Hamilton Radial Railway

Discussion in 'Traction Thoroughfare' started by bill937ca, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    Knowing that some guys like interurbans I thought we should look at a long gone line.

    The Hamilton Radial Railway was Incorporated in 1893. Eleven miles of line from downtown Hamilton, ON via Burlington Beach to the town of Burlington were completed in 1897 and the line was extended to Port Nelson the following year. In March 1906 the Hamilton Radial Railway was extended from Burlington east to Oakville on a private right of way parallel to the highway and graded for a second track. A combined passenger station and substation was built at Randall and Thomas Streets in Oakville (see link below) and rails continued east on Randall Street for some distance.


    Frequent service was operated to Burlington Beach resort during the summer months.

    The Oakville extension ruined the line financially. The line between Burlington and Oakville was abandoned on August 3, 1925 and the remainder of Hamilton Radial Railway was abandoned January 3, 1929.
  2. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Thanks you Bill that is an inspiring picture of old.
    The whole scene is begging to be modeled.

    The only pictures I have are the city cars here are two shots.

    Love those old automobile's.

    Attached Files:

  3. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

  4. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    A good read

    Here is one of my favorite books, Only cost $10 Can.

    Hamilton Grimsby & Beamsville Electric Railway Co.

    By Wm, E, Blaine.

    A great history book with loads of pictures of bygone days.

    Attached Files:

  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    It is historically ironic that enthusiasm and boundless optimism killed off much of early railroading's success stories.

    It seems that almost any pretext was sufficient for expaning a line be it traction or narrow gauge, apparently under the premise that "if they built it, the people would come" and prosperity would follow. Lack of knowledge in the ealry years certainly contributed, but it seems all were in a rush to make big money.

    Probably the most outlandish example occured in Colorado, where wildflower excursions were a failry common entertainment for large groups in the springtime Rockies. Certainly not to be outdone, one small narrow gauge outfit promtly built a spur line that literally went nowhere except to the summit of an 11,000 footer, where it stopped and waited for it's passengers to admire the flowers, a function limited to about 3 months out of an entire year - or less. Still full of enthusiasm and not much else, the owner promptly began plans for a grand hotel and dining area, in the absolute midst of nowhere.

    To top it all off, after the line went bankrupt, it was years before the snows melted enough for salvage crews to get in to remove the old rails.

    as far as I know, this is only topped by the story of the Alpine Tunnel, also in Colorado.

    Every so often I am reminded of Jeff Goldblum's immortal words of wisdom from Jurassic Park: "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should...or that it's even a good idea."
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Love Jurassic Park the novel; hate Jurassic Park the movie...

    Railways were the "dot com" of their time. Far more money was to be made building the line than operating it, especially in the mid- to late-1800s.

    But adding attractions to the railway in the hopes of increasing business was hardly a bad business model. The CPR did it in the Canadian Rockies and elsewhere. The majority of those hotels are now the "Farimont" chain. CPR even had a ship line to bring customers from Europe... The Grand Trunk built a hotel in Algonquin Park. Many railroads in the US ran ski trains or other specials specifically geared to tourism.

    Near Ottawa (Ontario) is Carlsbad Springs. It still has the mineral springs (several different "flavours" in one small area) that prompted the building of a fine hotel and resort that attracted health-minded tourists from Ontario, Quebec, New York, Boston and other places for a relaxing and regenerating holiday. Unfortunately, nothing but a replica of one of the mineral spring pavilions remains today. Oh - the best way to get there? The railways...


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