Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1916,  March 3 - Grand Trunk express derails near Kingston Mills, Kingston sub., eight injured.

Kingston Whig Standard 3 March 1916
also in the Weekly British Whig 6 March 1916

Montreal Girl Had Her Arm Broken - Eight Other Passengerd Were Shaken Up - Three Coaches in the Ditch - Traffic Was Blocked.

Mrs. Elizabeth Confray. Aged 36, Montreal, badly cut about the face and hands. Suffering severely from shock.
Ellen Confray, aged 11 years, left arm fractured.
Edith Confray, aged 6 years, suffering from shock.
Baby Matthew Confray, 9 weeks old, uninjured.
Miss Josephine McCaffrey. 500 Guy street, Montreal, suffering from serious shaking up.
Miss Eva McCaffrey, 500 Guy street, Montreal suffering from shock.
Samuel Frankel, aged 29, Montreal, suffering from shock.
Miss Ellen Adams, London, Ont., badly shaken up.

Eight people, were injured when the fast train coming from Montreal, known as No. 13, was derailed near Kingston Mills, about 3 o'clock on  Friday morning.
The injured were all brought to the city, and are now patients at the Hotel Dieu where they are doing nicely.
Little Ellen Confray, the Montreal girl, who was travelling with her mother and two other members of the family, received the most serious injuries. It was stated that her left arm had been fractured.
The train was travelling at a fast rate of speed, and the fact that there was not a heavy death list, is nothing more than a miracle.
Mrs. Confray and her children were on their way to Hamilton.

Spreading Rail Caused  Accident.
A Whig representative paid a visit to the scene of the accident on Friday morning. From information received from men who were aboard the ill-fated train and men who are engaged in clearing up the wreckage, there appears to be no doubt that the accident was caused by the spreading of a rail.
The scene of the accident is about one and one half miles, east of Rideau station. To gtl there it is necessary for one to walk along the railroad track from Rideau station. When the Whig man arrived on the scene he found about one hundred men employed by the Grand Trunk Railroad Company engaged in clearing up the wreckage and also laying a new line of track as the right hand track was completely ripped by the train leaving it.
The train which left the track is known as the fast train, No. 13, which is due to arrive at the Grand Trunk outer station at 3 o'clock. It was composed of ten cars made up as follows: Two baggage cars, one second-class car, one first-class car and six pullmans. Two baggage cars rolled over into the ditch, while the second-class car, which was right behind the baggage cars, was thrown on its side and was lying crossways of the tracks. The first-class car and the pullmans were thrown from the rails but fortunately did not topple over. The tender of the train left the rails but no damage was done.
Passengers Surprised
On account of the train being a few minutes date the engineer in charge was evidently endeavoring to make up for lost time. He made 43 miles, with one stop at Gananoque Junction, in fifty minutes, that the train was going at the rate of over fifty miles an hour.
As the accident occurred so suddenly, it was atmont impossible for any of the people who were aboard the train to state what happened. The first thing they felt was a severe bang as though there was a collision. Getting from the beds in the pullman they were surprised to find that the train was a wreck. Upon getting from their beds they were informed by the porter that two of the leading cars had gone into the ditch and the pullmans had received a very bad shaking up but were still standing up-right. After dressing the passengers got off the train. Upon going up the front they found that the two baggage cars were in the ditch but were standing right up. The second-class car, which was third from the locomotive, received, the worst breaking up, being thrown on its side and dragged for a considerable distance before the train was brought to a standstill. The fourth car, which was the first-class car, remained upright, but was thrown from the rails,owing to the-front car being off the track and tearing them up. The train was going at such a rate of speed that the place where the baggage and mail cars lighted was about twenty or thirty yards to the right of the track. It is only a miracle that the two men who were working in the baggage car were not killed. They appeared to be none the worst of the smash when speaking to Whig representative.
It is a miracle that persons who were seated in the second-class car, were not killed as it crashed into the baggage cars so heavily. The reason that more people were not seriously hurt is due to the fact that it was a steel coach.

Conductor Flagged Eastbound train
Through the prompt action of Conductor Garrett, Toronto, who was in charge of the the ill-fated train, the express from the west which was due at Rideau station about the samel time as the accident occurred, was stopped before it arrived at the scene of the wreck. Leaving the scene of the. accident, the conductor took a lantern and ran up the track, and by that means was able to get word to the eastbound train, he went up to the grocery store at Cushendall and telephoned to the Grand Trunk outer station. The suburban train was immediately despatched to the scene of the accident and the injured passengers were rushed to the Hotel Dieu.
The point where the accident occurred is exactly the same place where a freight train left the tracks last June. On this occasion the freight cars were completely destroyed.
The railroad authorities at Belleville were communicated with and the wrecking train and one hundred railroad men were soon on their way. The train arrived at five oclock and the jcb of clearing away the wreckage was commenced.
Wrecking Gang At Work.
On account of the west track being partly torn up for a distance of about four hundred yards. It was found necessary for the wrecking train to use the east tracks, meaning the tieing up of traffic. Up until two o'clock Friday afternoon no train had been able to go either east or west of the point where the accident occurred. Men in charge of the wrecking crew told the Whig that it would be some hours before traffic waa opened. Most of the new rails on the west track have been laid but it will take some time to put the cars back. The two baggage cars are so far sway from the track that it will be a difficult job to get them back again.
Although a number of small pieces of iron were broken on the pullmans it will not cost a great deal of money to put them in shape again.
At eleven oclock on Friday morning a special train containing officials of the company from Montreal arrived at the scene of the accident.
Although none of the men had any information to give out to the press. the general impression is that they found that the spreading of a rail was tbe cause of the accident. When one of the men made a measurement between the rails he found that there was a spreading of about one and one half inches.The workmen noticed that it was likely at this point the coaches left the rails and for that reason did not make any alterations until the track was examined by the head officials.

