|Chesterville Record 4 May 1916
The night fast express from Toronto to Montreal in charge of
Conductor Morley Munro, an old Chesterville boy, was wrecked yesterday
morning about 6.30, a couple of hundred yards east of Winchester
station, while passing through the yards. Almost miraculously
there was no one injured beyond a shaking up. The train consisted
of seven cars and the engine, the latter and the two following cars
passed over the point where the five following sleepers left the rails
and ploughed into the road bed between the eastbound and westbound
tracks. The trucks of all five cars were buried thoroughly in the
gravel and sand while the bodies of the cars were tilted at various
angles so as to block traffic on the westbound track. The delay
to traffic was very slight as the business siding parallelled the
blocked tracks and trains passed over it. The train is said to
have been going at about forty miles an hour but passengers report the
shock to have been unusually light.
The cause of the wreck is
reported to have been a broken rail, and it is alleged what might have
proved a similar wreck was averted only by the narrowest of margins in
the Chesterville yards a very short time ago by the vigilence of an
employee, who, through the generosity of the CPR has received what is
known as ten merit marks, valuable as a souvenir no doubtbut
hardlyrepresenting any amount of the loss saved to the company, and the
hand that bestowed them doubtless, can as easily nullify them.
It was just five minutes to one when the accident occurred.
west bound Soo train had left Montreal on time and was in charge of
Conductor McIntosh with Engineer M.J. Doherty and Fireman M.J.
Walsh. It was customary for freight trains to be moving back
forth between the Chaudiere and Sussex street and the freight in
question had arrived a short time before from Prescott and was to be
taken down to Sussex street.
From the account of the accident published at the time, it appears that
at the tower the freight hands had received orders to do some shunting
up to midnight and then go on a siding and allow the express to
pass, They mistook the time or forgot the order from the
and remained on the main line until it was too late.
Sharp on time the Soo express rounded the curve near the locomotive
sheds. It was then that the engineers of both trains saw what
going to happen. The exprss was travelling at a good rate of
speed while the freight was barely moving. The engineers and
firemen of both trains, seeing the inevitable, jumped for their lives
and escaped serious injury.
An instant later with an awful impact which could be heard a mile away,
the two trains came together. Engine No. 303 on the Soo was
large type and it simply ploughed through the smaller
Though the brakes were applied they were unable to arrest the velocity
of the swiftly moving coaches and in less time than it takes to tell it
the express and baggage cars and part of a colonial sleeper were
Thousands of people who went out the following morning witnessed a
hideous sight. Locked together with the smaller one underneath and
partly obscured were the two locomotives. In the rear was an
express car badly smashed and then the colonist car with its end stove
in. In the express section there was a conglomeration of
trunks, valises, parcels and mail bags all mixed together while the
cars were piled up in splinters.
Kemptville Weekly Advance 11 May 1916
EXPRESS TRAIN DERAILED
Broken Rail Throws Whole Train From Track - Marvellous Esape of Passengers.
May 4 While travelling at fifty miles an hour the eastbound C.P.R. fast
express struck a broken rail at Winchester station yesterday morning
and the whole train except the engine and baggage car was derailed. It
might have been one of the worst wrecks in the history of the C.P.R.,
but fortunately it was not attended by any very serious results, to
either passengers or rolling stock. There were all conditions, however,
for a great disaster - long train filled, four sleeping coaches, filled
with people, running at high speed, struck broken rail, and that there
was not a fearful toll of life seems miraculous. The reasons are said
to be that the engine got safely over the defective rail and did not
leave the track, and that when the coaches went off they went to the
left onto the double track roadbed instead of to the right, into the
ditch. Every coach left the rails but ploughed their way along the
roadbed until the engine was stopped, and not one of them turned
completely over. Eight hundred feet of the track was torn up, many of
the big steel rails being twisted like hair-pins, and ties were
cut to matchwood. The west bound track was also damaged for two or
three hundred feet, but that was the most serious damage done. When the
train was stopped all the coaches were tilted at a rakish angle, but
they were not badly damaged and not a passenger hurt. Two or three
slight scratches but that was all. The auxiliaries from Smiths Falls
and Montreal were rushed to the place and today all traces of the wreck
are pretty well cleared away.