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Restored train station the lone reminder of the forgotten hamlet of Vine

October 2020

Dating back to the early 1800s, when railways came into being across the world, train stations were constructed along the rail lines to accommodate the flow of passengers and cargo in the villages, towns and cities through which the rail lines traveled. Sometimes towns sprang up around these stations where no town existed before, serving as “company towns” for the railway workers and their families.

Sometimes, these train stations are all that remains of these villages/towns. The former train station along McKay Road, also known as Concession 10 Road, in Barrie, Ontario, is all that remains of the Village of Vine.

Formerly a part of Innisfil Township, Vine was a small hamlet along what was once the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway (H&NW) line that ran from Hamilton to Barrie and Collingwood. It once had a store, post office, several homes, and the railway station, opened in 1918 as a “flag stop,” which is a station where a train will only stop on request, to let passengers either on or off.

The H&NW was taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1888. When the Grand Trunk Railway declared bankruptcy in 1923, the line and the Vine Station became part of Canadian National Railway.

Residents of the area would regularly take the train the five-mile trip north to Allandale, now also a part of Barrie, for horse races at the fairgrounds.

By the time CN Railway sold the now dilapidated two-story station in 1962, trains had ceased stopping at Vine, as improved roads carried the increasing numbers of automobiles and trucks between Innisfil Township, Barrie and beyond.

The station was moved 200 feet to the east in 1997 and is now a private residence. It was completely restored by owner Andy Galton, a train enthusiast who made a career as an RCAF aviation technician.

The former rail line is still active, although it CN sold it in 1998 to the newly-formed Barrie-Collingwood Railway, short-line railway operating between Innisfil and Utopia in Essa Township.

Sources: https://www.simcoe.com/community-story/1989844-train-lover-lives-in-the-past, https://www.model-railroad-infoguy.com/historic-rail-tour.html.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/restored-train-station-the-lone-reminder-of-the-forgotten-hamlet-of-vine/

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