Port Stanley - Incline Railway (at Stop 25)

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The L&PS interchanges with several major railroads, but this is probably the most interesting. The Incline Railway was located at the west end of the beach terminal and carried passengers from there to the picnic grounds on the heights above the lake. It was built in the 1870's for the convenience of patrons of the Frazer House hotel which was at that time located on the heights. The railway passed through several owners eventually being acquired by the L&PS in 1916.

Initially, the railway was powered by a stationary steam engine ( reportedly made from parts of GWR loco No 92, The Gilson Homan ) located in the lift house at the top of the incline. This equipment was replaced by an electric motor when the L&PS took over operations.

The two cars on the double track railway travelled in opposite directions passing in the middle. Many riders still remember the sound of the old locomotive bell that was used by the ticket booth operator to signal the lift house when the car was loaded and ready to go.

After nearly 100 years of operation, the railway was finally shut down in the 1960's when government officials decided it was not actually a railway but instead was an elevator. There was no way it could be made to meet the new safety regulations they imposed, forcing the railway to shut down and eventually be dismantled.

Now the site is occupied by vacation condominiums. I am sure from time to time a resident wonders about the strange bits of lumber and concrete that they may discover buried in the hillside under the heavy brush.

This photo, taken about 1927, shows the Incline Railway and the lower platform. The basic fare remained the same, 5 cents a ride, for almost the entire existence of the railway.


Riders of the Incline Railway were treated to a beautiful view of Lake Erie and the beach facilities. Here we see the bathhouse on the left, the dance pavilion on the right and two passenger trains at the beach terminal ready for the start of a busy day.



My virtual model of the Incline Railway is fully operational. You can sound the bell to signal the start of the ride up, get a close look at the downbound car as it passes you at the halfway point, and finally enjoy the view of the lake from the top of the incline.

I explained how I made it in a tutorial at http://msts.steam4me.net/tutorials/incline.html


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