|Ottawa Citizen 12 December 1931|
Ten Injured As Trains Collide Nearing Ottawa
Canadian National Crashes Into Rear of Canadian Pacific in Laurier Ave. Yards Last Night.
Four of Injured Are In Civic Hospital
Flin Flon Wrestler's Skull Fractured. Fire Chief Lemieux Hurt.
Ten persons, nine of them residents of Ottawa, were Injured about 9.15 o'clock last night in a rear end collision of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Montreal to Vancouver crack trains in the Laurier avenue yards.
Of the Injured, four are in the Civic Hospital, Victor Anderson wrestler, of Flin Flon, Manitoba, is the most seriously hurt, his skull being fractured. Fire Chief J. E. Lemieux of Ottawa is among those hurt and is confined to his home.
Fortunately the trains were travelling at a slow rate of speed as they entered the Laurier avenue yard, otherwise the list of injured might have been more lengthy. Three coaches of the Canadian Pacific train and two coaches and the engine of the Canadian National were damaged. The observation car of the Canadian Pacific was lifted off the tracks when the Canadian National engine struck it.
C. M. Pattie of Ottawa, brakeman of the Canadian Pacific train, who jumped from the rear platform of his train when the crash occurred was slightly injured, and was able to go to his home.
Victor Anderson, Wrestler, Flin Flon, Manitoba, fractured skull; in Civic Hospital.
Fire Chief J. E. Lemieui, Ottawa, slight cut and bruise to head and sprained shoulder.
Mrs. Francis Brown, 509 Bay street, badly injured shoulder and face Injuries; in Civic Hospital.
A. E. Corrigan. 301 Laurier avenue east, possibly three fractured ribs and injuries to shoulder, foot and head.
Hilton C. Hogarth, 124 Fourth avenue, slight shock.
Police Constable Thomas Emerson, Ottawa, head and hip injuries.
C. T. Burgess, C.N.R. trainman, 152 Glenora avenue, injurred shoulder; in Civic Hospital. ; Miss Edith Foster, 269 Slater street, face injuries and shock; in Civic Hospital.
Brakeman C. M. Pattie. 1250 Wellington street, bruises and shock.
John H. Morehouse, 123 Powell avenue, bruises and shock.
Both trains left Montreal at 7.15 o'clock last night. The Canadian Pacific was scheduled to arrive here at 9.15 o'clock, and the Canadian National at 9.16 o'clock. There is no rule, officials state, as to which train should enter the station first.
At Deep Cut, about a mile outside of the station, the trains leave their respective tracks at a switch and come in on the single main line, the Canadian Pacific entering the main Lne first last night. The Canadian National follows in on the line, and then at Laurier avenue bridge the trains are switched again to separate tracks.
It was between the switch and the Deep Cut and the switch at Laurier avenue bridge that the collision occurred. Engineer H. H. Legate of Ottawa. who was driving the Canadian National, was suddenly confronted with a blanket of steam from the Canadian Pacific train ahead of him. He apparently did not realize he was so near the train ahead of him. and before he could get his bearings his train had crashed into the rear of the other one.
Immediately there was confusion aboard both trains. Passengers were flung from their seats and those who were preparing to leave the trains as they were pulling into the station were thrown forcibly to the floors of the coaches.
Both trains were brought to an immediate stop and officials of both companies commenced checking up on the injured and seeing that they were properly cared for. Dr. F. W. MacKinnon attended most of those hurt. The injured in hospital were taken to the institution in motor cars furnished by the railway companies.
There were only two passengers in the observation car of the Canadian Pacific train. A. E. Corrigan and Hilton C. Hogarth. Mr. Corrigan was putting on his rubbers when the crash came. He was not thrown to the floor, but was struck by two chairs, which were hurtled from their positions by the force of the impact. Mr. Hogarth was standing in the car talking to Mr. Corrigan at the time of the crash, He was thrown along the aisle of the car and was struck by flying chairs.
In Coach Ahead.
The rest of the injured passengers were in the two coaches ahead of the observation car and were flung in various directions.
