Port Stanley Terminal Rail

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Port Stanley Terminal Rail
Lps-ride-08-07-2006-14-41-3.jpg
Passengers on the PSTR
Locale Ontario
Terminus Port Stanley
St. Thomas
Coordinates 42°39′54″N 81°12′53″W / 42.6650°N 81.2146°W / 42.6650; -81.2146Coordinates: 42°39′54″N 81°12′53″W / 42.6650°N 81.2146°W / 42.6650; -81.2146
Port Stanley, St. Thomas, London, Ontario.jpg
Port Stanley, St. Thomas and London, the stations on the London and Port Stanley Terminal Rail.
Commercial operations
Built by London and Port Stanley Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Original electrification 1913
Preserved operations
Owned by Port Stanley Terminal Rail Inc.
Operated by Port Stanley Terminal Rail
Stations 2
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved electrification None
Commercial history
Opened 1856
Closed to passengers 1957
Preservation history
1983 Tourist trains started operating
1987 Receipt of a provincial charter to operate passenger trains after track repairs were completed.
Headquarters Port Stanley
Website
http://www.pstr.on.ca

The Port Stanley Terminal Rail (PSTR) is a heritage railway that passes over the historic tracks of The London and Port Stanley Railway (L&PS) between Port Stanley and St. Thomas, Ontario. The tourist trains began operating in 1983, after volunteers started maintaining the abandoned L&PS train corridor.

History[edit]

Port Stanley Union Station.

The first passenger train reached Port Stanley on July 5, 1856. Use of the line increased until 1943, when the end of gas rationing and the increased use of automobiles caused a slow decline in passenger traffic. On February 1, 1957, passenger service ended on the L&PS line.[1]

Afterwards, the railway continued to carry freight traffic, especially between St. Thomas and London, Ontario. The rail section between St. Thomas and Port Stanley fell into disrepair and was finally abandoned in 1982 after a washout. When the line was officially abandoned, a group of railway preservationists created the Port Stanley Terminal Rail Inc. and purchased the rail to be used as a heritage railway. After rebuilding the tracks, the group finally received a Provincial railway charter to operate trains between the cities of St. Thomas and Port Stanley in 1987. This was the first charter issued in Ontario in several decades.

Recognition[edit]

In 2012, the Port Stanley Terminal Rail was inducted to the North America Railway Hall of Fame.[2] The PSTR was recognized for its contribution to railroading as a "Community, Business, Government or Organization" in the "Local" category (pertaining specifically to the area in and around St. Thomas, Ontario.)

Present day[edit]

PSTR Conductor

Currently, the railway has four historic diesel electric locomotives from the '40s and '50s and nine passenger cars.[3] Trains leave the Port Stanley railway station on most weekends (and daily during July and August except Monday and Tuesday) for an hour-long ride that ends up just south of St. Thomas. Additionally, a number of special train rides are scheduled throughout the year, like the Santa Express which runs in December and the Murder Mystery series.

The PSTR railway is classed as a tourist railway and all passenger boarding is done in Port Stanley.

The line is run and maintained through a volunteer effort.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]