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Old Time Trains


Canadian Pacific Railway

London Division

R.L. Kennedy

Other Branch Lines

The Berlin & Canadian Pacific Junction was chartered in 1891 to build from Dumfries to Berlin (Kitchener) and Waterloo
(14 miles) and Elmira (10 miles) there to connect with the Guelph & Goderich line of the CPR; and 9 miles to Elora to
connect with the CPR. The railway was to be leased to the CPR with ownership remaining with the municipalities,
similar to the Guelph Junction Railway. Nothing was built.

Goderich & Wingham. First incorporated 1887 as Goderich & Canadian Pacific Junction it changed 1890 to G&W to build between Goderich and Wingham via Dungannon with a branch to Port Albert. Nothing was built.

CP Electric Lines

The Preston & Berlin was leased October 11, 1903 by the Galt, Preston & Hespeler. In 1905 it was extended to Waterloo. January 1, 1908 the GP&H and the P&B were amalgamated and re-named Berlin, Waterloo, Wellesley & Lake Huron.
On June 1st it was leased to the CPR for 99 years. July 7, 1914 it was again re-named, this time, Grand River.

Read more about these electric railways at ELSO

Changes Over the Years

Expanding traffic not only required bigger yards in London and Windsor, not to mention Toronto; it also required double tracking. Starting in 1904 between Parkdale and (West) Toronto Jct. and in 1911 to Obico, (except for the Humber River bridge which got by with a gauntlet track until it was rebuilt in 1914). In October 1912 it was added from Obico to Cooksville, and in 1913 it went on to open to Guelph Junction by the end of November. Surveys were also completed for double tracking to Woodstock where branches connected with the main line; but it was not to be, for there the double track ended, far short of London. It was not until the start of GO trains October 26, 1981 between Toronto and Milton, that a third track was added to parts of the Galt Sub. between Toronto and Streetsville. Bi-directional CTC was also installed to replace ABS signaled for one direction only. Guelph Jct. yard was rebuilt to accommodate over night storage of the commuter trains.

Rail was upgraded by 1930 to 100 lb. between Montreal and Windsor, and this 39' long bolted rail safely handled Royal Hudson's at 90 mph and Jubilees at well over 100 mph! In 1977-82 rail went to 115lb, and with the advent of
GO commuter trains, 136 pound CWR (1980-81) on the portion of the Galt Sub. used by GO.

Automatic Block Signals (ABS), had been installed on the Windsor Sub. over an eight month period beginning March 1,1944. It required 148 high signals and 40 dwarfs (on passing tracks) for the 108 miles from London to Walkerville Junction. It also required a major re-arranging of the 6 miles of ABS from London to Lobo. A total of 1,475 miles of ABS then existed on Eastern Lines. The first ABS of this type went into use early in 1944 between Chapleau and Schreiber.
ABS was later added to the Galt Subdivision.

Bi-directional Centralized Traffic Control (CTC), and short sections of a third main track were installed for GO trains.
More details here: GO commuter trains including further third tracks and yard changes at Guelph Junction.


Red block facing abandoned CNR (ex Port Dover & Lake Huron) branch at Mile 87.5 Galt Sub. interlocking diamond crossing in Woodstock. By this time what was left of the branch only ran as far as the Ontario Hospital's power house
and perhaps Standard Tube. 6/17/1972 Al Howlett

CTC has been added in small segments including at Wolverton with a 10,000 foot signalled siding and a running track. Nissouuri has a 10,175 foot siding with CTC extending from Nissouri East Mile 103.1 to London Mile 114.6 end of the subdivision and to mile 0.1 Windsor Subdivision.

Addition of CTC to expedite movements on the Galt Sub. including at Guelph Junction as pictured below.

Currently the Galt Subdivision is controlled as follows:

Strachan Ave to B/E CTC Sign Guelph Jct. = CTC
B/E CTC Sign Guelph Jct. to B/E CTC Sign Ayr = OCS/ABS
B/E CTC Sign Ayr to B/E CTC Sign Drumbo Mile 73.8 = CTC Effective December 7, 2017.
Note: This restores an old station name Drumbo once at Mile 74.3.
B/E CTC Sign Drumbo to B/E CTC Sign Nissouri = OCS/ABS
B/E CTC Sign Nissouri to London = CTC

Note: Further expansion of Wolverton Yard Mile 69.5 is planned. This is at least in part to make up for cancellation of a proposed connecting of Coakley Mile 86.5 and Coakley West deemed not feasible for engineering reasons.
These latter two sidings are now used by OSR to lift and setoff CAMI traffic. Wolverton is used for Toyota traffic.

9715 leads 246 westbound off the Galt. Sub. heading south on the Hamilton Sub. Mile 76.1 Campbellville end of CTC.
This was formerly the Goderich Sub. Mile 16.4 Guelph Junction. 11/26/2017 Bill Purdy

Note: Track to left of approaching train is CTC controlled and is the West Leg of Wye
and is now so named at its other end Mile 39.5 Galt Sub. formerly an auto normal switch at Mile 39.45.

Modern signals with LED lights began to replace older style signals along the
Galt Subdivision main line and this work continues.

