Walkerville Train Station

March 23, 2012

A neat link sent to me from Tim Swaddling, yields this image of the Walkerville Depot from when it first opened as the CN station. The photo is taken from the CN Archives, which were donated to the Canadian Science & Technology Museum for public archival access – all of which can be found here (CN’s collection is “CN Images Of Canada”).

While the new station is rapidly progressing, this station isn’t long for our world, but while it is typical 1960′s architecture, this is the last remaining active train station from the pre-VIA rail era. When it goes, the last link to the old days of rail travel will leave as well.

20 Responses to Walkerville Train Station

  1. Michael Januska on March 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Looks like Pete Campbell and Don Draper returning from a sales call in Mad Men. Pete’s doing the heavy lifting.

  2. gary on March 23, 2012 at 7:58 am

    michael it looks like the guy wearing the hat’s mouth is going 100mph lol

  3. gary on March 23, 2012 at 8:03 am

    i noticed how close the two trucks are to the baggage cars i never knew they did loaded and unloaded that way very cool!!i got a look at the new quansat hut thats replacing the old walkerville station yesterday it waslike looking at the bus terminal it’s too bad they couldn’t have added to the old one utilize it into a newer design to resemble an older station …but! with all the new amenities

  4. Ken on March 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    It was time for this old train station to go. It was tired, old and dated. Some people might not like the new one, but this old one didn’t offer anything architecturally either. Both stations kind of suck, but at least the new one is, new.

  5. David on March 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

    It looks so clean and fresh in this picture. What the hell happened?

  6. Shawn on March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

    LOL @Michael Januska

    So true.

  7. richard mcintyre on March 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    The present station is only around fifty years old,this was supposed to be a temporary station. The one it replaced on the waterfront was over a hundred years old, it was tired and dated long before its end.

  8. Doug Shirk on March 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you for posting that. In the 60′s, it was the beginning (and end) point for many steam excursions promoted by the Michigan Railroad Club using CNR 4-8-4′s 6167 and 6218. I always felt a little sorry for my dad who, before I got my drivers license, did shutle service driving a gang of us from Ferndale to the station, then came back that evening to pick us up. I’m assuming when it goes, the last vestage of the line that ran down past the roundhouse to the boat dock will go with it.

  9. richard mcintyre on March 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The only track from the station west only go to serve the Walker grain Elevators, mostly covered hoppers and tank cars. When the freight yard went so did all track along the river.
    Maybe Google maps of the area would show what track is left.

  10. Shane on March 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    http://www2.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=848cb202-47e3-4dcc-a310-d69bc41c55d2

    A colleague and I wrote this back in 2010… Didn’t make much difference.

  11. gary on March 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    richard besides the spur for walkers is the track that serves walkers tank farm there is a abit of track in concrete near the rear of walkers next to the tank farm it looks like old PM/c&o track leading into the warehouse at one time maybe

  12. Ken on March 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

    No matter what you build there for a train station, I still think the location sucks. Compare to other cities where their train stations are usually in the core and have a presence, in Windsor it’s tucked away behind a non descript ugly building with no commercial zoning or shops immediately around it. There’s no sense of awe when you arrive or connection to a city, no cars driving by or pedestrians walking around. It feels soo transient, like once you’re there get the hell out of there to somewhere more interesting.

  13. Shane on March 25, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Ken I couldn’t agree more. A friend and I were actually discussing this today. I question why the old site on Devonshire was not considered. It would be much more appropriate than where it is now. Like you said, there needs to be more commercial uses surrounding it.

  14. richard mcintyre on March 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Maybe the site on Devonshire not considered because I do not think Via or CN own the land or riteofway to it.
    The station and property is or was owned by CSX (C&O, Peremarquette,Hiram Walkers railroad)

  15. Shane on March 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    That’s probably true Richard. But I’m thinking the answer is that it was not the cheapest option. And these days the cheapest option is usually the only option!

  16. Tim on March 25, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Richard – I don’t think CSX owns that land any more at all. Even if they do, they won’t for very much longer as the 99.5 year lease on the entire old LEDR properties are set to expire later this year – reverting back to, if you can believe it, the LEDR, which, also if you can believe it, still exists on paper. Apparently the LEDR “shareholders” still have annual meetings in Hamilton, much to my surprise. What goes on at such meetings for the past many decades I don’t know. But apparently they even used to advertise it in the Windsor Star classifieds some years ago even.
    I spent a day doing some research for a project and more Action Hobbies slide shows today around the old C&O line in Wallaceburg. Everything south of Sarnia that is still owned as a railroad property will revert back to the original owners when the lease expires, which will give either local governments (Chatham / Kent specifically on the old C&O sub2 line, or what’s left of it) the chance to take ownership of it or sell to a private company, of which there is definitely at least one interested party in the Wallaceburg area willing to take on the freight services that remain (or could spring up with better available rail service). The ghost of old Hiram Walker and his handy longterm signature may intervene in our sluggish economy on our behalf yet! Not sure if that goes for CNR south of Chatham down to Blenheim, but I sure hope so since they keep trying to convince everyone to ship by CN truck service out of there as they’d like to get rid of that, despite how profitable that could be.
    Anyways, the old LEDR/PM/C&O depot empty lot might’ve made for a slightly better location but not much – there is a bank there and Taloola Cafe and not much else. Really, it’s quite typical of most of Windsor in that regard. The Walker & Sons tour is nearby, but really, the Walker Power Building isn’t exactly much of a pleasant site these days either. Ideally it would be beside the airport, but the logistics of getting on and off CPR tracks eight times a day to make that happen aren’t so great. And short of making the stop in Tecumseh (which of course would be horrible for Windsor all together), that’s still probably the best spot for it – and I would’ve hated to see the last real consistent usage of that line (and rail in that area) end all together.
    It’s not a great spot, but at the very least it brings people into Walkerville, keeps that area active and confirms a consistent VIA service to Windsor for years to come just by the sake that it’s getting built, which in itself is a little bit of relief considering the rail services in Windsor have been quickly disappearing across the board for the last 20 years. We’re lucky to have 4 in, 4 out from VIA as it is.

  17. Jay on March 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I’m looking to find a book on railroad history in the Windsor area – anyone know if one exists?

  18. Tim on March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Yes – there is one, I believe the user posting here by the name of “gary” has a copy and could fill you in on the details. I saw it (and wished I had picked up a copy at the time) and it looked pretty extensive.

  19. John on March 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Connected – How The Railroads Built Windsor by Michael J.T. Brode

    I bought my copy from Chris Carter at the Essex Train & Hobby Show.

  20. george on March 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I have nothing but fond memories of the Walkerville train station and I’ll the miss the place when its’ gone. Maybe its’ because I’m in my 40′s and have so many fond memories of taking the train to London, Hamilton and Toronto or picking up guests who came down by train but I think the place had the kind of character that newer buildings like the new bus depot won’t ever have. It was built with quality materials and had great open-air feeling. It’s too bad VIA never invested any money into the building and let it run down.

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