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Great Gorge Route

Great Gorge Route

Compiled by Peter D.A. Warwick
Last revised September 25, 2003

  • international trolley belt line around the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls.

  • Canadian section opened May 24, 1893 as the Niagara Falls, Park & River Railway.

  • ran between Chippawa and Queenston via Niagara Falls, Ontario, connections at Slater's Dock (Chippawa) with Buffalo boats and at Queenston dock with Toronto boats, connections at Niagara Falls with local streetcars and interurbans to St.Catharines.

  • Slater's Dock line abandoned in the early 1900s.

  • between Niagara Falls and Queenston Heights line ran along the edge of the Niagara Gorge.

  • American section opened August 20, 1895 as the Niagara Gorge Railroad.

  • ran between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, New York, connections at Lewiston with Toronto boats and at Niagara Falls with local streetcars and interurbans to Buffalo.

  • ran down into the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls and beside the river to Lewiston.

  • July 1, 1898 Falls View Bridge opened connecting the two sides by trolley.

  • July 21, 1899 Lewiston-Queenston Suspension Bridge opened allowing through running on a loop between the two sides.

  • April 18, 1899 Buffalo Railway Company took control of the Niagara Falls, Park & River Railway, became the International Railway Company in 1902.

  • July 13, 1913 trolley on American side passing under Niagara Falls, New York garbage chute just as it broke covering the car and occupants in garbage.

  • July 7, 1915 grossly overloaded trolley went out of control coming down to Queenston dock and smashed killing 15 and injuring many others, 157 passengers on board.

  • line to dock rebuilt.

  • June 24, 1928 one-man operation began on Canadian side.

  • September 11, 1932 Canadian side ceased operation.

  • September 13, 1935 rock slide near Whirlpool Rapids Bridge blocked track of Niagara Gorge Railroad and line cease operation.

  • many rock slides on American side killing and injuring many.

  • Whirlpool Rapids illuminated by search lights during tourist season by a flat car parked on the Niagara Gorge Railroad.

  • many dignitaries carried over the line.

  • parts of old right-of-way on Canadian side now used for the recreational trail, while on the American side used for paths into and through the Niagara Gorge.

Great Gorge Route and the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway
The Great Gorge Adventure
The Niagara Gorge Belt Line: A Pictorial Album
Whirl Pool Rapids, Great Gorge Route photo

The Official Guide to the Railways - November 1906 Edition - Niagara Gorge R.R.
The Official Guide to the Railways - January 1930 Edition - Niagara Gorge Railroad
The Official Guide to the Railways - September 1934 Edition - Niagara Gorge Railroad