Ontario Southland Railway
Ontario Southland is an independent, locally-owned Canadian company.
Commencing in April 1994, Ontario Southland took over switching from CP and CN of the Petro Canada plant in Clarkson, (Mississauga) Ontario, located on the Canadian National Oakville Subdivision, a Joint Section also used by Canadian Pacific. Operations began using former TH&B 51 an upgraded EMD NW2. The contract was renewed until April 2008.
Ontario Southland went on from this modest beginning to
take over operation of the Guelph Junction Railway, owned by
From time to time OSR leased locomotives to shortlines
and industry for short periods as well as a longer lease
Below these recent photos are a number of sub-articles covering the
Updated January 6, 2019
Former CN Cayuga Subdivision once heavily used by Norfolk
Southern predecessor Wabash to connect between Detroit
Mile 115.2 Cayuga spur at the abandoned CASO diamond east of Yarmouth
Trestle Mile 113.2 just east of New Sarum.
History and Photography of Individual Lines.
(Updated June 19, 2018)
1998-2018 20 Years!
January 1, 2018 marked the twentieth anniversary of Ontario Southland's operation of Guelph Junction Railway.
Completion of 2017 saw a record number of 4,809 carloads handled, up 31% over 2016. A net profit of almost one million dollars ($958,000) resulted. This in turn resulted in payment of a dividend for the first time in those 20 years. $100,000 was paid to its sole owner, the City of Guelph. OSR's contract was renewed once again, this time for 3 years with a 2 year option. In recent years GJR has been responsible for all track, signal and structure maintenance contracting it out separately.
This success was due to OSR's excellent customer service along with the City's dedication to providing rail service to its existing industries as well as attracting new and expanding businesses to Guelph. Key to this success is access to both major railways to get competitive service and freight rates.
The future looks bright!
A major expansion resulted from a unique opportunity when OSR took over the long-invisible Guelph Junction Railway owned by the City of Guelph and long leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway. When declining traffic caused the CPR to give up its lease Ontario Southland stepped in effective January 1, 1998 and they have not looked back since expanding operation and growing business with excellent service. An important missing link was completed when a short piece of the CPR Goderich Sub. was purchased by Guelph ensuring a connection to the City of Guelph jount switching industrial area in the northwest part of the city also served by Goderich and Exeter a shortline operating the Canadian National main line through Guelph. This resulted in far more competitive service and business has grown substantially.
181 leads southbound heading back downtown to set off
a lime car from the interchange GEXR/CN into the lower yard
St.George's Anglican Church 1879
(Updated July 28, 2019)
Note: Tillsonburg. Added photo of abandoned CNR
Burford Sub. under abandoned CASO.
Salford diesel shop. Stored power in new siding at far left. Shown expanded to right.
A further expansion came about when the CPR decided to
shortline its Port Burwell Subdivision between Ingersoll and Tillsonburg.
The line had been abandoned December 25, 1987 beyond to Port Burwell.
This line connects with the CPR St.Thomas Subdivision at Ingersoll which
leads to Woodstock where it connects with the CPR Galt Subdivision main
OSR built a small diesel shop at Salford where a welcoming
township smoothed the way with lower taxes than elsewhere.
A new customer Future Transfer relocated to Tillsonburg
with a transload facility to expand its trucking operation. Unfortunately
OSR was unable to secure sufficient land on their line resulting in
them establishing their facility on the CNR Cayuga Subdivision which
had been shortlined and was operated by Trillium Railway subsidiary
St.Thomas and Eastern Ry. However OSR had an interchange with ST&E
which permitted CPR and CNR traffic to reach any customer.
Future Transfer established a second facility on the OSR which resulted in relocation of much of the traffic to this location.
(Updated September 4, 2019)
A major expansion came about the CPR shortlined its St.
Thomas Sub. and OSR leased it effective December 15, 2009.
The biggest gain traffic wise was the large CAMI automotive
assembly plant in Ingersoll which required another daily train.
6508_182 heading to Woodstock with 26 cars. Beachville 12/24/2016
1401_6508 with 16 multis through Ingersoll. 5/21/2019
Gallery OSR Rolling Stock
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