Council urges SLPC to maintain historic train in South Dundas

Photo of Grand Trunk Railroad 1008 at Aultville station. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

SOUTH DUNDAS — At the July 16 meeting, South Dundas council proved its commitment to fiscal responsibility for South Dundas residents. After discussions with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission regarding the historic train, baggage car and passenger car at Upper Canada Village, the council is urging the SLPC to keep the train at its current location. 

The train, located along County Road 2 near Crysler Park Marina, has been situated in South Dundas for nearly 50 years and has a history that is fundamental to the Municipality.

When faced with a similar situation almost 20 years ago, residents formed the Save the Train Committee to raise funds and volunteer their time to refurbish the machine. 

“This Train is a landmark in South Dundas for residents and visitors to explore. For 50 years it has been a place where people can go to experience a glimpse into history or where students can learn about the area in which they live. It has brought the community together in the past and should remain in South Dundas where our people can continue to care for this historic machine,” said Mayor Steven Byvelds. 

Given the Train’s current condition, South Dundas council felt that a possible relocation may create additional structural damage, which may add considerable financial burden to the residents in the long-term and that of any community volunteer efforts. Relocation means a higher risk of rebuilding requirements, a cost too significant to assume based on the current priorities of the municipality. This decision affirms this council’s accountability to its ratepayers. 

“Our Council made a promise to work together to better South Dundas and reduce the burden on taxpayers. We will work towards the best outcome for our residents while keeping with our financial obligations. It is our hope that the St. Lawrence Parks Commission recognizes the importance of the situation and South Dundas’ role in the history of the train,” said Mayor Byvelds. 

A decision is yet to be reached from the SLPC about the future of the train. Council recognizes the financial challenges faced at the provincial level and the need to find efficiencies; however, it is the hope of council that the train which has been enjoyed for generations will stay at its current location. 

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