Just a minute or two prior to the crash there were about fifteen passengers in the observation car, but they went into the parlor car ahead and probably escaped more serious injury. Victor Anderson, whose skull was fractured, suffered this injury when he was thrown heavily against the arm of a chair.
Fire Chief Lemieux, who was returning from, Quebec, was in the smoking compartment of one of the first class coaches and as the train was nearlng the station got up to leave. He doesn't know what happened except that he was knocked unconscious.
G. T. Burgess, trainman on the Canadian National train, was injured. His shoulder was severely hurt and an X-ray Is being taken to ascertain the exact nature of the injury. According to Dr. MacKinnon, the injury is a very painful one.
An official Investigation of the crash was instituted last night and a report will be issued some time today.
Both trains left .for Vancouver last night after the damaged coaches had been replaced and another engine put on the Canadian National train. The C.P.R. left here at 10.40 o'clock and the C.N.R. at 11.05 o'clock, The Canadian Pacific train was in charge of Conductor J. A. Gamble, Ottawa, with. Engineer Frank Towsley, Ottawa. The Canadian National conductor was George Byers, Ottawa, with Engineer H. H. Legate.
Chief Knocked Out.
Fire Chief J. E. Lemieux of Ottawa, who was returning from the funeral of the late Fire Chief Donnelly of Quebec, told The Citizen that he was completely knocked out from the force of the collision.
"1 was in the smoking compartment of one of the first clas coaches about two cars from the rear of the CPR. train. As the train was nearlng the station, I got up to leave the compartment when the shock came. After that, I don't know what happened, .but when I came to my senses I found myself on the floor at the rear end of the corridor leading to the main part of the car. I had been knocked backwards the .whole length of the corridor. I must have hit my head against one of the partitions, for my forehead was bruised and the skin was cut. Fortunately my hurts are not serious and, except for the lump on my head and a slightly sprained shoulder caused by my fall, I expect to be all right In the morning. I feel good and sore at present though.
"When we got into the station I was treated by the doctor who examined my shoulder and applied iodine to the cut on my head. Among the others in the waiting room to which I was taken. I noticed two young ladies, one of whom had evidently had her teeth loosened, but no one appeared seriously hurt.
Struck by Chairs.
A. E. Corrigan, 301 Laurier avenue east, when interviewed by The Citizen last night stated that, be was returning to Ottawa on the CPR train from Montreal. "I was sitting in the observation car abouk two chairs from the front of the car when the accident occurred," said Mr. Corrigan. "I was talking to Mr. Hogarth and was in the act of putting on my overshoes. All the other passengers in the car, numbering about fourteen or fifteen, had left the observation car when the train was about a mile out from Ottawa to get their overcoats, etc in preparation to getting off at the station.
"I would have been out of the car too, if it had not been for the kind ness of the conductor in bringing me my coat and overshoes. He left them with me and returned to other parts of the train. I was sitting in the chair fastening my overshoe when the crash came. It was a lucky thing for me that I was not at the rear of the observation car, for if I had been I think I would have been killed outright, although I thought I was gone anyway. It all happened so suddenly that it was over in a minute.
"The force of the crash did not knock me off my chair, but I found myself with two chairs on top of me. I saw the engine coming through the rear of the coach, but the thing happened so suddenly that I was buried beneath the chairs before I knew what it was all about. The steam from the engine was so thick In the car that I could see nothing. Thinking that the car would take fire anytime I hurriedly threw the chairs off and made my way towards the front of the train. For an instant I thought I was gone, but I consider that I escaped very fortunately.
"The observation car was detached from the train following the crash and the rest of the train moved into the station. There I was brought into the station waiting room and Dr. MacKinnon looked at my injuries. I was then put into a taxi and taken to my home."
Mr. Corrigan is suffering from three possibly fractured ribs, injuries to his foot, shoulder and the side of his head. He is being attended by Dr. G. E. Grondin, the family physician. When seen by The Citizen Mr. Corrigan was sitting in the living room of his home after being examined by his doctor.
Hilton C. Hogarth, 124 Fourth avenue, who together with Mr. Corrigan, were the only occupants of the observation car at the time, said he was standing in the doorway of the smoking compartment having got up to get his coat. He had stopped to speak to Mr. Corrigan, who was sitting in a chair putting on his rubbers when he noticed through the rear windows of the car an approaching engine.
