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Owen Sound CN station. So nice that it has been preserved, complete with a small section of rail; was home to the Marine & Rail museum last I knew. Once upon a time the line, which connected with the rest of the world at Palmerston, was alive with extensive grain shipping, as this Georgian Bay port, along with places like Midland and Port McNicoll, Collingwood, etc., handled considerable tonnage from the west. That is all gone now. Back when I took this photo, it was another 'end of line' branch station where the local switcher, in this case CN 4576, was kept when not in use.  However, the subdivision was lifted back in the mid-90s, bringing an abrupt end to the railroad scene in town.
Copyright Notice: This image ©A.W.Mooney all rights reserved.



Caption: Owen Sound CN station. So nice that it has been preserved, complete with a small section of rail; was home to the Marine & Rail museum last I knew. Once upon a time the line, which connected with the rest of the world at Palmerston, was alive with extensive grain shipping, as this Georgian Bay port, along with places like Midland and Port McNicoll, Collingwood, etc., handled considerable tonnage from the west. That is all gone now. Back when I took this photo, it was another 'end of line' branch station where the local switcher, in this case CN 4576, was kept when not in use. However, the subdivision was lifted back in the mid-90s, bringing an abrupt end to the railroad scene in town.

Photographer:
A.W.Mooney [2023] (more) (contact)
Date: 07/03/1976 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 4576 (search)
Train Symbol: nil (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Owen Sound Sub (search)
City/Town: Owen Sound (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 27226

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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14 Comments
  1. You’ve topped your last station photo.
    Black CN noodle GP9 with caboose, dandy. :-) But wait, the station has the CN noodle sign on it. A real memory from my younger days.
    An excellent picture Arnold.

  2. Yet another rare branchline photo. Awesome.

  3. Thanks, guys. For a couple of years back then I tried to go where everyone didn’t. Wish I had done more of it.

  4. Good work Arnold – keep ‘em coming.

    It seems only a few people trundled up branchlines in the day – most focused on the mainline. Then again, if you look at what ran on the Mainline it was an attractive proposition

  5. Another problem, Mr. Host; is the time and expense of getting to each of these localities, unless you lived close by. The whole day could be spent just tracking down one local, IF you had the connections back then; and if you didn’t find it, the whole day off from work is spent photographing one or two stations and that was it. For me, it was reward enough to see at least a couple of buildings that would not be there (in most cases) the next time passing thru.

  6. Did you ever catch any railcar loads from the Russel Brothers plant? I see many of their tugs and small craft were loaded sideways on flatbed railcars.

  7. Neil: I feel bad now that all these years have passed and I failed to involve myself in what went on in many localities. But I am out on a day drive, looking for stations, and if I caught anything happening, it was a bonus. It was a fair run from St. Catharines up and around the area trying to find some stations that were very elusive. I wish I had had the time to take a few days and explore, but never did. Others in the know can tell you that both CP and CN in the 1970s were demolishing stations faster than us guys could get to them. So what days I could get away from work, I was scurrying around. If I could live my life over….oh what the heck, it probably would have turned out the same:o) So, no, I didn’t catch action up there. And didn’t have a portable scanner either; so seeing anything was by chance.

  8. Arnold, may I ask if by any chance you or anyone else on here know the day CN made their last visit to Owensound? I heard many times that CPs last visit was Oct 31 1995 and that CN abandoned their trackage a couple years later which I assume was 97, 98 because that is the year CN wanted to abandon a lot of their lines that ran up north including the well known Meaford Sub but unlike Collingwood, Owensound wasn’t really willing to fight for their rail service so it was just something that I’ve always been kind of curious of.
    Thanks for sharing this image btw! I love it!

  9. Thanks, Graydon. I hope you get your answer. Someone must have the stats. :o )

  10. Only information given to me stated that the CN station was turned over to the city in 1983, the last CN freight left in 1987 and the track was taken up in 1995. Sorry I have heard nothing more specific.

  11. Dave KINZIE from Owen Sound is a photographer with lots of info on the final days

  12. Appreciate this information for the next time I am back up in the Sound.

  13. RE: Graydon

    CN made few visits to Owen Sound after ’87. I’m fairly certain they never made a trip past Hanover during 1988. Their final hurrah was March of ’89 when the wheat board arranged an export shipment from the P&H elevator. CP would haul the grain east to St John, however CN were required to switch the grain cars. CN ran up with a plow, pair of units (usually gp9rm’s, but a M420W made it for a trip) and caboose. The Stratford crew would run up one day, switch, spend the night, switch the elevator again and return to Stratford, wayfreighting the usual stop(s) along the way.{ Hanover comes to mind}. Just to wake up the following day and do it all again. It took two weeks for CN to grab the cars from CP, bring it through the switchback interchange (only enough room for 8 cars) and spot the elevator on the CN side of the harbour. This was the last time CN visited Owen Sound. The rails were removed in ’96.

    As for Owen Sound fighting to keep their rail service. It wasn’t for lack of trying I suppose. The late Peter Bowers tried organizing the “Ontario Midwestern Railway” which would have operated the former CP line (they had a vision years prior of consolidating the network of branchlines in the area) however politics got in the way, among other things and that reality was never recognized. The CP line was lifted in late ’97 and was completed to Orangeville by the spring of ’98.

    If you get a chance read Rusty Rails by John Hardy and Two Divisions to Bluewater by Peter Bowers.

  14. Thank you for the info David! Very interesting indeed and I’m sure that information will thrill a lot of individuals who are interested in past railways ESPECIALLY those who reside in Owensound as I’m sure they’ll some day come across this site and these photos!

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