The Thurso & Nation Valley Railway

The Thurso & Nation Valley Railway was eastern North America's last logging railroad, ending service in 1986. It connected Thurso, QC with points north, with a 56 mile main line with many branches, as was common with logging lines.

Thurso & Nation Valley 10 GE 50 ton Thurso September 1979. Phtotographer: Bob Heathorn. Image via TrainWeb


First surveyed in 1921, the difficult terrain took several years to fully construct, with many unforeseen obstacles along the way.

Thurso & Nation Valley Railway Map

It faced road competition as early as the 1950's, like every other short line and/or logging railway of the day, but nonetheless it persisted despite economic downturns occasionally closing the line temporarily.

"The TNVR was discovered by railfans in the late 1960s and a number of excursions were run by the Bytown Railway Society, a group of railway enthusiasts located in the Ottawa area." (Churcher)

But by 1986, operations began to cut back, ending service along the northernmost points of the line, until finally closing in September.

The only part of the line remaining in service is a small switching operation near the logging mill at Thurso.

Thanks as always for reading!

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