Nipissing Central Railway

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Nipissing Central Railway
Founded 1902
Areas served
Swastika, Ontario
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Owner Ontario Northland Railway

The Nipissing Central Railway (NCR), sometimes known as the Temiskaming Streetcar Line, is a former interurban streetcar system connecting New Liskeard, Haileybury and Cobalt on the western bank of Lake Temiskaming in northern Ontario from 1910 to 1935. As the line had a federal charter, the operating company continues to be used to operate the Ontario Northland Railway freight spur line between Swastika, Ontario and Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, avoiding the need to re-charter either end in its respective provinces.

History[edit]

In 1902 the Ontario government chartered the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway (T&NO) to connect the towns of New Liskeard and Haileybury on Lake Temiskaming to North Bay on Lake Nipissing. During construction, silver ore was discovered near the Mile 103 post, just southwest of Haileybury. The Cobalt Silver Rush followed, leading to the incorporation of the town of Cobalt in 1906, and a swelling population reaching 10 to 15,000 by 1911.

As the population of all of the towns grew, the need for better transportation between them also grew. The Nipissing Central Railway was granted a federal (Dominion) charter on 12 April 1907, and opened the first portion of the line between Cobalt and Haileybury on 30 April 1910. The route followed King Street out of Cobalt, turning onto the city streets of what is today's North Cobalt (the outskirts of Haileybury) and turning downtown before ending at Main Street in Haileybury.

The line was purchased by the T&NO on 20 June 1911. An extension along the Nipissing lakeshore to New Liskeard opened on 1 November 1912, ending at Whitewood Avenue. In 1914, an existing spur line on the T&NO to Kerr Lake was electrified and joined to the NCR. This section was abandoned in 1924. Interurban operations on the NCR ended on 9 February 1935.

When the T&NO built a spur line between Swastika and Rouyn-Noranda, they operated it under the charter of the NCR, thereby avoiding problems with crossing the provincial border (the T&NO was incorporated in Ontario). The company exists to this day as the operator of the T&NO spur.

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