Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1969, May 29 - 23 cars derail at Morrisburg, Canadian National, Kingston subdivision.

From the Ottawa Journal Friday 30 May 1969

By MIKE SYKES MORRISBURG (Special) . CNR officials estimate it wilt take at least 48 hours to clear the main Montreal-Toronto line of wreckage after a freight train was derailed half a mile east of here Thursday..
No one was injured.
Thirty cars, 25 of them loaded were derailed.
Officials at the scene said it was difficult to count the number of wrecked cars; many were little more than twisted wrecks piled one on top of the other.
A CNR official said the train was a through freight which averages 50 to 60 mites per hour.
One car stood on its end, supported by the press of a half dozen others. A few were sliced open as if by a giant can opener. Contents were spilled along the twisted steel rails.
The cause of the derailment is still unknown. But CNR workmen at the scene thought it might have been "a hotbox" a seized wheel bearing.
A mobile crane from Montreal and another from Belleville are picking at the wreckage, one from each end to clear the road so new tracks can be laid.
CNR officials in Cornwall said all trains are being rerouted through Smiths Falls until service on the main line is restored. No official damage estimate has been disclosed as yet.

Ottawa Citizen 30 May 1969

Lost wheel piles up $500,000 derailment
MORRISBURG (Staff) A locked wheel forced free by friction is believed to have caused the derailment of a 107-car freight train one mile north of here Thursday at 1 p.m.
Damage has been estimated as high as $500,000 in the accident which stacked 34 cars like cordwood along the Canadian National Railways track.
Preliminary investigation indicates a wheel may have become locked and flew off as friction built up.
The driving rod attached to the wheels then dropped between the tracks, digging a deep furrow for four or five miles.
Two rail lies caught fire from the friction.
The jack-knifing effect of the accident overturned, crushed, and tore open many of the boxcars of the westbound train travelling from Montreal through Toronto to Chicago.
Early this morning, 13 cars had been cleared from the eastbound track by cranes brought in from Belleville. Nine boxcars remain, blocking both lines.
CNR officials were hopeful the lines will be cleared by 6 p.m. today.
Train engineer Wilfred Kelly, 51, of Brockville, said he has no idea what might have caused the derailment
"'The Wreck occurred 52 cars behind the engine," he said. "With all the noise an engine makes, we were half a mile away before someone told us to look back. All we could see was clouds of dust and a vague mass of wreckage."
Also in the engine were fireman Robert K. Gifford, of Brockville, and brakeman Bert Watson of MontreaL
The boxcars that were damaged were located in the middle of the mile-long train, with both ends remaining on the track.
The mishap occurred during clear, sunny weather, about two hours before a heavy thunderstorm broke out.
Track twisted
Heavy metal wheels were thrown 35 feet into ditches and about 300 yards of track were twisted and torn.
Thousands of popsicle sticks were strewn about the area as well as lumber, newsprint and cement.
CNR police kept curious spectators well back as some of the wreckage was precariously balanced on the built-up section along the track.
The thunderstorms, which hampered clean-up operations, gave rise to fears that the gravel would slide and upset the debris.
All scheduled trains along the two-track line have been rerouted through Smiths Falls.
Officials from the Canadian Transport Commission and CNR are conducting the investigation into the cause of the derailment
here were no injuries reported in the accident which occurred along a straight section of track which slices through a heavily-wooded area.

Ottawa Citizen 31 May 1969

tracks cleared after 36 hours
MORRISBURG (Staff) After almost 36 hours non-stop work, the east-bound railway tracks clogged by a $500,000, 34-car derailment near here Thursday have reopened to traffic.
The last mangled boxcar was lifted and the torn-up rails beneath replaced by about 1 a.m. today. Two 250-ton cranes and about 50 men have been working around the clock since the 1 p.m. crash of the 107-car freight train bound from Montreal to Chicago.
It will be noon Sunday before the adjacent tracks for westbound trains will be replaced, said John Tait, assistant superintendent for the Rideau area of the Canadian National Railways system.
Cause of the accident, in which none of the crew was injured, is unknown but a locked wheel forced free by friction is a possibility, say officials.
The 34 cars located in the centre of the mile-long train derailed lay like piled cordvvood along the tracks about one mile north of Morrisburg. At least 300 feet of rails and ties had to be replaced.
The freight train's cargo newsprint, lumber, cement and thousands of popsicle sticks spewed over both lines. Heavy rain turned the spilled cargo into a sticky sludge that later hardened.
"It's going to be about two weeks before that section of track is back to normal," said Mr. Tait. "There will be a 10 m.p.h. speed limit until that time."
 Canadian Transport Commission and CNR officials are continuing an investigation into the wreck.

From the Ottawa Journal Monday 2 June 1969

Eastbound CN Line in Service At Morrisburg
MORRISBURG, Ont (CP) Service on the eastbound CNR line was restored Saturday in this community 20 miles west of Cornwall.
A 23-car freight derailment Thursday on the westbound track blocked both lines.
A CNR spokesman said service on the westbound line is not expected to be restored until sometime this week.

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