Sudden Impact – The Almonte Train Wreck of 1942


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Sudden Impact – The Almonte Train Wreck of 1942 by Jamie Bramburger

    At the back of the train, the singing of Christmas songs continued as even more people squeezed on. As the train            waited, five-year old Bernie Turcotte asked his mother…”What is that bright light, Mommy?”

On Sunday evening, December 27, 1942, Passenger Extra 2802, a troop train loaded with Canadian soldiers on their way to Halifax and ultimately Europe, rammed into Pembroke Local No. 550 as it was boarding passengers at Almonte station. It was standing-room only on the Local, which had been steadily collecting post-Christmas revellers from up the Valley, heading back to Ottawa and other points after celebrating the holidays with family. Many never knew what hit them.

The Local was supposed to have left Almonte station by that time, but it was running behind schedule, due to its increased load. Dozens were killed, and more than 150 were injured in what was Canada’s worst train accident to that date. News of the crash made headlines across North America and as far away as the United Kingdom.

Eighty years later, Pembroke historian and former broadcaster, Jamie Bramburger, has painstakingly combed through newspaper reports, inquest records, and government documents — some of which the public could not readily access — to piece together what really happened, before, during, and after the crash. Interviews with survivors and their families show just how deeply this tragedy still marks this small Ottawa Valley town.

ISBN: 978-1-77257-405-0 (PB)
ISBN: 978-1-77257-406-7 (eBook) – To be released at a later date



Additional information

Weight 0.400 kg
Dimensions 23.5 × 15.3 × 1.6 cm


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