Goderich–Exeter Railway

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Goderich–Exeter Railway
Goderich–Exeter Railway Logo.png
GEXR 3843 EMD GP38.jpg
GEXR #3843, an EMD GP38AC, in 2007.
Reporting mark GEXR
Locale Southern Ontario
Dates of operation 1992–Present
Predecessor Canadian National Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 181 miles (291 km)
Headquarters Stratford, Ontario
Website Goderich-Exeter Railway

The Goderich–Exeter Railway (reporting mark GEXR) is a short line freight railway that operates around 181 miles (291 km)[1] of track in Southern Ontario. Created in 1992,[1] it was the first short line railway in Canada to be purchased from a class I railway, in this case Canadian National Railway (CN). It took over operation of further CN trackage in 1998. As of 2004, the railway has 44 employees. It is headquartered in Stratford, Ontario, and owned by short-line railroad holding company Genesee & Wyoming.[2]


GEXR Logo Pre-Genesee & Wyoming Purchase
Logo Pre-G&W

The Goderich–Exeter Railway was created in 1992[1] by its owner, RailTex (subsequently purchased by RailAmerica in 2000, and Genesee & Wyoming in late 2012), to operate over Canadian National Railway's Goderich Subdivision, 70 miles (110 km) of track between Stratford and Goderich, Ontario that was acquired from CN. The railway started operation on April 3, 1992. On November 15, 1998, the Goderich–Exeter Railway took over operation of CN's Guelph Subdivision, which runs over 99 miles (159 km) between Silver Junction (in Georgetown) and London, Ontario.

The railway had expressed an interest in acquiring the former CN branchline from Stratford to Owen Sound, but was unable to do so as a result of changes to Ontario labour law which made the acquisition uneconomic.[3]

Freight services[edit]

One of GEXR's customers is Volvo Motor Graders in Goderich.

The railway handles around 25,000 carloads of freight annually, consisting mainly of automobile parts, salt and fertilizer, wheat, grains, soy meal and rice. The railroad serves many cities and towns in southwestern Ontario, incliding Cambridge, Kitchener, Guelph Waterloo, Elmira, Stratford, St. Mary’s, Goderich, Clinton and Exeter.[2]

The spur line to Elmira serves a Uniroyal plant. Traffic on the Goderich Subdivision mainly consists of salt from the Sifto Canada salt mines in Goderich, and construction equipment produced by a Volvo Motor Graders plant in Goderich (closed 2010). It also connects with the port facility at the Port of Goderich.


The Goderich–Exeter Railway interchanges with CN in London and Toronto (it has running rights between Silver Junction and MacMillan yard north of Toronto to interchange cars with CN), with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Kitchener, and with the Ontario Southland Railway in Guelph.


GEXR 177, "Titania", an EMD GP9.

As of 2005, the railway owns around a dozen locomotives, which were acquired used. Its first four locomotives, purchased between 1992 and 1994, were given names of Shakespearean characters (#177 was named "Titania", #178 "Paulina", #179 "Portia", and #180 "Falstaff"), as Stratford is the home of the Canadian Shakespearean Festival. Unit #'s 178, 179, and 180 have since been sold to other railways. The railway also leases a few locomotives. All of its locomotives were made by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and include EMD GP38s, EMD GP35s, and EMD GP40s.


List of GEXR's active units (as of January 2013)

Model Maker Numbers Build Date Remarks
EMD GP9 EMD 4001 Aug-1959 Nee SP 5872
EMD GP35 EMD 2211 -
EMD GP38 EMD 3821 -
EMD GP38 EMD 2210 -
EMD GP38 EMD 2236 -
EMD GP40 EMD 4095 -
EMD SD40-2 EMD 7362 -
EMD SD40-2 EMD 7369 -
EMD SD45T-2 EMD 9392 Jun-1975 Nee SSW SSW 9392

Inactive units GP 38 - 3834 GP 40 - 4046 SD 40 - 2652, will run in the future, bought in 2012 and will run in the near future.

External links[edit]