Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1971, January 22 - 23 cars derail just east of Long Sault, Canadian National Kingston subdivision.




From Ottawa Journal Saturday 23 January 1971

Freight Train Derailed
A Canadian National .Railways freight train was derailed east of the Long Sault Station Friday when 23 cars, carrying steel bars, were forced off the tracks.
No one was injured. Cause of the derailment has not been released by CNR.
Engineer Ernest Jackson of Brockville said the Toronto-Montreal train was travelling about 55 miles an hour at the time. Six cars remained on the tracks.
About 400 feet of eastbound track was demolished. Passenger service has been disrupted and CNR is providing bus service from Cornwall to Toronto while work crews repair the track.
Toronto! - Montreal passenger trains are being diverted at Brockville to Smiths Falls and from there will take a Canadian Pacific Railways line to Montreal.

Ottawa Citizen Saturday 23 January 1971

Derailment confusion.  Travellers irked by delay
Major re-routings of Canadian National mainline trains Friday afternoon brought howls of protest from passengers stranded at stations in Smiths Falls and Ottawa.
"They gave us no meal money, not even a coffee. I paid three dollars for celery, potato salad and chicken salad," said an Ottawa-bound passenger who had been delayed two hours in Smiths Falls.
The derailment of a freight train at Long Sault Friday afternoon cut both east and westbound tracks from Toronto to Montreal. One track was to be reopened by this morning. The re-routings meant some Ottawa-Toronto passenger service was disrupted or cancelled.
The 4.50 p.m. Toronto-Ottawa train, due here at 10.10, arrived after 1.30 a.m. The train had been put on a siding in Smiths Falls while Toronto-to-Montreal trains were cleared.
A CN spokesman in Ottawa said the problem was essentially that Montreal to Ottawa to Smiths Falls is single-line-track trying to replace the double-tracked main line.
CN adjustments meant delays, he said. The railway also consolidated some passenger trains from Ottawa to Toronto, causing delays up to six hours.
The passenger said his train had been put on a siding in Smiths Falls and passengers were given no idea when the train would move. They were told only that five trains had priority over them, he said.
He said passengers were given no meal money and were not offered alternate transportation to Ottawa. He said 30 persons left for Ottawa by taxi rather than wait. He suggested the indifference shown by the CNR was in marked contrast to the policies of airlines.
Cutbacks blamed
Another passenger in Smiths Falls, who had spent six hours waiting for his train to Toronto, added: "If I didn't know better I'd say it was a cleverly contrived plot to alienate the public from railways."
The CNR operates its own track from Montreal to Smiths Falls via Ottawa and has an agreement with the CPR to run trains from Smiths Falls to Brockville.
The CNR also has a track from Smiths Falls to Napanee where it rejoins the main line. However, use of this line meant more delays as crack passenger trains such as the Turbo and Rapido could not run at maximum speeds.
Would-be passengers blamed railway cutbacks for lack of manpower to co-ordinate trains in the emergency situation. Passengers calling from Smiths Falls said there was no operator in the Canadian National station there to advise them when trains were due.
And no one at the CP Rail station could advise them of the situation.
Similarly, there is no operator between Napanee and Ottawa and the CNR was at a loss to account for the progress or lack of progress of various trains.
A CN spokesman in Ottawa said last night no chances could be taken because of safety considerations in co-ordinating the trains.
That was little consolation to the more than 200 passengers stranded in Smiths Falls.



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Updated 15 February 2019