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The contract let!

Yesterday the contract for the construction of the Port Dover and Lake Huron Railway from Woodstock to Port Dover, and conditionally from Woodstock to Stratford, was let to Mr. Josephy Whitehead of Clinton. The contract includes the completion of the road ready for rolling stock, with the exception of stations, freight and tank houses, &c., and the whole is to be done by next fall. The monetary conditions entered into with Mr. Whitehead, we are informed, are very favorable to the Company and relieve the Board in a great measure from the embarrassing responsibility of negotiating the debentures and bonds necessary to provide means for the financial outlay while the road is under construction. Fuller details of the contract will be forthcoming at the approaching annual meeting, of which notice is given today. Meanwhile the scheme may now be pronounced fairly under way and in less than a year hence we may hope to hear the welcome whistle of the first engine on the Port Dover and Lake Huron Railway. So mote it be.

Ref: Otterville Subdivision.

Railway collision near Brantford.

One man killed and tow others seriously wounded.—Cause of the accident.

An accident occured on the Buffalo and Lake Huron Branch of the Grand Trunk Railway on Sabbath morning [Sunday, November 9, 1873] about 4 o'clock, about four and a half miles east of Brantford. The night express going east came into collision with a mixed train coming west. Two engines and four or five cars were badly smashed. The baggage and baggage car were burnt. The passengers were all uninjured, but the fireman of the express train was killed. One of the brakesman and the baggagemen are seriously hurt. The brakesman and the baggageman are both Oddfellows, one belonging to St. Mary's. They are now in the charge of the members of the two lodges here, and will be well cared for. The fireman was also an Oddfellow and a member of Gore Lodge, Brantford.

Referring to the above and to the Coroner's investigation into the cause thereof which has not yet closed the Brantford Expositor of Wednesday says:

The fatal event of Sunday morning seems to have been caused, as nearly as can be ascertained from the incomplete evidence already given to the coroner's jury, by a confusion of details in the mind of the night telegraph operator here, Mr. Symington. There were on this part of the Grand Trunk Railroad, between 12 o'clock midnight and 3 a.m., Sunday, four objects whose whereabouts had to be kept track of. Coming west were an engine, No. 362, carrying a red light; a mixed train, No. 8, following the red; an express, No. 6, still behind No. 8. Going east wqas an express No. 5, which collided with No. 8 between Brantford and Onondaga. General orders are issued from Stratford, and there is no night telegraph station between Caledonia and Brantford, thought there are two or more stations where trains can cross by previous arrangement. According to the rules of the company, which every employee seems to have well understood, an engine "carrying a red," and a train "following a red," have right of way, and despatchers and station masters are bound to keep every other train out of their road. Engine No. 362 and mixed train No. 8 occupied that position. The despatcher at Stratford knew that fact and sent an order to Brantford to detain No. 5 going east, evidently with the intention that No. 362 and No. 8 would reach Brantford before No. 5 started out. There is conflicting testimony as to whether Symington had been warned that No. 8 was, technically, "following a red." He had an idea of the fact, from a passing message over the wires, as is shown by his entry in the book when No., 362 came into the yard; but he does not appear to have grasped the full idea or he would not have allowed No. 5 to set out. When he got a message from Stratford revoking the detention order for No. 5, in reply to his own report that 362 had come in, he let No. 5 go, and afterwards enquired of the despatcher where it would cross No. 8. The asnwer was, according to the despatcher's evidence, "at Brantford;" according to the operator, "at Onondaga."—No order appears to have been given to the conductor of No. 8 to stay at Onondaga, or to cancel his "red," and he must have left that station about the time that No. 5 left Brantford.—Symington's duty was to have remembered that No. 8 "followed a red," and to have detained No. 5 here until No. 8 came in, regardless of the fact that No. 5's detention order had been cancelled. From not doing so the collision was caused, with its fatal result.

To those accustomed to the complicated details of railway routine there will be suggested many excuses for the mistake of Mr. Symington. To a weary operator, keeping his midnight vigil, with an obstacle just removed by the arrival of No. 362, with the detention order just revoked by a message from his superior at Stratford, and with the idea implanted in his mind that a mixed train would wait at Onondaga until the express arrived there from Brantford; with that mixed a long way behind time, while the express had been waiting here on a detention order, the error could easily occur. The decision of the jury cannot be anticipated, and the evidence afford us no other ground for explanation. At this point the case must rest until further developments.

The name of the fireman who was killed was Watts Rutherford.

Ref: Brantford.


... The first locomotive on the southern extension of the W., G. & B. Railway arrived at Kincardine on Friday [November 7, 1873]. ...

Ref: Kincardine.

... The Grand Trunk Railway Co. contemplate the erection, at Stratford station, of a large building, convenient to the round-house which is to be used as lodging rooms for the employees. ...

Ref: Stratford.

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Port Dover & Lake Huron Railway Company.

Annual meeting.

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the By-Law of the Port Dover and Lake Huron Railway Company, the general Annual Meeting of the Shareholders of the Company will be held in the Town Hall, Woodstock, Tuesday, 16th December, 1873, at the hour of 10 o'clock a. m.

Special general meeting.

Notice is also hereby given that a Special General Meeting of the Shareholders of the said Railway Company will be held at the same place at 2 p. m. of the same day for the purpose of obtaining the sanction of the Shareholders to the issue of bonds in the manner and for the purposes provided by the several acts relating to the said Company. Also, that upon the conclusion of such meeting a Special General Meeting of the said Shareholders will be held for other purposes.

Call of ten per cent.

Notice is further given to the Shareholders of the said Railway Company that a second call of ten per cent. on the subscribed capital Stock of the Company has been made payable at the Royal Canadian Bank in Woodstock on or before the

15th day of December next.

By order
R. W. Sawtell,

Dated Woodstock, Nov. 10, '73.

Ref: Otterville Subdivision.