I thought it was getting pretty close," said Mr. Hogarth, "but I did not have any thought of a collision. looked away for a second or two when suddenly the crasn came and found myself face downwards on the floor of the car with the chairs on top of me. As I did not feel particularly hurt I soon picked myself up and found I had been thrown up the aisle of the car. There were no passengers sitting at the rear. If there had been they would have been killed. There was, however, a trainman on the steps but what happened to him I don't know. I have no injuries but am suffering slightly from shock.
"The damaged car was uncoupled and we came into the Union Station with the train."
Thrown Over Seats.
Still wondering what happened to him, Police Constable Thomas Emerson of the city force is at his home nursing a painfully injured hip and a bump on his head, results of the collision. He said that he was on the C.P.R. train in a coach next a sleeper and noticing that the train was about to pull into the station stood up and was putting on his coat and hat. "There was a crash and I must have been thrown over the seats to the end of the car," he said. Constable Emerson was stunned and could not recall what happened but thought that he must have struck his hip possibly against a door. Dr. F. W. MacKinnon later visited him at his home but Emerson made light of his injuries.
While officials stated that the cause of the accident was not known and would not be ascertained at least until an official inquiry is held it is understood that the C.P.R. train was hidden from the view of the engineer piloting the C.N.R. by a cloud of steam which extended about a hundred yards behind the rear of this train.
The large locomotive, in the crash, tore its way into the end of the observation car as far as the rear truck, ripping the steel body open as if it was constructed of cardboard. The car was then raised up off the truck onto the front of the locomotive. None of the passenger coaches on the C.N.R. train were derailed and were hauled into the station by another locomotive.
In the darkness there were few beyond the passengers and railway employes who were aware of the crash. No large crowd gathered around the scene of the wreck. As the aceident occurred about opposite the end of Cooper street where there are several tracks leading from the station to where the lines branch off at Echo drive, no railway tieup resulted.
Ottawa Journal 12 December 1931
Eleven Hurt in Collision as Parlour Car Telescoped Close to Union Station
C.N.R. Passenger Locomotive plows into rear of C.P.R. train, when smoke and fog obscure engineer's vision -.
Eleven persons, nine of them residents of Ottawa, were injured last night in a rear-end collision involving C.P.R and C.N.R fast trains from Montreal. The crash occurred shortly after nine o'clock about one-half mile from the Union Station and is attributed to heavy fog, smoke and steam. The C.N.R. train telescoped the parlour on the C.P.R. express and passengers were injured by being hurled from their seats.
Four in hospital.
The following is a complete list of injured, according to railway, medical and Hospital reports:
Both trains were due in Ottawa almost at the same time, the C.N.R.'s arriving time being 9.15 o'clock, while the C.P.R. express was due at 9.16. The trains had to use the main line to enter the terminal, when each would be diverted to its respective track.
How the accident happened was not announced by officials of both companies, but it was customary according to the statement of one of the train crews concerned, for the C.N.R. train being due in first, to enter the terminal first. Last night the C.P.R. train was ahead, and the engineer of the C.N.R. locomotive, not suspecting its presence, and unable to see its tail light, could not stop his heavy train before the collision occurred.
Fog blanketed the railway yards to thicken the darkness of the night, at the scene of the accident, and full visibility was further intensified by the fact that on the right of the incoming trains were long lines of coaches on sidings.
Preparing to leave.
The accident occurred as many of the passengers on both trains were just rising from their seats to don hats and coats in order to disembark at Union Station. The crash flung them against the sides of the cars and to the floor.
It was regarded as fortunate that no one was killed or more seriously hurt when the locomotive of the second train ploughed one third of the way through the rear of the steel parlour car.
After the accident both engine and parlour remained upright on the tracks, and the passengers were also spared the additional danger of fire, so frequently the result of railway smash-ups.
Aid for the injured was quickly rushed to the scene from Union Station, and some of the passengers were carried from the trains to the stationmaster's office in wheelchairs.
