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Essex Terminal Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Essex Terminal Railway
ETL No. 9, built by Montreal Locomotive Works, entered service on the railway in 1923.
Reporting markETL
LocaleWindsor, Ontario
Dates of operation1902–present
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Length34 kilometres (21 mi)
Essex Terminal Railway
Ford Yard
Kildare/MotiPark Yard
yard office and engine house
East Yard
Tecumseh Road East
Canadian Pacific Windsor Subdivision
Canadian Pacific Windsor Subdivision
to Canadian National VanDeWater Yard
Tecumseh Road West
to CP Windsor Yard
CP/ETR Interchange
Michigan Central Railway Tunnel
to Detroit
Salt Hill Yard
Sterling Fuels, K-Scrap
and Windsor Salt Mine
Ontario 18 crown.svg
Highway 18
Ojibway Yard
originally to Windsor Salt Mine
now car storage only
Ontario 18 crown.svg
Highway 18
Texas Yard
Amherstburg Yard
to Honeywell and Lasalle Packaging
(disconnected from ETR main)
Honeywell (formerly
General/Allied Chemical)
to Diageo Canada
End of track

Essex Terminal Railway (reporting mark ETL) (often referred to as ETR) is a Canadian shortline terminal railroad, running from the City of Windsor, Ontario through LaSalle, to Amherstburg, Ontario, for a distance of approximately 21 miles (34 km). ETR has direct connections to Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway and CSX. ETR is owned by Essex Morterm Holdings. Founded in 1902, it is one of the oldest existing railways in Canada .


The railway was founded in 1902 as a western connection of the Grand Trunk Railway (now Canadian National Railway) to factories in the east end of Windsor. Construction of the line took place between 1902 and 1918. During World War II, the trains hauled military and industrial equipment (e.g. Bren Gun carriers, and trucks) from Ford Windsor and other industries, to interchanges with Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways.[1] Its four-stall engine house and yard office are located on Lincoln Road. With substantial increases in new business and staff in recent years, the former corporate office building across the street has been rented out to an outside client, replaced by the new main office, the former CIBC building at the corner of Lincoln Road and Tecumseh Road East. Due to heavy development along much of the mainline and almost 40 level crossings along ETR's entire route, trains often operate at around 10 mph. The approach to River Canard and Long Marsh bridges is limited to 5 mph.[2]

As a part of the urban renewal of Windsor, the railway sold several kilometers of spur line in central Windsor to the City of Windsor and various developers in 1998, allowing new homes and businesses to be built along the former rail. The main line was generally unchanged however ETR became more dependent on down river traffic and several upgrades were made.

In September 2002, ETR celebrated its 100th anniversary and brought its newly restored 1923 Number 9 0-6-0 locomotive down from St. Thomas, Ontario. The company was loaned several 1930s CPR and CN passenger cars to give rides to nearby residents that celebrated with the company. Number 9 currently operates out of Waterloo, Ontario. A week after the centennial celebration, the ETR had its first serious derailment in decades, caused by abnormally heavy rains. Cars carrying soybeans were involved. There were no injuries, the tracks were repaired and two nearby grade crossings repaved.

In early 2013, a connection was made so that ETR could provide service to the Hiram Walkers tank farm just west of the Via Rail Walkerville Station. Ex-CN rail track is accessed (stopping short of George Ave.) but is not connected to the VIA mainline. It is now the only active track to cross Walker Rd near Riverside Dr, after the VIA station tracks were terminated east of Walker.

In 2017, ETR purchased the former General Motors plant property in south Walkerville and renovated into a automotive logistics yard for new Chrysler vehicles that await shipment. The site is run under the name MotiPark, and is owned by Essex Morterm Holdings.

As of 2020, the ETR services 9 customers, including ADM and Plains Midsteam, and often handles hundreds of railcars every day. Ojibway yard is used as a central location for switching operations and car storage, with other smaller storage yards located in both west and east Windsor. Diageo and the former Honeywell/General Chemical property, which also used for railcar storage, is located in Amherstburg at the southern end of the line.

In 2023, Windsor residents complained of excessive and disruptive train whistle noise produced by ETR on a daily basis, starting in October of the previous year.[3][4]

ETR locomotives and rolling stock[edit]

The ETR currently owns 4 locomotives. They are 104 (ex-ICG EMD SW14), 105 (EMD SW9), 107 (EMD SW1500) and 108 (EMD GP9). ETR 104 and 105 were recently refurbished by Lambton Diesel Specialists of Sarnia with heritage paint schemes, new engines, new traction motors, among several other upgrades. A fifth unit, LSDX 2001, an EMD GP38-2, is currently being borrowed from Lambton Diesel by ETR for the 2023/2024 winter season.

ETR has several pieces of rolling stock used for storage; a covered hopper and a boxcar are on-trucks but stationary at the engine facility on Lincoln Road.

They had two ex-CP wide vision cabooses which have been sold to Waterloo Central Railroad and were renumbered from ETR 1610 to WCRX 1040 and ETR 1600 to WCRX 1042. The ETR now no longer has cabooses on the roster.


  1. ^ Gervais, Marty (2012-11-29). Ghost Road: and Other Forgotten Stories of Windsor. Biblioasis. ISBN 9781926845890.
  2. ^ Lewis, Edward A. (1996-01-01). American Shortline Railway Guide. Kalmbach Publishing, Co. ISBN 9780890242902.
  3. ^ "'Why so loud?': South Walkerville residents call on city to stop late night train whistles". Windsor. 2023-01-15. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  4. ^ "South Walkerville man protests ongoing train noise as councillor says 'conversation has started' with feds to address issue". Windsor. 2023-01-22. Retrieved 2023-03-01.

External links[edit]

the ETR to expan their services and creat more noise totally destroying