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Credit Valley Railway


Map with October 10, 1883 public time table.

CV 19 J.L.Morrison, a director of CVR (8-84 became CPR 186).
Canadian Locomotive and Engine Co. #234 10-1881
Note: 18 and 19 believed to be the first CLC engines equipped with
Westinghouse air brakes (for cars only), air pump located between 69" drivers.

CPR 192 ex CVR 4 Brooks 1873

CPR 193 ex CVR 5 Brooks 1873

George Laidlaw, promoter of both the Toronto & Nipissing, and the Toronto, Grey & Bruce railways was also behind the Ontario incorporation (February 15,1871) of the Credit Valley, becoming its first president. The CVR was incorporated to build from Toronto (with its main facilities at Parkdale), through(West) Toronto Junction, Streetsville and Brampton to Orangeville, with branches to Milton, Galt, Berlin (Kitchener) and Waterloo. Nothing was built to the last two points. An 1872 amendment allowed a branch from the Forks of Credit to Elora or Salem. This was later changed to connect at Church's Falls (Cataract). A further amendment in 1873 was for Galt to Woodstock, Ingersoll and St.Thomas, connecting there with the Canada Southern (CASO).

In 1873 survey work was done, grading began early in 1874, and track laying (56 lb. rail) in 1876, with the line opened from Parkdale to Galt in September 1879 and St.Thomas September 5, 1881. Passenger service from Campbellville to Toronto first ran on September 1st with two trains for the duration of the Toronto Industrial Exhibition and regular service on September 15th. Toronto to St.Thomas began on the 22nd. Track reached Brampton in December 1878, and the huge Credit Forks trestle was completed in September 1879. An open pavilion was located nearby at the Forks. It included seats, picnic tables, swings and a dance floor. An official opening ceremony hosted by the Governor General, the Marquis of Lorne was held on Friday, September 19, 1879 with a train running from Parkdale to Milton where a formal reception was held. The event was marred by the death of Mr.Gooderham a Streetsville mill owner who fell under the train as he attempted to reboard it following an unscheduled stop. The line was opened to Orangeville on December 2, 1879 and to Elora on the 17th. Parkdale to Streetsville was 19 miles and Orangeville was another 35 miles, while Cataract to Fergus was 27.0 miles and Elora was at Mile 29.4. It was 58 miles from Streetsville to Woodstock and another 32 miles to St.Thomas. Here the CVR connected with the Canada Southern (CASO), which was headquartered in St.Thomas, and whose mainline ran between Windsor and Niagara Falls connecting with the Michigan Central at both ends.

Former Credit Valley Ry. Parkdale station, built 1879. CVR began serving Parkdale on September 1,1879. Toronto, Grey & Bruce (left platform) began serving Parkdale January 1883. Shown here, August 15, 1898. J.W.Heckman/Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives A20578, collection of R.L.Kennedy.

Note: During CVR years (at least) dispatchers were located upstairs.

Passenger trains at first, began running from Parkdale, where the station, yard and shops were located on the east side of Dufferin Street between Queen and King Streets including a roundhouse, 190' three track car shop, 132' paint shop and 61' x 51' blacksmith shop. Agreement was reached to enter Toronto and use the GTR's station, with the first train entering it on May 17, 1880. It became a Union station for GTR and CVR effective September 5, 1881. An agreement ($1500 per annum and 8 cents per freight car) was reached November 25, 1880 giving CVR right over 2285 feet of GTR track from Bathurst Junction to Brock Street to reach a wharf and freight shed that were located on newly filled waterfront between Simcoe and John Streets. Note: This would be in the area where the present John Street roundhouse stands.

This is the only known photograph of the Credit Valley, Toronto (Parkdale) roundhouse,1884.
Paul Tatham Collection

Note: The wooden turntable was replaced in 1885 with a 65 foot steel table.

By June 30, 1882 the CVR had 19 engines, 29 pieces of passenger equipment, freight equipment included 250 box, and 195 flat cars. There were 20,000 bushel grain elevators at Orangville and Fergus, while a 10,000 bushel elevator was at Wolverton (M.72.6 Galt Sub.)

Wages were $1.00 a day for track labourers while train crews earned from $1.25 to $2.50, as follows: Enginemen, $1.75 to $2.50 per day; brakemen, $1.25 per day and conductors $1.70-1.80.

The railway work was aided by the province of Ontario by $463,500 ($3,000 per mile), and was bonused by 12 counties, cities, towns and villages to a further amount of $1,165,000. This was done to provide for competition to the GTR and GWR. A $65,000 bonus was offered by Elmira, for a 10 mile extension of the line from Elora, and although preliminary surveying was done, nothing was built.

The work included a number of major bridges including one over the Humber River at Lambton, five Howe Truss spans totalling 568 feet long by 95 feet high, having 14"x14" timber piers. It was completed in November of 1874. Another major bridge was a 900 foot truss over the Grand River at Galt, completed in December 1879. There was also a spectacular high, curved trestle at the Forks of the Credit, which was 85 feet high
and 1,146 feet long, although in 1888, most of this was filled in.

By the time the Credit Valley Railway was completed in 1881, it was already in financial trouble. A lease by the Great Western was being talked about, as was the lease of the GWR by the CPR! In the end, the CPR did not acquire the GWR, it was instead acquired by the rival GTR. In February 1881, the CPR was incorporated and in March, the O&Q was incorporated. The CVR and the London Junction Ry. were amalgamated into the O&Q on November 30, 1883.

The scenery through the Forks of Credit to Cataract has always been outstanding and remains so today. Here the Credit River runs through the valley where once quarries shipped out rock including the famous Brownstone used on the Parliament buildings at Queens Park in Toronto.

The CVR was taken over by the Ontario & Quebec, along with the Toronto, Grey and Bruce and in turn the O&Q was taken over by the CPR on January 4, 1884 through a perpetual lease. The O&Q annual report to the Department of Railways and Canals, indicated a total main line of 580.8 miles.

Map of Ontario Division 1884

Public Time Table 1878

Public Time Table 1883


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