November 10, 1979 Saturday: Sarnia 07:10 a.m. C&O local 4 leaves with 69 cars, 63 to be interchanged with the CPR at Chatham. Many of the cars are tank cars containing caustic soda, propane, styrene, toluene and chlorine. The cars are left at Chatham yard at 3:55 p.m. Windsor 12:45 p.m.. CP train 84 leaves Walkerville yard. The motive power is GO Transit, leased for the weekend. They pick up the C&O cars at Chatham and leave at 6:00 p.m. Train 84 has 102 cars. At London, train 84 becomes train 54 and receives a new crew. 4 more cars are picked up. At Woodstock, 5 cars are set out and 5 are picked up. The train is now 6,627 feet long and weighs 9,050 tons. At 11:15 p.m. train 54 passes Guelph Junction, milepost 39.02. This is at the top of the Niagara escarpment and the beginning a long, steep downgrade. A couple in a car see smoke coming from the train, possibly from a journal box. At this point the train is 39 miles from Toronto. 15 miles farther, at the bottom of the grade, a couple see fire 2 to 4 feet in diameter coming from the wheel. Several more people see flames or sparks. Around milepost 17.98, the end of the journal of the rear axle of the 33rd car of the train falls to the roadbed. It is red hot. The rest of the axle and the two wheels are found, glowing red, in a backyard. Another mile and the tank car is tilted about 15 degrees. Sparks are shooting from where the truck is scraping along the ballast. The front wheels of the rear truck have derailed at mp 16.82. At Mavis road, mp 16.56, the truck meets a trailing switch and is torn from the car. The tanker stops; the following cars turns sideways, and 24 cars are spilled over the level crossing in a space of just over 400 feet. It is a few minutes short of midnight. Nine of the cars contain propane; one contains chlorine; there are 3 cars of styrene, 3 of toluene, 4 of caustic soda and some boxcars. All the cars originated on train 4 in Sarnia.