Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1948, March 13 - Pool Train Locomotive Breaks a Side Rod near Mallorytown, CNR Kingston subdivision, no injuries.

From the Ottawa Citizen  Monday 15 March 1948

Disaster Is Escaped By Speeding Train
Some 400 passengers aboard a CNR-CPR pool train travelling at a 70-mile-an-hour clip escaped possible disaster about 13 miles west of Brockville shortly before 8 o'clock Saturday night when a locomotive side rod snapped and sent the train hurtling into a grinding. mile-Iong skid.
The six-car train lurched to a halt at Mallorytown, a railside village, after the locomotive came within inches of toppling over at least three times. No one was hurt.
Pieces of flying metal from the broken side rod punctured a tank of illuminating gas slung beneath the baggage car. setting the contents afire, but crew men were able to extinguish the blaze before any damage was done to the car.
Many Ottawa-Bound
Among the passengers aboard were four members of an Ottawa secondary school delegation: W. B. Wallen, principal of Ottawa Technical School: Harry Pullen. High School of Commerce principal: Frank G. Patten, board secretary-treasurer: and H. S. Higman. chairman of the management committee.
"Closest Shave"
Engineer Harry Tamlin. of Belleville, said it was the "closest shave" he had had in 30 years of railroading.
Wheels of all the coaches were worn flat from the mile-long slide. After a delay of close to two hours at Mallorytown, the train was towed into Brockville, where passengers were shifted to a special train. They arrived in Ottawa about three hours late.
CNR officials in Montreal in a statement issued last night said the tank of illuminating gas was slung under the baggage car for emergency lighting. Flooring of the baggage car was slightly damaged when the tank caught fire but the blaze was snuffed out by crew men, using hand chemicals.
Belleville CNR division authorities said the locomotive's left main side rod broke,-shattering the air pump and setting; off the emergency brake. The guide bar on the wheels also snapped.
The skid on the comparatively level stretch of track flattened the wheels from one to two and a half inches. It was believed that the straight stretch of track was an important factor in keeping the locomotive from tipping.
As the train ground to a stop, the broken side rod continued to hit a succession of railway ties, causing a series of jolts which shook up many of the passengers. Some were thrown from their seats but none were injured.
Crew Of Train Members
Of the crew on the Toronto-Montreal pool train were:
Harry Hamlin, engineer, 71 Cedar street, Belleville. Ont;
Fred Bonter. conductor, Trenton, Ont.:
Benjamin Shyers, brakeman, Brockville. Ont.:
J. Collins, brakeman, Brockville, Ont.
CNR Statement
J. R. Wilson, CNR divisional superintendent at Belleville, in speaking of the delay of the Toronto-Montreal pool train, told The Citizen a broken side rod on the engine forced the brakes into "emergency." As a result, all the wheels on the train were clamped in a skid.
The train ground to a halt at Mallorytown, a village some 13 miles west of Brockville.
After a delay of an hour and a quarter at Mallorytown. the train got underway and proceeded slowly into Brockville for repairs and a changeover in engines.
Mr. Wilson said that a "mechanical failure" such as a broken side rod didn't happen "often." There was no special explanation for its shattering near Brockville Saturday night.
Tells of Experience
Speaking to The Citizen, Frank G. Patten, secretary-treasurer of the Collegiate Institute Board, said: "I felt a bit of a roll as if the weight of the car was swinging first to one side and then the other. Then the brakes went on and the train pulled to a stop.
"People aboard the train were confused as to what happened but there was no serious commotion.
"I walked to the front of the train and saw where a chunk of steel from a broken piston rod had punctured the illuminating gas tank under the carriage of the baggage car.
"After a wait of well over an hour, the train proceeded into Brockville where all the passengers were loaded aboard another train. The special train arrived in Ottawa three hours late.
"Not until word came back from the people who had viewed the engine did passengers slowly begin to realize that they had narrowly escaped a possible upset," Mr. Patten concluded.

Ottawa Journal 15 March 1948

Ottawa Area Residents Escape When Piston Breaks on Train

 Four hundred Ottawa and district residents, including four members of the Collegiate Board, narrowly escaped death or serious injury when a piston rod on the engine of the east bound Toronto-Ottawa pool train broke and sheared the flange from a main drive wheel 13 miles from Brockville at 7.45 Saturday night.
The piston rod was shattered, and one piece pierced a tank of illuminating gas under the baggage car and set it ablaze.
The locomotive, travelling at 70 miles an hour near Mallorytown, heeled over dangerously two or three times as a dangling rod rammed into ties before automatic air brakes brought the seven-car train to a stop after a jolting slide of one mile.
Mr. Stanley Higman, of the Ottawa Collegiate Board; Frank G. Patten, business administrator of the board, and W. B. Wallen, principal of Ottawa Technical School, and Harry Pullen, principal of High School of Commerce, were among the 400 Ottawa and district-bound passengers. They paid tribute to the cool action of the train crew in preventing a more serious accident.
"We were badly shaken up, but I think the train crew saved  us from serious injury by their quick, intelligent action", Mr. Higman said.
Members of the Collegiate Board were returning to Ottawa after interviewing new teachers in Toronto.
Passenger's Vivid Story.
Major John F. McLennan, 163 Cameron avenue, another passenger, said the near crash "scared most of us".
"We were just leaning back in our seats idly watching the scenery as the train neared Brockville.
"Suddenly the coach gave a lunge and there was a hissing of air brakes. I was thrown across to the opposite seat.
"For what seemed an eternity the train continued to slide along the tracks in a series of sickening lurches.
"Finally it came to a stop, and almost immediately trainmen dashed into the coach. They smashed emergency cabinets open and took out fire extinguishers.
"I followed them  out, as did many of the other passengers. All that was visible was a red glare from under the baggage car. Flames were soon shooting from a tank of gas used to illuminate the other coaches.
"But the train crew, and some of the passengers, working with extinguishers succeeded in bringing the blaze under control before much damage could be done.
"I spoke to the engineer and firemen and they explained that the main drive rod had broken, and high pressure steam in a cylinder blew a piston out and broke it off.
Pierced Gas Tank.
"The flying metal had pierced the gas tank and set it ablaze.
"The engineer also said that a dragging piston catching on the ties had almost levered the engine off the tracks", Major Mc Lennan said.
"Another passenger, A. Gladstone Ghent, 171 Bayswater  avenue, told The Journal, the conductor had told him another piece of flying metal had sheared off the flange of a main drive wheel.
"He told me that it was the closest shave he had experienced in 30 years of railroading, and that the entire train would have left the track if it had not been on a straight stretch of track", Mr. Ghent said.
Wheels Flattened.
An engine sent from Brockville manouevered into position to bring the train into the City.
Passengers were transferred to new coaches at Brockville, and completed the trip to Ottawa. Due at 10 o'clock, the train arrived at 1 o'clock Sunday morning.
A. R. Wilson. Divisional Superintendent of the CNR at Belleville, told The Journal last night that a mechanical failure in the engine was partly responsible for the accident and the sudden thaw following the prolonged cold probably played some part in it.
An official at Brockville said the train was in charge of conductor F. Bonter, of Brockville, and the engineer was J. Tamlin, of Belleville.
The seven-car train had a seating capacity of "about 420", Mr. Wilson said, and it was estimated that 90 percent, of the seats were taken. The Montreal section of the train preceded the Ottawa and district section, and all passengers were bound for this district.

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