The Glen Tay Train Wrecks of Lanark County



Glen Tay Wreck  Feb 26th–1925

In 1925 just outside of Perth was the site of the Glen Tay Wreck. An eastboung train with boxcars full of paper and fish ran through an open switch and collided head on with a freight train that was standing still at the Glen Tay Station. Five Perth doctors and sveral nurses drove to the scene of the accident to give first aid to the injured. Some of those injured were members of the Ottawa Hockey team returning home from a game in Hamilton.


Four seriously injured men were brought to the hospital in Perth and Engineer David Bourne of Toronto in the eastbound train died 4 days later from his injuries.


During the depression men would get off the train in Glen Tay, walk across country, all the way up the road, looking first for a meal, and at the same time for work. They would walk up these roads to the Scotch Line and then up that road. They were usually met with generosity and word got around this was a great area to get a meal.


From the Ottawa Citizen 18 July 1942—12 persons hurt in train collision in Lanark County


9 passengers, three crewmen slightly injured as freight and express crash at Glen Tay.
Nine passengers and three train crew members were injured slightly early today when a fast freight train collided with the Montreal – Toronto express at Glen Tay station in Lanark County, the Canadian Pacific Railway announced.


GlenTay Train wreck 2.jpg


The C.P.R. said the cause of the collision, at 2.28 a.m., has not yet been definitely determined.  The line was blocked until 6.55 a.m. C.P.R. train No. 904, fast eastbound freight, puling into Glen Tay at 2.28 this morning, struck passenger train No. 21, which was standing on westbound main track in front of the station,” the C.P.R. said.
“Eight cars on No.904 and one coach on No. 21 were derailed.  Two members of the crew of No. 904 and one member of the crew of No. 21 and nine passengers were injured, none of them seriously.  The line was cleared by 6.55 this morning.


GlenTay Train wreck 3.jpg

List of injured. (included F.E. Lindsay, baggageman, Toronto; M. Cousineau, fireman, Smiths Falls; J. Duffy, fireman, Smiths Falls.)
News of the derailment caused considerable excitement in Ottawa this morning.  Many Ottawans were aboard the train which left Union Station here at 11 o’clock last night. The newspaper and railway offices handled many calls from friends anxious to find out whether any of the passengers had been killed or seriously injured.  They were relieved to hear that only a small number of the passengers had been hurt, and these slightly.
The morning train from Toronto, due to arrive in the Capital at 7.30, was two hours late, coming in at 9.30.

From the Toronto Star
Sixteen are injured in head-on collision
One man thought seriously hurt – others receive but bruises
Perth Ont. Feb 26 Sixteen people were slightly injured, one seriously, when a C.P.R train crashed head-on into a waiting freight train at Glen Bay (sic) three miles from here this afternoon.  Albert Labelle of Montreal, who is not expected to recover, is in hospital there.
An open switch threw the passenger train into a siding where the freight was standing at the station at Glen Bay (sic).  The engine crew, Walter Norris and A. Bourne, Toronto leaped to safety when they saw the crash coming and escaped with bruises.  Norris is the most seriously injured of the two and is in hospital here.
One of the Tornoto people who were slightly bruised was Mrs. J.W. Hobday of the Bernardo Homes, 538 Jarvis street, Toronto.  The passengers included the Ottawa professional hockey team and a number of the players received bruises.  They are Frank Ahearn, manager; G. Boucher, E. Campbell, P. Green, Alex Smith and Alex Connell.  Others who received minor injuries were:  W.O. Sobel, Philadelphia; W.O.L. Hazel, Montreal; Mrs B.G. Cullen, Florence, Italy; Mrs. T.G. Potter, Montreal; Sister St. Stephen, Montreal; S.S. Etienne, Montreal; Miss H. Page, Ottawa and Miss A. Dodds, Hamilton.
The train was the fast Canadian Pacific passenger No. 20 (“The Canadian”) bound from Chicago to Montreal.  It is due in Montreal about seven o’clock to-night.


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My client, age 94, tells of the times men would get off the train in Lombardy and come for a sandwich. She’s lived in the same farmhouse for 73 years.



Related Reading

The Titanic of a Railway Disaster — Dr. Allan McLellan of Carleton Place

What Happened on the CPR Railway Bridge?

Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling — Our Haunted Heritage



The Buchanan Scrapbook

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. My house is the Glen Tay Station that the Glen Tay Wreck occurred at, the house has been moved from the original location to a new location, unfortunately I have been unable to find more information about my house other than the wreck and that it has been moved.


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