1867 Blairton's "Pioneer" to the Rescue!

July 5,  1867    The Cobourg World


The Pioneer engine in Blairton

"On Monday last, the first load of iron  ore, -about ninety tons - arrived  over the Cobourg and  Marmora  Railway at  Cobourg wharves. A large number of people were  in waiting for its arrival, who testified their  delight at the auspicious event. Shortly  after the stoppage of the load, Dr. Beatty,  Mayor of Cobourg, in an appropriate speech, proposed three cheers for the Company, by whose energy, notwithstanding the mishap of Thursday night, the original programme had been carried out, The proposition  met  with an enthusiastic response. Cheers were afterwards proposed and given, with hearty good will  to Thomas Dumble, Esq. Jr, the energetic contractor, and to Dr. Beatty,  Mayor. The energy of the Managing Director and those engaged with him, certainly deserves all praise.

After the accident, having no engine upon this end of the road, the  "Pioneer" was immediately  sent for, and brought upon a scow from Belmont, in readiness to convey the first load of ore which arrived at Harwood on Saturday.    Now that business has fairly commenced, and several offers made for lake transportation, we may hope that the trade of the Company will increase, and their affairs abundantly prosper."

The accident referred to was described in another column:

"We regret to have to announce that after a most delightful day at the mines,  about midnight last night,  just after the Cobourg party,  consisting of about 150 of our citizens, had left Harwood for home,  having proceeded half a mile on their journey,   the fine new Engine,  "Marmora" ran over two cows which lay upon the track,  cutting them to pieces, and being itself thrown from the rails,  was precipitated down an embankment of twelve feet,  at the bottom of which it now lies,  upon its back,  a complete wreck.  Fortunately the coupling attaching it to the tender broke,  otherwise the whole train must have shared the fate of the engine,  in all probability with the sacrifice of many lives.  As it is,  no one has been injured.  The Company, however, has met with a very serious loss,  not only in the damage to the engine and track,  but in the disarrangement of their plans.  A few of the party walked the fifteen miles home;  while the bulk returned to Harwood and will reach home today as best they can."  The paper also added a foot note that the engine was,  in fact,  not "a complete wreck"  but was in fact,  scheduled for repairs,  and was expected to run again.

Cobourg Harbour with schooner and ore cars on raised trestle