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This was just one of those days. Dull and miserable, and no doubt those 'train-chasers' looked out the window and went back to sleep, unaware that the Wreck of the Century had taken place during the night. Just before midnight, CP train #54 derailed in Mississauga due to an overheated wheel, a massive explosion and evacuation followed; over 250,000 people relocated. Trains quickly became backed up. A solution was to run the eastbounds down from Guelph Jct., into Hamilton, run power around the train and head out to Toronto by way of CN's Oakville sub. If there was anything at all amusing from a railfan's point of view; it was that most fans sheepishly admitted to missing the Sunday detour action, and then most took the following day off in hopes of catching some traffic....but there was none to be had. The mess in Mississauga brought rail traffic to a standstill.  This image was of the first train I saw that day, around noonish, IIRC, CP 8769, C&0 3046, 3006,and 3537 the power. For those unfamiliar, the bridge is over Hwy 403, and, the one railfan out there standing in the grasses,if he is with RP.ca, it would be appreciated if he would identify himself. That way, 30+ years later, I can complain he was in my picture. :o)
Copyright Notice: This image ©A.W. Mooney all rights reserved.



Caption: This was just one of those days. Dull and miserable, and no doubt those 'train-chasers' looked out the window and went back to sleep, unaware that the Wreck of the Century had taken place during the night. Just before midnight, CP train #54 derailed in Mississauga due to an overheated wheel, a massive explosion and evacuation followed; over 250,000 people relocated. Trains quickly became backed up. A solution was to run the eastbounds down from Guelph Jct., into Hamilton, run power around the train and head out to Toronto by way of CN's Oakville sub. If there was anything at all amusing from a railfan's point of view; it was that most fans sheepishly admitted to missing the Sunday detour action, and then most took the following day off in hopes of catching some traffic....but there was none to be had. The mess in Mississauga brought rail traffic to a standstill. This image was of the first train I saw that day, around noonish, IIRC, CP 8769, C&0 3046, 3006,and 3537 the power. For those unfamiliar, the bridge is over Hwy 403, and, the one railfan out there standing in the grasses,if he is with RP.ca, it would be appreciated if he would identify himself. That way, 30+ years later, I can complain he was in my picture. :o)

Photographer:
A.W. Mooney [965] (more) (contact)
Date: 11/11/1979 (search)
Railway: Canadian Pacific (search)
Reporting Marks: CP 8769 (search)
Train Symbol: Not Provided
Subdivision/SNS: CP Goderich sub. (search)
City/Town: Hamilton (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 11411

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9 Comments
  1. Ya know what,Snake? I think you’ve got it!!! Wonder where he is these days? He walked up to me at Dundas in 1993 when I was shooting those odd VIAs with the GO bilevels………..and never heard of him since. Remember his car? The “Binghamton Bullet”??? And you thought my car was bad………….

  2. It was BILL TOWNSEND in the pic ! finally figured it out after 35 years !

  3. Great pic. That day changed everything in Canada when it comes to the movement of dangerous goods by rail.

  4. The lead unit of this train, CP 8769, is an MLW RS-18. Built in 03/1958, it became an RS-18u number 1860 in the mid to late 1980s. Today it survives on the Ontario Southland Railway-Guelph Junction Division. It went out of service in 2009 due to mechanical problems, and has been stored dead ever since. An operating RS-18u is also on the OSR/GJR, 181 (ex CP 1861, nee CP 8777) still runs almost daily.

  5. Im sad that there are so few trees compaired to now. I am not sad about the code lines being gone!!

  6. Another wonderful ‘Mooney special’! Flying white flags gives the train such a touch of class; a butler with white gloves, very polished. Shame that it’s another aspect of railroading now left in the past.

  7. Wow. Excellent shot. I really like how you can see the train snaking through the curves almost completely unobstructed. The only compromise to this location must have been the code line from CN. Without it, you would have had the best of both worlds. Nonetheless, a nice look back at some railroading history around Hamilton as always!

  8. There were NO detours running down from Guelph Jct on the Monday. I cannot say for the remainder of the week because it was a working life back then, my memory has faded, so the next detour trains I saw were not until the following Sunday, one I posted a while back at Dundas (CP 5530 west). I do vividly recall a mass of humanity with their cameras wandering around waiting out CP detours in vain on the Monday. It was humorous all these guys that ‘called in sick’ just to be out. I was on a regular scheduled day off…..and I had been hopeful for some action too………

  9. No detours at all? Curious how traffic would have ground to a standstill even for re-routes. I remember the derailment well, even though I was only 2 or 3 and lived in the area, it was huge for the fairly new city. I remember a memorial (like a model in a glass box) at Square One or Shoppers Town Centre in Meadowvale showing the wreck. Gave me a nightmare which I still remember to this day, associated with that monument.

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