Train orders issued by dispatchers and written out by Operators all along the line were the way trains operated all across Canada for more than a century. It all came to an end when a new system known as Manual Block System (MBS) was introduced whereby Operators were eliminated and Conductors wrote out their train's authority to operate by radio
instruction issued by train dispatchers. Its passing included removal of the familar train order signal or, order board,
as it was commonly called, from stations all along the line. London Division was changed effective 0001 July 6, 1986.

Chicago The CPR has long been at a disadvantage in providing service through Chicago lacking its own line. The CNR has
its subsidiary Grand Trunk Western. It is rumoured during the Great Depression the CPR had a chance to buy the bankrupt Wabash however, it is said they only wanted the Windsor-Chicago main line and this was refused. CPR's SOO Line obtained trackage rights in 1985 over the C&O for 298 miles between Chicago and Detroit using C&O/CSX crews. This was not always a satisfactory situation as frequently a shortage of crews, especially on weekends, meant CPR trains were often held in Chicago. In 2005 a shorter route via Elkhart, Indiana over the Norfolk Southern was established using CPR crews which provided a much more satisfactory operation. Some trains continued using CSX due to the agreement terms until finally this was ended entirely July 31, 2000.

NOTE: Although the Bruce Branches were administered by the London Division
for a short time they are not included here since they historically belonged to the Bruce Division

NOTE: The London Division was combined with the Toronto Division October 27,1991.


RoadRailer trains began operating May 15,1991 and were the most innovative change to the London Division. Triple Crown Service, a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern in the USA operates a network of these trains over its lines. This was the first time RoadRailer trains were operated in Canada or anywhere else off NS. These trains consist of specially-reinforced highway trailers connected to each other. Early models had steel rail wheel sets along with the rubber tires. Later versions used
"bogies" or special trucks in place of tires. Early trains were restricted to 75 trailers, while later ones were re-inforced to allow 125 trailers. These trains operated on CP between Detroit and Lambton Yard in west Toronto. Eventually, the service was re-routed by NS over CN.

Expressway is another method of handling highway truck trailers on flat cars. Expressway trains began operating over the London Division between Detroit and Toronto following relocation of the Toronto Terminal from Lambton Yard. opening on June 12, 2000 of a new permanent location west of Toronto on the Galt Subdivision at Hornby (Milton), and named Toronto (later, Toronto West). At this time service was extended west to Windsor and Detroit. It initially took up 25 out of 196 acres. (This land had been purchased for a new Maintenance of Way shop to replace West Toronto and John Street facilities. It never came about.) At this time the equipment had been changed to flat cars and re-named Expressway from Iron Highway.

Frame train: A DTS (Dedicated Train Service) itself a little-known term, operated since 1998 between St.Thomas and Oshawa without change of crew or power at Toronto Yard. It handled new frames from Formet (Magna International) in St.Thomas to General Motors in Oshawa. Declining pickup truck sales made for a big reduction of traffic and resulted in the "frame train" being discontinued in August 2008 with the remaining cars being handled by regular trains.
Eventually, GM closed the truck plant permanently May 14, 2009.

Last Frame Train led by 8200 is "in the hole" at Killean for a meet with a westbound 8/08/2008.
This siding east switch and its signal will be removed effective 8/23/2013
redesignating it as Killean Storage Track.

Melrose: Just west of London is Melrose, a new point on the Windsor Subdivision. Previously at Mile 11.8 just a diamond with the CN Strathroy Sub. (Mile 12.2) existed west of Komoka (Mile 9.8). A new connection was opened at 1400
February 2, 2001 between CP and CN allowing some CP trains and crews to operate between London and Sarnia
and to use the new tunnel enroute over the old GTW to and from Chicago. There were heavy restrictions by CN as to what traffic could be handled on these trains. Trains ended after a few years.

Shortlining: Effective February 26, 1998 the remaining portion of the Port Burwell Subdivision between Ingersoll and Tillsonburg was shortlined through a renewable lease to Ontario Southland Railway a locally-owned Canadian shortline. OSR had just recently (January 1, 1998) taken over operation of the Guelph Junction Railway owned by the City of Guelph. CPR had ended their long term lease of GJR. A further expansion occured effective December 15, 2009 when OSR leased the entire St.Thomas Subdivision between Woodstock, Ingersoll and St.Thomas connecting there with CN.

Toyota Woodstock Spur. A 3 mile long spur off the Galt Sub. at Mile 81.75 near Woodstock was built in 2007-8
to serve a new automobile assembly plant. CANDO Contracting handles loading of multilevel auto carrier cars moving them to/from the yard as is done at the Toyota plant in Cambridge.

Time Tables

Employee Time Table No.24 October 26,1913
London Sub-Division

Ayr Pit Spanner article July-August 1950

Galt Wreck Wednesday, May 2, 1956

General Motors Diesel - separate article

Photograph Galleries

London Division Power
steam and diesel

See also Lambton Road Engines gallery
for more London engines

Gallery 1 ........ steam and diesel
Newton Rossiter
and Randy Masales
Gallery 2
.........steam Bob Shaw
Gallery 3
..............steam colour
Gallery 4
.........old diesel colour

Yard Engines - Steam
Yard Engines - Diesel






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