Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A Glimpse of the Essex Terminal Railway

Essex Terminal Railway sign

I was in southern Ontario again last week and spent a bit of time one evening looking for signs of the Essex Terminal Railway. The ETR is a shortline that runs between Windsor and Amherstburg, Ontario. The Essex Terminal Railway theoretically runs from a point on the VIA (former CN) Chatham subdivision through to mile 19.50 after Amherstburg. The interchange with VIA is out of service, so it really starts at the Ford plant in Windsor at mile 0.25. They have a detailed history on their web site.

I visited their home area at mile 1.50. There is a four-stall engine house, a smallish yard and a concrete water tower there, as well as two cabooses ETR 1600 and ETR 1610. "No Trespassing" signs are prominent.
Essex Terminal Railway cabooses

The engine house is the large white building in the background. I took this shot over a chain-link fence. Like I said, there are many "No Trespassing" signs and I did not want to trespass.
Essex Terminal Railway caboose 1610

This was shot from Lincoln Road. If you want to go here, set your GPS to 1600 Lincoln Road in Windsor and it will take you right here.

Here's a somewhat side shot of ETL 1610. I know it says ETR on the side but the Essex Terminal Railway's reporting mark is ETL.
Essex Terminal Railway caboose 1610 from the side

I did not see any locomotives at their home area. Perhaps some were in the engine house but there was no way to look in.

I drove down to Amherstburg to have a look around, and on the way I stopped at the large complex south of Windsor that includes Morterm, Ltd., a company that transloads between rail, truck and ship, as well as an ADM Limited grain elevator and other customers.

ETL #105 was sitting just outside Morterm and the port area. This engine is either an SW9 or an SW1200, depending on which source you look at.
Essex Terminal Railway SW9 #105

The Essex Terminal Railway lists a complete roster on their site. In addition to #105, they have two GP9s, an SW14 and an SW1500. They also own a steam engine, an 0-6-0 built in 1923 that is resident in St. Thomas, Ontario and is undergoing restoration by the Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society.

They serve about 15 customers in Windsor and on the line between Windsor and Amherstburg. In Amherstburg they serve a BP site as well as Don Hearn and Sons Ltd., a freight shipper. The Trackside Guide lists four Alco locomotives for them and I believe I spotted #317, an S-3 built in 1953.
Alco S3 #317 in Amherstburg, Don Hearn and Sons

This is a much better photo of it. Note the baggage car behind it (again, better photo), former CP 4769.

I also saw this little old switcher at the ADM grain elevator south of Windsor, also served by the Essex Terminal Railway. This is a 25-ton Plymouth engine.
Plymouth switcher in Windsor Ontario
Again, here's a much better photo of the engine.

Myles Roach has a great album of Windsor railway photos.

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