Depending on your age, you probably remember different types of streetcars and subway trains in Toronto. Remember when the Red Rocket was actually the Red Rocket? I do.
Visiting the Halton County Railway Museum is like taking a ride down memory lane. Old streetcars, rail cars, rapid transit, locomotives and freight and passenger trains make their home here. The museum is located just northwest of Milton (north of Campbellville) on Guelph Line.
The Halton County Radial Railway Museum is operated by Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA), founded in 1953. It opened the location in 1972 as a museum. It currently has over 75 vehicles in its collection with the oldest built in 1901.
It also has this old train station and other memorabilia from TTC and local transit history. You can easily spend 2 to 3 hours walking around and learning about how people moved around over the past 100 years!
Emersing Yourself in Transit History
At the Halton County Railway Museum there are several things to do. For families with slightly older kids, a train ride and the history are both a learning experience and fun.
- Take a ride on a vintage streetcar and a passenger train, restored to their earlier glory, along the 2 km loop rail.
- Bring your camera, best lenses and tripod to take photos of numerous vintage transit vehicles with interesting features (most are housed in a large display barn).
- Take a stop on the rail ride for a bite to eat at a restored TTC streetcar turned into a mini-diner
- Take a ride in the caboose (extra $2.50/person)
When you take the train ride on the old passenger train, you can imagine how people travelled places. Cars weren’t plentiful 100-plus years ago. Going any long distance required a train ride.
Surprisingly, an old train is a smooth ride. We know, as we took one at Halton County Railway Museum!
Step Into Old TTC Cars
In one of the buildings with old trains and TTC subway cars, I found one that was “newer.” It was a TTC car from the past 40 years. I remember riding many times on these light gray-blue cars. They were uncomfortable with vinyl seats. Hot in the summer with abysmal air conditioning and very little heat in the winter.
Many of these cars were still in use when I travelled to York University in the 1990s. Compared to today’s newer subway cars, I don’t know how we could stand a 1 or 2 hour commute on these things.
Tickets: Adults – $11.50; Seniors (65+) – $10.25; Youth (4-17) – $8.75; 3 years & under and 90+ – Free
How to the Halton County Radial Railway and Museum from Toronto:
Take the 401 west. Exit at 312 – Guelph Line. Travel north on Guelph Line until you reach the museum on east side of the road (approx. 10 miles/15 kilometers).
Hours of Operation:
July and August open weekdays 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays (First Saturday in May to last Sunday in October): 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.