Thursday, February 11, 1937, Vol. 90, No. 50 The Northern Advance (Barrie) Page 4, col. 2

Locomotive exploded in Barrie back in 1868

Back in 1868 the citizens of Barrie were thrown into a state of excitement by the explosion of the boiler of a freight engine standing on the railway tracks opposite the west end of the freight sheds. The report was so loud that it was heard several miles away and the concussion was felt in every part of the town. People rushed to the scene expecting that a number had been killed, but though it was at two o'clock in the afternoon, not a soul was injured. The engine had been left standing while the engineer and other employees of the train were having dinner.

The freight house looked as [though] it had been shelled by a siege train and a powder min afterwards exploded under it, while the houses in the neighborhood appeared to have been riddled by large chunks of iron or brass, and portions of the frame and roof of the freight house. Bayfield St. and Mark St. were strewn for some distance with the debris. Windows were broken hundreds of yards away from the scene, and yet providentially there was not a single person injured.

The exact cause of the explosion is not exactly known. Some attributed it to a lack of water in the boiler, while the men in charge asserted it was owing to the safety valves not working or some pipe getting stopped up. The loss to the company was estimated at $20,000.

Stations: Barrie