July 9, 1908
One of the difficult things for writers covering the history of a railway is determining a date for the opening of a particular line. This requires careful research reading exactly what was written and sometimes involving a number of sources especially original ones such as newspaper coverage. In truth there was often more than one date. The official date is usually one immediately following approval by a government inspection carried out primarily for safety. Actual dates can be when construction is completed sufficiently to permit operation of freight or mixed trains before all work was done. Often these dates are not far apart, usually days or weeks at the most. There were sometimes trains operated by the contractor constructing the line especially in areas without any suitable transportation. In this latter situation a much longer period of time was more common and usually clearly identified.
The CPR officially opened three branch lines in Ontario on July 9, 1908. The Walkerton Subdivision between Saugeen Junction on the Owen Sound Sub. and Hanover (a month later it was completed to Walkerton where it ended.) The St.Mary's Sub. between St.Mary's and Embro. (The middle segment of the sub. between Zorra and Embro having been opened only the day before, June 30th.) The Listowel Sub. between Linwood on the Goderich Sub. and Listowel.
Prior to this the CPR operated special passenger trains on Dominion Day July 1st on all three lines to celebrate their opening. This was reported in The Economist newspaper of Shelburne.
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