Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1911, March 25 - Collision between a light engine and the Gatineau passenger train, Ottawa, Broad Street

Ottawa Journal 26 March 1911

What might easily have been a serious accident occurred at six o'clock last night at the Union depot, when engine 1259 backed down from the coal chutes and crashed into the Gatineau train.  Strangely enough no one was near the engine at the time, when it began to back on its own accord.  Engineers think the throttle must have been defective, allowing steam to enter the cylinders.  The runaway engine gained great headway and by the time it reached the depot on track 3 it had got considerable speed.
The Gatineau train was badly shaken up, its cowcatcher being smashed.  Fortunately none of the passengers received any injuries, except one woman who was thrown back on a seat sustaining a wrenched back.
The most sensational part of the incident was Engineer John Raymond's thrilling attempt to stop the runaway engine.  He saw the engine, 1259, start on its wild career, and knowing that the crew had left it for the day, preparatory to its being run into the roundhouse.  Raymond pluckily climbed on to the cowcatcher and tried to get into the cab to shut off the steam.  The window was tightly shut however, and so Raymond saw the only thing to do was to jump off again before the crash came.  He shouted to Engineer John  Holyoake of the Gatineau train, but he was busy watching the signals from Conductor J.A. Irvine at the rear and did not hear the warning.  The Gatineau crew luckily escaped anything more that a shock.
The passengers scrambled out after the crash, wondering what had happened.  The C.P.R officials will investigate the occurrence to see if anyone was to blame.

Kemptville Weekly Advance 6 April 1911

A most peculiar accident occurred at the Union Depot, Ottawa, last Friday evening, when engine 1259, which was standing at the local shutes out in the yards, suddenly started to back up at great speed and before anyone could reach it to shut off steam, it dashed into the front of the engine on the Gatineau train which was slowly backing into the station.  A remarkable part of the whole accident is that no one was near 1259 at the coal shutes. and no one was hurt.

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Updated 1 February 2022