Halton County Radial Railway

Discussion in 'Traction Thoroughfare' started by MasonJar, May 23, 2007.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I had the chance to visit this "hidden gem" north of Oakvile, ON over the May long weekend.

    Lots of opportunity to ride various operational (and historic!) electric cars of various types.

    A fantastic collection, restored, operated and maintained by some very dedicated volunteers.

    Pictures to come...!

    In the meantime, visit Halton County Radial Railway for more information. For a related project in Ottawa, ON, try Ottawa Streetcars 696 and 905 Restoration Group. Ottawa, Canada

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Andrew: I'm glad you liked it. I'm not a member, but I've been going there since, well, before they had the overhead up.
    The usual roster calls for them to have 3 active cars on a running day, but there are special days when they run extra cars (if the load calls for it) and one day a year when they try to run everything that will propel itself.
    They operate on a segmented staff system -- did you manage to see that?
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I am not sure, what's a segmented staff system? hamr ;)

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How much do we know about signalling systems?
    HCRR has a single track main line connecting loops and sidings at each end. In order to venture onto the single track line, the operator needs authority or authorization. Some places use a token, HCRR uses a staff -- a brass rod 15-18" long. If the operator sees the staff, he knows there will be no movement in the opposing direction. In order to run multiple trains through the section, the staff unscrews into 5 (or so) sections. These are passed to the operators as they enter the single track. The last train in line takes the base of the staff and all unused segments. If there are more than 5 cars, the surplus go without a segment but must see the base section before they leave.
    The whole process is repeated at the other end to come back.
    The segmented staff allows for unbalanced movements, if there is more rush hour traffic going one way than the other (not at Halton!) or if they have to move equipment from one end to the other and need a car to bring the operators back.
    (Staffs and tokens are covered in LTC Rolt's book Red for Danger -- one of my favourite bits of reading. History of British railway accidents for the first 150 years.)
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I did not see any evidence of this. All the operators seemed to say i s"we gotta wait until the other car gets back".

    Now that you mention it, I read that Orangeville had a "staff system" to control train movement into the station/yard area. At Orangeville Junction (north of town, also called Fraxa Jct) the train had to stop and the conductor had to collect the staff from the station by calling the O'ville stn. If the line was clear, the station master in Orangeville would release the staff in Fraxa, requiring that the conductor bring it with him to O'ville.

    Thanks for the explanation. Pictures soon I promise...!

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    L&ps #8

    FIrst up...

    London & Port Stanley #8. This is basically an interurban car, but taken to extremes (for the time). It was made as a "proof of concept" car, as the owner of the L&PS was a huge proponent of electric lines, and set out with this car to prove how luxurious they could be. This car ran holiday-seekers to the shores of Lake Erie to soak up the sun and enjoy the beaches.

    The photos below show (top to bottom):

    Original stained glass windows. These are made of two matching layers - one inside and one outside.

    The operator bay with baggage room. There is a matching operator bay at the other end of the car, but instead of baggage space, there are two restrooms.

    Interior light fixture. You don't see any like this today!

    About the car.

    More about the car -> OERHA - Interurban & Suburban


    Attached Files:

  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Ttc #327

    #327 is interesting in that it is an antique replica...! The body of the car is a replica built in the 1930s of the original car that dates from the late 1890s.

    A summer car built for a "tourist" line, the entire body would be lifted off in the winter and an enclosed body dropped onto the trucks.

    Photos, top to bottom:

    #327 exiting the car barn

    Pulling into Rockwood Station

    Check out the woodwork on the ceiling, and those funky lightbulbs. Reminded me more of being on a boat than a streetcar!

    More on #327 -> OERHA - Streetcars


    Attached Files:

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Ttc #2894

    2894 is a Peter Witt car. It was featured in the Russell Crowe movie "Cinderella Man", which was filmed in Toronto. The car is seen for approximately 17 seconds, but spend several weeks in Toronto on location.


    At Rockwood Station

    Operator controls

    Looking down the track. The museum has a loop to loop that runs through the woods with a flag stop at the far end.

    A "long" Peter Witt car awaits restoration.

    More on 2894 -> OERHA - Streetcars


    Attached Files:

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    For Val & Chris - Red Rockets!

    I remember riding this type of streetcar on occasion when we visited Toronto when I was a kid.


    #4000 in the car barn

    Interior of 4000

    4000's controls with a crazy driver at the "wheel"... ;)

    An ad in #4000 extolling the virtues of the TTC during the 1930s. This ad is circa 1971, so theoretically, the 1930s would have been well within living memory for many passengers.

    Sister 4600 outside the other car barn.

    More about #4000 -> OERHA - Streetcars
    More about #4600 -> OERHA - Streetcars

    You can buy one! #4618 is for sale -> OERHA - Streetcars


    Attached Files:

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Rockwood Station

    Rockwood Station was moved to the museum in the early 1970s, and some of the interior, namely the ticket office/agent's office.


    Exterior of the station
    Interior - waiting room and ticket office
    Interior of the ticket office/agent's office
    Street car tickets are sold from a different window
    Just some of the rules that you'll have to obey to ride on the CNR...! ;)


    Attached Files:

  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Other sights at the museum


    London & Port Stanley caboose awaits restoration out on "the back 40".

    More -> OERHA - Freight & Passenger Equipment

    A truck outfitted with scaffolding to work the overhead (I think it's a Ford?).

    Visit the museum's website at OERHA


    Attached Files:

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Andrew: I think that Peter Witt with the grass growing through it is a Trailer. I think you can see the round end at the far end as well.
    There are very few trailer bodies left (I don't know of any other than this one) and none even close to operational.
    The biggest trailer operation was the Yonge line, although they used them on other routes as well, Queen and Kingston Road, I think, so that most of them were surplus in 1954.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for that info. I thought I heard the guy giving the tour say it was a long Peter Witt, but it is entirely possible that I am mistaken (it's happened before ;) :rolleyes: ).

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The Guide lists them has having both a trailer body and a large Witt body. (as well as the working Witts) The trailers were always pulled by large Witts, as far as I can tell.
  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'm also a real fan of this railway.

    My Dad used to take me there when I was a kid. He was a member, so I have fond memories as a child of this place. Now I go there with my kids. My eldest son, William, even had his 5th birthday party there a couple years ago!

    L&PS #8 is my favourite by far!

  16. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Great Photo's.
  17. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

  18. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Well, my family & I, along with another family, visited this railway on Sunday. Once again, had a great time. We were allowed to explore one of the sheds that previously we either hadn't been allowed to or didn't know if we could! At any rate, we saw lots of on-display street cars in there.

    We also saw a very impressive car that we hadn't seen before. This was a "Montreal and Southern Counties" passenger car, much like the L&PS car (which is my favourite). We thought that the Montreal car might have been a recent acquisition but staff said that they'd had it for years. Has anyone else seen it or ridden in it? It was quite impressive.

  19. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    Montreal & Southern Counties 107 was one of the earliest acquisitions of the HCRR, in 1956. I've ridden the car many times.

    OERHA - Interurban & Suburban

    Somebody wasn't paying attention!!!! :eek::D
  20. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks for the info. Thanks for the web URL as well -- sure enough, there it is!!

    Well, my family & I usually visit the HCRR 2-3 times a year & I don't ever recall seeing it. On the other hand, staff did say that it currently was not running as it's been in for repairs, so maybe that's its reason for its low profile? :confused:

    Thanks again,

Share This Page