Train wreck, 1900
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Photo of a train wreck that occurred near Sarnia bridge. A group of people are standing around the locomotive with a one car down near the bottom of the hill. A lot of debris surrounds the area. The Sarnia bridge can be seen to the left.
From the St. Marys Journal - September 6, 1900, page 8
A RAILWAY WRECK
A PITCH-IN ON THE G.T.R. NEAR THE SARNIA BRIDGE
A Stalled Freight on the Main Line Run into by Another Freight - a Caboose, a Freight Car and Engine Badly Wrecked but Nobody Hurt - The Traffic Only Interrupted for a Couple of Hours
A collision occurred between two freight trains on the G.T.R. near the Sarnia Bridge on Tuesday evening about 6:30 o'clock which resulted in a caboose, a freight car and a locomotive being badly wrecked.
A heavy freight going west, in charge of Engineer Marshall Wright and Conductor R. Buckley of Sarnia, got stuck on the grade on the main line just west of the Sarnia bridge. The train backed up preparatory to a second attempt to make the grade and was standing on the bridge, the rear end being about where Water Street passes under the railway.
A through freight also going west came thundering along and as there is a sharp curve a few hundred yards east, Engineer MacKenzie failed to notice the train ahead. Brakes were applied, but as the incline is steep and the train was a heavy one, it could not be stopped quickly. The engineer, fireman and brakeman of the second train, when they saw that a collision was inevitable, jumped from the engine without accident. The train hands in the caboose of the first train saw their danger and hastily stood clear.
The engine struck the caboose, making kindling wood of it and threw the remains down the embankment. A box car loaded with land plaster in sacks, just ahead of the caboose, was knocked to pieces and car and contents scattered far and near. The engine was thrown from the rails by the force of the impact and turned head down the embankment, coming to a standstill about halfway down. There is stood embedded int the cinders and gravel and enveloped in the escaping steam. The embankment at the part where the engine left the rails is probably 100 feet high and within a few yards of the bridge.
It was at this place where the landslide occurred several years ago, delaying traffic for considerable time.
Strange to say, the tender of the derailed engine kept the track as did all the cars of the train to which it was attached.
The wreck did not delay traffic for more than a couple of hours as the damaged rolling stock was all clear of the track. The wrecking crew from Stratford were soon on the scene and the work of getting the engine back on the rails is now in progress. The caboose and the freight car are easy to handle as they were broken up in small pieces.
Fireman Kennedy of the second train has had his ankle sprained in his hasty descent from the engine. The others all escaped injury.
The accident is similar to the one that occurred on the London branch near here about one year ago, when the two boys were killed.
The noise made by the collision was heard all over the town and within a few minutes fully half the citizens were on the scene. The pitch-in was observed by several people. Mr. Alex Grant, who had been out at the racetrack taking some exercise, was returning home via the railway track and was on the bridge when the collision happened. Mr. David Currie who lives on Water Street near the bridge, saw the two trains come together.
The loss will probably total several thousand dollars. The second train passed St. Marys Junction 18 minutes after the first one, and being a through freight, did not stop, which perhaps accounts for the high rate of speed at which is was running around the curve.
It is said that a flagman was sent back by the first train but had not got far enough back to be seen beyond the curve when the second train came along.
- Condition: Copy is very good.
- Date of Original
- September 1900
Width: 17.7 cm
Height: 12.7 cm
- Image Dimensions
Image Width: 16.5cm
Image Height: 11.5cm
- Local identifier
- St. Marys Museum photo collection
- Language of Item
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 43.2638390942914 Longitude: -81.1466825008392
- Copyright Statement
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Recommended Citation
- "Train wreck, 1900." St. Marys Museum, 1681ph.
- Reproduction of digital objects is restricted to fair use for personal study or research; any other use must be done with permission of copyright holder.
- Reproduction Notes
- This image is a watermarked low resolution reproduction.
High resolution images are available at the St. Marys Museum for a fee.
- St. Marys MuseumEmail
Agency street/mail address
177 Church Street South,
P.O. Box 998,
St. Marys, Ontario.