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First Train to Lindsay,
Victoria County, Ontario Canada
The first of these roads, the Port Hope and Lindsay
Railway, was chartered in 1846, with permission to build from Port
Hope to Lindsay and thence west through Mariposa to some convenient
point on the Ontario, Huron and Simcoe Railway. These original plans
were never carried out, and, indeed, little work of any kind was
done until after 1853, when a necessary renewal of the charter was
The first train into Lindsay came in from Port Hope on Friday,
October 16, 1857. The head of steel had reached Reaboro by December,
1856; and trains were unloading freight at Cunningham's Corners in
August, 1857. In Lindsay, however, the road was to enter around the
east bank of the Scugog, along the line of the present G. T. R. East
Ward switch, and the cutting required in the river bank near the
present Allenbury plant caused much delay. Steam shovels were
unknown in that day, and all the earth had to be taken away in carts
and wheelbarrows. Hence it was the middle of October 1857 before the
first train entered the town.
Lindsay was the terminus of this railway for the next fourteen
years. The station was near the foot of King Street, in the East
Ward, just east of the grain elevator of today. Yards and wharves
were prepared, on the east bank of the Scugog, a few hundred yards
farther north. The service consisted of one mixed train which left
each morning for Port Hope and returned to Lindsay at night,' after
a leisurely day along the road.
On December 24, 1869, the railroad was renamed "The Midland Railway
of Canada"; and in January 1871 an extension from Lindsay to
Beaverton was formally opened. This line crossed. the Scugog by a
swing bridge at the end of Lindsay Street North, ran north to about
the present Carew box factory, and then swung west through Ops.
An earlier branch line, built by Messrs. Tate and Fowler from
Millbrook to Peterboro, had been opened May 31, 1858.
The road was extended to Orillia in 1873, and in 1878 to its final
terminus at Midland on Georgian Bay.
Toronto and Nipissing Railway
In the session of 1867-68, the Ontario Legislature
granted a charter to a Toronto and Nipissing Railway Company, which
purposed building a narrow gauge railroad from Toronto to Coboconk,
in Bexley township, Victoria county.
This road was built in two sections. The first, from Toronto to
Uxbridge, was formally opened in July 1871; and the second, from
Uxbridge to Coboconk, was completed in the autumn of 1872.
The total length of the railroad was 87 miles; the gauge was 3 feet
6 inches; and the weight of the rails 40 pounds to the yard.
The largest structure on the road was a bridge over Northwest Bay,
Balsam Lake. This bridge was 478 feet in length and consisted of
three 106-foot spans and five 32-foot spans.
The officials of the company were William Gooderham Jr., President
and Managing Director; James Graham, Secretary-Treasurer; and Edmund
Wragge, Chief Engineer.
In 1875, and again in 1879, attempts were made to extend the T. & N.
R. to Minden, or, failing that, to build a 6-mile spur to Elliott's
Falls and gain through water connection with Minden by means of a
lock at Moore's Falls. Neither plan has ever been realized.