Notified at his office of the collision, Dr. F.W. McKinnon, 323 Metcalfe Street, rushed to the scene and rendered first aid to the injured. He accompanied the four whose conditions were serious enough to require hospital treatment and at the Civic Hospital superintended the taking of X-ray plates in cases of suspected fractures or internal injuries.
P. C. Thomas Emerson of Ottawa Police Force, who was returning to Ottawa after a visit to Montreal, was hurled against the side of the car with such force that he was knocked unconscious and was assisted to a chair by fellow passengers. Despite his severe injuries, the constable declined to be examined at the Union Station, and was helped to a taxi and driven home.
When visited shortly after midnight at his home, 15 Adelaide Street, P.C. Emerson complained of a severe headache and a wrenched hip. "I was just getting up to put on my hat and coat," he stated, "when the crash came and flung me against the side of the car. I must have been knocked out cold for the next thing I know, someone was helping me to my feet."
Victor (Axel) Anderson, professional wrestler of Flin Flon, Manitoba, who was passing through Ottawa on his way to Northern Ontario, where he is scheduled to be a principal in a number of bouts was dashed to the floor of the car in which he was standing, and landed with terrible force on his head. A little dazed he attempted to make his way to the station waiting-room intending to leave the capital on a later train for Northern Ontario.
Just as he reached the doors leading into the interior of the station, Anderson had a dizzy spell and leaned against the wall. Assisted to the station master's room by two redcaps the wrestler insisted that he was all right and at first refused to go to the hospital.
He protested that he must get his train out of Ottawa, but after standing a few minutes, he suffered with dizzy spells and was ordered to Civic Hospital by Dr. McKinnon who later took an X-ray plate of Anderson's head. As it is feared that the wrestler may have suffered a fractured skull, he is being kept under observation till the result of theX-ray photograph is definitely known.
Fire chief hurt.
Chief J. C. Lemieux of Ottawa fire department was just getting up from his seat in the smoking compartment of the C.P.R. pullman when the collision occurred. When brought into the station immediately afterwards, the chief, who had been in Quebec to attend the funeral of Chief Lawrence Donelly of Quebec Fire Department, was still dazed from his severe shaking up.
"I was just getting ready to leave the smoking room," he said, "when the crash threw me into the side of the car." The chief at that time had a large lump above his temple and a few minor facial cuts.
In observation car.
A. E. Corrigan, 301 Laurier Avenue east, when interviewed stated that he was returning to Ottawa on the C.P.R train from Montreal. "I was sitting in the observation car about two chairs from the front of the car when the accident occurred," said Mr. Corrigan. "I was talking to Mr. Hogarth and was in the act of putting on my overshoes. All the other passengers in the car, numbering about 14 or 15, had left the observation car when the train was about a mile out from Ottawa to get to their overcoats, etc., in preparation to getting off at the station.
"I would have been out of the car too, if it has not been for the kindness of the conductor in bringing me my coat and overshoes. He left them with me and returned to other parts of the train. I was sitting in the chair fastening my overshoes when the crash came. It was a lucky thing for me that I was not at the rear of the observation car, for if I had been I think I would have been killed outright, although I thought I was gone anyway. It all happened so suddenly that it was over in a minute.
"The force of the crash did not knock me off my chair, but I found myself with two chairs on top of me. I saw the engine coming through the rear of the coach, but the thing happened so suddenly that I was buried beneath the chairs before I knew what it was all about. The steam from the engine was so thick in the car that I could see nothing. Thinking that the car would take fire anytime I hurriedly threw the chairs off and made my way towards the front of the train. For an instant I thought I was gone but I consider that I escaped very fortunately.
"The observation car was detached from the train following the crash and the rest of the train moved into the station. There I was brought into the station waiting room and Dr. McKinnon looked at my injuries. I was then put into a taxi and taken to my home."
Saw engine approaching.
Hilton C. Hogarth, 124 fourth avenue, who together with Mr Corrigan, were the only occupants of the observation car at the time, said he was standing in the doorway of the smoking compartment having got up to get his coat. He had stopped to speak to Mr. Corrigan, who was sitting in a chair putting on his rubbers when he noticed through the rear windows of the car an approaching engine.
