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On the morning of June 10/75 N&W train DN90 suffered a broken traction motor gearcase cover while moving at track speed through Simcoe on the CN Cayuga Sub. The resulting derailment caused lead F7 3659 to plummet off the Highway 24 bridge and burst into flames, killing the crew. Trailing unit 3725 derailed but remained upright. Two days later, on my lunchhour break from TH&B Brantford office duty, I drove to the aftermath and shot 3659, after it had been retrieved from the overpass and set aside in preparation for movement.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Bruce Mercer all rights reserved.



Caption: On the morning of June 10/75 N&W train DN90 suffered a broken traction motor gearcase cover while moving at track speed through Simcoe on the CN Cayuga Sub. The resulting derailment caused lead F7 3659 to plummet off the Highway 24 bridge and burst into flames, killing the crew. Trailing unit 3725 derailed but remained upright. Two days later, on my lunchhour break from TH&B Brantford office duty, I drove to the aftermath and shot 3659, after it had been retrieved from the overpass and set aside in preparation for movement.

Photographer:
Bruce Mercer [100] (more) (contact)
Date: 06/12/1975 (search)
Railway: Norfolk and Western (search)
Reporting Marks: N&W 3659 (search)
Train Symbol: DN-90 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Cayuga Sub (search)
City/Town: Simcoe (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=28677
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Photo ID: 27514

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

Full size | Suncalc
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12 Comments
  1. Wow, what a sad story. :-(

  2. I remember seeing it on the front of the Globe & Mail paper the morning after…nose down onto the underpass below. Quote tragic,

  3. Tragic indeed. Thanks for documenting this Bruce and for sharing.

  4. Yes, sad story but an extremely historic photo, and historically important. By that time, F units were rapidly being phased out, so I’ll assume this one was scrapped.

  5. I agree about the story being sad and the loss of the F unit, but one can’t compare the loss of a locomotive to the loss of the crew. F’s are still around. Those men are not.

  6. Don’t misunderstand me, the lives of the crew were far more important. The F unit is a machine, replaceable. I was just wondering about the disposition of the “F7″, not marginalizing the human loss.

  7. Bruce, I worked that wreck in Simcoe and have photos of trailing unit N&W 3726 (not 3725) laying on its side atop the overpass. It was uprighted and shoved clear before the Nadrofsky Steel mobile was set up to retrieve the 3659.

  8. Paul: I’m certain we would all like to see those photos.

  9. Paul, that is my error, it was indeed 3726 trailing. And it was lying on it’s side. I’ll make the attempt to be a little more accurate in the future.

  10. 10-4 Bruce. No criticism intended. Just wanted to have the correct info out their for everyone. Sure would like to see more of your photos on the site. As for my photos at the wreck site, they are more from a working perspective than a well thought out content view. I will see if there is anything acceptable for posting.

  11. Our family lived at 29 North St in Simcoe, the house right next to the tracks were this happened. I used to climb up into the engines with the engineers when they were shunted on the sidetracks waiting for another train to pass. I loved the trains. Used to wake up every morning at 5 or 5:30 AM every morning to watch the train go by. That morning was devastating for me as a young boy in maybe grade 6. I heard the train and rose to see flames reflecting off my bedroom window, I can swear I heard the engineers screaming from the train as the train raced by way over speed. Then suddenly I remember the engine as it raced by started to bounce and then flipped and rolled right beyond my view. I ran out of the house screaming “the train is on fire” and my parents called the police. My father had to race out of the house to catch me fearing I’d get to close to the train. We could hear the engineers screaming as the engine was engulfed in diesel fire. It was horrific. Just 5 months later we heard of the sinking of the Edmunds Fitzgerald in school. Definitely a bad year.

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