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Guelph & Goderich Railway

The Guelph & Goderich Railway

Location: Located in South-Central Ontario, the Guelph & Goderich Railway connects the interior community of Guelph with the Lake Huron coastal town of Goderich.

History: The Guelph Junction Railway (see separate entry), owned by the citizens of Guelph and operated by the CPR, was a line that extended south from the community to a connection with the CPR (Credit Valley line). In March 1900, the directors of the company met with officials of the Canadian Pacific Railway to discuss the possibility of extending their line west from Guelph to Goderich, principally in light of the improved economic conditions of the time. The matter received a favourable reception from the CPR. In May 1901, the two parties entered into an agreement that would see the completion of the project within five years. After some delay, surveying work commenced in 1903. The management of the GJR remained active in the negotiations. In March 1904, the Guelph & Goderich Railway Company (G&GR) was chartered by the GJR. A further agreement was entered into with the CPR in October of that year to permit a full lease of the line that included both construction and operation. Construction began in the fall 1904 by contractors S.B. Campbell Co. and M.A. Rigott Company. In addition to the main line, branch lines were approved from Linwood by way of Stratford to St. Marys (intended eventually to form part of CPR line extending from Ingersoll north to Collingwood) and from Linwood to Listowel.

Revenue traffic along the line began in June 1906 with the opening of the line from Guelph to Elmira at which point the line was leased by the CPR. Further extensions followed in August to Millbank and by November to Milverton. Meanwhile, the new harbour facilities at Goderich were being constructed on reclaimed land dredged from the lake bottom, a situation that resulted in legal battles between the CPR and the Grand Truck over property rights in the area. The Milverton to Blyth section of the railway was opened in July 1907 with the final section west to Goderich ready for traffic in August 1907. The newly opened line finally provided the community of Guelph and her industries with direct connections to a lakeport, 29 years after the demise of the Georgian Bay & Wellington Railway, a company that had proposed similar situation. Work on the Listowel branch was of lower priority with construction only beginning in the fall of 1906. It was opened for traffic in July 1908. Plans for the Stratford branch never materialized. The company disappeared as a separate entity in 1956.

Approximate Mileage: The main line from Guelph to Goderich was 80 miles while the Listowel branch was 16 miles.

Current Status: The subject line formed part of the Goderich Subdivision. The Listowel Branch was abandoned in March 1939 while the main line survived until July 1988. All rails have been lifted.

Principle Stations: Guelph, Elmira, Listowel, Milverton, Monkton, Blyth and Goderich.

Remaining Stations: There are a total of eight stations remaining from the railway. They are as follows:
1. West Montrose: Moved not far from original location as a farm storage shed.
2. Linwood: Moved to property at 59 William Street North as a residence.
3. Dorking: In original location just south of community as a residence.
4. Milverton: Moved to property on Concession Road 4-5 as a farm storage shed.
5. Monkton: Moved to property on Highway No. 23 as a construction storage shed.
6. Blyth: Moved to property south of town on Highway No. 4 as the Old Mill leather store.
7. Meneset: Moved to property near the lake as a storage shed.
8. Goderich: In original location at harbour entrance as a community building.

Last Updated: December 31, 1997

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