Tuesday 1 August 2017

Halton County Radial Railway, Milton, ON

Gord and I spent some time this afternoon at the Halton Country Radial Railway in Milton.

If you are into trains or are looking for something different to do, you should check it out.  It is run by volunteers who are passionate about preserving the railway cars and sharing this passion.

Ride the rails! Located at 13629 Guelph Line in Milton, Ontario, the Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) is a full-size operating electric railway and museum, featuring historic electric railcars operating on two kilometers of scenic track. The HCRR is owned and operated by the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA), a non-profit, educational organization. The HCRR is proud to be Ontario’s first and largest electric railway museum.

The OERHA is made up of active members who volunteer to maintain, restore and operate the museum for its many visitors throughout the year. New members are always welcome at the HCRR and there are many ways to lend a hand.

The HCRR and OERHA formed in 1954 by a group of men who wanted to save Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcar 1326 from being sent to the scrap yard. After the donation of this streetcar, the dream grew. Land that used to be a part of the Toronto Suburban Railway in Nassagaweya Township was acquired, and subsequently, a number of other street and radial cars were eventually rescued. The museum’s grand opening to the public took place in 1972.

Since the beginning, the vision of the HCRR was to inform, educate and inspire the public about the electric railway history of Ontario and Canada. Today, the museum displays and operates a variety of historic streetcars, radial cars and work cars, and maintains a collection of photographs, memorabilia and archival materials.

Admission was $15 each and included unlimited historic streetcar rides on two kilometers of scenic track, which stopped at their famous ice cream shop (approximately a 20 minute ride), access to the grounds, display barns and the historic Rockwood Station. No admission is required to their gift shop where you can find unique railway inspired gifts and tasty treats. Parking is free.

There are two streetcars that ride the track, alternating every half hour.  The next in line one for us was the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Fleet #2894. It was built in 1923 and retired from the TTC in 1963 (it was the last car to operate on the Dupont route).  It was restored and used as a tour tram from 1973 until 1986.

The second streetcar that rides the track is the TTC Fleet #327.  It was built in 1933 for Toronto's centennial in 1934 using truck and components salvaged from an original #327 built in 1892.

The next ride was at 12:30pm so we spent some time touring the Rockwood Station.  Originally built in 1912, this building was moved to the museum in the 1970s from Rockwood (a town about five minutes north).

When it was 12:30pm, it was time to board the #2894.  Brian, the conductor, explained to Gord and I how to drive the streetcar.  He was very knowledgeable.

The replica ads were fun.

It now cost $3 to ride TTC transit.

We were off with our driver named Gord.  It was a lovely ride through the woods.

We stopped about halfway at Meadowvale station, which was the original shelter at the Mealdowvale stop along the Toronto Suburban line.  You can stay on the streetcar if you want and head back to Rockwood Station (where we started) or you can get off and catch the next streetcar that comes back in a half hour (we got off).

Thanks for the ride, Gord!

At Meadowvale Station, there is a rock garden and a frog pond ... we wondered over to the frog pond and there were tons of frogs and fishes.

Me and Gord

There's lots of space to wander around and/or relax.

We had an ice cream at the East End Cafe, a restored streetcar.

Thanks for my maple walnut in a cup, Jacob!

Jim arrived in the #327 to get us and he allowed Gord and I to sit up front with him.

We wandered over to the Grand River Railway Shop and took a look at the London & Port Stanley Railway Fleet #8.  It was built in 1915 and retired in 1961.

Then we wandered over to the check out the garage full of buses, streetcars and more.  It was fun to be able to wander around and climb into the cars.  Imagine the stories they could tell!!  I was expecting a few cars but there were lots!

An ad from a Chicago subway car ...
a bit different than our ads here in Canada
Inside a subway from Chicago
A subway car from Chicago

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Looks like a great place to visit. Where the heck is everyone? Seems like you had the place to yourselves.