Canada Southern Questions

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Canada Southern Questions

Postby XC Tower » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:15 pm

What were the original purposes of this route? Was it a shorter route between Detroit and Buffalo? When and why did the decline in its importance begin? Lastly, where did it cross the Canada/U.S. border on the east end of the line?

Thank you for any help.

XC Tower
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Re: Canada Southern Questions

Postby NYC_Dave » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:18 pm

You might find some of your answers on the Canada Southern webpage -
Especially the History page -

And the St. Thomas, ONT Public Library has a brief PDF history of the CASO -

The story of Michigan Central's connection to the east involving Canada Southern, Great Western and Grand Trunk can be found in the book "The Road of the Century" by Alvin Harlow.
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Re: Canada Southern Questions

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:10 pm

I don't recall the dates when abandonment took place but operations were cut back during the Conrail period and the through trains were re-routed via Cleveland and Toledo. Probably part of the reason was operating in Canada for through trains might have been a headache for Conrail's operations. The tracks needed some work although they were not at a hopeless state.
This line had two border crossings at the east end at Buffalo and at Niagara Falls. The connection over the bridge at Niagara Falls has been abandoned for some time and the tracks have been removed over the bridge.
There was a rather interesting book on the Canada Southern some years back but it's story ended before the abandonments that took place later on. Still it is good reading.
Noel Weaver
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Re: Canada Southern Questions

Postby charlie6017 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:01 am

Good info on that "Canada Southern" site that NYC Dave referenced and to expand a bit on Noel's good
points, the through-trains ended for the most part after 1981, when route rationalization really started
in earnest during the Stanley Crane administration. The route was indeed a shorter and faster route
between Buffalo and Detroit, but with more important routes already in place via Cleveland and Toledo,
it was considered excess.

It's really too bad that Conrail wouldn't sell this line to a short-line or regional carrier because the tracks
would possibly still be in as a through-route, but it was all about "that competition thing"......

~Charlie Ricker
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Re: Canada Southern Questions

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:32 pm

I did not locate a topic for the old station in Detroit so I am going to post here a link to some video of the old Michigan Central Station at Detroit in its last days and afterwards. It is rather interesting. My first ride in there by train or otherwise was in the late fall of 1959 hunting for steam (and finding it) on the Grand Trunk Western. My last trip by train or otherwise in Detroit was in the late 1970's in the last days of the Amtrak train that operated between Buffalo and Detroit via Niagara Falls and Canada. I am glad I have ridden that route several times as much of it is gone today.

Hope you find this link interesting.
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