Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1902, July 25 - Toronto Express collides with freight cars left on the main track at Smiths Falls, no injuries

Ottawa Journal 25 July 1902

Smiths Falls, 25 July.  The Toronto express going west, plunged into a number of empty freight cars on the main track, while approaching the station here today.  The locomotive was derailed and partially demolished, the baggage car and second class cars also leaving the rails, but not being badly injured.
None of the trainmen or passengers were injured.

Kemptville Telegram 31 July 1902

Accident at Smiths Falls.
No, 3 C.P.R.Express from Montreal Crashes Into Some Freight Cars.

No. 3 C.P.R. express, due here at 1.04 p.m., pitched into some freight cars Friday, just as she was nearing the depot.
Engineer John Hartney was in charge of the express engine, and his fireman was Mr. John Muldoon. Both escaped without iujury, but they had a close call.
The engine was badly damaged, and three box cars, were splintered to atoms. The track was torn up for about fifty feet, and for a time the wreck looked like a yery serious affair.
The baggage car was derailed, as was also the engine. The baggage was placed in another car, a new engiue supplied and the train proceeded on its way without much delay, though No. 4 express from Toronto, due at 3:38, was delayed about an hour.
From what we can learn the accident was caused by leaving several freight cars standing on the main line, instead of lifting them with the yard engine and placing them clear of the main line. The loss is roughly estimated at $3,000
That the accident was not more disastrous, and that it was not attended by a great loss of life, is simply astonishing, if not miraculous. No. 3 express and the passenger train from Ottawa arrive here at the same hour, aud they are generally sharp on time, frequently pulling iuto the depot together.
There was quite a number of freight cars on the line, and when the engine of No. 3 struck them, three of them were smashed and the others started up the track at the rate of about sixty miles an hour. The engine that takes No. 3 on west was standing in the usual place, a short distance west of the depot, and there is what is called a cut-off to allow the incoming express engine to pass the relieving engine. The runaway cars took the cut-off, but, fortunately, the train from Ottawa, had already pulled in and come to a standstill. Had this train been a few seconds late it  would almost certainly have met the flying freight cars and the result can be more easily imagined than described.
A remarkable feature of the accident was that Mrs. Hartney, a mother of Driver Hartney was sitting in a doorway watching the approach of the train on which her son was engineer, and when she saw the mishap she nearly went into hysterics. When the popular driver appeared before her a few minutes later, her joy was inexpressible. - Smith's Falls World

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