Historical Train Slide Show #8 – Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Railfans, as well as regional history fans, don’t miss tomorrow’s slide show at Action Hobbies in Kingsville. Tim Swaddling once again sends the show information our way:

    Thursday, November 1st, 8.15pm – Action Hobbies hosts Historical Train Slide Show #8

    Free admission!

    Action Hobbies Kingsville welcomes Helmut Ostermann from Waterloo, Ontario to town for a special show titled “Whatever Happened To St. Thomas?: Over 100 Years of Rail History in Railway City”.

    The show will examine the rise and fall of one of southern Ontario’s most notable railway hubs, the “Railway City” that is St. Thomas.

    St. Thomas was the half way point between Detroit / Windsor and Niagara / Buffalo. Important bridge traffic (both passenger and freight) passed through and stopped at St. Thomas as they raced through the geographical short cut that was the southern Ontario peninsula. The names of the big and small railroads that appeared in the rail hub are endless – New York Central, Wabash, Chesapeake & Ohio, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Amtrak, Michigan Central, London & Port Stanley, Amtrak, London & Lake Erie, Pere Marquette and more. A city was built around the rails – and, many years later, after most of the rails were gone, a city is left with the scars and monuments of what once was.

    Helmut Ostermann will present a dual analog presentation covering over a century’s worth of images that document the rise, peak and fall of the railroad industry in St. Thomas. Helmut is well known as a rail historian and professional photographic print maker. Helmut’s photographic process itself is as old and historic as the history he covers – using a darkroom only, Helmut develops and produces prints using the gelatine silver process.

    The show will be held Thursday, November 1st with an 8.15pm showtime. The show will be 2 hours with an intermission in the middle of the presentation. Action Hobbies Kingsville will have a 10% off all in stock train products sale starting at 7pm. Seating will be limited, so arrive early to get your preferred seat. Complimentary snacks will be available along with a pay as you go pop machine (with the ever popular “Mystery Pop” selection well stocked with surprising varieties and AHK gift certificates). Mr. Ostermann will also have a selection of his prints for sale at the show as well.

    We will post an interview with Mr. Ostermann on the blog in advance of the show, along with any other related links that arise between now and the show itself.

    Please forward this along to anyone who might be interested.

    Complimentary snacks are offered in addition to an onsite pay-as-you-go pop machine that features the ever-popular Mystery Pop selection (over 25 different flavors, some with prizes attached to them!).

    Limited seating available – arrive early!

    Slides spanning decades • Duel analog presentation

    Extended store hours – 10% off all model train products during the extended shop hours, 7pm – 8pm / close.

    Attached is a poster suitable for printing. Pass it along!

    Call Action Hobbies at (519) 733-2619 for additional information.

    Forward this email to your friends!


    Action Hobbies Kingsville
    197 Lansdowne Avenue
    Kingsville, Ontario
    N9Y 1S6
    (519) 733-2619

4 Comments on Historical Train Slide Show #8 – Thursday, November 1st, 2012

  1. Somebody correct me here because I think I maybe wrong, but wasn’t St. Thomas more a CP/NYC-Michigan Central town, whereas London was a CNR/Wabash-N&W city? I’m basing my thought on the fact that the CNR excursions I rode on in the 60’s mostly went through Chatam/London, with trains being held on occasion for Wabash freight and passenger trains on the racetrack between London and Windsor. Out of all those trips, I only remember 1 going to St. Thomas.

  2. Doug, from http://home.cogeco.ca/~trains/rrcn.htm is this:
    “In 1869 the Canada Air Line Railway was chartered by the Great Western as an alternate route to the Canada Southern. It ran in a direct line (as the crow flies) for a distance of 150 miles from Fort Erie through Welland Junction (Dain City), Canfield, Tilsonburg and St. Thomas to a juunction with the Great Western at Glencoe. The Canada Air Line Railway became part of the Great Western in 1871 prior to completion in 1873.”

    Eventually the Great Western amalgamated with the Grand Trunk in 1882. The Grand Trunk ultimately became part of CN.

    As a side note, the Canada Southern St. Clair Branch branched off the Canada Southern main line just west of St Thomas at Paynes Mills and ran to Courtright. Here it crossed the St Clair River by ferry and into Michigan.

  3. Thank you for your replies and the posting of the interview. It’s been a long time, in as much as I moved away from the area in 1973 (I now live just off the BNSF Scenic Subdivision) and have forgotten alot about the area in the interval. A question, though. Did the Wabash enter St. Thomas on the CN?

    I very much enjoyed the references to the London and Port Stanley. I remember going through their shops in the late 60’s during a coaling stop in London. Although passenger service had been long discontinued, they had two beautiful interurban cars in the car barn.

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