Kawartha Lakes Public Library Digital Archive
Trains in and around Lindsay, 1961
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Trains in and around Lindsay, 1961

From Glen Burke, photographer and donor: In the first half of the 20th century, Lindsay was a major railway hub for Central Ontario. There were two busy rail stations: the CNR at the south end of William Street, which served both freight and passengers, and the CPR, which had two stations: freight on Victoria Avenue near Glenelg Street and Russell Streets, along with a CPR passenger terminal at the west end of Queen Street. In the Sixties, the changeover to diesel locomotives was underway, and Lindsay was losing its historic steam engines and the activity and employment associated with them. The Round House in Lindsay, just west of the CNR station was a maintenance facility that served all of Central Ontario, and steam engines would report there for wheel adjustments and boiler clean-outs. It was called the Round House due to its curved roof, under which at least eight locomotives could be served at the same time on several parallel tracks. The busiest railway crossing in Lindsay was on Lindsay Street South at Durham Street, just east of the big CNR station. Freight trains would be assembled in its yard, which meant constant backing up and going forward in that area. There were no automatic signals, and not automatic gate, but there was a man on 24-hour duty there to stop traffic by waving a STOP sign in daytime and a red lantern at night. This worker was able to take shelter in a small house right beside the crossing, equipped with a coal-burning stove for winter heat. After the steam engines disappeared, many people missed them dearly, and wanted their children to see these huffing, puffing giants, so whenever there was word of a visit by a preserved engine, great crowds would assemble, with little kids being carried on shoulders for a better view. One of these events took place in June of 1961.