Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library Archives

PH26683 - Railroad ties

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CA BWGPL PH26683

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Railroad ties

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Source : The Barrie Advance
Media Type : Newspaper Article
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Community : Innisfil
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Description : Other than the sound of wind blowing off the bay, or the hum of traffic, the long-abondoned Allandale Train Station sits in silence. But at one time, the station was a hub of activity characterized by the roar of steam engines, the laughter of passengers and the clickety-clack of wheels. As a teenager growing up in the early 1920s, John Smith vividly remembers the hustle and bustle of the Allandale Station. Back then, the yards were busy 24 hours a day, with several passenger trains arriving and departing daily. To accommodate such high volumes, miles of tracks surrounded the station. A large coal field sat just east of what is now the Southshore
Community Centre. The Allandale Train Station opened in June 1905 at the estimated cost of about $45,000. As the "flagship" station of the Grand Trunk Railway, the building was designed to offer passengers the very latest in modern day comforts. The tastefully designed building, which combined contemporary railway architecture and Italian design elements was considered to be one of finest stations in the porvince. The curved station, which was later purchased by Canadian National Railways in 1919, consisted of three sections, the depot, the dining hall, and offices. Each building section is linked with a covered breezeway. In the early days, the ladies waiting room occupied the front of the depot. The charmingly decorated room with spacious bay windows offered passengers a commanding view of the waterfront. To give the female passengers more privacy, there was a curtained alcove which separated this room from the general waiting area. Fell, who started working in the restaurant at the age of 16, said the dining area was divided into two parts. A fine dining room, which was known as the finest place to eat in Barrie, occupied one side of the building, and sat about 60 people. Al Burns, a retired railroader with 43 years experience, remembers the first time, he laid eyes on the building. It was back in 1944 when he was 19. But what was once a beautiful landmark is now a waterfront eyesore. The station was vacated in the mid-1980s because of lack of use of train transportation.

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