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Transcontinental Tour


Central Ontario Railway

Brochure of the Central Ontario Railway, 1911, with photographs of a track and a train station


Central Ontario Railway, 1911

The Central Ontario Railway had been running for thirty-two years before succumbing to Mackenzie and Mann (Canadian Northern Railway) to feed their main line between Toronto and Ottawa. The first train ran from Picton to Trenton in 1880 under its original name, the Prince Edward County Railway. Two years later, as the Central Ontario Railway, multiple expansions began in order to reach the areas of relatively unexploited iron ore discoveries recently found to the north. The intention was to connect with the Canada Atlantic Railway near Whitney, but they didn't quite make it. Construction was halted some eight miles away and never resumed. Despite the railway's reliance on the mining industry, haulage of farmers' produce and sawn lumber proved to be steady, as did passenger traffic.

London & Port Stanley Railway Company

On-board sign, London & Port Stanley Railway, n.d., reading SPITTING IS PROHIBITED


On-board sign, London & Port Stanley Railway, n.d.

The London & Port Stanley Railway opened in 1856. Covering the distance between London & Port Stanley along Lake Erie, the railway line measured approximately 23 miles. Inhabitants of the region used the line to access the port facilities for shipping and receiving, and also to visit the lakeside for pleasure outings. The city of London only operated the railway for a short time before leasing it to a succession of different railways in hopes that it would turn a profit. It didn't.

Brochure of the Lake Erie Navigation Co. Limited, 1899, with illustrations of navigation on Lake Erie and of the port of Cleveland


Lake Erie Navigation Co. Limited, 1899

The city resumed control of the railway in 1915 and had the line electrified. This decision prompted heated debate in the local papers because of the difficulties and costs involved. Passenger excursions on the new electric train were popular, but not enough to keep the company out of the red, especially once automobiles became more prevalent. In 1966, Canadian National Railways acquired the railway.

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway

Photo of Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway locomotive No. 22 and crew, c. 1900-1910


Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, locomotive No. 22 and crew, c. 1900-1910

The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway (TH&BR) began running trains in 1892. Hamilton had wanted a larger local railway, a competitor for the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), better connection with the United States and a ticket to ensure growth of their already burgeoning industries. The original line was between Hamilton and Welland, with further plans to build to Toronto. The Toronto idea incensed the GTR and they spent much time and effort in an attempt to thwart it, all for naught.

In 1895, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), in partnership with the New York Central System, bought the TH&BR and shortly after, gained access rights to the GTR tracks to Toronto. The CPR bought out its partner's shares in 1977 and became sole owner. Parts of the line are still in operation. During its run, the line had served most of the "golden horseshoe" territory (the area around the western end of Lake Ontario) and improved access for passengers and goods to Hamilton's waterfront.

Brochure of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, 1937, reading CORONATION ISSUE Map from brochure of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, 1937, showing train routes in the Golden Horseshoe


Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, 1937, cover and map

Canadian National Railways

Canadian Pacific Railway

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