Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1946, October 19 - Canadian Pacific Trans-Canada Express derails three coaches near Caledonia Springs, one serious injury.




From the Ottawa Journal Monday 21 October 1946

Two Hurt When CPR Coaches On Express Derailed Near Ottawa
Two persons were seriously injured when the rear three coaches of a packed CPR Trans-Canada express jumped the rails three miles east of Caledonia Springs at 9.20 p.m. Saturday.
Caledonia Springs is 48 miles east of Ottawa.
Westbound out of Montreal, the train was made up of engine, baggage coach, two sleepers, one of which was unoccupied, and five day coaches and a parlor car.
The last two day coaches and the  parlor car were derailed.  More than 100 persons bound for Ottawa were aboard, these three coachess normally being reserved for persons travelling to the Capital.
Most seriously Injured were: Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Clifford Pryde, 4346 Decarie Boulevard Montreal, who were Ottawa-bound for the weekend.
Mr. Pryde suffered a severe back injury and shock, while his wife received severe and multiple contusions.
They were both taken to Vankleek Hill Hospital where they were treated by Dr. G. D. , Maclntyre. Sunday they were taken to Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, by ambulance.
All passengers in the three coaches, with the exception of the two Montreal people who were taken to Vankleek Hill hospital were accommodated in the other coaches of the train and arrived in Ottawa at 2 a m. Sunday.  It was the first sectron of the flyer and was due In at 10.10 p m. Saturday.
The second section of the train, which was halted at Vankleek Hill, had to back its way to Vaudreuil and was re-routed to Ottawa through Bedell, arriving at Union Station at 4 a m.
Seven miles west of Vankleek Hill the last two cars - a first-class coach and a parlor car jumped the track, tearing up the north-side rail for about 700 feet,and digging into the soft ground in the north ditch of the right-of-way which held them upright.
CPR officials said a broken rail was believed to be the cause of the accident.
When the last two cars broke away from the main section, an automatic device immediately threw on the emergency brakes of the train.
Nevertheless, the train travelled more than a mile, carried by its own momentum, dragging the third coach with it.
The wheels jolted along on ties causing considerable damage and giving  the passengers a rough ride.
The coupling finally broke and the third coach stopped, upright on the tracks but leaning over at a considerable angle.
Work trains from Montreal and Ottawa, including two giant cranes, were immediately despatched to clear the wreckage.
Was In Parlor. Car.
Chatting with Mr. and Mrs. Pryde in the parlor car at the time the accident occurred was W. Levan, of Harrington street, Arnprior.
He was hurled from his chair by the impact, hit another chair and suffered severe cuts to his left ear. He was treated by Dr. Maclntyre and continued on to Ottawa and thence to his home.
Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting the injured Mr. Pryde out of the car. He had been knocked from his chair and was wedged in between two chairs on the lower side of the car.  Members of the train crew, assisted: by fellow passengers, got him out on a stretcher.
Senator J. R. Hurtubise, MD. of Sudbury, and Dr. Arthur Lynch, medical supervisor for the CPR, Vancouver district were on the train and immediately lent assistance to Dr. MacIntyre in attending to Mr. Pryde and others who suffered minor injuries. Later, they returned to the train and resumed their journeys.
Charles S. Nicholson, CPR conductor, was on duty in the coaches and assisted in getting the passengers out. CPR officials stated that with the exception of Mr. Fryde they had received no reports of injuries to the passengers.
Some might have had their noses bumped or been bruised, but did not require medical attention, the official stated.
Mr. Levan's Story
Mr. Levan told The Journal he was in the parlor car when the derailment occurred.
"It all happened so quickly it was all over before we realized it. We were sitting in our chairs when the car lurched suddenly and we were thrown sprawling across the floor.
"I was pretty badly scared for a moment but the car came to a stop in a few seconds and l realized I was not badly hurt. I did get a 'cauliflower' ear however when my head hit a chair. There, were not very many persons in the car and strange to say there was very little confusion. I can't recall anybody  screaming. Everybody behaved very well."
When the occupants of the parlor car made their way to the doorway, they found the car had buried its forward end deep into the earth.
"It was over on a pretty steep slant but, we were all able to get out without any difficulty."
Mrs. A. Bois' Experience.
Mrs. A, Bois, 503 Besserer street, Ottawa, was in the smoking section of the second last car. Thrown from her seat, she was sent sprawling into the aisle when the car lurched off the tracks.
"It was a frightening thing", she said. "The car suddenly tilted sharply and came to a stop with a jolt that threw everyone around in their seats. A priest from Montreal, sitting near me, managed to stay in his seat by bracing his feet against the seat ahead of him.  A man named Kent Anderson, from Peterborough, picked me up and helped me out of the car. To our surprise,  we found our car and the parlor car were in the ditch, but the rest of the train was gone.''
Apart from a sore back and a severe shaking up, Mrs. Bois was unhurt.
The priest, Rev. A. Provost of Montreal, was en route to Ottawa to open a retreat Sunday in Holy Family Parish. Fortunately, he escaped, none the worse for the exciting experience.
Mrs. F. Solbarg, resident of Ottawa, living at the Grand Hotel escaped being in the parlor car when it was derailed, by a matter of moments.
Shortly before the crash, she left the car to go forward to the express car to attend to her pet dog.
Marcel Dumais, 19, Union Station redcap residing at 143 Rochester street, was riding in the first coach of the train. Passengers in his car did not realize the accident had occurred until the train had stopped. He walked the mile back down the tracks and helped many of the passengers carry their baggage from the derailed cars to the waiting train.
Officials of the CPR including Divisional Superintendent E. C McKay, Smiths Falls, and James Stewart. CPR assistant superintendent at Ottawa, conducted an immediate investigation at the scene. George Cowan, of the CPR Investigation branch, also visited the scene.
They stated the line was re-opened for traffic at 7 a.m. The CPR westbound Trans-Canada passenger train which left Montreal at 10.45 p.m. Saturday, was re-routed through Bedell and arrived at Ottawa at 2.40 a.m.



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