Where’s the NS&T?

I realized that (gasp!) not everybody knows where the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway was located – or, more precisely, how various places on the line relate to each other. Even though the railway’s name gives away much of its location, I now live 3000 km west of the NS&T’s former stomping ground and it’s likely most modellers I run into locally won’t be familiar with the railway or the region. In addition, I know I have a few readers in far off places who might appreciate some wayfinding help. So, I spent a bit of time today drawing a system map.

But first, an overview of Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula:

Courtesy Google Maps. And hey – if you look in the lower left corner, you’ll find Port Rowan – subject of my previous model railway.

The NS&T connected Lake Ontario (the upper blue thing) and Lake Erie (the lower blue thing) basically by running north-south to the west (left) of the Welland Canal. In the mid-to-late 1950s – the era I’m modelling – the NS&T served St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, and Port Colborne (plus Fonthill, which is not identified on this map).

Now here’s a look at the railway itself:

NS&T System Map

I drew this map based on several sources, which spanned several decades. Any errors or omissions are entirely my doing. This map does not show every industry, although it does show significant spurs. It also does not show the local (city car) lines that served St. Catharines, Merritton, and Thorold, as they were gone by the mid-late 1950s.

At this point, the only rail passenger service is a single route – shuttling between Thorold and Port Colborne on an hourly schedule. Several routes have been cut back, as indicated by dashed lines.

I hope this helps! Certainly, drawing it helped me, and was a fun way to spend a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon…

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and retired amateur shepherd who trained a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

14 thoughts on “Where’s the NS&T?

    1. Thank you, Peter. (And now you do know a little bit more about the NS&T.)
      Equally, I learn a lot about Star Trek from reading your excellent website (and highly recommend it to anybody who enjoys the franchise – especially the original series).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you Trevor. I have been wondering how much of the line was left by the 1950s and where did it truly run. When did passenger service “cut back”? post WWII?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Matt:
      It was retired in stages – with rail routes (both local and interurban) being transferred to buses. Some was pre WWII, others were later. If I recall correctly, the last city service was the Port Dalhousie local line, which ran into 1950. The last interurban service was definitely the Thorold-Port Colborne route, which ended in 1959. Freight-only service continued under wire until 1960, when the CNR retired the electrics and started using diesels. This also launched a period of amalgamation, as the CNR eliminated duplicate routes between Merritton and Thorold and as parts of the Welland Sub we’re chopped apart into spurs served from the various CNR lines that connected with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I did wonder about specifics (knew generally). What strikes me, guess I never focused on it, is that the TH&B was CPR’s only access to the area. NYC doesn’t count because it only had through rights IIRC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right. The CP did not have access beyond the TH&B. The TH&B was built to provide the CP with a bridge line to New York State. (It also gave the NYC access to Hamilton and Toronto, as the NYC was co-owner.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for your posts! I’m so glad you are doing this! The posts are always a welcome short little break in the day. My family and I lived in Welland from 1994 until 2010. Our house backed onto Prince Charles Drive. Just the other side of the street was the abandoned N.ST.C&T right of way. It felt good somehow to see it there. A fond memory from 1994 was seeing a boxcar parked at Fonthill lumber. It wasn’t too long before the tracks were ripped out. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is useful. I am originally from Rochester, so these railroads where less than 2 hours from my house, but I have never heard of them. Until now…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Trevor, Ive seen the posts of the amazing work you’re doing building the electric locomotive. I’m planning an NS&T layout myself but in a slightly later era from yours. I’m planning the post electric era when it was just an arm of CN, set int eh early ’60s. I was wondering if you knew when track diagrams can be found, particularly of Merritton yard.

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

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