|From the Ottawa Citizen 14 August 1984|
25 cars derailed near Chesterville
A Canadian Pacific Rail freight train derailed early today in Chesterville, about 60 kilometres south of Ottawa, spilling the contents of 25 cars.
The 89-car eastbound train was carrying lumber and flour when it derailed at 2:20 a.m.
The accident blocked two main tracks used by freight trains, said CP Rail spokesman Paul Jolicoeur.
The four employees on the train were not injured.
Jolicoeur said the derailment occurred after cars near the end of the train somehow became separated from those at the front as the train was going about 100 kilometres an hour. Twenty-five of the rear cars derailed.
"There was extensive track damage," said Jolicoeur. "Crews began working right after the derailment to ...clear the track, but it's hard to say when it will be all cleaned up."
He said the level crossing in Chesterville was not blocked and traffic has not been affected.
The cause of the accident has not been determined and damage has not yet been estimated
From the Ottawa Citizen 15 August 1984
CHESTERVILLE Local rail traffic is being re-routed through Ottawa today while CPR workers clear away wreckage following a spectacular 25-car derailment in Chester -ville early yesterday morning.
Train No. 482, on a Vancouver to Montreal run, uncoupled 30 cars from the caboose at 2:20am as it entered the west end of the village. The 60-ton cars slammed into each other, sending up a shower of sparks 50 feet high.
The five-man crew on the freight train, which was carrying lumber and flour, were uninjured.
Stan Harris, superintendent for CP's Smiths Falls rail division, said yesterday that the derailment, just across from the arena, is under investigation and that the cause of the accident and the amount of damage have not been determined.
While onlookers gatnered around the wreckage, which in one section looked like a broken accordian as six cars leaned up and over each other, a 20-man maintenance crew was joined by 40 workers from CPU's specialized wrecking crew to pull the cars from the tracks.
As the wreckage was lifted away, trucks backed up to pick up the strewn cargo.
The lines - both eastbound and westbound fines were blocked by the wreckage - were expected to be cleared today. Railway ties were scored and broken for more than a mile.
"I heard the train coming down the tracks, that noise you're used to, and then all of a sudden it didn't sound right," said Paul Monast, the first resident at the scene. "I jumped up and looked out and saw a pile going up and sparks going up in the air."
Monast, whose home is just across a field from the derailment site, met the crew coming up the track with flashlights.
When he saw the wreckage, he said, he couldn't believe it.
"You're so damned surprised, you don't know what to say or to do. You're kind of shocked."
John Van Bruinessen, Monast's neighbor, was also jolted out of bed by the crash.
"I knew something had happened," he said. "There was a big crash and a rumble and roar. We (he and Monast) took the truck down and when we saw a coupler on the ground I knew that it had separated.''
Both men helped workmen pinpoint the worst areas of 'amage, including the Carl Smith crossing where the ties had been ripped out.
For other residents living along the tracks, seeing the wreckage answered the question of what they had heard during the night but had not given any more thought to.
"I was thinking the train was really, really loud last night," said Pauline White. "But I looked out the window and saw nothing and went back to bed. Then I got up at 8am and saw this.
"When I moved to a small town I thought I wouldn't have this kind of excitement."
Bob Delorme was taking a nap in his truck at Nutrite Fertilizer before starting his early morning shift when he heard "something like an earthquake".
"It sounded like a bunch' of tin- crumpling up and it went on for about five minutes," he said. "But I didn't pay much attention."
"I've been living here 38 years and I've never seen anything like this," said Harold Armstrong. ."When I heard the noise last night I thought it was a truck going over the crossing."
"It's a hell of a mess," said CP truck driver Garnet Sands of Smiths Falls. "I've seen a lot of pictures of derailments but I wasn't expecting anything quite like this."
From the Ottawa Citizen 15 August 1984
Damage $500,000 in train derailment
CHESTERVILLE CP Rail is trying to determine why 25 cars of a high-speed freight train thundered off the track near here Tuesday, telescoping about a dozen boxcars.
No one was hurt when the middle section of the 89-car train left the rails, destroying at least 10 boxcars and ripping up about $50,000 worth of track.
The transcontinental train was heading to Montreal through this village 60 kilometres southeast of Ottawa when the accident occurred at 2:20 a.m.
A spokesman for CP Rail said the crew was trying to stop the train when it crashed.
"They spotted some marks along the track, and not knowing what they were, they pulled the (brake) air line," said Paul Jolicoeur of CP's Ottawa office.
"They were travelling well within the authorized speed, but it was an 89-car train and you can't stop those on a dime."
Jolicoeur said the railway would have to wait for the investigation results to know what the marks on the line were.
Jolicoeur estimated damage to the train at $500,000, and said the tracks should be open by tonight.
Seven of the cars that left the track were empty, one had CP supplies, eight contained flour, and nine were flat cars carrying lumber from Vancouver.
Ontario Provincial Police and CP officials were on the scene by 3 a.m., and cleanup crews arrived at dawn.
By 9:30 a.m. Tuesday a portable crane and several bulldozers were tearing apart the crumpled heap of boxcars and pulling up huge curls of ruined rails while CP workers loaded sacks of flour on carts and wheeled it into tractor-trailers.
Several local men were hired to salvage wood "that cascaded over the wreck like spilt matchsticks.