More information on the train wreck

Past Forward received the following email from John Read of Montreal. He has done some detective work and has new information on our train wreck photographs. 

A few weeks ago, I happened to see your article on the mystery train wreck.  I discussed this with Earl Roberts, of The Branchline as well, and by doing a little detective work have some new 
information on it. 

This accident has occurred on the Canadian Pacific.  In photo no. 1, I can barely make out an engine number on the tender side of the work train's engine.  That's ancient CP style.  But, the real proof is the derailed engine.  It is not a Mogul, which is wheel arrangement 2-6-0, but a 
Ten-Wheeler, or 4-6-0.  Her wheel arrangement is clearly visible in photo no. 3, despite the men standing blocking her front driver. 

Checking in a book on CP steam, Earl told me that CPR 4-6-0 2713, class D-10, was built in May of 1911, and scarcely 2 1/2 years later, in December 1913, was renumbered 913. 

Now we can see grass and leaves on the bushes, so this must have happened between late Spring and Fall of either 1911, 1912, or 1913.  This looks like a westbound CPR passenger train. 

There is mention that the photos were mailed from England to Fossmill and Sturgeon Falls.  I showed this to someone who lived in Sturgeon Falls and judging from the flat country, this may be at or west of Sturgeon Falls on the CPR.  A clue in photo no. 5's caption may be the reference to a "siding going down to the dock".  Perhaps you may have reader's who know of a 
location along the CPR there where such a track existed.  Perhaps the photographer lived in Sturgeon Falls and went out to photograph an accident that happened in his home area. 

My name is John Read, and I've been into railroading since age 5 and have worked for the CN for 34 years.  I am in Montreal now.  I hope I've been able to give you some clues to work with and thank Earl Roberts for his help as well.  I wish you all the very best. 

In response to the above comments Chris Andersen Wrote:

I was looking at your train wreck photos, as well as the comments by John Read and Earl Roberts. A couple of points: No, the loco isn't a Mogul (2-6-0), but it's not a Ten-wheeler (4-6-0) either. If you look really carefully, you'll see a pair of large trailing wheels under the back of the cab in Photo 3. This engine is a passenger service (as can be determined by the presence of a "cowcatcher") Pacific (4-6-2)! 

We also received this from Len Mcanulty. He wrote:

Re wreck of 2713, it looks like Sturgeon Falls, Ontario.  The 2713 worked west out of North By to Cartier and her sister the 2712 worked east to Chalk River on Numbers I and 2.  I was fortunate enough to have a couple rides in the late 20's on the 2713 as my Dad was fireman for one summer.  Incidentally my Dad was killed in a head on just east of Ruthergen, On.  He was engineer on a westbound freight and the eastbound freight did not have a meet order.  The wreck killed five outright, my Dad his  firemen and the brakeman and two on the other engine. The wreck happened on June 15, 1945.  If there is any other information I can supply please contact me -- 

Re Wreck - It was definitely a CPR locomotive, a Pacific type - 4 6 2.  Like all CPR engines around that time, the 2713 was well maintained and a beauty to look at and ride. You may include anything I have written.  This one great web site. 

We also received this from Larry Buchan. He wrote:

I have just checked out you web site on the mystery train wreck on the C.P.R. very interesting photos. My copy of the book Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives by Omer Lavalle'e on page 315 shows the 2713 as a G4B, Pacific wheel arrangement 4-6-2 built at the C.P.R.'s Angus shops in Montreal on Feb. 1921, and scrapped Oct. 1954. While there is no photo of the 2713 in this book there one of the 2714 on page 165, and the front view of the locomotive looks simular to your photo No. 2 and has the same style of number boards. In B.R.M.N.A.'s publication Canadian Pacific in Southern Ontario, Volume 2, by W.H.N. Rossiter says the following about the G4B's on page 15 "As far as I know, four of the G4b's, Nos. 2712, 2713, 2714, and 2715 saw service in the Toronto area but by the late 1930's they had all transferred to Western Lines" I hope this helps 
answer some of the questions about this wreck. 

Best regards, 

Larry Buchan 

We received this from Ray State Nottingham, England, He wrote:

I found your web site by accident whilst looking for something else.  I have
a CP Diagram and Data book from 1945.  I can confirm that the details of
4-6-2 2713 match the G4b class which in 1945 stood at 6 locomotives 2712 to 2717 (the G4a being 12 locomotives 2700 to 2711).  It also confirms the build date as Feb 1921.  Interestingly 2708/10/11/12 to 15 are shown as having mechanical stokers and as such have coal tenders.  The coal tender held 8000 gallons of water and was carried on two 4 wheeled trucks.  In your photographs the coal spilling from the tender can be seen and the two trucks are clearly 4 wheeled.  There is a lot of data about boiler pressure and sizes but I thought you might like the attached diagram.

Incidentally, as the locomotive was a coal burner I would have thought its
allocation would be more towards the eastern provinces rather than the
western to which its oil-burning sisters would have more appropriate.  Maybe someone has an idea on this suggestion.

As regards date, my database holds details of 273 Canadian wrecks but none match the details of the 2713 incident.   Looking at the children in picture no 3 the length of the trousers would tend to indicate late 1920's.   Thus the accident occurred when the locomotive was comparatively new.

The stats for 1927 and 1929 as compiled by the Government of Canada are


14 passengers killed,6 in collisions, 5 in boarding moving trains, 3 struck
by trains.  150 trainmen killed 16 in collisions, 14 in derailments, 9 in
coupling errors, 20 fell off trains and 34 hit by trains.   245 trespassers
were killed almost all whilst walking on the line.


171 trainmen killed, 43 in collisions and derailments, 17 fell off trains,
73 hit by trains.

It is possible your photographs are of this period.

Ray State
Nottingham, England

What do you think?
Any additional comments ideas please e-mail us.

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