Canada Steamship Lines
Canada Steamship Lines No.5 box car used in captive
service on Cornwall Street Ry.
CSL dock Cornwall January 1948.
The boxcar pictured is parked beside the Canada Steamship
Lines (CSL) facility located on Water Street, at the foot of Pitt
Street. The Cornwall Canal was located about 20 feet from the street,
to the south (behind the building).
Prior to 1958, CSL operated a daily packet steamer service to and
from Montreal, I believe. I dont know if the service extended
westward from Cornwall.
In many cases, customers would pick up their shipments at the CSL
building. The rail car was most likely used to deliver goods to various
locations in the city and township. Greater Cornwall was an industrial
area, well serviced with railroad tracks. Most tracks were run by
The Cornwall Street Railway (CSR), and handled passenger street cars
and freight cars, sometimes on the same routes. The CSL boxcar would
have been shunted by CSR electric engines. Mainline steam engines
also could use some of these tracks as the system was connected to
The Grand Trunk (Canadian National), Canadian Pacific and the New
York Central. Some of the lines to major industries belonged to the
I dont imagine CSL No. 5 was used outside of the Cornwall area.
I have lived in Cornwall since 1944 and do not have any memory of
this or any other CSL units. It probably means I just was not that
This photo is definitely in Cornwall, Ontario. The boxcar would line
up with the warehouse, and the goods could be easily moved back and
forth. I do recall seeing a boxcar sitting beside the warehouse. Car
traffic was light in those days and this did not seem to pose a problem.
No 5 was likely the only active rail unit CSL had in Cornwall, despite
the number 5. Cornwall had several cotton mills, a paper mill and
a rayon mill, and a host of smaller industries. I do not know what
would be considered package freight but imagine that if they could
handle the material, it would be accepted.
Cornwall Township Historical Society.