ETR marks century of ser vice

by Canadian Shipper

One of Canada’s original short line railways, the Essex Terminal Railway Company, marked its 100th anniversary of serving freight customers in Windsor and Essex County with celebrations over the Labour Day weekend.

The railway chartered former ETR Steam Engine No. 9 for a special anniversary excursion and reception for employees and customers on Sunday, Sept. 1.

“The Essex Terminal Railway has been an important part of this area’s economic and community life since Day One. It was natural for us to open our doors to our friends and neighbours, to share such a special occasion as this, and to showcase rail’s role in the past, present and future,” said president Brian McKeown.

The railway is strategically located at one of the busiest Canadian-United States border crossings and provides daily freight service to its 20 customers, hauling auto parts and engines, lumber, steel, scrap metal, chemicals, salt, and grain products, said McKeown.

The railway has 60 employees, 20 miles of main line track and an additional 20 miles of yard and siding track. The railway interchanges traffic with Canadian National, Canadian Pacific Railway, Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation. ETR has five locomotives and operates in a mainly urban environment, crossing 45 public intersections and four bridges.

“Safety is a primary concern at Essex Terminal Railway.
Crew training, consistent with all federal regulations, is conducted regularly. Site tours for schools and other children’s groups are held frequently to explain the role of rail in the community’s, and Canada’s, economy and to caution youngsters about the dangers of trespassing on railway property,” said McKeown.

The ETR has played a crucial role in industrializing the Windsor area, providing essential rail service to many industries that created the jobs that nourished and developed the region, said McKeown. When Windsor’s auto
plants were converted to produce military equipment during the Second World War, the ETR continued to be prominent in the movement of the equipment from the plants and into the war effort.

The railway has had several owners over the years, including the Canadian Bridge Company (a subsidiary of DOSCO), United States Steel Corporation, Morton Industries of Canada (now Canadian Salt Company), and is currently
owned by local business people through Essex Morterm Holdings Ltd.

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