Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1901, August 27 - Two freight trains collide at Gananoque, GTR, two fatalities

Kingston Daily News 27 August 1901

Trainmen Killed
A Terrible Railway Accident Resulting in the Death of Engineer Meron and Brakeman Stone A Fast Train Signalled Would Not Stop
Crashed Into A Train
The Body of Stone Was Found Near the Tender
The Engineer’s Body
At One O’Clock the Corpse was Under the Engine - Wrecking Crews at Work - G.T.R. Tracks Were Completely Blocked - Inquest to be Held.

(Special to the News.)
Gananoque, Ont., Aug. 27. - This morning at 2:30 a fatal accident occurred at the Thousand Island junction, when two freight trains collided.
A freight train, which was just pulling into the station, on the down track, backed over the cross-over to get clear of No. 8 Eastern flyer, when about half way across, a fast train was seen coming into the station at a great rate of speed. The night operator had signal boards against the incoming train. The brakeman and conductor on down freight, both signalled her, but their signals were apparently unnoticed by her crew.
When within 60 feet, the emergency brake was applied, but too late, to check her great speed, and she crashed into the down train. Engineer Meron, and Brakesman Stone, were both killed. The body of the latter was found near the tender of the engine, while that of the former was found just where he sat on engine, which was lying on its side. He was apparently killed instantaneously, and at 1:15 his body was still under the engine. As the wrecking crews (three in number) had been unable to reach it owing to the debris, which blocked the way. The up and down breaks [sic] were completely blocked, as was the line of the T.I. Railway, which was first cleared, and the G.T. Railway joined rails with the west and east of the station to enable passenger trains to get through.
Coroner Shaw, Lansdowne, empannelled a jury at 11, which was adjourned until this evening.
The fireman saved himself by jumping.
Ten cars of merchandise and flour were scattered. The flour was a complete loss, but the merchandise was slightly damaged.
No blame is attached to the G.T.R. or any of its employees.
Trains were running again at 7:30.
The engineer was married about three years ago to Miss Mary Smiley, daughter of Mr. Samuel Smiley, 56 Rideau street, this city. Three short weeks ago Engineer Meron sent his wife to Kingston to visit her parents. To-day was the time that he was to return to Kingston to spend a couple of days with his wife and two small children, but, alas, instead of the joy of husband and family meeting, comes the cruel message to a loving wife that she is a widow. Mr. Meron was brought up at Trenton, being born about 28 years ago. He has been nine years in the service of the Grand Trunk Railway. Last October he was promoted to the position of driver. He leaves a young wife and two small children to mourn his loss. Mr. Samuel Smiley and a number of other railway men left for Gananoque Junction this afternoon to look after the remains of the unfortunate man.

Kingston Daily British Whig 17 August 1901

Two Men Were Killed
The Orders Were Against What Was Done

A despatch from Montreal says: A fatal collision took place on the Grand Trunk railway at Thousand Island station, early this morning, between two freight trains. Charles Merron, an engineer, and E. Stone, a brakeman, were killed. The accident occurred at 2:45 o’clock this morning. An east-bound freight was backing over on the west-bound track, the semophore and train order being both at danger, when a west-bound freight ran into the east-bound train, four cars from the engine, derailing the engine and seven loaded and three unloaded cars, killing the engineer and brakeman. The fireman escaped.

Additional Particulars.

Gananoque, Aug. 27.- At 2:50 o’clock this morning at the Thousand Island junction, on the G.T.R., a collision occurred between two freight trains. An east-bound freight on the down track was crossing to the up track to give a clear track to No. 8 train, the eastern flyer. When about half way on the crossover a freight was seen coming on the west-bound track, or up track. The night agent had the signal board against her, but this apparently was noticed by the engineer or crew on the west-bound freight train, as the morning was very foggy. The conductor of the east-bound freight signalled the approaching train, which was coming at a great rate of speed. The brakeman was also signalling the west-bound train. Neither of these signals were answered until the west-bound was about 100 feet away when engineer Merron applied the emergency brakes but it was too late. He crashed into the east-bound train, demolishing ten cars containing flour and merchandise. The merchandise was not very badly damaged. The flour was strewn all over the ground. It blocked the up and down tracks, also the Thousand Island railway track, which was quite close to the G.T.R. at this point.
The Thousand Island railway track was cleared at 7:30 o’clock. The rails were joined to the G.T.R. at each end of the wreck, to enable the trains to pass. Dr. Shaw, coroner, Lansdowne, held a postmortem examination at 11 a.m., when an adjournment was made until this evening.

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