Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1924, December 24 - CNR Transcontinental train No. 1 is derailed locomotive and seven cars at Woodlawn, CNR Beachburg sub.
Minor injuries to engine crew.

Ottawa Journal Wednesday 24 december 1924

C. N. R. Engineer Gauvreau and  Fireman Deevey, of Ottawa, Only Ones Injured.
Passengers On C N. R. Train for West Brought Back To Ottawa.
The engine, tender and express car of Canadian National Railway Montreal - Vancouver train No. 1, proceeding westward and passing through Ottawa at 1.35 o'clock this morning, were derailed and toppled into the ditch a short distance beyond Woodlawn, Ont., 28 miles west of Ottawa, at 2.45 a.m. A broken rail was the cause of the derailment. The engine crew consisting of Engineer Alexandre Gauvreau and Fireman Howard, Deevey, both qf Ottawa, had a most fortunate escape from death. Engineer Gauvreau fractured both wrists, and Fireman Deevey was shaken up.  Both jumped from the cab. None of the 125 passengers were  injured. The accident occurred in the-Capreol division.
Crew Works Quickly.
The scene of the accident was one-half mile.west of Woodlawn, and a few miles west of Fitzroy Harbor, and two miles south of the Ottawa river. Leaving Ottawa the train proceeded westerly by way of Rldeau Junction. Beyond Fitzroy Harbor the line enters Quebec province, passes close to Norway Bay, and again enters Ontario over a bridge near Roche Fendue Rapids on the Ottawa river. Woodlawn is in Torbolton township at the extreme northwesterly point of Carleton County.
That the derailment was not attended by more serious consequences was due largely to the quick action of the engine crew.
Ran Along Ties
As aoon as Engineer Gauvreau and Fireman Deevey noticed that something was going wrong, they quickly applied the emergency brakes. The engine, tender, express car and six coaches ran along the ties a dlstance of about 450 feet after jumping the track. Just as the engine was coming to stop, it toppled over along with the tender and express car. The the coaches remained upright, while the sleeping cars did not leave the rails. Although the track was torn up for a dlatance of about five rail lengths many passengsr were not even aware that an accident had occur-red.
Brought Back to Ottawa.
Train No. 1, consisting of 12 coaches, was unable to proceed immediately on its journey. A special coach train sent out from Ottawa to the scene of the accident left Woodlawn at 9.53 a.m.for Union Station, with the sleeping, dining and observation cars in two (sic tow?). On reaching Ottawa, at 11 a.m., another engine, tender and express car were attached to the transcontinental train, a fresh engine crew placed in charge, and the train started on its journey, being re-routed via Renfrew subdivision and North Bay.
Fractured Two Arms.
Immediately on the arrival of the special train in Ottawa, Engineer Gauvreau was taken in a waiting ambulance to St. Luke's hospital.  An X-Ray examination revealed that he had suffered a fracture of both arms near the wrists. Dr. George S. McCarthy, 110 Lisgar street, who is attending the iInjured man, said his wrists were much swollen.
It was at first thought that Englneer Gauvreau had only been slightly injured. He broke his wrists in landing heavily on the roadbed when he jumped from the engine cab just as the engine toppled over. Fireman Deevey, who also Jumped at the last moment, slightly injured his right hand.
Crew Came From Ottawa.
Tha fact that the engine had been brought to an almost complete stop before it toppled over the embankment was responsible for the absence of casualties. The train was travelling at an average speed of about 33 miles an hour at the.time of the derailment.
The other members of the train crew were Conductor Clifford Cook, of Ottawa; Brakemen A. McDonald, also of Ottawa, and J. O'Connell, 475 Nelson street, and Baggageman Robt C. Butler, 3 Dorothy Avenue. Baggageman Butler was not injured. They all proceeded west with the train when the journey was resumed.
A wrecking and repair crew wa quickly despatched to the scene of the accident, and It was stated officlally that the damaged road bed would be repaired and the torn rails replaced in  time for regular traffic to be resumed over the road by four o'clock thls afternoon.
The Official Report.
Mr. C. O. Bowker, General Manager Canadian National Railways issued the following statement from Regional headquarters this morning: "Train No. 1, operating between Montreal and Vancouver, was derailed at Woodlawn, a point 28 miles west of Ottawa, at 2.55 o'clock this morning. The engine and tender and seven cars left the rails. All remained upright with the. exceptlon of the engine and express car. The sleeoing cars did not leave the rails. No passengers were hurt, and only two of the train craw were slightly hurt.
"Engineer Oauvreau and Fireman Deevey. of Ottawa, sustained slight bruises. The cause of the derailment was a broken rail. A speclal coach train was sent from Ottawa, and left Woodlawn at 9.55 this morning with the sleeping cars, diner and observation car and other coaches. returning to Ottawa terminal,. where train was detoured via Renfrew sub-division and North Bay for the west".

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Updated 13 March 2018