From the Ottawa Citizen 8 April 1993
Valley train derailment is village's second in 11 years.
By Dave Rogers Citizen staff writer
Just as she was about to cut into her daughter's birthday cake Wednesday, Marrion Johnson heard the grinding metallic noise of an eastbound freight train and glanced up.
She was just in time to see 19 CP Raill hopper cars jerk violently and jump the track, spilling linseed and corn meal into the ditch right beside her house.
"A lot of earth was flying around and we could hear the crunching of steel as the cars started leaving the track." Johnson said Wednesday night. "There was a strong burning smell from the train and a lot of sparks. I told everybody to jump up because there was a train wreck."
Three cars at the end of the train remained upright, but others blocked both tracks on the line. No one was injured in the accident and CP officials say the train was carrying no toxic substances.
Mountain is about 60 kilometres south of Ottawa, near Kemptville. The sudden derailment on the main CP freight line between Toronto and Montreal is expected to close the track for 48 hours.
CP officials said they don't yet know what caused the derailment. But the neighbors aren't pleased.
When a train derailed in the same spot 11 years ago, Johnson said, "a steel control box slammed into a maple tree on the front lawn, just missing our house."
Carol-Ann Arcand, Johnson's adult daughter whose birthday party was interrupted by the action, was terrified.
"We all rushed outside to see whether the train contained chemicals. It was a relief to see it was grain.
"For weeks, the trains passing by the house haven't sounded right," she added.
Carol O'Brien, who lives a few houses away from the crossing, said she too is relieved that the train carried no toxic chemicals.
"We were lucky it was only agricultural products'" O'Brien said. "I see a lot of chlorine cars going past here every day."
Blake Jones, a CP Rail investigator, said CP will probably use a nearby CN Rail line until a crane crew from Toronto can place the derailed cars back on the rails.