St. Lawrence Parks Commission announces difficult decision for divestment of train at Crysler Park near Upper Canada Village
Morrisburg, Ontario – The St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) has announced its intention to divest itself of the locomotive and cars located in Crysler Park near Upper Canada Village. The decision was taken following consultation with the Township of South Dundas and in response to the commissioning of a report to determine costs to restore the locomotive and cars. Repair costs are estimated to be at least $1.1 million. The SLPC Board of Commissioners had mixed emotions regarding the decision, as many community members have expressed their connection to the train. The SLPC will make every effort to keep the train in Eastern Ontario as a regional asset.
Due to the age of the train and its constant exposure to the elements for decades, it has suffered weathering and deterioration. Exterior restoration work undertaken in the 1990s, slowed the deterioration but did not address the underlying structural issues.
The train, relocated to the SLPC in the late 1950s, consists of a steam locomotive, baggage/refrigeration car and passenger car. While the train provides a representation of transportation in the region during the late 1950s, it is not of the same style as the historic “Moccasin” train that operated in Eastern Ontario.
The train track at this site is the actual track used for rail travel prior to the flooding in the late 1950s for the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. The Aultsville Train Station located here is the station from Aultsville, one of the Lost Villages. The Grand Trunk Railway Company constructed the station in 1889. Both the train track and the Aultsville Train Station will remain in their current location.
“While the SLPC would like to see the train remain in this location, unfortunately, the costs for restoration are simply beyond what can be reasonably invested in this asset. The SLPC has significant aging infrastructure that urgently needs repair and we must allocate the capital budget towards the highest risk infrastructure needs such as aging septic systems and washrooms.” – Bob Runciman, Chair, St. Lawrence Parks Commission
The SLPC will move forward with a Request for Expression of Interest. Information will be posted on the website at www.UpperCanadaVillage.com/train. For more information or to arrange a site visit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Customer Service at 800-437-2233 or 613-543-4328 (local). The Request for Expression of Interest will close at 4:30 p.m. on October 4, 2019.
The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, operates facilities in 16 municipalities stretching from Kingston to the Quebec border, including Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Kingston Penitentiary Tours, Skywood Eco Adventure, Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and 14 campgrounds and beach day-use picnic areas including the Long Sault and 1000 Islands Parkway.
Susan Le Clair
Manager, Customer Service and Corporate Communications,
St. Lawrence Parks Commission
TELEPHONE: 613-543-3704 extension 2496