Barrie Collingwood Railway

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Barrie Collingwood Railway
Reporting mark BCRY
Dates of operation 1998–Present
Predecessor Canadian National Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Barrie-Collingwood Railway (reporting mark BCRY) is a shortline railway operating between the towns of Innisfil and Utopia in south central Ontario, Canada. The line was started in 1998 and runs on abandoned Canadian National (CN) trackage which was collectively purchased by the railroad's namesake municipalities. The operator of the line is Cando Contracting Limited, based out of Brandon, Manitoba.[1]

Barrie Collingwood Railway
New Lowell
CP MacTier Sub
North Simcoe Railtrail
Lorena St spur
former CN Newmarket Sub
now GO Transit, to Bradford
ind. spurs
Tarpin spur
track end
Trans Canada Trail


In 1996, CN abandoned its Newmarket Subdivision from Barrie, Ontario to Washago, as well as its entire Meaford Subdivision which runs from Barrie to Collingwood (both parts of the former Northern Railway of Canada). CN had plans to rip up its tracks, however the City of Barrie and the Town of Collingwood stepped in to purchase the lines to maintain their rail infrastructures. Barrie purchased the remainder of the Newmarket Sub, the Meaford Sub from Barrie to Utopia in Essa Township and the remainder of the abandoned Beeton Subdivision (originally the Hamilton and North-Western Railway) which runs south from Barrie to Innisfil and connects with the other two subs at the old Allandale Yard in Barrie. Collingwood purchased the rest of the Meaford Sub from Utopia on.

In 1998, the BCRY was started to service various customers in Innisfil, Barrie, Colwell, Angus, Stayner and Collingwood along the Beeton and Meaford Subs. The line crosses the Canadian Pacific (CP) Mactier Subdivision at Utopia, where a small interchange yard was subsequently built. This was necessary as the abandonment of the Newmarket Sub north and south of Barrie effectively isolated the line from the North American rail network.[2] The yard is also where Maintenance Of Way (MOW) equipment and the locomotive are stored when not in use. The Newmarket Sub is not used by the BCRY; it was purchased to preserve future GO Transit expansion north from Bradford, which re-opened in late 2007. It has since been sold to Metrolinx, the operators of GO Transit.

Decommissioning of Collingwood Portion of Line[edit]

As of July 15, 2011, the Town of Collingwood has decided to decommission its portion of the line for financial reasons. It was costing taxpayers up to $425,000 annually to keep providing regular rail service to essentially one customer, the Canadian Mist distillery, while Amaizeingly Green in the same industrial lot used it only sporadically. The only other user was a farm supply company in Stayer that was well served by Ontario Highway 26. The trackage between Utopia and Collingwood will most likely be ripped up and sold for scrap, ending over 150 years of rail service to the town. The line continues to operate east of the Utopia yard, serving a handful of customers in Barrie and Innisfil. [3]

Equipment and Track[edit]

Currently, the BCRY has only one locomotive, an EMD GP9, #1001, which was formerly Ohio Central (OHCR) #94 and Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) #6594. Another GP9, #1000, was in service as well, but has since been transferred to the Orangeville-Brampton Railway (OBRY), another shortline operated by Cando. BCRY also possesses various MOW equipment and a road railer.

The track is over a century old and thus, is in very poor condition. Due to this fact, the speed limit along the line is 10 miles per hour (16 km/h).


External links[edit]