Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1894, September 24 - Derailment at Britannia, Canadian Pacific Railway.

There was a wholesale butchery of cattle on the C.P.R. track at Britannia at an early hour this morning through the derailing of a stock train from the Northwest.
The train was composed of about twenty-five cars which were filled with more than three hundred head of cattle bound for the English stock market.
As the train was passing through Britannia at twelve minutes past three this morning the engineer noted a cow lying on the crossing only a few yards west of the station.  He whistled several times but the animal refused to move, and as the train was travelling at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, it could not be controlled in time to avert striking the animal. 
When the engine struck the cow, instead of being knocked off the track, the animal got under the cow catcher.  It was dragged along under the engine for about one hundred yards rolled up in a ball.  Then the cow got before the trucks of the first car of the train and soon the front trucks of this car were wrenched off, and the car and seventeen others that followed filled with their living freight were thrown into the ditch.
The scene which followed is described by an eye witness as appalling.
The groans of the dying cattle could be heard fully a mile away.  So pitiful were their moans that they caused one to shudder.  Many of the cattle were killed outright, their bodies being horribly mutilated.  Others were pinned beneath the timbers of the wrecked train in dreadful suffering.
The train hands and those in charge of the cattle had nothing else to do than to cut the throats of these animals.
Other cattle that were injured beyond hope of recovery were killed on the spot that their flesh might be bought by the city butchers and thus the owner of them recover something that he would not have done had they been left to die.
- - -
City butchers informed.  Track cleared shortly after one o'clock this afternoon.
255 head of cattle belonging to Mr. Gordon Ironside, Calgary and three carloads of forty-three belonging to Mr. J. McMullen of Prince Albert.  McMullen's shipment was on the rear of the train and was not affected.  Of the Ironside shipment, twenty-two were killed, four butchered and three disabled.
The locomotive, No. 282, was rerailed with jacks.

From the Ottawa Journal 24 September 1894:

LAC PA 106186

LAC PA 27291
Both photos William Morell Harmer collection

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