C and O / Chessie in St Thomas, Ontario

4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 5,869 posts
C and O / Chessie in St Thomas, Ontario
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:59 PM

St. Thomas was a major railway hub for American roads with business from Detroit-Buffalo across the shorter, grade free, straight shot North shore of Lake Erie through Southern Ontario. 

The New York Central's Canada Southern was the big dog but Wabash was a significant player as was the Pete Marquette. The C&O absorbed the Pere Marquette after WWII. They owned their own rails Detroit to St. Thomas with trackage rights onward to Buffalo. For a brief time later in the 80's and early 90's you could see Seaboard units rumbling through the Chatham area. 

Of course, nothing is left of the C&O presence. As if it didn't happen. 

From Old Tyme Trains the following:

Chesapeake and Ohio

Chessie System 

CO 5244 one of 5 unit Canadian order 5240-5244. SW9 GMD A153 2/1951 

C&O 5242 built for Canadian service. SW9 GMD A151 2/1951 
Chatham August 1974 Bill Thomson 

Note: 5242 sold 8/1985 PSTR L3, re-sold 1997 OSRX 52. 
Long stored unserviceable. 

Original B&O paint scheme. 

Chessie System paint scheme for B&O reporting marks. 

Local efforts to save this roundhouse for a rail museum failed. A developer took over property and promptly got in over his head, gave up and went away. Contamination killed the project. All was demolished and still sits vacant decades later. 

Work equipment for Auxiliary (wreck) train. Jim Booth

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 4,188 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 9:38 PM

That's interesting.  I knew C&O had a presence in Michigan due to their absorption of the Pere Marquette, but I didn't know they ventured 'cross the border into Canada.  

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 2,405 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:07 PM

Pere Marquette/C&O, Wabash, and even Canadian National all had ferries/carfloats on the Detroit River.  Michigan Central/NYC kept their tunnel for themselves!

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
  • 10,904 posts
Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 17, 2019 7:55 AM

And CP passenger trains, with MC engine crews and CP train trains, moved through the tunnel.


  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,881 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:06 AM

PM/C&O also had carferries on the St. Clair River at Port Huron/Sarnia.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul


Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!


Get the Classic Trains twice-monthly newsletter