|Ottawa Citizen 23 January 1989|
Derailed train blocks traffic for ten hours
A derailed freight train sprawled across Almonte Sunday, blocking traffic for about 10 hours.
All but one of the town's east-west roads was blocked by the train. Traffic was rerouted through the town's only railway underpass while Canadian Pacific Railway crews removed the one par that derailed.
"It was a good-sized train... about two miles long," said Tracy McDougall, who lives beside the tracks.
There were no injuries and there was no damage to other cars on the mixed-freight train.
John Cox, CPR spokesman, said a bearing problem on one of four wheels at the rear of the car caused it to derail.
The car, carrying new automobiles, came off the track just before 5 a.m.
It was removed from the train and sent to Montreal for examination. Cox said none of the automobiles was damaged.
He said the incident caused "a few thousand dollars" of track damage.
The train was back on the track about 3 p.m. Sunday, headed towards western Canada with freight that included grain and chemicals. It left Montreal early Sunday morning.
"It woke me up out of bed," said Rob Dodge, an Almonte volunteer firefighter, who lives about 15 metres from the tracks.
Dodge said he heard a "loud banging noise" and the screeching of the train's air brakes. Then he heard "a helluva loud bang." When he ran outside he saw that one car had hit a nearby stone railway bridge.
The derailed car was about 17 cars from the front of the train.
CPR called the Almonte fire department to make sure none of the six cars carrying chemicals had spilled, said Chief Bill Lowry.
Railway officials refused to say what chemicals were on board.
The stalled train did little to interrupt traffic, said residents. A three-metre rail underpass on Little Bridge Street, nicknamed "the subway," allowed traffic to pass freely across town while CPR crews worked to rerail the train.
"On Sunday, it's pretty dead around here anyway," said resident Diane Villeneuve, whose house faced the stalled train.