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CSX in Ontario

CSX and its predecessors Chesapeake & Ohio and Pere Marquette have a long history in Ontario dating back to the 19th century. A number of America roads used Ontario as a shortcut through Canada between key points in the USA while also providing local service as well.

St.Thomas was the town where they based much of their operations, C&O, NYC and Wabash all had facilities there including Canada headquarters for NYC. In fact, the US roads had a bigger presence in St.Thomas than our own railways, CNR & CPR., the latter not even having its own facilities instead using those of the Michigan Central. London & Port Stanley, an electric interurban railway which also served the area had a presence in St. Thomas as well.

It all began with the Ontario incorporation in 1870 of the Erie & Huron which built a line from Erieau on Lake Erie through Blenheim and Chatham to Dresden, Wallaceburg and Sarnia. In 1901 it was amalgamated with the Lake Erie & Detroit River which had a line between Walkerville, Blenheim and St. Thomas. PM operated over a short portion of the CPR from Walkerville into CPR's Windsor yard which it shared, including the roundhouse. To reach the US PM/C&O operated car ferries until December 1, 1955 when it began using the NYC's Detroit Tunnel with C&O crews operating through to their Rougemere yard.

A 1903 incorporation of a subsidiary, the Huron, Erie & Buffalo to build between St. Thomas and Niagara Falls as well as Fort Erie, and from St. Thomas to Sarnia was not acted upon however, running rights over the Canada Southern (CASO) between St. Thomas and Niagara Falls did come about the following year. To reach the CASO mainline in St.Thomas, PM used 1/2 mile of the London & Port Stanley to BX Tower. These running rights were used by successor CSX until the end of February 1996. The LE&DR was leased to the Pere Marquette in 1923. The PM was purchased in 1939 by the Cheasapeake & Ohio by merger and amalgamated effective June 6, 1947.

C&O merged with the Baltimore & Ohio February 4, 1963, and then on November 1, 1980 with a further merger becoming CSX Corp. which stood for nothing other than the initials.

C&O maintained shops and offices in St.Thomas until closed in 1985, except for the Dispatching office which stayed until finally relocated c.1997 to Wallaceburg in the bridge tenders office!

CSX abandoned its main line Walkerville to Blenheim in segments prior to 1995 and began running over the CASO to and from St.Thomas. It abandoned between St.Thomas and West Lorne in 1986 and to Blenheim c.1992.

CSX discontinued running over the Conrail (formerly Penn Central, (Feb.1/68), New York Central/Michigan Central nee Canada Southern) between St. Thomas and Niagara Falls at the end of February 1996.

Effective January 31, 2006 an agreement was announced by CSX and CN whereby CN would acquire the 12.5 section of CSX between Chatham and Blenheim which CN uses to connect with the CASO mainline to Windsor. Also, CN would begin hauling CSX traffic between Sarnia and Buffalo as well as Sarnia and Toledo via Port Huron. In addition, CN began hauling CSX traffic routed via CPR to and from London for furtherance.

This leaves CSX operating only in Sarnia industrial area and to Wallaceburg since they are applying to abandon their line between Wallaceburg and Chatham.

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