Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

Results for ‘Train Wrecks’


[Welland Tribune, 14 May 1897]

Windsor, May 10th-William Scofield of Belle River was struck by a Grand Trunk train at the Puce, 13 miles from Windsor, yesterday and killed. His body was discovered by Conductor Freeman in the ditch near the track, and taken to Belle River. He leaves a widow and five children.


[Welland Tribune. 30 April 1897]

The accident on the T.H.& B. railway just west of Hamilton on the afternoon of Sept. 16th last, by which a locomotive and tender were completely wrecked and the engineer and fireman lost their lives, has proved decidedly expensive. Mrs. Edith Johnson, of the village of Scotland, widow of the dead fireman, George Johnson, sued the road for damages, and the company settled on Monday for $2,000 and $300 costs. Mrs. Johnson gets $1,500 and her daughter Lena, $500.

Mrs. Isabella Facer of Welland, widow of the engineer, James Facer, also sued for damages, and the company gave her $1.500 and $300 for costs, to settle the case.


Conductor Boyle’s Train Ditched Near Thorold

Express Messenger Grobb Badly Bruised

[Welland Telegraph, 23 January 1891]

As the mail train on the Welland road, due here at 11.24, last Monday morning, was passing the stone road crossing, about one and a half miles this side of Thorold, the baggage car, smoker and coach left the rails. The two former rolled down a six foot embankment and rested in an inverted position, while the coach careened over and rested against the smoker at an angle of 40 degrees. The smoker and baggage car were badly wrecked, and the escape from death or very serious injury of some of the occupants was miraculous. The experience of express messenger Grobb, baggageman Spratt and mail clerk Boyle, was the most thrilling, and the first named gentleman is now confined to his bed with severe bruises, but fortunately with whole bones. Just how he was hurt he has no recollection, but thinks he was struck by the large iron safe in the car. The baggageman, with the exception of a few small bruises came out all right, and his escape may be attributed to the absence of any heavy baggage in his compartment. Mail clerk Boyle was mixed up among the mail bags, which saved him. Four or five passengers were in the smoker, and how they came out with so little injury seems marvelous. One of them, Mr. Anson Garner, of Stamford, had one of his fingers badly jammed and his shoulder somewhat bruised. In the coach were a number of ladies, who behaved with the utmost coolness. Said a passenger, “They walked out of that car after the accident with as much dignity as they would have out of church.”

As soon as he extricated himself from the wreck baggageman Spratt was despatched to Thorold for a physician, and express messenger Grobb was extricated from his perilous position just as the car was commencing to take fire, but coolness and presence of mind on the part of the train hands soon extinguished the blaze. Conductor Boyle was everywhere, looking after the passengers and arranging for their comfort, while brakeman Welsh, with the blood streaming down his face from some several cuts, worked like a Trojan wherever necessary.

Plenty of medical aid was on hand in a short time, but fortunately with the exception of Mr. Grobb, no one was in need of it.

A train was sent up by the Allanburgh branch from Niagara Falls to bring the mail and passengers, which arrived here about 3 p.m.

Various theories as to the cause of the accident are advanced, but the generally accepted one is spreading of the rails, after the engine had passed, as it was the front trucks of the baggage car which first left the track.


[Welland Tribune, 7 June 1898]

A railway accident took place at the M.C.R.R. station on Friday night last, in which about fifty men were jammed in a pile together and five of them were so seriously hurt that they had to be sent home. The men were all standing on three hand cars, packed like sardines, and were coming back from work. The cars were being propelled at a high rate of speed and were following each other closely, when the first one jumped the track and turned over, the one following dumped its heavy load of men on top of them, and then the third car crashed into the other two. Nearly every one was injured more or less. All the men were from St. Thomas and Hagersville.


Three G.T.R. Freight Cars Make the Plunge

[People’s Press, 18 June 1907]

Niagara Falls, June 15- an accident which many people have feared might happen some day, occurred this morning at Niagara Falls. A heavy freight train was coming across the Grand Trunk steel arch bridge into Canada, when, in some mysterious manner, three of the cars, when right in the centre of the bridge, jumped the track. They keeled over and fell into the pedestrian compartment of the bridge underneath, demolishing the railing, and then dropped into the river several feet below.

