Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1878, January 30 - A broken rail causes derailment of a St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway train at Gloucester. Minor injuries

Ottawa Citizen  31 January 1878

St. Lawrence and Ottawa train off the track.
The Brakesman and Passengers injured
An accident happened yesterday afternoon to the half-past two o'clock St. Lawrence and Ottawa train about a mile beyond Gloucester station, by which some persons sustained injuries, but fortunately of no very serious nature. The train left the depot at the usual time under the charge of Mr. Freeman, conductor, and proceeded at its customary rate of speed until it reached the place where the mishap occurred, when suddenly the cars left the track, the through carriage to Montreal and the first class car being thrown on to their sides, and their occupants, of course, were hurled violently from their seats. The second class and baggage cars also left the metals, but maintained an upright position, and no passengers in them were hurt. The engineer stopped the train as soon as he possibly could, and the train scarcely moved more than a couple of car lengths, but the shock and jolting were sufficient to seriously alarm those on board the train, and who numbered 21 in all. Of course it is not to be expected that all escaped unscathed. Mr. T.P. French the Post Office Inspector, sustained a slight cut on the head, and Mrs. Hanlon was also hurt on the forehead; another lady passenger, whose name our reporter did not learn, was also slightly hurt, as indeed many others were in a minor degree. The worst case of injury is that to Jas . Wallace, the brakesman, who at the time of the accident was in the first class car, and was thrown violently against one of the seats, which struck him in the stomach, hurting him considerably. So soon as the news of the accident reached headquarters here, Mr. Reynolds despatched a train for the double urpose of clearing the track and transhipping the passengers and baggage, both of which were forwarded to their destinations. The first-class cars were found lying on their sides beside the rails,  and the second-class and baggage cars were soon placed on the metals again and the line was put ready for traffic again. The cause of the accident was a broken rail and no blame appears to be attached to any of the servants of the company. Those who were hurt were carefully attended to and made as comfortable as the circumstances would permit. The locomotive fortunately kept the rails, and, escaped uninjured, but the two first class cars are, of course, more or less damaged.

It is a matter for congratulation that the accident was not attended with worse results, for less causes than a broken rail have frequently been attended with severe personal injury and loss of life. When the news first spread in the city, the most exaggerated stories got ahead, but careful enquiry showed the facts of the affair to be as above given.

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