Two Killed At Turcot, Big Storm, February 3, 1908

From the Gazette 100 years ago article here.

“It is years since the city streets have been so thoroughly blocked by snow,” The Gazette said, “and it will take weeks of hard work to get rid of it, unless a thaw comes – a fate which everyone hopes to escape.”

The Montreal Street Railway Co. did a remarkable job keeping most of its tram routes open. Even though the snow drifted “in many places higher than the tops of the cars,” only a couple of lines, on the Côte des Neiges hill and in Westmount, had to be shut down – and at that only for a few hours.

The railroads were not so lucky. For 48 hours Montreal and Quebec City were cut off from one another. Trains on routes west of Montreal were better off, running just three and four hours late. Even so, the engineer and fireman of an Ottawa-bound passenger train were killed when their train ploughed into a pair of halted switching locomotives in the Turcot Yard. The men had no idea the two switchers were there: The fierce wind had blown out a warning lantern’s red light.”

It s fascinating to read about how they simply pushed snow to the sides of the streets and let horse drawn sleds pat down the roads which could end up being a metre higher than street level by the end of winter. Just try to picture how much more space there is in the city with hardly any cars at all, except, perhaps, in winter.

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