Preston Car Company

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Toronto Civic Railways streetcar 55, one of the few surviving Preston products, is preserved at the Halton County Radial Railway museum.

The Preston Car Company was a Canadian manufacturer of streetcars and other railway equipment, founded in 1908. The company was located in the town of Preston, Ontario (now part of the city of Cambridge). Preston sold streetcars to local transport operators including the Grand River Railway, the Toronto Railway Company and Toronto Civic Railways (the predecessors of today’s Toronto Transit Commission), and the Hamilton Street Railway. The company also sold a number of its distinctive ‘Prairie-style’ cars to operators in Alberta and Saskatchewan; one of these cars is being restored by the Saskatchewan Railway Museum. The Edmonton Radial Railway received 8 "Prairie" Prestons in 1909 and 1911 and 35 "Big" Prestons in 1913-14.[1] The company was sold to Philadelphia-based J. G. Brill Company in 1921, and the Preston plant closed in 1923. Only a few Preston-built cars now remain, most of them in the collection of the Halton County Radial Railway museum.

Plant[edit]

From 1908 to 1923 Preston Car plant was located at 633 Margaret Street. After the factory's closure in 1923 the site became a casting plant (later as Kanmet Limited foundry) until 1991.[2][3] A fire destroyed the foundry, and the site became a vacant brownfield. Part of the old industrial site was redeveloped as Legion Park, and the remainder will become a residential development known as Preston Meadows.

Products[edit]

A streetcar once used in Calgary and Saskatoon, preserved at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum [4]

Preserved examples of Preston cars[edit]

Cars manufactured by the Preston Car Company are on display at the Halton County Radial Railway and Saskatchewan Railway Museum, and one is in service on the Nelson Electric Tramway. The Edmonton Radial Railway Society has four Prestons in its collection: one "Prairie" Preston (ex-Edmonton #31) and three "Big" Prestons (ex-Edmonton #53, 65 and 73). The ERRS is looking to restore a "Big" Preston in the near future.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tingley, Ken. Ride of the Century. The Story of the Edmonton Transit System, City of Edmonton, 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.heritagehomes.com/corporate/news.aspx?id=8279
  3. ^ http://www.nakina.net/other/builders/builders1.html#Preston
  4. ^ "Welcome to Saskrailmuseum.org". Street Cars. September 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-03.