Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1922, January 21 - Derailment at Ellwood, Canadian Pacific Prescott subdivision

From the Chesterville Record Thursday 26 January 1922.

"Jump for your life" cried Engineer White to Fireman Elliott as he felt his engine wheels leave the track about a quarter of a mile south of Ellwood (formerly Chaudiere Junction about five miles from Ottawa) at 4.35 Saturday afternoon.  Elliott leapt from his cab and fell bruised in the ditch on the left hand side of the embankment.  White applied the brakes. The engine bumped along on the ties pulling the rest of the train consisting of the mail and baggage cars and a second and two first class cars as they swayed along the ties for 500 feet.  Then the engine and tender veered to the right, plunged down the steep 15 foot embankment with a hiss of escaping steam it turned a somersault and imprisoned the faithful engineer in his cab.  He was instantly killed.

The baggage car followed the engine and fell on the side while the mail coach shoved its nose in the ditch but stood up.  The two rear first class coaches in the meanwhile lurched over on the left hand side of the embankment and toppled on their sides.  The second class coach and smoker, which came immediately behind the mail coach did not leave the embankment.

The accident was due to a defective rail.

Although there were 175 passengers on board it is marvellous that only 15 were injured and most of these but slightly.

That the second class coach didn’t follow the other coaches in their headlong fall into the ditch is due to the quick action of brakeman John Riordan. He was in the vestibule of the second class coach when he felt the wheels on the ties.  He immediately applied the brakes.  This quick action, no doubt, saved many lives, and there were 80 pasengers in this coach.

The official accident report gives the number of injured as 21.

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Updated January 2014