Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

Smash up on the Canada Southern

Two Freight Trains Collide

[Waterford Star, February 7, 1879]

Welland, Feb. 2nd—This morning about 5:15 freight train No 13, C.S.R., mostly empties, bound west, was left standing an the Lyons Creek bridge about a mile and a-half east of Welland, when the engine ran to the tank near Welland station for water. While there No. 119 special, also mostly empty cars, ran into the rear of the former train, causing great destruction of property and the serious, if not fatal, injury of Geo. Tyler, brakesmen on No. 13. Eighteen cars was entirely destroyed. The locomotive of the rear train ran into the caboose of the other and both were burned so as to be entirely useless, nothing being left of the caboose except trucks. The fire occurred about the middle of the bridge, which was also considerably burned, being saved only by the exertion of farmers living in the immediate vicinity of the collision. One car of clocks was so smashed up as to be a total loss, and a car of dry goods was badly damaged. The escape of the engineer and fireman of 119 was almost miraculous, as they knew nothing of their danger until the engine was stopped, having been almost telescoped into the caboose.The usual signals were not seen. By eight o’clock a.m. Superintendent Skinner was on the ground and a telegraph office established in an invered car. Timber, rails and other material were brought, and by well directed exertions the debris was removed, the bridge repaired, and traffic resumed by five p.m. The brakesman Tyler was attended by Dr. Cook, of Welland. His leg is badley broken near the ankle, and it is feared that amputation will be necessary. About six p.m. he was removed to St. Thomas, where his leg was amputated above the ankle by Dr. McLarty.