Oshawa Railway Company


At the time of its inception there were 9 miles of main line, 2 miles of second track, and 1 mile of siding. It ran from the lake north to Rossland Rd.  Fares for passengers were 6 cents or five tickets for 25 cents.  The Oshawa Railway was to be used for both passenger and freight service, but in the beginning, it did not earn much profit due to the small population and few industries.  As the growth of the industries grew, so did the profits for the business.  Freight service was available right down to the pier at the harbour as the tracks would go down to the lake and up to the grain elevators.

The first freight delivery was an order of sheet metal to the Pedlar Metal Roofing Co.  Dr. D.S. Hoig described the railway as, “showing itself to one of the most valuable institution ever settled among us.” The Railway continued to operate and between the years 1920-30, improvements were made to the actual railway:  Hydro replaced the old power generator, new locomotives were added, and new steel poles replaced the old wooden ones.  By now there were 18 miles of track with 6 freight cars, and 8 passenger cars.

The replacement of the old power generator was a blessing because when the cars were running, house lights would dim and lose power.  When the lights were all on in the houses, the service of the railway suffered and it often stopped entirely during cold and wet weather.  The final street car run was on January 24, 1940 with much ceremony and was replaced by buses.  The tracks along Simcoe St. were torn up during WWII and were sold to Simard Industries in Sorel, Quebec for scrap.  It is quite probable that they were melted down and turned into guns for the war effort.  Also during WWII Oshawa men in the armed forces faced ridicule from men in other centres who recalled Oshawa as the town that had the railway running down the main street.  Despite some of the troubles the Oshawa Railway had endured, it was an immense factor in the growth of industry in Oshawa.  It linked the companies to the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways through the freight supplied by the Oshawa Railway.
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