Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1903, September 16 - Lord Strathcona's train derailed at Ottawa CPR., M&O sub., no injuries

Note the two accounts differ in the name of the CPR engineer

Ottawa Citizen 17 September 1903

Strathcona Special
Engine left the rails and plunged madly.
Sir Donald's car, the Cornwall, however remained upon the tracks - the High Commissioner and party went on to Montreal.

Perhaps it did not want to leave town without seeing the fair, perhaps the rails spread, perhaps the switch was open but the fact remains that C. P. R. engine number 553 which pulled out of Central Station for Montreal yesterday at about 6 p.m. left the track went about 250 ft from Laurier a bridge and after plowing madly through ballast and ties stopped within about 16 feet of one of the bridge trestles. The engine was pulling a special consisting of a baggage and the special car Cornwall, bearing Lord Strathcona and party, who were on the return journey to Montreal. The Cornwall did not to leave the track and engine number 379 which had just arrived from Pembroke took it down the line, Lord Strathcona and party being only delayed for a short time. Nobody was hurt.

Engine number 553 is a heavy cross compound, six coupled locomotive which was once used in pulling the Imperial Limited. Her left-hand drivers were sunk about 18 inches into the track and it took nearly 12 hours to get her on the rails again. The main line was not blocked and traffic was not delayed in any way.

Last night nobody seemed to know with any degree of certainty the cause of the accident. Engineer Laurier said there was nothing on the track, the switch was as it should have been and he was going at the usual rate of speed. The most probable theory is that instead of taking the switch one of the wheels of the locomotive mounted the wrong rail and through the whole gearing off. The appearance of the track justifies this explanation.

Ottawa Journal  17 September 1903

The Aooident was not Serious and High, Commissioner's Car Kept Track.
Some unknown agency yesterday evening derailed the C. P. R. engine hauling the private car Cornwall, with Lord Strathcona on board, Juat as It was leaving the Central depot on its way to Montreal at 6.25.

The engine waa No. 553. a cross compound, snd was in charts of Engineer E. Sayer at the time of the accident. No on was hurt and Lord Strathcona perhaps the most unconcerned of the lot was only delayed an hour in his departure.

Mr. Mehan, the Canada Atlantic train maater.was standing alongside of the track about 260 yards north of the Laurier bridge end right at the cross over when the engine dropped off. This morning he said that the switch was positively in proper position snd so far a he could see there was absolutely no reason for the engine leaving the track. It was lucky that she had not got up much speed, for as it was the engine dug her nose into the track and plowed it up for over a hundred yards. No on was hurt and the engin was not at all damaged.

The cars did not leave the track and as soon as the C. P. R. could get. an engine around from the Union Depot round-house tbey were pulled back and got under way again.
The accident did not delay the trains, although it blocked one track. By three o'clock thla morning the engine had been set back on the rails and the track cleared up.

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Updated 30 July2020