Hurricane Hazel - 50 years later October 1954 Hurricane Hazel


Hurricane Hazel Personal Accounts

What follows is Peter Bart's comments about the song he wrote:
On the night of October 16, 1954 - Passenger Train No. 179, Engine 1319 left the city of Palmerston, Ontario.
Destination:
The city of Southampton located on the shores of Lake Huron.

A storm named 'Hurricane Hazel' came inland and caused a great deal of flooding in southern Ontario.

It was about a mile from Southampton, flooding had washed away the roadbed causing the train to derail, and the engine to roll over on its right side.

The engineer Gordon McCallum, and his fireman Stewart Nicholson died from the results of this wreck.

The bell off Engine 1319 is on display in the Southampton Museum.

I have written this song in memory of that night, and the two railroad colleagues that I knew and worked with at Palmerston in 1947.

PETER C. BART
C.N.R. Locomotive Engineer
Sarnia, Ontario

The song goes like this:

The Night Train for Southampton

(1) The Night Train for Southampton
Stands panting at the station,
Waiting for connections
From the east and the west.

The wind and the rain
Beat hard against the windows,
And the coal in the tender
Was all soaking wet.

(2) The engineer looked at his watch,
And said, "it's time to go!"
The fireman grabbed the shovel,
And shoveled in the coal.

The conductor gave the signal
That all were aboard,
And the train pulled out of Palmerston
For Lake Huron shore.

(3) The headlight on the engine
Cut a pathway through the night,
And the city lights of Palmerston
Faded out of sight.

With hands on the throttle,
And a full head of steam,
Water overflowed the banks
Of the rivers and the streams.

(4) Now the lights of Southampton
Glowed in the stormy night,
As the city of Port Elgin
Faded out of sight.

With one more mile to go,
The whistle it did sound,
But the water in the ditches
Had washed away the ground.

(5) Now the Night Train for Southampton
Lays over on its side,
And the engineer and fireman,
They are trapped inside.

The hot steam from the boiler
Filled the engine cab,
And the night was full of sadness
As she lay there on her side.

(6) With one more mile to go
The whistle it did sound,
But the water in the ditches
Had washed away the ground.

And the wind and the rain
Beat hard against the windows,
And the lights of Southampton
Faded out of sight.

Words and music by PETER C. BART (1926-2000). Song Written on April 16, 1992

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