Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1974, January 18 - Westbound train 903 derailed a few hundred feet west of the tower at Bedell, Canadian Pacific Winchester subdivision.  
Eastbound train 974 ran into the wreckage. No injuries.






From Bruce Chapman (including images) August 2017

I had many pix of the Bedell wreck in January 1974 as I was sent to work there in the closed tower as an operator.

The story started the day before; I was dispatching the Chalk River Subdivision as a spare, and the regular guy was to return the next day.  My next stint would be as an operator, and I waited for my call to work (duty, as Duncan DuFresne used to say).

I watched #974 pulling into Smiths Falls with the RS-18 8774 and RS-2 8453, and he had some switching to do (lots of it!!).

I finished my shift at 1600 and went home.  Early that evening, the chief train dispatcher called me to go to Bedell to the closed tower the next morning and keep the dispatching office informed of any proceedings as #903 derailed just as #974 was passing, and it was an awful mess.

At the time CP had the contract to move all the finished Heinz products in insulated boxcars from Montreal to Toronto.  These boxcars split open and the frozen ground was covered in ketchup, mustard and pickles, and the wrecking crews were trying to clean up the derailment with all this gunk around.

The engineer on #974, Fergie Moore, was telling us that a boxcar went right over the lead unit that he was in, 8774, and landed on the 8453, completely flattening it.

Trains were detoured on the CNR Kingston Subdivision for a couple of days; they finally got a ‘hole through’, and trains would come east out of Smiths Falls on the westward track to a temporary crossover at the signal gantry west of the tower, then cross over to the eastward track to continue on their way.  For westward movements, it was the opposite procedure.





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Updated 17 August 2017