Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1884, June 9 - Collision at Papineauville, Canadian Pacific, 1 killed several injured.

Ottawa Citizen 10 June 1884

Yesterday afternoon a collision took place on the Eastern division of the Canadian Pacific Railway which resulted in the loss of life of one of the employees of the road, and injuries more or less severe to several of the other hands on board.  So far as could be learned last night from enquiries at the company's office here it appears the collision took place between North Nation Mills and Papineauville stations.  For some time past the company has been running special trains for the conveuance of square timber from North Bay and Chalk River to Papineauville where it is dischanged and rafted.  These trains return northward light.  It was one of these trains returning light which collided with the train with the results already  mentioned.  The unfortunate man who lost his life was named Coulson, an Englishman only recently arrived in this country.  His position with the company was that of engine cleaner.  As the train works for a week at a time on this section there are attached to it two sleeping cars for the men, besides a conductor's van.  As Coulson's work has to be performed at night, he takes his rest during the day and at the time of the collision was asleepin the van.  Barney Morgan, fireman on the up train, ws the most severely hurt of those injured, having his leg fractured.  no. 1 express which passed up a few hours before the freight special, carried a white signal, indicating that another train, a special, was following.  This is equal to instructions to conductors of trains going in the other direction not to leave their stations until the rear train passes, unless receiving orders to ignore the white signal.  As it is the futy of conductors of freight trains to stop at all stations unless otherwise ordered, in which case the (sic) merely slow up, it is difficult to understand how the train passed Thurso and North North Nation Mills unless such instructions were given.  Whether such instructions were given or not our reporter could not ascertain last night.  The down train was in charge of conductor Goulder, and the up special in charge of Conductor Cardiff.  Besides the loss of life and ijnury to the hands, both locomotives were considerably damaged and several of the cars were thrown off the track.  The fact of the accident was immediately telegraphed to Ottawa and a special wrecking train with Dr. H.P. Wright on board, was at once despatched to the scene of the mishap, to repair the damage done and look after the wants of the injured men.  Mr. C.W. Spencer, Assistant Superintendent, and Mr. Thomas Hay, Trainmaster, went with it. The debris was promptly removed from the rails and track placed in such condition as to enable all the passenger trains both east and west to pass the place, and reach their destinations on time.  It would be unfair at the present state of affairs to impute the blame on any particular employee, but a vigorous investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the accident will at once be made by the company, whose leading officers spare no pains to avoid the possibility of such occurrences taking place.

Almonte Gazette 20 June 1884

Collision. - yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), a couple of hours after St. Paul's Church excursion train passed Papineauville on its way to Montreal, a collision occurred between a freight and a ballast train at the former place. One man was killed and four others injured. Neglect of orders on the part of the train men is said to be the cause of the accident.

Ottawa Citizen Monday June 26, 1884

The Canadian Pacific authorities have concluded the investigation concerning the late fatal accident at Papineauville and in consequence of which the station agents at North Nation Mills and Buckingham have been dismissed from the Company’s service.  Conductor Goulder of the the train has also been discharged.

Ottawa Citizen Friday June 27, 1884.  The agents discharged were at North Nation Mills and Thurso.

Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updated 9 October 2022