The Canada Southern Railway

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The Canada Southern Railway (CASO) was a busy double-track mainline that ran from Fort Erie to Windsor, Ontario. It was founded in 1868 and acquired by the New York Central Railroad (later, Penn Central and Conrail) and formed part of the NYC’s secondary route from New York City to Chicago via an international shortcut through southwestern Ontario.

For nearly a century, heavy freight trains and crack New York Central passenger trains like the “Empire State Express” raced along the Canada Southern on their way from New York to Chicago, later replaced by Penn Central’s “Wolverine” and Amtrak’s “Niagara Rainbow”. In January 1979 the Niagara Rainbow made its last run through Southern Ontario and the long history of international passenger service over the CASO came to an end.

The CASO was acquired by CN/CP in 1985 and in 2011, after two decades of operation & retrenchment, much of it was abandoned. The International Bridge over the Niagara River and the Detroit River Tunnel are still in operation by Canadian Pacific, connecting to their former TH&B and Southern Ontario routes through Hamilton and London, but the rest of the CASO was no more.

In November 2012, the track was removed over most of this once-great railway and today only the ghosts of the Canada Southern remain, as shown by the pictures below.

1 CP SD40-2 #6030 & GTW SD40-2 #5937, power for the CASO rail removal train in the yard at Chatham, ON
2 New York Central Signal Mast Fargo, ON
3 Former NYC – Pere Marquette Crossing Fargo, ON
4 Former Pere Marquette Rwy milepost at Fargo, ON
5 Former NYC right of way Fargo, ON
6 Maintenance Of Way equipment Comber, ON
7 Ex-NYC depot at Essex. ON
8 CN class K3b 4-6-2-type steam locomotive #5588 on display at Riverside Park in Windsor, ON
9 CP SD40-2 #6034 bursts out of the former NYC Detroit River tunnel with an eastbound freight at Windsor, ON
10 Former NYC trestle at St Thomas, ON
11 Former NYC Station at St Thomas, ON
12 Former NYC Shops at St Thomas, ON
13 Chessie boxcar on display at St Thomas, ON
14 C&O flatcar on display at St Thomas, ON
15 TH&B hopper on display in St Thomas, ON
16 Transfer Table at former NYC shops St Thomas, ON
17 Former NYC depot at Waterford, ON
18 Former NYC swing bridge over the Welland River at Montrose, ON
19 Former NYC right of way in Welland, ON
20 Former NYC – Penn Central , now CP, townline tunnel near Montrose, ON
21 CN 6218 on display in Fort Erie, ON
22 Former NYC bridge over Niagara River at Fort Erie, ON

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