Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1924, April 6 - Landslide Blocks Gatineau Line.

Ottawa Citizen  7 April 1924

Special Train Brought In Part of Incoming Passengers. Others In on Regular at 2.45 a.m.
A washout of a section of the roadbed of the C.P.R,. Gatineau line, following a landslide, resulted in more than one hundred passengers on the incoming Gatineau train, which was due to arrive at the Union station at 9.15 last night having to remain at Kirks Ferry, and other points between Chelsea and Tenaga, and, about fifty others arriving in the city by a special train at one o'clock this morning.
In addition to the passengers who came in by the C.P.R., Special, many others who tramped more than two miles into Chelsea engaged taxicabs to bring them to the city. The regular train, which was blocked by the landslide and washout, stayed on a siding at Kirks Ferry. Some of the passengers slept on the stalled train, which reached the city early this morning when the line was repaired.
The landslide, which occurred about two and a half miles north of Chelsea station, and some distance south of Tenaga station, occurred some time after four o'clock yesterday afternoon, and after the slide had taken place a mountain stream poured down and undermined and washed out a section of the roadbed.
Track Undermined.
The landslide effectually blocked the track for about twenty-five feet, in some places being from one to two feet in height, and covering the tracks with earth, rock, and gravel. After the slide had been removed by section men it was found that the roadbed had been undermined by the water and it was considered unsafe to attempt to take the train over it.
Advised by long distance telephone of the slide, the C.P.R. sent up a snow plow to clear the tracks, but this effort failed. Later a special train was made up and sent to Chelsea, which place it left shortly after midnight, reaching Ottawa at one a.m. today.
When the regular train was blocked the passengers decided for themselves whether or not they would remain on the regular train and go back to Tenaga and Kirks Ferry, or face the two mile walk through the rain, to reach Chelsea. Aided by flashlights which some of the party fortunately carried, and with only a few umbrellas to keep off the elements, a party of about fifty made the trip toward Chelsea, and boarded the special. Others not caring to wait for the departure of the special, telephoned to the city and had motor cars go to meet them.
Anxiety In City.
Passengers on the stalled train became anxious as it was seen that the repairing of the roadbed would take some hours, and had considerable difficulty in advising relatives in the city as to their plight, so that there was considerable anxiety for a time as to what had happened them.
The passengers who did not care to face the two-mile walk along the tracks to Chelsea, either slept aboard the regular train or found shelter in farm houses, or at the hotel at Kirk's Ferry.
The landslide and the washout is stated to have been due to the rainfall of Saturday night and yesterday.
Train Was Held.
At the C. P. R. offices this morning, it was stated that the landslide and the washout had first been detected by members of the section gang in the regular performance of their duty and word was sent ahead to hold the train at Kirk's Ferry. The stalled train was in charge of Engineer G. O'Leary and Conductor D. Woolley, both of Ottawa.
At 2 o'clock this morning the local offices or the C. P. R. announced that the track had been cleared of obstructions, the washout repairs. [sic] The stalled train reached Ottawa at 2.45 a.m. It was also further announced that the regular train schedule would be in operation today.

Bruce Ballantyne writes October 2020
This incident would have happened along the old route that was replaced with the building of the two dams on the Gatineau River near Chelsea. No doubt the same problem as elsewhere along the line - clay!

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Updated 3 October 2020