Ontario Southland Railway
Ontario Southland is an independent, locally-owned Canadian company.
Commencing in April 1994, Ontario Southland took over switching from CN and CP 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
First run of 102 July 1, 2020
Acquired 5/2006. Last GP9 built. GMD A2019 8/1963 Algoma Central 172. Sold 4/1986 Essex Terminal 102.
102_1594 leaving Ingersoll for St.Thomas on its first day of road operation.
Crossing a wooden trestle at Tamarack Ridge Golf Club Putnam.
Heading to St.Thomas after switching Messenger in the background.
(Updated June 30, 2020)
OSR ended all freight service on April 30 and returned line to CN May 1, 2020.
CN issued notice June 26, 2020
offering to sell the line from '
History and Photography of Individual Lines.
(Updated August 31, 2020)
END OF THE LINE!
After 22 years and 8 months of providing great customer service that resulted in a huge increase in freight traffic the end came on August 28th. when Ontario Southland, its management and employees left the City of Guelph's property. Sadly, all that hard work, pride, dedication to duty and service to the community wasn't enough to ensure that a fair and equitable agreement could be reached to renew the contract to operate the Guelph Junction Railway.
NOTE: 2019 traffic up 12% to 5192 carloads!
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.
It all began using OSRX 504 (ex CP 8044) just setoff by CP at Guelph Junction December 31, 1997. Jason Noe
The original agreement called for OSR to provide service
3 days per week.
647_644 southbound to Guelph Junction. Stone Road, Guelph. 10/10/2019 David J. Parker
Sold June 2020 to Sartigan Ry. a small shortline in Quebec operating part of former Quebec Central.
RS-23's 503_505 passing along the scenic Speed River and River Run area in Guelph. Two views; 2/21/2001
OSRX 4900 (ex CP 434900) brings up the rear of short train in this second view.
(Updated May 4, 2020)
A further OSR expansion came about when the CPR decided
to shortline its Port Burwell Subdivision between Ingersoll
Two new tracks being built May 2020 at Future Transfer in Tillsonburg.
OSR built a small diesel shop at Salford where a welcoming
township smoothed the way with lower taxes than elsewhere.
Dowler-Karn, a family-owned local fuel dealer has always supplied OSR diesels.
(Updated June 27, 2020)
Note: New images here temporary and are duplicated in location order at above link.
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.
1400_1594 southbound from Woodstock working hard with an impressive train of 54 loads!
1244_1210 showing off their new stack spark arrestors!
378_383 departing Putnam for St.Thomas. 1/14/2020
All three "covered wagons" (1400_6508_1401) are on their
way back to Ingersoll after a run down to Putnam.
1400_1594 southbound with loads for Messenger plus cars for Cayuga line.
Roster of diesel units
Gallery OSR Rolling Stock
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