Mile 0.0: Clarence to Colborne

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In 1888, the Michigan Central Railroad negotiated running rights over the L&PS ( at that time operated by the Grand Trunk) to reach London from their mainline in St. Thomas. They leased passenger and freight service facilities ( and probably the local track as well ) from a holding company known as the London and South Eastern Rwy Co. These facilities, located along Bathurst Street from Colborne to Clarence, continued in use to about 1914 when the City of London assumed control of the L&PS and chose not to renew the operating agreement. The L&PS eventually strung wire over these tracks to allow them to service the many industries that moved into the vacated properties.

Most Londoners aren't aware of the beautiful brick and stone MCR station that stood on the south east corner of Bathurst and Clarence. Two trains a day provided the most direct connection out of London to cities all across the U.S.A. By the time this photo was taken in 1929, the station had not seen a passenger train in fifteen years and was occupied by the Langford and Edwards Wholesale Fruit Company. The structure was razed in 1936 eventually becoming the site of an Imperial Fuels coal yard. Today, a vacant lot, but the foundations of the station can still be seen.

(MSTS)

 

Prior to 1914 the L&PS was a steam powered railway and the MCR serviced their locomotives at facilities east of Waterloo Street just south of Bathurst. When the MCR ceased operations, most of the structures were converted to other purposes. Here in the 1920s, the roundhouse is occupied by the Samsone and Son's fruit business. This roundhouse exists today, preserved as part of the popular 'Great West Steakhouse' restaurant.

(MSTS)

 

The L&PS's small yard along Bathurst Street between Waterloo and Colborne. included the MCR freight shed ( left of photo ), team tracks, and an interchange track with the Canadian National.

(MSTS)

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