(Scroll down for images)
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.