Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1973, March 19 - 23 cars derailed at Limoges, CN Alexandria subdivision 

Ottawa Journal  Monday 19 March 1973

Crash blocks CN line
LIMOGES (Staff) Canadian National Railway officials say it will be at least 24 hours before service is restored on the main line to Montreal following a derailment here early this morning.
Twenty-three cars of an 83-car freight train jumped the track about 4.15 a.m. scattering tons of grain, crumpling box cars and tearing up track for about a  mile in this village about 15 miles southeast of Ottawa.
Crew members, working at both ends of the train, escaped injury.
Heavy wrecking equipment from Smiths Falls and Montreal will be needed to remove debris and clear the right of way.
Box cars of grain and a number of flat cars loaded with heavy-duty construction equipment equipment left the rails at a level crossing in the middle of the village rousing residents from their sleep.
The remainder of the train was towed to Montreal.
All freight and passenger service service between Ottawa and Montreal Montreal will have to be re-routed over Canadian Pacific rail lines. CNR officials said.
The cause of the wreck is under under investigation.
The force of the derailment wrenched wheels from cars, scattered debris for a mile and tossed bulldozer and heavy tractors carried on the flat cars into deep ditches and into back yards.
Damage estimates are not immediately available.

Ottawa Journal  Tuesday 20 March 1973

Grain spills from a twisted boxcar at the site of a 23-car  derailment derailment on the CNR Ottawa-Montreal line in this village about 15 miles southeast of Ottawa. The cars jumped the tracks at a level crossing Monday: CNR officials said the tracks were expected to be cleared today, but that new rails would have to be put down before the line could be opened again. (Journal Ptiofo by Dow Bray)

Ottawa Citizen 20 March 1973

Familiar Whistle
Then Came Ripping Crash
By Tom Van Dusen Citizen staff writer
LIMOGES Canadian National Montreal-bound trains were back on the right track this morning following a 23-car derailment at Limoges Monday.
The CN Ottawa-Montreal mainline was blocked after the cars bounced from an 83-car freight train about 4.20 a.m. at the Limoges level crossing. CN was forced to "borrow" CP Bail track while its line was being cleared.
No one was injured in the derailment.
While debris has been removed from the line, officials said Monday afternoon it will be at least three cdys before everything is back to normal.
One of the first people to arrive at the scene following the derailment was Noel Boulerice who lives close to the track. Mr. Boulerice who gets up at 5 a.m. to go to work at the main post office in Ottawa, said he was only half asleep when he heard the familiar whistle blasts as the train approached the crossing.
Then Mr. Boulerice heard something unfamiliar; a loud, ripping, crash that brought him out of his semi-sleep instantly.
After calling a neighbor, Hector Thibeaull, Mr. Boulerice hurried to the scene.
"The first part of the train stopped about a mile up the track, then kept going," he said. "A man came out of the caboose, looked at the damage, then went back and radioed for help."
Mr. Boulerice said the man must have been in a state of shock because, "I talked to him but he didn't answer."
 "Only the caboose and the two cars in front of it stayed on the tracks," he said. "The guy must have felt it was a close call."
Wheat-laden cars
The derailed cars included flatcars loaded with heavy construction equipment and boxcars loaded with wheat.
The construction vehicles were tossed about like small toys. Several were extensively damaged.
About half a dozen of the boxcars split, open spewing out tons of wheat.
Local farmers offered to buy the spilled wheat but CN officials refused, worried that salvage attempts would interfere with cranes clearing the track.
Cause of the crash is under investigation. The train was apprently travelling at. about 60 m.p.h. when the accident occurred.
A railway claims office official said it. was too early to give an estimate of damage. He said damage was restricted to CN property.
Limoges is 20 miles southeast of Ottawa.

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Updated 17 February 2019