To Index
Painting by Lowell Huestis of the train crash which occurred at Handrahan's Crossing near Tignish. The wreck happened at 1:30 AM on the morning of February 21, 1932. There had been an extremely heavy snowfall and Handrahan's Crossing was infamous as a trouble spot for drifting. A train had been stuck in a drift there since 6:30 in the evening, and despite the best efforts of 24 snow shovelers, had refused to budge ever since.

Men were posted at a water tower up the track to flag down any oncoming trains. But by 1:30, they thought that even the double-header plow (a train with two plows on the front) must have gotten stuck and began walking down the track to the train. All of sudden, they heard the double-header coming down the track, building up a head of steam so as to hit the Handrahan's Crossing drifts at full force. The men heaved rocks at the double-header to try and warn it, but to no avail. There was no way for the driver to see around the two plows, and he hit the rear of the stalled train with the force intended for the snow bank, splitting the coach car completely in half. Four people were killed, and one man-- caught under the wheels-- had to have his legs amputated. Because of the disaster, a man was permanently stationed at Tignish, to guard against a similar tragedy happening ever again. (Railway Heritage Association, Photo by Tom MacDonald)