At the Hotel Dieu

Kingston Whig Standard 4 March 1916

Three Recent Accidents Have Occurred on a Friday

Friday appears to be an unlucky day for the Grand Trunk Railway, at least it would appear so in view of the fact that three recent accidents which occurred in Kingston and district have occurred on a Friday.
Two weeks ago two freights had a pitch-in at the outer station; a week ago Miss Edith Wallis, of Lansdowne, lost her lite [sic] when a car was overturned near the city station and on Friday of this week, the wreck occurred below Kingston Mills.

Ottawa Journal 3 March 1916

Three Coaches Ditched, Eight Hurt, Only One Seriously, in Passenger Wreck.
Kingston, Ont., March 3.- The fastt train on the Grand Trunk Railway out of Montreal, No. 13, was derailed near Kingston Mills, six miles from here, about 3 o'clock this morning. Three coaches were thrown into the ditch and eight passengers were injured, but only one seriously. Mrs. Elizabeth Confray, aged 36, of Montreal, was on her way to Hamilton with her three children, Ellen, Edith and Mathew [sic], the latter a baby nine weeks' old. Ellen suffered a fractured arm, and Mrs. Confray sustained serious cuts about the face and body, but the other two children escaped uninjured. Ellen Adams, of London, Ont., suffered a serious shaking-up. The Misses. Josephine and Eva McCaffrey, sisters residing at 500 Guy Street, Montreal, were badly shaken up. Miss Josephine McCaffrey was on her way to Battle Creek, Mich., to enter a sanitarium. Mr. Samuel Frankel, aged 39, of Montreal, is also suffering from shock. All the injured were brought here on a special train, and arrived at the Hotel Dieu, where they are doing well. The train was running fast.

Kemptville Weekly Advance 9 March 1916

Train of Eight Coaches Left the Rails West of Findley Station, Near Rideau
Supply Train and Auxiliary Rushed to The Scene of Accident by Prompt Officials

Friday morning at Two o'clock a disastrous accident occurred on the Grand Trunk railway system at a point four miles west of Findley, a small day station located between Thousand Island Junction and Rideau.
The train involved was No. 13, the fast express from Montreal to Chicago, due to pass Brockville at 2:10 a. m. This morning the train in question was 25 minutes late. It was from Montreal to Brockville in charge of conductor James Garrett of Toronto, a former well-known resident of Brockville, and the engineer of the locomotive no. 226 was Alfred Dodd of Montreal, also a former Brockvillian. At this terminal the engineer is changed, but not conductors. Dodd's place was taken by engineman Wm. Adamson of Belleville. All went well until the point stated was reached, when the train suddenly separated from the engine and the cars composing it left the track plunging into the ditch. The train at the time, it is thought, would be moving at a rate of sixty miles an hour, there being no scheduled stopping place between the T.I. Junction, outer station for Gananoque and Kingston Junction. How the accident happened is not known here. It is however conjectured that ice accumulating on the rails may have been the reason. Fortunately when the heavy train was ditched the cars remained upright on their own trucks. The cars are wooden but with steel trucks are exceptionally heavy, which doubtless accounts for their not upsetting or turning sidewise.
The particulars are as yet of a very meagre variety. One report says that a woman and a girl were injured, but today there is no definite information as the nature or extent of such injuries, if they happened.
So complete was the derailment one car was thrown clear over against a fence at the north side of the tracks.
Traffic on the line was for some time entirely suspended and at this time of writing, no trains have passed the spot. The passengers are being transshipped by an improvised loop line around the wreck.
So soon as the message was received at Montreal and Brockville officials of the company ordered out the big auxiliary apparatus kept at these places for such emergencies. The one from Montreal was gotten quickly on the way and had proceeded as far as St. Dominique when a broken wheel caused it to derail and had not passed Brockville by late afternoon. The local car foreman, A. E. Laprairie, and his staff, left here for the wreck on receipt of news.
A special train with general superintendent Bawker and other officials on board went to Findley this morning.
The coaches and buffet car of the local to have left here at 8:15, were rushed to the scene to provide meals for the passengers and crew and to assist in the transshipping of the passengers.
The eastbound and afternoon passenger trains got in about 5 o'clock.
The International Limited was on time in passing and the passengers were to be transshipped at Findley.
The train wrecked is one of the finest equipped in the G.T.R. Service. Inquiry at the local ticket office has indicated that no Brockville passengers were on the ill-fated train. The night traffic in the winter is not as a rule large.- Brockville Recorder.

Kingston, March 3. - The fast Grand Trunk express from Montreal was derailed while running fast near Kingston Mills, six miles from here, last night. Three cars went into the ditch but the passengers had marvellous escapes. Mrs. Confray of Montreal on her way to Hamilton with three small children was seriously cut about the face and body, and her daughter Ellen, suffered a broken arm. Altogether eight passengers were injured and all are doing well at the Hotel Dieu hosptial here.

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Updated 8 February 2022