On May 10th, 1946 Canadian Pacific passenger train #7, 'The Dominion', westbound, hit an open vandalized switch just west of Renfrew station and the locomotive, Royal Hudson 2858 and a baggage car rolled onto their sides. There were no injuries. Auxiliary cranes from Smiths Falls and Chalk River rerailed them. 2858 is currently sitting in the locomotive bay at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa.
Bytown Railway Society,, Branchline, July-August 1994, page 16, and April 1998, page 17.
From the Ottawa Citizen 30 May 1946.
With a picture
Renfrew - Lucky escape says Engineer
Ottawa Crew Crawls Unhurt from Cab after 97-ton Flyer Turns Over at Renfrew.
"We were lucky to escape with our lives" said Wilson Creighton of 125 Bayswater avenue, Ottawa, engineer of the CPR's crack transcontinental train whose locomotive, tender and refrigeraor car turned over in a derailment near a downtown crossing here about 1.30 this morning.
Although the engineer and fireman, J.A. Roger of 22 Barrington avenue, Ottawa, were severely shaken, they were uninjured as were the several hundred passengers aboard the westbound train which had left the station less than a minute before the accident.
Railway officials declined to offer any explanation for the derailment but it is generally believed to have been cause by an open switch. An investigation is being made by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Looking tired and shaken as he stood watching the wrecking crews trying to raise the locomotive from its resting place in the soft shoulder of earth beside the tracks, Engineer Creighton told his story to the Evening Citizen, more than seven hours after he had narrowly escaped death in the toppling locomotive.
He described how he had driven the train into the Lochiel street station, stopped for a few minutes to permit passengers to alight and get on, and then, after receiving the customary signal, had started the engine and begun to head out of Renfrew,
Tossed around in cab.
"We couldn't have been travelling more than eight to ten miles an hour when the engine hit the switch and began to topple. There was nothing myself or the fireman could do to help ourselves, We were really tossed around in the cab."
Mr. Creighton and Mr. Roger crawled from the left window of the cab. Fortunately no steam pipes broke when the engine floped ponderously over, otherwise the two-man crew might have suffered the same fate which has killed so many other railroaders.
As the engine fell, it slashed a telephone pole from its position beside the tracks and part of the wood lodged in the stack of the engine.
The switch which was believed to have been left open, was manually operated and led from the main line into the siding of the Ottawa Valley Grain Products Company. If the transcontinental train had succeeded in entering the siding it would have smashed into the end of a line of boxcars which were standing on the track beside the company building.
The accident was investigated by constables of the Renfrew police force and in a report signed by F. James Burke it is stated that "the switch was thrown open in some way and was also unlocked when he examined it."
On Page 12. with Picture. This morning's wreck at Renfrew of the CPR's Transcontinental train, in which the locomotive, tender and a baggage car were derailed, brought to an end a record of 34 accident-free years behind a throttle for Engineer Wilson Creighton, 125 Bayswater avenue.
Mr. Creighton was still standing beside his overturned engine at eight o'clock this morning about seven hours after the accident occurred. He said he became an engineer in 1912 and until the present had never been in an accident "worth mentioning."