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Excerpt from TSB Report - http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/1995/r95s0021/r95s0021.asp 
On 16 February 1995, at 0349 eastern standard time (EST), a Canadian National (CN) freight train, travelling eastward on tangent main track at Mile 4.2 of the Strathroy Subdivision in London, Ontario, collided with the rear of a stationary freight train. The force of the collision propelled the stationary train eastward where it collided with another stationary freight train. Two employees sustained serious injuries. 
In this picture, apparently looking west from Hyde Park Road overpass, cleanup is well underway. 
Bombardier HR616 CN 2105, first unit into the crash, is off the rails, badly damaged, and was scrapped. 
The cab roof of GE Dash 8-40W LMSX 723 is at the bottom right - its rear hood etc looked pretty bad, but found  enough photos of LMS 723 at later dates to suggest that it was repaired and returned to service (or cloned). 
An eastbound train lead by CN 9596 is waiting, needing to pass close to the tail of CN 2105 on the repaired south track.  A westbound train on the north track is in motion past the site.
You can cut and paste the TSB report url above into your web browser - the full report is interesting. Don't know whether this scene was on the day of the crash, or a day or few after.
Copyright Notice: This image ©John Parnell photo, J.Pittman collection all rights reserved.



Caption: Excerpt from TSB Report - http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/1995/r95s0021/r95s0021.asp
On 16 February 1995, at 0349 eastern standard time (EST), a Canadian National (CN) freight train, travelling eastward on tangent main track at Mile 4.2 of the Strathroy Subdivision in London, Ontario, collided with the rear of a stationary freight train. The force of the collision propelled the stationary train eastward where it collided with another stationary freight train. Two employees sustained serious injuries.

In this picture, apparently looking west from Hyde Park Road overpass, cleanup is well underway. Bombardier HR616 CN 2105, first unit into the crash, is off the rails, badly damaged, and was scrapped.
The cab roof of GE Dash 8-40W LMSX 723 is at the bottom right - its rear hood etc looked pretty bad, but found enough photos of LMS 723 at later dates to suggest that it was repaired and returned to service (or cloned).
An eastbound train lead by CN 9596 is waiting, needing to pass close to the tail of CN 2105 on the repaired south track.
A westbound train on the north track is in motion past the site.

You can cut and paste the TSB report url above into your web browser - the full report is interesting.
Don't know whether this scene was on the day of the crash, or a day or few after.

Photographer:
John Parnell photo, J.Pittman collection [229] (more) (contact)
Date: 02/16/1995 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 2105, LMSX 723 (search)
Train Symbol: 272 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Hyde Park (search)
City/Town: London (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
Share Link: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=36323
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5 Comments
  1. If only CTC had been in place then, or a creative dispatcher, the trains without work in London could have run east on the westbound track, and this might have turned out very differently. Having 3 trains lined up waiting for one to do some switching is perhaps why CNR was once known as “certainly no rush”. And yes, I realise it’s pointless to throw out the “what if’s”, but I can’t help myself.

  2. Your first person account is very interesting, thanks Jason. I have pictures with other views from this mishap, anyone want to see more ?

    The engines of the receding westbound train are CN 9470,9526,7213,and slug 236.
    My pre-cleanup picture of the crash is: http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=36332

  3. When this incident happened it was big news at the time. There was no internet, if you can imagine, so all the media coverage was done by radio, television news and the daily papers. Obviously the location of where it occurred added to the hype as people and reporters could easily view the scene from the Hyde Park Road overpass and its proximity within London at the time. Luckily, as reported in the TSB report and in the news, both crew members escaped with relative minor injuries compared with the severity of the incident.
    It initially had happened on a Thursday morning, however by the Friday afternoon when my Dad and I ventured down to see, 2105 was still sitting where it had come to rest after the impact. The LMS unit was off to the side sitting on the team track and the severely damaged cars had been pushed-off to the side so crews could better access and re-rail 2105. Any approaching trains on the Strathroy Subdivision could be heard calling foremen at the scene from miles away, so getting a heads-up to photograph CN trains passing by from the road bridge was relatively easy. By late-afternoon several passerby’s as well as other railfan’s had walked down a path and into a nearby field to observe and photograph (from a safe distance) 2105 being re-railed as large cranes were attached to set the unit back onto waiting trucks. The following day on February 18, we again ventured back to London to railfan and see the clean-up progress. It was a much different scene, as the army of CN workers and foremen were gone and only a couple personnel remained. CN 2105 was now re-railed and on the same track as LMS 723, with freight and passenger trains passing by on the line no longer requiring permission through the area. This location now has houses where the fields are in the photo on either side of the Strathroy Subdivision and looks completely different now. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 24 years since this happened!

  4. Comparison with an early morning (of Feb 16?) image leads me to believe that the approaching train consists of two rescue locos that have coupled on to relatively undamaged part of crash train 272. LMSX 723, and three head-end boxcars from 272 that were derailed / damaged, had been removed from the south track.

  5. Here’s a photo showing the rear of 723 at Juniata shops in Altoona PA while it was waiting to be repaired. http://conrailphotos.thecrhs.org/Images/LMS-723-at-Juniata

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