GODERICH — A freight train jumped the tracks at a Goderich-area grain elevator on Feb. 1 and smashed into a transport truck, a pick-up truck and destroyed one building. No one was injured.
The Goderich-Exeter Railway train was picking up a load of peas at Goderich Elevator and Transit Company Ltd. at around 1:30 p.m. at the western end of the line. After 14 of the train’s 35 cars were filled with peas the train began heading east. But it didn’t even make it past the first hill. For reasons still under investigation, the train stopped and began to roll backwards.
Picking up speed as it rolled back towards the elevator, the runaway train slammed into a transport truck loading up peas, grabbed it, flipped it and shoved it up an adjacent hillside. The driver was not in the truck.
The train then hit the end of the line and kept rolling. In total, 10 of its cars jumped the end of the tracks. A pickup truck driver who thought he was a safe distance away saw the train coming and managed to move his truck to avoid a direct hit but the train still sandwiched his truck against a chain-link fence. Neither he nor his passenger were injured, said police, but the truck took significant damage.
Continuing on its path parallel to the harbour, the train also smashed apart an old fishing shanty before coming to a rest some 200 metres past the end of the tracks and avoiding a dip into Lake Huron.