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CNR U-1-f "Bullet Nose Betty" 6060 is seen on the point of an excursion run by the NRHS Buffalo Chapter from Niagara Falls to Guelph via Lynden and return, seen passing beneath the Harrisburg Road bridge and through the remains of Harrisburg Junction.  A number of fans were out chasing this day including Bruce Lowe during a photo runby and Bill Thomson at CN Guelph Junction.Rails were laid through Harrisburg in 1853 leading off the right of this image where the original and the circa 1906 stations once sat on the former Great Western Railway Niagara Falls - Hamilton - London - Windsor mainline, on which service commenced in January 1854.  Located 3.13 miles west of Lynden, Harrisburg is considered the first railway junction in Canada, as the Great Western Railway built a branch north to Galt via Branchton opening on August 23, 1854.  West of Harrisburg, the mainline passed just south of St. George before crossing the Buffalo, Brantford & Goderich Railway at Paris Junction (1856).  Brantford did not receive service from the GWR until 1871 via a branch line (later CN Alford and Dundas Subdivisions).  After amalgamation with the Grand Trunk on August 12, 1882, the GTR worked to provide the area with better service as well as increase their profits resulting in the Lynden cutoff being constructed from Lynden (Junction) to join the Alford Branch (Alford Jct. – south of Powerline Road crossing).  With the new mainline in service the Alford Sub would be abandoned in 1924, and the GWR mainline west of St. George to Paris Junction (Harrisburg - Paris Jct. renamed St. George Subdivision) abandoned in 1935.  The remainder of the St. George Sub would be abandoned in 1962, leaving the former Galt Branch, now the Fergus Sub, as the only active rail through Harrisburg for another couple decades.  Eventually though it too would be abandoned from mile 1.00 Lynden Junction to mile 13.88 at Galt in 1986, the last revenue carload having passed over the line in 1979.  Today almost a mile of double tracked rusted rail remains in the weeds severed from the Dundas Sub as a reminder of the old mainline.On a lighter note the Great western was a pioneer of sorts in North American rail transportation, as beginning in January 1854 the GWR would be the first North American Railway to operate travelling Railway Post Office cars which would provide revenue to many of the branch lines and local trains for over a century until the end of RPO service on April 24, 1971.  Further details provided in this interesting article on Canadian RPO car operations by former RPO Clerk, Norm Giffen.More Harrisburg:Bill Thomson: September 20, 1970, CNR 6218 southbound with her fireman keeping watch.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Bryce Lee Photo; Jacob Patterson Coll. all rights reserved.



Caption: CNR U-1-f "Bullet Nose Betty" 6060 is seen on the point of an excursion run by the NRHS Buffalo Chapter from Niagara Falls to Guelph via Lynden and return, seen passing beneath the Harrisburg Road bridge and through the remains of Harrisburg Junction. A number of fans were out chasing this day including Bruce Lowe during a photo runby and Bill Thomson at CN Guelph Junction.

Rails were laid through Harrisburg in 1853 leading off the right of this image where the original and the circa 1906 stations once sat on the former Great Western Railway Niagara Falls - Hamilton - London - Windsor mainline, on which service commenced in January 1854. Located 3.13 miles west of Lynden, Harrisburg is considered the first railway junction in Canada, as the Great Western Railway built a branch north to Galt via Branchton opening on August 23, 1854. West of Harrisburg, the mainline passed just south of St. George before crossing the Buffalo, Brantford & Goderich Railway at Paris Junction (1856). Brantford did not receive service from the GWR until 1871 via a branch line (later CN Alford and Dundas Subdivisions). After amalgamation with the Grand Trunk on August 12, 1882, the GTR worked to provide the area with better service as well as increase their profits resulting in the Lynden cutoff being constructed from Lynden (Junction) to join the Alford Branch (Alford Jct. – south of Powerline Road crossing). With the new mainline in service the Alford Sub would be abandoned in 1924, and the GWR mainline west of St. George to Paris Junction (Harrisburg - Paris Jct. renamed St. George Subdivision) abandoned in 1935. The remainder of the St. George Sub would be abandoned in 1962, leaving the former Galt Branch, now the Fergus Sub, as the only active rail through Harrisburg for another couple decades. Eventually though it too would be abandoned from mile 1.00 Lynden Junction to mile 13.88 at Galt in 1986, the last revenue carload having passed over the line in 1979. Today almost a mile of double tracked rusted rail remains in the weeds severed from the Dundas Sub as a reminder of the old mainline.

On a lighter note the Great western was a pioneer of sorts in North American rail transportation, as beginning in January 1854 the GWR would be the first North American Railway to operate travelling Railway Post Office cars which would provide revenue to many of the branch lines and local trains for over a century until the end of RPO service on April 24, 1971. Further details provided in this interesting article on Canadian RPO car operations by former RPO Clerk, Norm Giffen.

More Harrisburg:
Bill Thomson: September 20, 1970, CNR 6218 southbound with her fireman keeping watch.

Photographer:
Bryce Lee Photo; Jacob Patterson Coll. [178] (more) (contact)
Date: 09/21/1975 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CNR 6060 (search)
Train Symbol: Extra 6060 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Fergus Sub. (search)
City/Town: Harrisburg (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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Photo ID: 43370

Map courtesy of Open Street Map

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3 Comments
  1. A most interesting picture and informative commentary Jacob. Thank you for posting this picture and the history of the GWR in this area. For me, this is the first picture I have seen of the former Harrisburg Junction, with 6060 making the picture even more enjoyable. Also, much appreciate the references to the historical pictures at this location which also are very interesting. I was not on this excursion and never did ride this line in regular service. Question – looking at the consist in this picture and in Bruce Lowe’s picture (thanks for the reference), the first 6 cars after the baggage car do not look like CNR passenger cars. Are they the Ontario Rail Association cars that ended up on South Simcoe Railway ? John

  2. Thanks John. Indeed they are from Ontario Rail. Unfortunately I am unable to find why they were borrowed, maybe CN was short on coaches. In the comments of Bruce’s shot there’s a link I posted to some footage of 6060 trips around the area and this on was featured including both the Harrisburg runby and Whitelaw Road runby where Bruce was.

    I’m in the same boat as you for finding shots of The Fergus sub south of Guelph or St. George subs, very little is out there.

  3. Fantastic shot of a location almost unrecognizable today. Shame it is all distant history now.

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