Train still off the rails

Upper Canada Village Miniature train circa 2015. (The Leader/Comfort photo)

MORRISBURG – Work to return the miniature train ride at Upper Canada Village to service remains incomplete 11 months after it derailed.

The popular miniature train, known as The Moccasin, derailed July 28, 2022 in what officials called at the time a “minor incident.” The derailment was caused by a “sun kink” in the rails, which saw the last car of the train derail. No injuries were reported at the time of the incident.

Earlier this year, officials with Upper Canada Village operator St. Lawrence Parks Commission told The Leader the train would return to service: however two months into the season, work has not yet begin.

“SLPC has put health and safety at the forefront of everything it does, adopting a “safety-first” culture at all its sites,” said Geoff Waycik, director of historic sites with the SLPC, in response to questions from The Leader. “The miniature train at Upper Canada Village will not re-open until it is safe to do so.”

Waycik continued that the SLPC is in its procurement process “to engage a qualified contractor” for repairing the track. Those repairs will include rebuilding the existing station stop at Crysler Beach on its original loop line, and adding a new station stop near the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Memorial Building.

“The estimated time line for re-opening is dependent on the results of the procurement process and ensuing contracted work,” Waycik said.

The last significant work completed to the Moccasin ride was in 2009-10 when an extension to Crysler Park Marina was added, nearly doubling the length of the track at the park. However, many of the signals installed at the time of the extension were never completed or entered into operation. Over 10 years later, those items remain unused. The extension itself was not operated after the 2019 season.

Sometime after the end of that season the roadbed which supports the track heaved.

A visual investigation by The Leader in summer 2022 found multiple locations on the extension where the roadbed had heaved, in some cases substantially, and several places where debris was across the line.

This spring, officials said only the original line between UCV and Crysler Beach would return to service at this point. That line was originally constructed in the early 1960s with the opening of the site.

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news in your community by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.

Subscribe to Email Alerts

Enter your email address to subscribe to Email Alerts and receive notifications of new posts by email whenever The Leader publishes new content on our website.