Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1907, January 30 - Head on collision between eastbound and westbound Imperial Limited trains at Renfrew,  2 injured

Ottawa Journal 30 January 1907
Imperial Limiteds, East and West Bound Crash together at Renfrew.

A bad smash up within three hundred yards of the C.P.R. station took place at 3.30 o'clock this morning.
The eastbound Imperial Limited was two hours late and had been placed in a siding to await the crossing of the Imperial Limited going west.
It seems that the switch had been left open and the westbound Imperial Limited express dashed into the train in the siding.  The result was that the two engines No. 896 on the eastbound and No. 753 on the westbound were telescoped.  The two mail cars and one baggage car were wrecked.
Fireman McKnight on the westbound had his legs badly smashed and Engineer Ryan on the east-bound train was badly scalded. They were immediately removed to the Victoria Hospital, and early this afternoon were reported to be progressing favorably.
Fortunately none of the passengers on the two trains were seriously hurt, though some complained of being considerably shaken. Terror raigned for a time, and the hissing of the steam and the glowing coals of the disabled locomotives made a terrifying scene. The passengers, however, were soon satisfied by the officials of the trains and nothing serious had resulted.
A gang was at once set to work to clear away the debris, with the result that the through traffic was not impeded in the slightest.
At 1 o'clock to-day the work of pulling the two engines apart was begun.
It was learned on enquiry at the Victoria Hospital that Fireman McKnight, had sustained internal injuries. With regard to Engineer Ryan it was stated that this was his first trip east.

Renfrew, Ont.Jan 30. - W.J. McKnight. 65 Anderson Street, Ottawa and John Ryan, also of Ottawa are in the General Hospital here badly injured as the result of a head on collision between the east and west bound Imperial Limited trains on the C.P.R. at 3.40 o'clock this morning.
The accident was due to a misplaced switch but who set it the wrong is a mystery the officials are trying to unravel now. The two engines were telescoped and two mail and two baggage cars on each train were badly smashed. None of the passengers were hurt beyond a severe shaking up or minor bruises.
Traffic was disorganized, but not completely interrupted and by 1 o'clock the two disabled engines had been separated.
The eastbound train, which was two hours late, was standing on the siding waiting to allow the westbound, also late to pass. The switch was apparently all right, but it was not, and the westbound train which was travelling at considerable speed, crashed into the other.
The engineer, J. Wilson, and the fireman, W. J. McKnight, did not see the open switch until too late. Wilson appllied the emergency brakes, but by then the accident was inevitable. He stuck to his engine and by a miracle was not injured.
McKnight tried to jump, but was caught between the engine and tender and had his right leg badly crushed. His condition is regarded as serious, the doctors being unable yet to ascertain whether the arteries have been ruptured or not.
John Ryan was the engineer on the east-bound train, with fireman Bonsall. They jumped, but Ryan was caught and badly scalded about the face, hands and right leg. He is also in serious condition at the hospital.
Word was at once sent to Ottawa and Chalk River and help sent. Wrecking crews and other engines and cars were at once hurried from both places.
Mr. H. B. Spencer arrived from Ottawa early in the morning and at once took charge of operations. The passengers were detained about five hours and then forwarded in either direction.
Drs. Murphy and Connolly was summoned to the scene and arrived within half an hour of the accident. They had the injured men at once removed to the hospital after treating then temporarily. The escape of the others on the engines and the mail and baggage clerks is regarded as remarkable.
The engines, 753 and 896, were badly smashed and the property loss to the company will be considerable.
Mr. McKnight, who was 22 years of age and unmarried, lives with his parents at 65 Anderson St., Ottawa. He has been for several years in the employ of the C. P. R. His father came to Renfrew this morning to see him and convey him to Ottawa, if possible.

Kemptville Weekly Advance  7 February 1907

A head on collision occurred at Renfrew station early Wednesday morning of last week, between two passenger trains known as the Winnipegs. The east-bound Imperial limited, No. 96, was standing in the siding when the west-bound Imperial No. 97 crashed into it. The switch leading to the main line up which the west-bound train was approaching had, by some reason or other been left open and the result was the incoming train crashed into the waiting one. The engines were locked in tight embrace and their cabs were smashed. The mail cars on the standing train were telescoped.. The mail car on the east train was smsshad into kindling wood. Fortunately the mail clerk was not on board or he would have been instantly killed. The passengers escaped without injury, except for a shaking up. The train crews and mail clerks escaped by jumping, except an engineer of one and a fireman of the other. One had a leg broken and the other was badly scalded. The injured men were Fireman W. J. McKnight and Engineer John Ryan, both of Ottawa.
On Sunday afternoon a train consisting of the disabled engines and and cars passed through the Junction here, on their way to the repair shops at Montreal. The cars had the sides knocked out, while the cabins of the engines were knocked up sideways. The whole train looked as if it had been struck by some terrific force.

CSTM Matt-3267-71.

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