The TH&B Railway in West Hamilton
Chatham Street engine-servicing terminal (below) and
Aberdeen freight yard (above). Top right, bridge
crossing Highway 403; top left, Canadian Porcelain; centre above roundhouse,Westinghouse.
Used with permission of the TH&B Historical Society.
The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway, which operated from 1892
to 1987, had a large impact on West Hamilton by servicing industries
The TH&Bs Aberdeen freight yard lay at the south end of Longwood
Road, with a passenger station on the south side.
An industrial spur branched off south to serve the Canadian Porcelain
Company,which closed following a strike in 1987.
Canadian Westinghouse, later Hotpoint, then Camco,was serviced off the
north side of Aberdeen Yard.
McMaster Innovation Centre now occupies the property.
The track from the west end of Aberdeen Yard crosses Highway 403 on
a bridge to Stroud Road. The old TH&B right of way is now the Rail
Trail (for walking and cycling), which begins at Fortinos near
Rifle Range Road; it will eventually include the Ainslie Wood East section.
The Rail Trail to Jerseyville makes for an enjoyable rideuphill
all the way, but conveniently downhill coming back.
From Aberdeen Yard to Highway 2, the TH&B serviced the following:
1.The switch to the siding for Aitchison Lumber (formerly Bowmans
Lumber) on Emerson Street lay east of Broadway Avenue.The siding crossed
Broadway to reach Aitchison.As of this autumn, some switch ties are
still visible, along with some of the siding track as it crosses Broadway.
2. A line to Dundas branched off the main line west of Emerson. The
right of way from the switch is still apparent, with Hall Construction
now occupying the land. The track curved north, crossing Leland, passing
through what is now the Esso station (at Main Street West and Leland),
and then crossing Main West to run beside Highway 102 (Cootes Drive)
to service industries and passengers in Dundas.
3.The former property of Canadian Aniline and Extract (later Nopco Chemical,
then Diamond Shamrock, and acquired by Henkel Canada in 1988) lay south
and next to the main line between Leland and Rifle Range. It made acids
for the steel industry, chemicals for the pulp and paper industry, and
surfactants for the soap industry. McMaster now leases the property
for a parking lot
4.The former Donald Wire and Rope (later Greening Donald, an amalgamation
of Donald Rope and Greening Wire in 1970) is the current location of
Fortinos Supermarket. The TH&B main line ran through the present
parking lot, crossing Rifle Range to run just north of the present Cadbury
5.The former John Deere Plant is currently occupied by Cadbury (between
Rifle Range and Ewen) opposite Fortinos. The siding branched off
the south side of the main line just eastof Rifle Range, crossing the
road to reach John Deere. You can still see a raised loading dock (once
used to load tractors onto flatcars) on the north side of the Cadbury
buildings alongside the old right of way (now a gravel-covered strip).
6.The Ranges passing siding branched off north of the main line between
Leland and Rifle Range,rejoining the main line east of Ewen. The Ranges
team track branched off the sidingtoward its east end, running west
to end at Ewen. The siding and team track serviced various industries:
Ralph & Sons Fuels (with office at 1599 Main West, where Wendys
is now) lay east of Rifle Range on the team track. Walter E. Jacques
& Sons,confectioner, was located on Ewen; Xtra Storage, a warehouse
building, is on the site now, but developers are proposing to build
student housing there. Dundas Valley Foods used the Ranges siding in
the 1980s, transloading vegetable oil from tank cars to trucks.
The TH&B greatly helped in the development of West Hamilton, but
all that is now left of the original right of way and industries described
above are the Aberdeen Yard, the Rail Trail, and Aitchison Lumber.
Malcolm Horsnell is a TH&B Railway enthusiast and has been an AWWCA
member since 1998.
article was first published in the newsletter of the Ainslie Wood /
Westdale Community Association of Resident Homeowners Inc. (AWWCA),
Autumn 2009, p. 32, with sources on p. 30. It is used with permission.
The AWWCA is a resident homeowners association in Hamilton, Ontario.