passenger car in the picture
is 2nd class Pullman-built coach 300, in which most of the passengers
died, due to scalding steam from the locomotive boiler. The remaining
three (not five) passenger cars are still upright
behind the coach. The express-baggage car has run past the inverted
tender and derailed behind the photographer, without fatalities.
the papers reported that eight died in this wreck, the
total subsequently appears to have risen to ten. This
was effectively the end of racing between the CPR and CAR,
although on 17 July 1901, the largest 4-4-2 Atlantic was tested
over a measured mile at 92.75 mph. However the benefits of this speed
were apparently never reflected in running time to Montreal.
also may have been the last service for the almost brand new
Pullman-built car 300, which, although repaired, was
apparently destroyed in the Elgin Street car shop fire of 21
March 1902 and never again appeared on the roster.
Here is a newspaper account:
Eight dead in wreck.
Ottawa Aug. 9. The
train, which should have arrived here at noon today, jumped the track
St. Polycarpe Junction and Fireman Geo. McCuaig and a sectionman and a
class passenger, whose name cannot be ascertained, were killed.
It is supposed that the train jumped the track at the switch.
Engineer Orr was slightly injured and five passengers more or less
The accident was the first since the inception of the road and General
Manager Chamberlain was at a loss to imagine the cause of it.
The track at St. Polycarpe is as level as a floor and there are no
ditches. The track is
said to be about the best piece of road on the system and is
constructed with 73 pound steel rails. The fast express from Ottawa
to Montreal, which leaves the Central Depot at 8.40 passed over
the same track ten minutes before the ill fated express, crossing the
Montreal train at Coteau Junction.
The wreck train left Montreal at 9.40 o'clock and was due at Ottawa at
12.10. It was the fast express and was made up of a baggage
a second class, a first class, two parlour cars, a sleeper and the
Intercolonial parlour car.
Five of the cars left the track, the Intercolonial car and the sleeper
being the two rear cars remained on the rails.
So far as learned, the baggage car, the second class and the engine
were piled together in a heap. All the passengers that were
injured were in the
second class car.
The news spread around town with wonderful rapidity, and the most
exaggerated reports were prevalent.
Hundreds of people kept the telephones ringing and called at the
station to get news.
Friends of the excursionists, who went to Ste. Ann de Beaupre, were
especially anxious as it was
feared that some of the victims were on the train.
The special train with pilgrims to
Ste. Anne de Beaupre was shortly behind the regular at the
time of the wreck. It was due about two o'clock, but
it will not likely reach here before six o'clock.
Within an hour after the wreck, six doctors were on the scene attending
to the injured.
As the news of the accident spread
around the city people flocked down to the Central Depot
to await the arrival of the special train sent out to convey the
passengers to the city. Many had friends on board and were
extremely anxious to hear whatever news was going. Very
satisfactory, however, could be obtained, as the operators
at the wires were, according to the rules, forbidden to impart any
The killed so far as identified are O'Connor, Rochleau and Roach.
Later - the identified so far are:
Joseph Rochleau and daughter, of Champlain Street, Montreal.
Stairs, Ottawa. Wilson O'Connor, Ottawa.
The fatally injured are Nellie Ryan, Aridget Ryan and Ellen McDougall
of Maniwaki and Mrs. Jos Rochleau of Montreal.
Most of the dead and injured were pilgrims returning from Ste. Anne de