Pre Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Railway
Compiled by Peter D.A. Warwick
===St. Catharines Street Railway
- December, 1874 St. Catharines Street Railway incorporated.
- November 1, 1879 St. Catharines Street Railway opened between Ontario Street and Thorold Road (now Oakdale Avenue) along St. Paul and Queenston Streets, used horsecars with turntables at ends of line to turn cars.
- 1880 extended from St. Paul Street to King Street along Ontario Street, from St. Paul Street to Welland Railway station at Welland Avenue along Geneva Street and along Thorold Road, Oakdale Avenue and Merritt Street to the Lybster Cotton Mill, Merritton.
- March, 1882 renamed St. Catharines, Merritton & Thorold Street Railway.
- April 18, 1882 extended along Merritt Street, Ormond Street, Regent Street and Front Street to Thorold Hotel at Clairmont Street.
- October 10, 1887 electrified using Van Deople system, which used two overhead wires, a two wheeled troller with weights underneath and two flexible cables running down to a motor on the front of the converted horsecars (a trial run had been made October 5, 1887).
- contrary to general popular belief this was not the first electrification in Canada, Windsor, Ontario was the first in June, 1886.
- not the first regularly operated electric line in North America, several American systems beat
- generating station at Lock 12, Second Welland Canal.
- 1888 Niagara & St. Catharines Street Railway incorporated and a line built along Queenston Street from Thorold Road to the Third Welland Canal near Victoria Lawn Cemetery, operated as part of the St. Catharines, Merritton & Thorold, which soon formally acquired it.
- 1888 additional cars purchased.
- 1893 renamed Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines & Thorold Electric Street Railway.
- March, 1893 converted to Thomson-Houston system, which also used two wires and new cars purchased, old ones converted to trailers.
- 1896 line converted to Sprague system of electrification, which uses one overhead wire, rails for ground and a trolley pole.
- tried to extend to Port Dalhousie down Lake Street, but failed.
- May, 1901 sold to Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Railway.
===Niagara Falls, Wesley Park & Clifton Tramway Company
- August, 1886 incorporated.
- December 6, 1886 horsecar line opened between Culp Avenue and River Road via Main Street, Ferry Street, Victoria Avenue, Simcoe Street, St.Lawrence Avenue, Morrison Street, Welland Avenue (now Ontario Avenue?), Queen Street, Erie Street, Bridge Street.
- used turntables at ends of line to turn cars.
- many plans to electrify, but didn't.
- August 15, 1900 finally electrified and rerouted via Main Street, Ferry Street, Victoria Avenue, Queen Street, Erie Street, Bridge Street.
- second to last streetcar system in Canada to be electrified (Sarnia last, in 1901).
- 1901 sold to Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Railway.
===St. Catharines & Niagara Central Railway
- 1881 incorporated, always referred to as Niagara Central Railway.
- October 12, 1887 opened as a steam line between Niagara Falls and Thorold.
- July 11, 1888 opened between Thorold and St. Catharines.
- original terminals: Niagara Falls - Michigan Central Railway station, St. Catharines - James and Raymond streets.
- 1894 name changed to Niagara, Hamilton & Pacific, but continued to refer to itself as Niagara Central Railway.
- plans to extend to Hamilton, Toronto and elsewhere never carried out.
- April 15, 1899 sold to Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto Railway.
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