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Old Time Trains

CPR Listowel Branch

July 1906 a tender was let for construction of a 16 mile branch from Linwood to Listowel enroute to Collingwood. It was lightly constructed and died there, as did plans for a branch from Linwood in the opposite direction to Stratford and another one to Clinton. Clearly, railroad construction in Ontario was coming to an end. Opened July 9, 1908 it lasted three decades, a short period of time for a railway, and was abandoned after having made it through the Great Depression.

In the 1920's service was a twice daily ex Sunday mixed train. A small single-stall enginehouse in Listowel housed the tiny A3 class 4-4-0 7048 (ex 36) which was the regular engine assigned for the entire time.
Engineer Joe Fair worked the run until it was retired in July, 1930. Fair did all the work on the engine and since his wife was the sister of the General Manager, he no doubt got whatever he needed to maintain "his" engine. Shown above in June 1926 is engineer Joseph Fair, fireman (and Listowell mayor) Bill Morrison (in white overalls) and watchman Charles Wambole.

Final run of the Daily Except Sunday mixed train was made on May 13, 1939 with D-10 class 4-6-0 891.

According to the Listowel Banner newspaper, this train left the station at 2:40 p.m. with a regular train crew of : Engineer Tom McDonald; Fireman W. Glazier; Brakemen Jas. E. Brown and D. McKenzie; and Conductor W. Kellett. At the throttle (as far as the first level crossing) was retired (January 1, 1937) engineer Joseph Fair, who had run the first train on the short branch and was the regular engineer for most of the time the branch operated. Retired conductor E.H.Cooke gave the "All Aboard", other pensioners were present as were various officials in a business car on the tail end. Fair, a Mason, Odd Fellow and United Church member died in October of 1953, aged 92.

Employee time table 84 effective Sept.27th,1936.

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