The rest of the train kept the track. A brakeman, who had been standing on top of a car towards the rear of the train, heard a bumping on ahead and surmising that a brake team had dropped down and there was bound to be a smash, he jumped from the car in time to save himself had the whole train gone down over the side of the bridge.

The bridge was badly damaged, but traffic was not blocked for any length of time. A brake beam dropping in all probability caused the accident.


Niagara Falls, June 16- There is now reason to believe that two lives were lost when the three freight cars dashed off the railway arch bridge into the Whirlpool rapids yesterday morning. The supposed victims are two unknown men, probably tramps. When the train, of which the lost cars formed part, was pulling out of Suspension Bridge yards two men were seen to board it and get into one of the empty cars which went down into the gorge a few minutes later. No one saw them leave the cars. It is doubtful if they got away. After their derailment the cars ran close to the railing of the bridge, and to jump then would be certain destruction. If the two men stayed in the cars they went with them in that awful leap to the rapids, over two hundred feet below.


Engineer Killed-Fireman Herdman of Welland Injured

[Welland Tribune, 1 February 1910]

James Herdman, a former resident of Welland, and whose mother still lives here, had a narrow escape from a horrible death on Sunday morning. Herdman is a fireman, and his mate, Henry Rumple, was instantly killed. The two were on a T.H. & B. freight engine, and had been engaged all night in making up a train of the T.H.& B. belt line, Hamilton. When the accident occurred, the last shunt was about to be made, and the engine had just passed under the bridge on the main line of the G.T.R., when it jumped the rails and ran into the embankment. Some of the pig iron which was on a car next the tender shot into the cab and hit Engineer Rumple, killing him instantly. The engine was a total wreck, and how Herdman escaped is a mystery. He was injured, however, and six stitches were necessary to close a wound in his head. The dead engineer had only been married seven weeks. After the accident, the cars caught fire, but the blaze was extinguished by a bucket brigade.

Railway Accident


[Citation appears to be: SR, January 21, 1881]

Wellandport, Jan 18—The 2.30 express this morning on the Canada Southern, with seven coaches and quite a number of passengers aboard, ran off the track a little past here. All but the engine were overturned and badly wrecked some being thrown beyond the railway ditch into the fields. Some of the passengers were badly hurt, one of them having his ankle broken and a lady had her head badly bruised and received some internal injuries. A car had to be broken open to get one lady out. As far as can be heard of none are seriously injured. It is supposed that a rail was cracked or broken.

Collision on Wabash

[Simcoe Reformer, August 19, 1904]

A collision took place on Monday night between two Wabash freight trains at Welland Junction. Very little damage was done to the engines and only one freight car was overturned. The accident however caused some delay in traffic.

Train on CSR Went Into The Old Canal

[Simcoe Reformer, April 27, 1876]

A freight train on the Canada Southern Railway on Monday night went into the old canal at Welland, the bridge being open. The engineer and a brake man were killed. The train was loaded with whiskey, cornmeal etc.

Broken Rail Caused Engine To Plunge Off The Track

[Citation appears to be: Bru Can Sim. April 18, 1887]

In the course of an article on railroads and other commercial aspects, an exchange relates the following incident:–

In 1880 Capt. Prindville left Buffalo in a Canada Southern train for Chicago. Just the other side of the Welland Canal a broken rail caused the engine to plunge off the track and to upset. Every car on that train went over on its side, some of them on their backs. Not a passenger was injured. The captain says that it was the most complete wreck he ever saw, and that it was marvelous that no one was killed. An agent of the company came rushing along a few hours in a “special” with an attorney. Instantly, the Captain says, the whole train load of people who had been returning thanks to God were taken with spinal difficulties and all kinds of horrid injuries of one sort or another. He detected a young fellow who had sat next to him, and who had laughingly been congratulating himself on his escape, blackening his eyes with mud. The railroad agent wrote a check for $100 for that sly young man on the spot. The others got checks in proportion.