Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1947, 12 January - Rear end collision between two freight trains Pembroke Junction, CNR Beachburg subdivision, four injuries

From the Ottawa Citizen 13 January 1947

Four Ottawa Men Hurt in Crash of Trains
$10,000 Damage as Historic Structure Swept by Flames Which Are Visible Miles Away
PEMBROKE, Jan. 12 (Special)
Four Ottawa railwaymen were injured here tonight when an east-bound CNR freight train plowed into the rear of a standing freight on the main line about half mile west of Pembroke Junction at 6.15 o'clock.
Admitted to Pembroke General Hospital were: Philip Button, engineer, of 9 Graham street, who was "moderately badly burned, with extensive steam burns to practically his entire left side, and suffering from shock." Doctors state his condition "can be serious."
E. L. McElroy, fireman. 513 Lyon street, who suffered steam burns to his face, left shoulder and arm. His condition is not serious.
Joseph A. St. Onge. 29-year-old brakeman. of 385 St. Patrick street, who sustained bruises and slight steam burns, His condition is not serious.
Severely shaken up but not admitted to hospital was P. A. Potter, conductor, of 560 MacLaren street, who was riding in the caboose of the train. He is the father of Constable Don Potter of the Ottawa police force.
Two Cars Burn
As a result of the crash, which occurred when CNR train 401 to Ottawa rammed the rear end of an "extra" freight halted near the junction, one engine was thrown from the tracks and hurled down an embankment, its coal-tender derailed and overturned on the tracks, one caboose split in two and set afire, as was a lumber-loaded boxcar, and another car derailed.
The casualty list was shortened due to the fact that the crew of the standing train had left the caboose to walk forward to the engine checking for hot-boxes as they went, when the accident took place.
Members of the Pembroke fire department, who were called out w hen the caboose and the lumber loaded box car broke out in flames were unable to aid in extinguishing the fire. Snow-blocked roads along the CNR tracks leading to the scene prevented the firemen from reaching the scene.
Conductor Potter and Brakeman St. Onge. occupants of the caboose on the Ottawa bound train which struck the standing freight cars, were only slightly injured. Mr. Potter was found by fellow trainmen as he was walking along the tricks in a dazed condition, a few minutes after the impact.
Trains Rerouted
Because of the location of the accident - about one mile and a half from Pembroke - regular train schedules were only slightly affected. Trains proceeding past Pembroke were able to continue on their runs by proceeding along the line through Golden Lake.
Shortly after the accident oc curred a wrecking train with an Ottawa crew was rushed to the scene to clear away the twisted and burning remnants of the freight car, the engine and the caboose.
William H. Roach, superintendent of the CNR in Ottawa, left for Pembroke by automobile shortly before 8 o'clock last night and arrived at the scene In less than three hours to begin an investigation. He declined to make any statement to the press until a full investigation has been completed.
Conductor Potter, who was expected to arrive home at mid night Sunday, telephoned his wife and informed her of the mishap. He did not specify what injuries he had received in the mishap but said that he was feeling "fair.
On hearing of the wreck, W. J Hotrum, district superintendent of the CNR who was in Montreal returned to the Capital late in the evening and was expected to leave for Pembroke early this morning to view the wreck.

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Updated 25 April 2018