from Victoria Day - Labour Day
Friday - Sunday 11am - 4pm
*closed in the Fall/Winter
GROUP TOURS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT
The railway has been part of St. Thomas since the completion of the London and Port Stanley Railway in 1856. More than 26 railways have passed through the city. This provided the foundation for the birth of St. Thomas due to the provision of employment and, subsequently, the income to sustain the community. At one point, St. Thomas was interchangeable with the term “Railway City.”
St. Thomas was a convenient shortcut between Chicago and New York, two major railway cities, especially concerning freight shipment. South Western Ontario is also predominantly flat terrain which is perfect for railways. The city and surrounding area grew rapidly which resulted in immense change for the community. St. Thomas became the “Railway Capital of Canada.”
The 1913 MCRR shops are the oldest continuously-operating locomotive repair shops in North America.
The Elgin County Railway Museum is located in the former Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) locomotive repair shops, just south of the Canada Southern (CASO) train station. The 55,000 square foot “shops” building have served as headquarters of the museum since 1988. Locomotive, passenger car, and railway service vehicle repairs and restorations are performed today. Guided tours of the Elgin County Railway Museum are available year round.
The BX Tower served as the interlocking tower between the two railways and their successors since the early 1900′s until the mid-1980′s.
It was constructed c.1910 as a control point to eliminate rail accidents at the London & Port Stanley Railway and Michigan Central Railroad junction. The Operator-Leverman controlled many large levers connected to track switches. The switches are located throughout the rail yard and the “diamond” area.
The BX Tower is owned and preserved by the City of St. Thomas, while the Elgin County Railway Museum maintains it. This Municipally-Designated Heritage Building is a rare and well-preserved artifact.
HOURS: Open during special events or by appointment.
WATCH: L&PS Route