Part 5 of a collection about the Merritton Train Tunnel that runs under the 3rd Welland Canal.
St. Catharines Standard – Jan 3, 1903
No.4 Express Collides with a light Mogul Near Merritton Tunnel
On the Grand Trunk rail line near Merritton a serious and fatal accident occurred near the Merritton Tunnel today. The accident occurred around 7:03am at a point about 100 yards from the tunnels western entrance. Engine Number 975 was an 80 ton mogul train to leave from Niagara Falls at 6:00am each morning and run through to Hamilton.
Engine Number 4 express train was one of the best and fastest trains on the G.T. R. and was scheduled to arrive in Merritton at 6:28am. The Engineer’s name was Duke and the fireman that manned the boiler was Abraham Desult both from Sarnia. As nearly as can be learned it was 7:03 am when the ill-fated express train passed a small telegraph station near the tunnel,
A few moments later and almost one third of a mile down the track the engine of the express train and the light mogul train met with a terrible crash. Both engines at the time of the collision were in full steam when they met head on. The accident happened on a sharp curve where both engineers could not see each other for a distance of 200ft. The estimated speeds of both trains were about 22MPH at the time of the collision.
Both engineers escaped with only broken limbs and minor cuts to face and arms while Mr. Charles Horning (firemen) for the express train was killed instantly. The reporter described the condition of the body as being jammed between the boiler and tentler, his body was horribly mangled. When rescuers went to pull on the limbs of the man to try to free him they broke off. When some of the remains were taken away, his mid section was so tightly wedged between the tentler and boiler that his remaining body could not be pulled free. It was even noted that his watch on one of his arms was still working……
The other firemen (Abraham Desult) from the mogal train was smashed into the boiler of the train, and received burns to 90% of his body. He was rushed to the St.Catharines General Hospital where he died 5 hours after the accident.
The People’s Press – Jan 3, 1903
Another Wreck For The Grand Trunk
The wreck on the Grand Trunk at Merritton tunnel this morning has added greatly to the general uneasiness regarding the condition of affairs on the Grand Trunk system, which has caused four wrecks in a week—Wanstead, Victoria Bridge, Toronto and now Merritton. Some of the Grand Trunk men lay the blame for the accidents to the indroduction…… (sorry this is all I have of this news article)
Also see: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16