C.N.Rys. Strathroy

Station: Strathroy
Subdivision: Strathroy
Mileage: 19.95
Symbols: WXZ
Train Order: DN
Office Signals: XA
Sidings: E.45
W.100
Other Tracks: Yard
Location: Albert & Metcalfe Streets
Strathroy
(Middlesex County, Caradoc Township)
HSMBC Report: RSR-262
Designation / Year: Negative / 1995

No. 17 stop on flag at Strathroy to entrain passengers for west of Port Huron.

Eastward trains requiring water will leave train west of steel bridge at mileage 20.57. Westward trains requiring water will leave train clear of west switch of westward siding.

When visibility poor, eastward freight trains stop at Strathroy to inspect train.

"Taking Siding" signal unit located on westward signal No. 175.

West switch of westward siding is equipped with spring switch and "Leave Siding" signal: see further instructions, page 36. Dwarf signal No. 198 governs movement against the current of traffic over this spring switch. Rule 104A applicable.

Crossing bells and wig-wags protecting Caradoc, Metcalfe, Richmond, Oxford and Victoria Streets, do not work automatically for these crossings on other than main tracks, unless put into automatic operation by operator handling controls at telegraph office in station. Therefore all movements over crossings on tracks on other than main tracks must be protected by member of crew. Engines having cut off from their trains, with or without cars, must not make reverse movement until it is known that bells and wig-wags have been restored to automatic operation by operator, who cuts out automatic feature while engines are taking water, etc. Engines while switching must leave their trains clear of bonded area to avoid continual operation of bells and wig-wags. A button marked "Push button for reverse movement" is installed at each main track switch and crossover. To provide for reverse movements where main track switches or crossovers are used, the proper "push button" must be operated by trainman, to ensure the automatic operation of bells and wig-wags before such reverse movement is made.

No engine, tender, car or cars shall stand or remain on either end of the passing tracks for any period of time within two hundred feet of either of the boundary lines of Caradoc Street (first crossing east of station). (B.T.C. 45301).

Sounding of engine whistle signals on any locomotive, car or other mechanism propelled on a railway is prohibited in respect to any public crossing at grade within the limits of the Town of Strathroy between the hours of 11.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m., except when approaching Queen Street, most easterly public crossing at grade within town limits and except when necessary to prevent accident. (B.T.C. 59488).

Strathroy Town Limits extend from mileage 18.65 om the east to mileage 21.15 on the west.

Date Event
1911-05-20 BRC authorizes GTR to build sidings for Strathroy Furniture CompanyBRC Order 13684.
2004-03-21

Blaze claims train station

Marissa Nelson and Joe Belanger, Free Press Reporters, 2004-03-22 02:36:22

A cornerstone of Strathroy history went up in flames last night as the town's 117-year-old train station was demolished by a blaze that took more than 35 firefighters to get under control. The fire started shortly after 5 p.m. but by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, at the main intersection of downtown Strathroy, the building was engulfed by flames. It took them more than an hour to get the fire under control and many more to put it out entirely.

Strathroy fire Chief Bill Gibson said last night the cause of the fire was unknown because it was still too dangerous to go inside the building, which had been vacant for years.

"The whole building is made of wood. The flames were breaking through (the outside) when we got here," he said.

"I don't know what started it at this point. I don't even know where it started, but our investigators will be in here tomorrow."

Fire chief for 23 years and a resident for even longer, Gibson said in his youth the station was a bustling place -- the hub of downtown.

"It's one of the oldest train stations, a nice one from that era," he said. "There's been a fair bit of talk in the community about fixing it up, like some other towns have done."

"It can be a nice attraction for a community, but it became derelict."

The Mt. Brydges and Strathroy fire departments stayed at the scene into the night to watch for flare ups. While the roof was gone, the wooden rafters and brick chimneys withstood both the blaze and water.

Gibson said the most dangerous part of fighting the blaze was that slate roof tiles kept tumbling down.

Hundreds of residents stopped to have a look at the fire, including Jerome Davis, who moved to the area in the 1980s.

"That station and the old town clock were the only historic buildings left," he said. "Think about how many people passed through this community or stopped at this station to meet loved ones. A lot of history went up in smoke tonight. It will be sadly missed."

Though the narrow, building had been boarded up for years, police Sgt. Michael Skok said he couldn't recall any problems with people breaking into it.

He said the 911 fire call came from someone walking by who noticed flames shooting out.

"There was certainly a lot of potential for the building," Skok said. "There was a lot of talk of turning it into a restaurant."

Not unlike many railway towns, the station was a focal point for the community.

"I'm sure a lot of our older citizens are going to feel saddened," said David Goode, former curator of the Strathroy-Middlesex Museum. "During both World Wars, that is where our soldiers departed and it's where they arrived home."

In 1882, the Grand Trunk Railway bought out Great Western and began repairing and expanding the tracks. Strathroy got a new train station in 1887.

It was partly because of the train station's location that downtown Strathroy sprung up where it did. The new station was close to a mill at Pincombe's Pond and merchants built nearby to take advantage of the trains.

CN trains, Amtrak (until this year) and VIA, continue to pass through Strathroy several times a day -- and a few trains went through the smoke cloud last night.

A local businessperson bought the station a few years ago, sparking much of the speculation about its conversion, but it remained boarded up.

Former prime minister Sir Wilfred Laurier visited the town several times and even gave a speech at the station, Goode said.

"It's the historical centre of the community," Goode said.

"The train and the station coming here allowed Strathroy to become the prominent community in the area. Our prosperity was built around that train station and it's literally at the centre of the community."

Goode said residents often lamented the station had fallen into disrepair.

London Free Press online
Date Reference Railway Subject Description
1887-05-10 NAC / Col. RG30M Acc. 78903/42 Item 612 C.N.Rys. Passenger house. Plan. Elevations. Section.
1887-05-10 NAC / Col. RG30M Acc. 78903/42 Item 613 C.N.Rys. Passenger house. Bracket, barge board, etc. details.
1887-05-10 NAC / Col. RG30M Acc. 78903/42 Item 614 C.N.Rys. Passenger house. Door, window, etc. details