From the Ottawa Citizen 11 December 1968.|
Turbo gets nose job
CN's new turbotrain sits in Kingston after it rammed a truck on its inaugural run Tuesday
Reporters see impact on TV
Riding the train isn't what it used to be. It's better.
This is true even though Canadian National's first press-preview turbotrain from Toronto to Montreal hit a truck at a level crossing one-quarter of a mile west of Kingston. The schedule did not foresee the delay. The two trains were supposed to pass each other just about at the point of impact three minutes before.
One man working along the track was hurt by flying debris, but passengers, crew and the hapless truck driver, Ray MacLean, 50, of Kingston, escaped injuries.
The truck was sliced in half.
The press corps, which saw the accident on closed-circuit television, hitched a trip back to the Montreal train.
The impact, one Toronto newspaperman said, "didn't spill the coffee."
The train had been travelling at 25 miles an hour.
"It will be the best-covered minor accident in CN's history," said Charles A. Harris, vice-president of CN's public relations.
Wryly, he added "It could have been any other train to hit a truck."
George Armbruster, in charge of the train program, said the accident should not disrupt the tur-botrain's scheduled service.
Two trains will run daily each way on the Montreal-Toronto service, leaving the fifth available for operation in emergencies and during maintenance work.
Mr. Armsbruster said it will probably take a week to repair the damaged train.
"There was no more damage done to the turbotrain than to any other kind of train suffering a similar accident," said D. V. Gonder, -vice-president of the CN's Great Lakes region.
"It's not the way we like to hit the headlines," he said. "We slowed down at the signal lights."
Officials said the accident demonstrated that the turbotrain's lightweight aluminum frame would not make it more likely to leave the tracks on impact than conventional equipment.
"This proved that the increased weight on the axles, and the low centre of gravity of the train, more than compensates for its light-ness," said John Noel, an official of the CN's Toronto office.
The Turbos CN has five seven-car units will run between Montreal and Toronto 335 miles in less than four hours.
Although the maximum speed is 95 miles an hour, the same as that of the Rapido, until yesterday CN's fastest inter-city train, the Turbos' increased ability to negotiate curves boosts the average speed to 84 miles. The Rapidos average is 67 miles per hour.
The Turbos should prove ideal for downtown-to-downtown commuters. The total travelling time is an hour and a half longer than by plane, but the Turbos eliminate the tiring rush to and from the airports.