"I thought it was getting pretty close," said Mr Hogarth, "but I did not have any thought of a collision. I looked away for a second or two when suddenly the crash came and I found myself face downwards on the floor of the car with the chairs on top of me. As I did not feel particularly hurt I soon picked myself up and found I had been thrown up the aisle of the car. There were no passengers sitting at to the rear. If there had been they would have been killed. There was, however a trainman on the steps but what happened to him I don't know. I have no injuries but I'm suffering slightly from shock.
"The damaged car was uncoupled and we came into the Union Station with the train."
The following official statement of the collision was issued at two o'clock this morning by William Garland, Assistant Divisional Superintendent, Canadian Pacific Railway:
"One Canadian Pacific train, No. 5, "The Dominion", in charge of conductor J.A. Gamble and engineer G.F. Towsley, engine 2802 was approaching Ottawa Union Station, and when just east of Laurier avenue bridge, the rear end was run into by Canadian National Train No. 1., engine 6026, slightly injuring the Canadian Pacific train, and the following passengers A.E. Corrigan, Ottawa; J.C. Lemieux, Ottawa; John H. Morehouse, Montreal, and Brakeman C.M. Pattie, Ottawa, all of whom were conveyed to their home.
"Considerable damage was done to the equipment of both trains and train No. 5 departed one hour and 15 minutes late. The cause of the affair is yet to be determined."
Investigation of the accident was started immediately after the news of the smash-up reached the station, and Paul H. Fox, Assistant Superintendent of the Ottawa division, C.N.R., took charge of the work of clearing the main track. The delay caused to the two transcontinental trains through the collision was due, however, to the necessity of making up and equipping an entire new train, rather than to lack of trackage from Union Station.
Members of the crew of the C.N.R. locomotive, which plowed into the rear of the C.P.R. train were: H. H. (Rick) Legate, engineer, 220 Lewis street, Ottawa; J.R. Palmer, fireman, 30 Waverly Street, Ottawa; George A. Byers, conductor, 1031 Wellington street, Ottawa; George Burgess, 152 Glenora Avenue, Ottawa, brakeman of the train, and Alfred Newman, 31 fifth avenue, flagman.
While the damaged caused in the collision could not be estimated accurately last night, it was believed damage to the parlour alone would exceed $10,000, while minor damage was caused to the C.N.R. locomotive 6026, one of the largest steel engines on a Canadian railroad.
The train crews concerned in the collision do not proceed beyond Ottawa on a normal run, and last night all except Brakeman Burges, who was among the injured, went to their homes here.
The injuries sustained by passengers, and crew and damage to the locomotive on the Canadian National train, which runs through to Vancouver, halted its departure from Ottawa by one hour and 45 minutes, the train pulling out for the west at 11.10.
The group of relatives and friends of the passengers on both trains gathered in the concourse of Union Station were not informed of the collision till the casualties of the crash were escorted by railway employees and redcaps through the gates. One of the injured passengers was conveyed in a wheel-chair to a waiting up automobile, while others were supported on their way to the stationmaster's office where medical attention was given. No panic resulted from the affair and orderliness and efficiency prevailed in attending to the needs of passengers, the clearing of tracks for outgoing and incoming trains.
Ottawa Citizen 14 December 1931
Probe Continues in Collision of Trains
Most Thorough Investigation Is Under Way.
The investigation into the rear-end collision of C.N.R. and C.P.R. trains in the Laurier avenue yards continued Saturday and yesterday, and no official report has as yet been issued..
H. C. White, C.N.R. superintendent at Ottawa, informed The Citizen that a most thorough investigation was being made.
Mr. White stated the C.N.R. train was running on time. He further said that the trains had been running on the single track for 25 years. This was the first time an accident of this nature had occurred.
Victor (Axel) Anderson, wrestler, who was the most seriously injured In the collision, was reported at the Civic Hospital to be improving. Hope is held out for his recovery.
Ottawa Journal 15 December 1931
WHY SO CLOSE?
