, but not injured. One of the sleeping car conductors was pretty badly injured, and a passenger from Montreal was scalded around the hips and had a couple of ugly cuts on his head. Some of the other passengers were shaken up, but not seriously hurt. The train passed Winchester sharp on time, so that it was not running to make up time.

Ottawa Journal 18 Fenruary 1914

EXPRESS TRAIN LEAVES TRACKS DRIVER KILLED
Every Car in the Train Except the Last left Track
The C.P.R. fast westbound express, due in Smith's Falls at 11.15 a.m, was wrecked yesterday at eleven o'clock three miles east of Mountain Station. The engine and every car except the last Pullman left the rails,
Engineer Robert Grant, until three months ago a resident or this town, but now of Montreal, was instantly killed, while the fireman. Ernest Anderson, of this town, escaped without serious injury, having been thrown clean out of the cab. The passengers had a marvelous escape and none of them were very seriously injured, the train was running fast at the time, and the accident is thought to have been caused by spreading rails
A special was made up here at noon and sent down after the passengers, Doctors Anderson and Ferguson going along to look after the wants of the injured.
Robert Grant, the unfortunate engineer, was one ot the pioneer railway men of this division, and one of the most capable passenger engineers in the company's service. He leaves a wife, three daughters, and one son.

Morrisburg Leader 19  February 1914

Fatal Railway Accident
Engineer Killed and Many Injured in Accident on CPR near Mountain Station

Engineer Robert Grant of Montreal was instantly killed, fireman Ernest Anderson of Smiths Falls sustained a fracture of the leg, and nearly a dozen others were slightly injured in a wreck on the Canadian Pacific between Mountain and Inkerman, about 1.30 Tuesday afternoon. The Montreal Toronto flyer running at a speed of 40 miles an hour, struck a broken rail, the engine being ditched, and the entire train leaving the track. Engineer Grant was buried beneath the locomotive, and his fireman was hurled some distance into an adjoining field.
The escape from death of many of the other passengers and the trainmen is considered miraculous as two of the coaches were badly smashed by coming in contact with the overturned engine. There were, however, not more than fifty passengers on the train, and comparatively few in the cars which bore the brunt of the shock.
The train was a heavy one, consisting of the baggage, mail and express cars, six day coaches, two Pullmans and diner. Had not the engine overturned it is probable that no great damage would have occurred. Several of the cars ran past the engine safely but two of the coaches fouled it and werer wrecked. The other cars were not overturned.
The wreck proved to have been due to the action of frost heaving and breaking a rail.

There is a report in the Chesterville Record 19 February 1914. 

The Late Robert Grant (from Rideau Record)
There is very general regret in town because of the death of engineer Robert Grant who was killed in the C.P.R. wreck near Mountain on Tuesday. He lived here for many years and was known as the jolly good-natured Scotchman. He had been 34 years with the C.P.R. and would have retired soon on a pension. A year or two ago he moved to Montreal and to his house there his body taken but will be brought to Smiths Falls on the afternoon train for burial. Mrs. Grant and family have the deepest sympathy of their friends here.




Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updeted 1 August 2021