The Port Dover & Lake Huron Railway

The Port Dover & Lake Huron Railway was a line built to connect Port Dover, ON, Canada with Woodstock, ON, about 40 miles north. The company was formed in 1872, with completion of the road to Woodstock completed in 1875. (Right of Way)

Image of Port Dover Station, possibly from an early 20th century postcard.

The plan followed a much earlier company plagued with scandal that would never complete a similar railway, the Woodstock & Lake Erie Railway and Harbour Company, incorporated in 1848. The PD&LH would lay track and use much of the same right of way, reducing construction costs.

In 1876, the railway would extend northerly to Stratford, ON, where it met the Stratford & Lake Huron Railway, from which it extended points north and westerly, nearly to Lake Huron.

Map of the PD&LH (in red) and the S&LH (in Blue). The Blue section is still in service. Image: Dan Fletcher.

The line was amalgamated, along with many other independent roads, into the Grand Trunk Railway, which became part of Canadian National Railways in 1920 upon Canadian nationalization of all but their largest railway, the Canadian Pacific.

Part of the line survives as the The Hickson Trail, while the rest of the railway, save for a short stretch in Woodstock, has been abandoned. Operations along the route between Port Dover and Woodstock had ceased by 1965, and in many cases, much earlier.

Thanks as always for reading!


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