Tuesday, 1 August 2017

An Afternoon at the Halton County Radial Railway

Today Teena and I headed north of Milton to the Halton County Radial Railway.

Ride the rails! The Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) is a full-size operating electric railway and museum, featuring historic electric railcars operating on two kilometers of scenic track. The HCRR is owned and operated by the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA), a non-profit, educational organization. The HCRR is proud to be Ontario’s first and largest electric railway museum.

The OERHA is made up of active members who volunteer to maintain, restore and operate the museum for its many visitors throughout the year. New members are always welcome at the HCRR, and there are many ways to lend a hand.

The HCRR and OERHA formed in 1954 by a group of men who wanted to save Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcar 1326 from being sent to the scrap yard. After the donation of this streetcar, the dream grew. Land that used to be a part of the Toronto Suburban Railway in Nassagaweya Township was acquired, and subsequently, a number of other street and radial cars were eventually rescued. The museum’s grand opening to the public took place in 1972.

Since the beginning, the vision of the HCRR was to inform, educate and inspire the public about the electric railway history of Ontario and Canada. Today, the museum displays and operates a variety of historic streetcars, radial cars and work cars, and maintains a collection of photographs, memorabilia and archival materials.

This is where we caught our streetcar, which took us to a small park area. We caught another model back.


The streetcar we rode in was built in 1923 and was retired in 1963. It was the last streetcar to run the Dupont line in Toronto.


I love the old fare schedule


This is Brian, our conductor, who showed Teena and I around the driver's area.


This is the Rockwood Station. It was built as a railway stop in Rockwood, Ontario, in 1912 and was closed in 1971 when it was donated and moved to the museum.


We rode back from the park in this 1892 car which was built by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The top was redone by the TTC in 1934 for TTC's centennial.


The track runs through a forest.


The park.


It's a nice park area.


There is a goldfish and frog pond. Here is proof of the frogs.


Teena and I.


We had an ice cream.


There is a work shed behind the ice cream car. Here are some models waiting to be restored.


Car 327 pulls into the park to take us back to the station.


Jim was the operator who took us back. Teena and I sat up front with him.


Coming into the station and train yard.


Shed 3 and 4 are full of subway trains and historic streetcars.


This work car was built in 1915 and operated until 1956


Two of the maybe a half dozen subway trains


Cabooses are no more but most boys, me included, always wanted to be able to ride in one when they were the tail end of a train. Finally I had a chance to look inside. Not shown are the bed inside and the lookout seats at the top part of the caboose.


A rail bonder, which was built in 1915


This is the second car acquired by the museum. It was built in 1915 and came to the museum in 1954.


Fare boxes through the years. Nothing really changed much before the Presto card came along.


OK. I was excited to see this car, which was the very first car acquired in 1954 and built 1910


What I found interesting is that it was coal driven.


The inside of the car.


This car ran in London, Ontario, and was built in 1901 and retired in 1935. The steps are attached to the streetcar and not put on by the museum. Teena climbed aboard and said how difficult it would have been for women in heels and dresses back in those days.


It was a fun, entertaining and informative afternoon. I really respected the devotion and love all the volunteers have for what they do. It is definitely worth the trip.

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