|Ottawa Citizen 1 August 1927|
PASSENGER TRAIN SIDESWIPES FREIGHT AT VARS
Crash into coal car throws huge engine off line
Engineer P. Lalonde of Montreal slightly injured at Vars station this morning in jump to save himself.
Saw crash was coming after rounding curve
Passengers on well-filled C.N.R. train escape with severe shaking up. A wreck, fortunately unattended with serious injury to passengers or either of the train crews, occurred at Vars station, about six o'clock this morning, when the Montreal bound train No. 2, which left this city at 5.25, sideswiped a freight train bound from the Metropolis to Ottawa, the engine being derailed, and the engineer, Mr. P. Lalonde, of Montreal, was slightly injured.
The freight was pulling into the siding at Vars station, and six of its long string of cars were still on the main line when the Ottawa passenger train bore down on it, and with a crash the engine hurtled into a big gondola coal car, climbed it and was derailed. The baggage
coach and passenger coaches remained on the track.
Engineer P. Lalonde of Montreal, at the throttle, saw that a collision was impending--he rounded the curve at that point--and after applying the emergency jumped with his fireman.
Engineer Lalonde in jumping landed heavily, striking his head on a rail, and cutting it badly. He received medical attention and was brought back to Ottawa with the passengers, reaching here at 9.20.
His fireman, Mr. W. Little, also of Montreal, sustained a few bruises, and the passengers in the train, which was well filled, beyond a bad fright and a severe shaking up escaped unscathed.
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CRASH INTO COAL CAR THROWS HUGE ENGINE OFF LINE
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Trains en-route to Montreal this morning following the accident were re-routed via Rockland and No. 47 from New York and Montreal is held up at the Montreal end of the wreck, the debris from which a wrecking crew and apparatus from Montreal is now engaged in removing.
It is expected by C.N.R. officials that the line will be open again
some time this afternoon.
Due To Heavy Fog
While there is no official statement at present owing to the fact that the wreck occurred on the Montreal division, it is stated that the accident was due to a heavy fog which prevailed early this morning, and the engineer of the freight train failing to get his train clear of the main line.
Fortunately, Engineer Lalonde was in time to see the freight cars on the track ahead of him, a sufficient distance away to permit of his applying the emergency brakes before he and his fireman jumped, and the momentum of the train, which had been travelling at a moderate speed, owing to the fog, was considerably lessened when the crash came.
Immediately, the big locomotive struck the gondola of the freight train into which it climbed and was derailed, two other freight cars were thrown over on their sides, and in the passenger train frightened passengers ran hurriedly for the doors.
The train crew, with porters, two of whom were thrown heavily on their faces at the impact, but escaped with bruises, assisted in calming the passengers, two or three of whom received severe bruises, when thrown forward by the shock, and one lady, a resident of
Montreal, name unknown, collapsed, but recovered later.
The only other person injured as far as can be learned was Mr. A.P. Maloney, conductor of the freight train, who was thrown through the glass in his van, and was cut about the hands, as he shot them out to protect himself.
It is stated unofficially that when the accident occurred, the engineer of the freight train, which had also been delayed by the fog, was in the act of drawing his train into the siding when it was struck by the oncoming passenger engine.