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Number of Images on this Page = 73
From the web page:
The railways played an integral role in the foundation, and growth of the City of St. Thomas, both economically and in population. In its railway heyday, St. Thomas was interchangeable with the term "Railway City" or "Railway Capital of Canada" as it was a North American railway hub with at least five different railroads steaming their way through the city. The MCRR Locomotive Repair Shops were constructed over a period of a year between 1913 and 1914. An article from the St. Thomas Daily Times - March 28, 1914 with the headline "M.C.R.'s New Quarter Million Dollar Shops Nearly Completed", demonstrates the significance of this building and the impact it has on the community - "The completion of these works places St. Thomas among the leading railway divisional centres, in point of equipment, on the American continent and no effort has been spared either by the Michigan Central Railway or the contractors to make both the buildings and the equipment the most up-to-date possible to obtain." This new industrial building also impacted the community economically, employing more than 400 workers at its peak. The Elgin County Railway Museum has been housed in the 52,000 square foot building since its incorporation in 1989, and purchased the property in 2010.
We visited the Elgin County Railway Museum in August 2016, and found a huge, well stocked, but largely unknown historical railway workshops, filled with with all sorts of railway equipment. The current owners have some grand plans (warning: large download) for the redevelopment of the site, but it will be difficult to ever recover the central part this site played in the history of Canadian Railways. Indeed, the workshops themselves are overshadowed by the huge St. Thomas Railway Station right next door, which is well identified in tourist itineraries. Perhaps if the Museum owners can bring their plans to fruition this might all change. But it will be a long and expensive journey!
Port Stanley Tourist Railway is a delightful little railway operating over the last 11 kms of The London and Port Stanley Railway Company, construction of which was completed in 1856. Port Stanley is on the shores of Lake Erie, and was once a thriving port, shipping out coal and timber via the Great Lakes. We went for a ride on the train, and enjoyed the great Canadian hospitality!
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