Canadian Interurban Electric Railroads - 1930's - 1940's
Grand River Railway
Lake Erie & Northern Railway


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The Grand River Railway (GR) and Lake Erie & Northern Railway (LE&N) were interurban electric railways operating in the province of Ontario, Canada The GR ran northward from Galt to Preston, Kitchener, Waterloo and Hespeler, total trackage 17 miles, and the LE&N southward from Galt through Paris, Brantford, Waterford to Port Dover, on Lake Erie, 51 miles. Serving the highly industrialized area of Central Ontario north and south of Preston (now part of Cambridge), the GR and the LE&N, together formed the Canadian Pacific Electric Lines with headquarters in Preston, Ontario, Canada. Legally they were two separate railways but operated under common management with individual identities. Following the conversion of the Grand River Railway to 1500-volt DC operation, equipment of both lines was nter-mixed and running crews also worked both lines. Both lines had frequent passenger service, and freight service, which connected with the CP, CN, MC and TH&B railroads. The area between Brantford and Port Dover, on the LE&N, is a well-populated agricultural area ideal for growing tobacco, fruits and vegetables. The railway provided a way for these products to be transported to market. The beach at Port Dover generated much passenger traffic in the summer months. Ivey's Greenhouse, and the fact that Port Dover was a fishing port, helped generate express revenue for the line. This traffic would be carried to the Canadian Pacific Railway at Galt where it would be placed on one of the mainline passenger trains for further delivery to its destination. The improvement of roads and auto and truck traffic cut passenger business out in 1955 and electric motor freight in 1961. LE&N track was pulled up in the 1980's. A short section of the GR between Waterloo (CN) and Kitchener (CP) lasted until 1993.
Brief timeline of the Grand River Railway and the Lake Erie & Northern Railway
Grand River Railway
1894 - The Galt and Preston Street Railway, opened on July 26 1894.
1896 - G&P branch to Hespeler opened in January 1896.
1896 - G&P name changed to Galt, Preston & Hespeler Street Railway Company Limited.
1903 - On October 6 the Preston & Berlin Railway opened a line from Preston to Berlin (later Kitchener).
1908 - GP&H and G&P reached an accommodation on January 1, 1908 to become Berlin, Waterloo, Wellesley & Lake Huron Railway. -- leased to Canadian Pacific.
1916 - Berlin renamed Kitchener.
1918 - BWW&LH roads merged as the Grand River Railway.
1921 - The GR changed from 600VDC power to 1500VDC to match its sister railway the Lake Erie & Northern. Its 600V cars and Locomotives were withdrawn from service. Many cars and freight motors were rebuilt to operate on 1500V and/or for MU operation.
1931 - GR operating hourly passenger service between Galt, Preston, Kitchener and Hespeler, and 9 trains as far as Waterloo.
1955 - Last passenger trains on GR.
1961 - Freight service discontinued.
1993 - Last section of GR (Waterloo to Kitchener) is taken up.

LE&N55
April 24, 1955


LE&N31
1931
Lake Erie & Northern Railway
1904 - The first electric railway line built between Brantford and Galt was the Grand Valley Railway which began operations in November 1904.
1911 - Brantford interests organized the Lake Erie & Northern Railway to build a steam railroad from Brantford to Lake Erie.
c 1911 - Canadian Pacific acquires LE&N before it is completed.
1913 - In May construction begins on LE&N.
1914 - n October , the Canadian Pacific Railway took over the affairs of the LE&N, and completed construction.
1915 -To avoid competition from the Grand Valley Railway, the LE&N purchased the Paris to Galt portion of that line in 1915.
1915 - Work began in May to string up electric overhead wire for 1500-volt DC operation.
1916 - Passenger service between Galt and Brantford commenced on February 7, 1916, with freight service a week later. Service was extended to Simcoe June 2, 1916 and to Port Dover on July 22, 1916. The line terminated at Main Street on the northern boundary of Port Dover.
1917 - It was not until June 12, 1917 that an agreement with the Grand Trunk Railway was finally approved authorizing joint operation with that company over a half mile section of their track to the passenger station near the lake front.
1931 - LE&N running 9 trains a day between Galt and Port Dover, 51 miles.
post 1945 - Traffic declines sharply after WW2.
1955 -- Passenger service on the Lake Erie & Northern Railway was abandoned April 23, 1955., The Canada Coach Lines Ltd. began a bus service between Galt and Port Dover on Monday April 25, 1955.
1961 - Electric freight motors replaced by CP diesels.
1980's - The rails of the Lake Erie & Northern Railway were lifted, in sections, during the 1980's.

LE&N map
Grand RIver Railway - Lake Erie & Northern Railway - 1931
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Official Guide- various editions
The Electric Interurban Railways in America-Hilton & Due- pp 418-19
Trainwe
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, --> April 27, 2009, revised June 14, 2011