The rear-end collision between two passenger trains on the railway tracks just outside the Ottawa station directs attention to a condition that has been puzzling for a long time to many laymen. Why should two important trains, one on the C.P.R. and the other on the C.N.R. and both from Montreal, be due In Ottawa within one minute of each other? Apart altogether from the danger of running passenger trains in such close proximity a danger increased by poor visibility as on Friday night it would seem to an orderly mind that passengers debarking from theie trains could be more economically and conveniently handled separately by the station staff.
Now that a number of people have been badly hurt or shaken up, perhaps those in authority will see the advisability of rearranging the time schedules.
Ottawa Journal 17 December 1931
TRAINS TOO CLOSE,
Sir: Referring to your editorial of today may I point out that a reference to the two time tables of the C.P.R. and C.N.R. will show that there is not one minute difference in the arrival of the two trains which were involved in a serious accident last Friday night. Both ara billed to arrive at the Union Station. Ottawa, at 9.15 p.m.
The time tables slso show that both trains leave Montreal at 7 p.m. and are therefore obliged in one case to cover 111.3 miles and the other 116.2 miles in two hours and15 minutes. This by the way is about 45 minutes faster than the average time taken for many years. It will be seen, therefore, that the engineers must keep moving fast every minute - approaching the Union Station at Ottawa.
Two yardmen - one at the head of the "deep- cut" who passes these trains on to the single track and the other at the Laurier avenue bridge to their proper terminals - must be wide awake. It will be seen that all concerned have had a very serious duty imposed on them, as the time tables apparently give these two trains equal rights.
Furthermore, there is no certainty which of the two trains will bs given the lead from the first switch, so that the first train must approach the second switch slowly in order to be; identified and sent on to its proper terminal. According to the conditions exposed by the recent accident no time is lost in passing the second train on to the single track, with the result that there will always be a danger of serious accidents unless a block signal system is provided to protect the trains.
It would be interesting to know on whom the local officials place the blame for the recent accident not likely on those who prepared the time tables and clearly invited what has actually happened.
W. E. BENNETT.
88 Carling avenue,
Ottawa , Dec. 15.
Ottawa Citizen 18 February 1932
Hearing in Collision
To fix the responsibility and apportionment of the payment for damages arising out of the collision between a C.N.R. and a C.P.R. train in the Ottawa yards, on the night of Friday, December 11, last, the Board of Railway Commissioners is hearing representations of counsel for both railways at a sitting today. Revision of railway regulations may result from the hearing, Hon. Justice C. P. Fullerton, chief commissioner, said this morning. It is expected that the hearing will take at least two day. The sittings am private.
Ottawa Citizen 20 February 1932
Rail Collision Hearing
Sittings of the Board of Railway Commissioners in the enquiry Into the collision between a C.N.R. and a C.P. R. train near the Ottawa depot on the evening of December 11 last have been adjourned until Tuesday morning. The Railway Commission is acting in the case as a board of arbitration between the two railway companies The taking of evidence has already occupied two days and it is expected that the hearing will be at least two days longer.
Board of Railway Commissioners order 48169 of 23 February 1932
In connection with the movement of trains or engines between Deep Cut and Ottawa Union, both stations being within the Ottawa Terminal, CNR to arrange as follows: EASTWARD MOVEMENTS No train or engine shall pass the signal located immediately west of the Laurier Bridge until the preceding train or engine has cleared the signal located 433' west of Deep Cut, which signals respectively control eastward trains. WESTWARD MOVEMENTS: No train or engine shall pass:
(a) semaphore signal located on south side of Renfrew subdivision main track, 800' west of Mann Street subway (which signal controls eastward trains from Main Street);
(b) semaphore signal at shop track at south side of double track, (which controls engines leaving the shop track);
(c) semaphore signal first on north side of double track east of Mann Street subway (which controls westward trains on double track from Riverside);
(d) semaphore signal on north side of the CPR main track east of Mann Street subway (which controls westward trains on the CPR);
until the preceding train or engine has passed the signal located 650 feet east of Laurier Bridge, south side. The signals referred to are shown in the Special Instructions of the Ottawa Terminals Time-Table No. 43, and on the plans filed with the Board.