Last Train On The CASO Line

December 3, 2012

Regular reader Michael O sent along these pictures taken near his house. This is the last train to pass the CASO line…

This train was coming along the track on Saturday morning and helping to remove the sections of track behind it…

A view of the remaining track… Michael pointed out when he first moved near the track, Amtrak still operated passenger service from Detroit to Buffalo along these rails…

24 Responses to Last Train On The CASO Line

  1. Ken Andrews on December 3, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I recall this as double track, later reduced to single, yet there is no trace on either shoulder of there ever having been another track. Odd that a CP and CN engine worked together, or was this near the tunnel, and was it a joint operation? Who owns the tunnel now, and how do the various railways approach it? Is it used much?
    No wonder there are so many freight vehicles on our highways if there is now no Canada-Michigan freight trains. Last visited Wdsr in 1987 so guess I need updating. Toronto & York division of CRHA never mentions southwestern Ontario.

  2. pinstripes on December 3, 2012 at 6:33 am

    This was a double track up until the early 1980′s. These photos were taken a mile east of Ruscom.

  3. Tom Polarbear on December 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    WoW a soon to be multi-use Rail Trail for Essex County!

  4. Ted in Toronto on December 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    The top photo could serve as fodder for a rumour of a massive merger in the railway industry.

  5. Richard McIntyre on December 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    CP owns the tunnel now, They plan on building a new larger tunnel to handle larger cars.
    The tunnel is busy, lots of freight traffic cross border, main route from Chicago to Toronto, and Montreal.
    CNs main cross border trains use the tunnel in Sarnia. Transfers in Windsor from CN or CP are handled by Essex Terminal.
    Just in time delivery puts to many trucks on the road, and only long distance hauls on the rails, two locomotive pulling 80-100 cars is cheaper and enviromentaly better than 80-100 trucks

  6. JBM on December 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I believe CP now only owns approximately 15% of this tunnel. At one time CN and CP owned equal shares (purchased from Conrail). Subsequently, CN sold its share to Borealis Transportation. A few years ago, CP sold off some of its shares to Borealis. Consequently, Borealis now owns most of the tunnel and are seeking to build a new and larger one.

  7. Orlando on December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Pinstripes
    Where exactly is Ruscom,so I can find it on the map?

  8. Ted in Toronto on December 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    In June 2009, Borealis Transportation Infrastructure Trust (part of Ontario Muncipal Employees Retirement System)increased its stake in the tunnel to 83.5% from 50%. At the same time, Canadian Pacific Railway Company reduced its interest to 16.5% from 50%.

  9. gary on December 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I remember being at Pelton interlocking way back in the 70′s and watched the Amtrak Niagara Rainbow coming into windsorthis was the Detroit /Buffalo passenger trainyears ago just south of the CP?/ETR Tecumseh Rd grade crossing there was a tack that conected the CASO to the CP yard a couple times a week Chessie would send an interchange train from Detroit and it would use this track to get into the CP yard when this track was removed the chessie would com thru the tunnel go as far as howard ave then back into CP’S yard via the Lakeshore yard track my cousin was an engineer for CN and told me about 15years ago that CP/CN were talking about a merger of the two companies maybe

  10. gary on December 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    i guess now that this has happened the only original streach of the original CASO will be between Vandewater yard and the Pelton spur it’s a dam shame what CN did to the CASO and the old C&O alot of local rail history on these lines… so sad

  11. gary on December 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    my spelling sucks today

  12. pinstripes on December 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The chances of this right of way becoming a multi use trail may be in jeopardy. Rumour around town is that an offer to purchase has been made by a company that wants to build a high voltage transmission line to collect power from the windmills and solar projects that are popping up all over the county. Not looking forward to this possibility.

  13. Shane on December 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I guess we’re assuming that we will never need trains again. Keep tearing up tracks…

  14. Doug Shirk on December 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I had to snicker at Ted In Toronto’s comment, given the financial problems CP is facing…..

  15. Ken Andrews on December 5, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Thank you all for great explanations and updating me. I’ve been around a long time, so I’ve a million other data in my “noggin” (or “hard drive”) and getting fuller all the time! At the east end equivalent, CN or CP no longer cross the border at Niagara Falls via the bridge (only the daily VIA trains between New York City and Toronto use it), but both freight railways use the (CN-owned) bridge upriver at Fort Erie/Buffalo.

  16. Dave on December 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Now if only Via would connect to Detroit. But who want to get from Ontario to Michigan and then to other places in the USA? That would make too much sense.

  17. Ted in Toronto on December 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Doug, CP’s financial fortunes are expected to improve significantly now that Hunter Harrison is positioned at the head end. There is an investor conference underway in NYC today that is showcasing the new senior management team at CP. They are outlining what changes have taken place during the past five months and what developments are likey over the next three years. Earnings, and dividends, are now expected to grow meaningfully over that period.

  18. JBM on December 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Rumour has it that a certain billionaire stands to make a fortune should a new tunnel be built. He owns the abandonned Michigan Central station (which may some day come down) and most if not all of the rail property in this area. Can this be true?
    Also, all this talk about a high speed corridor from Windsor to Quebec with a link to Chicago just doesn’t seem to be in the plans for a very long time given that VIA has built its new station in an inconvenient location to further this agenda.

  19. Richard McIntyre on December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Over the last twenty years Atmack has moved from the house traller ticket office to the new center area,out of downtown Detroit, and any connection to the river (border).If high speed rail where to extend west of Toronto, to London,Sarnia,through the tunnel and on to Durand and Chicago. This is the route Amtrack uses from Toronto to Chicago, and connects to New York from Toronto.
    Not much hope to have two lines without big increas in passengers

  20. Joe Longmoore on December 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    In the old days (60′s) there were trains from Chicago to New York City through the tunnel and commuters could take the train from Windsor to Detroit for something less than a dollar (I’m recollecting 75 cents each way). Its a shame to see the Caso ripped up.

  21. Ken Andrews on December 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Re email question from Orlando wanting the location of Ruscom. It was a wayside station (in or close to the village with that name) on the Canada Division of The New York Central Railroad Company. My Employees Timetable of April 24, 1966 lists it (Ruscomb) at Mileage NF 200.8. Comber is 195.8 and Essex is 210.3
    and both these station buildings are standing in their original locations. Another station between Ruscomb and Essex was Woodslee at MP 204.7, now long gone. Of note to some rail fans, the NYC installed Hot Box detectors ( I think soon after 1968) on both main tracks at Ruscomb, which sensors out-putted to St Thomas Train Dispatching office along with other such machines at three other locations.
    KENA hope you can communicate this to the inquiring parties.
    Charles Beckett X-NYC Train Dispatcher

  22. Ken Andrews on December 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Charles just turned 80 and is quite a railway (and other) historian, and quite active volunteer in the St. Thomas area; I will advise him of accessing this blog which should add to everyone’s knowledge, and saving me from being the “go-between”.
    Believe he was active in helping restoration of the CASO heritage station in St. Thomas.

  23. JeffS on December 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    If you Google “Canadian Southern Railway” a website comes up that contains a lot of resources, old photos, rolling stock, etc. all having to do with the CASO. A very interesting journey back through time.

  24. gary on December 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    there was a lengthy article in todays Windsor star stating that a new double bore railroad tunnel should be in place by 2016 years ago they used to tranfer the sleeping cars and mail cars from the grand trunk across the river to be added to Canadain national passenger trains bound for Toronto and beyond back in the 60′s a friend of mine’s father worked for the NEW YORK CENTRAL RR as a trainman

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