Details of Railway Incidents in the Ottawa Area

1882  Freight Trains Couplings Breaking, CPR Chalk River sub.

The Almonte Gazette recorded instances of couplings parting on freight trains in 1882

Incident 1
Almonte Gazette 15 June 1882

LATE TRAIN. - the morning express from the north was several hours behind time last Thursday, owing to a smash-up of a couple of freight cars in the following singular manner: a freight train was proceeding from Renfrew southward, and when near Castleford several of the rear cars became detached owing to a break in the coupling. The employees were not aware of it, and went on, leaving the rear part to overtake them on the steep grade which they were then just nearing. The engine slacked up slightly on the downgrade, which at this place is the steepest on the line. Not so the rear cars, for they increased in velocity, and soon overtook and ran into the front section with great force. Two of the freight cars were smashed to pieces. One of them being loaded with hop poles, made quite a scattering. No one was injured. The remains of the damaged cars were taken through here on Sunday to the repair shops.

Incident 2
Almonte Gazette 4 September 1882

TRAIN PARTED - on Monday morning last the freight train to here at 11.30 a. m. was a few minutes late, and just before it got to the bridge the coupling of the cars by some means became detached, and the engine and four heavily laden cars dashed across the street and past the station, where they were brought to a standstill. A small wave of excitement was raised by the fact that the passenger train was due, and whilst the engine of the parted train was backing down the whistle of the express was heard, but all proper precautions had been taken, and she was brought up at a safe distance. The coupling having been made good, the freight train was speedily removed and the passenger train came in on time.

Incident 3
Almonte Gazette 27 October 1882

RAILWAY COLLISION. - On Saturday last, as a freight train from the south was coming down the grade from near Mr. Aitkenhead's farm, it parted and the engine with one portion came on into the station, when the loss was discovered, and the one half went back to look for the rest, which it met coming full speed down the grade, and the two portions came together with a great force. The couplings of a large number of cars were broken, and the contents of the freight cars were considerably shaken up. In some of the covered freight cars the goods, amongst which were some coal stoves, looked as if a small earthquake had been handling them. There was also a sudden fall in coal.

Almonte Gazette 3 November 1882

RAILWAY NOTES. - the station yard at Almonte has been transformed this last week into a car repairing shop, a number of men having been engaged repairing the cars damaged in the collision on the 21st. inst

Incident 4
Almonte Gazette 17 November 1882

On Wednesday morning last, when the morning mixed train from the south was coming down the grade a short distance out of town, a coupling broke, and the engine and one car gained several laps on the balance of the train. The engine and car whizzed past this office at a very lively rate, and the engineer, in order we suppose, to cool the excitement of his engine after the fast run, gave it a cooling drink at the tank before returning for the rest of the train.

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Updated 10 August 2022