Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

 1894, October 27 - 18 sheep killed in a derailment at Lebreton Street, Ottawa on the OA&PS.

Note - the accounts of the papers differ considerably in the details.

From the Ottawa Free Press Monday 29 October 1894

In the annals of the Parry Sound railway Saturday night's accident will be chronicled as the first that has occurred on that line.  From information given it appears that a freight and a construction train were backing into the Ottawa yards together near Preston street.  The steam having been shut off in the engine of the construction train, the drawbar uniting both became dislodged at one end, and falling, caught in one of the ties.  The freight engine continued in motion and as a consequence a merchandise car to which the bar was attached, was raised and canted to one side.  The other train, moving up, caught the misplaced car and threw it, as well as three other cattle cars, to the side of the road.  In the latter were some 300 head of sheep.  As soon as the doors were opened these scampered out, some of them falling into a pool of water, where they drowned.  Eighteen in all were wounded or killed.  All Saturday night and part of yesterday the hoisting engine was at work replacing the wrecked cars and last night the road was clear of all obstruction.  The total loss will not reach more than $600 and officials consider the company very lucky in view of the nature of the accident.

From the Ottawa Journal Monday 29 October 1894

Eighteen Sheep Killed-  Six Hundred Were on the Train - The Accident Occurred Saturday Night
There  was a rather big smash-up Saturday night on the Parry Sound road at Le Breton street. Five box cars, and seven flat cars came to grief. Eighteen sheep were killed and considerable other damage was done.
The accident occurred at 10 minutes past ten Saturday night.   A way freight from up the line was the victim. The train consisted of 44 cars, 24 being flat cars and 20 box cars. Two engine were attached, one in front and one behind. The box car were attached to the front engine. No. 4, and the flat cars followed.
Just how the accident happened is unknown. It is supposed, however, that the train broke apart when coming down the heavy grade at Preston st. crossing and that the hind part then smashed into the front part. At all events the train came together with a tremendous crash.
Five of the box car were thrown off the track and very badly damaged. Heavy oak "stringers" were snapped and heavy iron bars twisted into all shapes. All the cars were jammed together more or less and a number of them were wrenched from their trucks. The "jam" extended from near Division street, passed Rochester and Division to Le Breton.


Among the box car destroyed were three loaded with sheep. In all 600 animals were aboard, but only 18 were killed. As soon as the accident happened the train hands broke into the sheep cars and liberated the sheep. They went wild through the country. All were recovered but 15. It may be said that a number of the dead sheep were sold at prices ranging from 40 cent to a dollar apiece. No one was injured.
Immediately after tbe accident a large number of men were set at work on the wreck. They worked all Saturday night and all day Sunday until 5:20 p.m.and succeeded in clearing the track in time to avoid any interference with the ordinary traffic. It was fortunate for the company that the accident happened on Saturday night instead of on a week night.
Two ballast train coming down tho line were delayed beyond Preston st. by the accident until the track was cleared.
An immense crowd visited the scene of the accident yesterday. All trains were running O K this morning.

From the Ottawa Citizen 29 October 1894

Sheep were the victims.
Late on Saturday night (27/10) as a ballast train of the car was backing to a water tank in Rochesterville, a couple of ballast cars became detached from the train and running down the grade between Preston and Le Breton streets run into a cattle train on one of the sidings. The first car of the stock train was broken up and 18 sheep were killed. There were 250 sheep in all on the train. Two ballast cars were derailed. A wrecking crew worked the remainder of the night and yesterday forenoon the line was clear again.

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Updated 18 March 2019