Train at Upper Canada Village

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Significant trackbed heaving (left) and debris on the line (right) prompted St. Lawrence Parks Commission operators to stop running its miniature train ride on the expanded route between Upper Canada Village and Crysler Park Marina this season. The attraction operated on the original shorter route until a derailment in July shuttered the popular ride indefinitely. Photo by Phillip Blancher.

Phillip Blancher
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Morrisburg Leader

Out of service for over a year, the miniature train ride at Upper Canada Village will remain closed indefinitely.

The ride, which has been shuttered since heat-related track damage caused a derailment on July 22, 2022, was to return to service this summer.

At the opening of season, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission – which operates the popular train ride – indicated that repairs to the original loop between Crysler Beach and the village would allow it to reopen this year. The extension loop to Crysler Park Marina was to remain closed this year as additional work is needed to address areas where the track roadbed has heaved significantly.

According to the SLPC, two tenders were issued by the agency: one to repair the track on the original loop and the other for ongoing maintenance of the line. No bids were received by the end of June deadline for either tender.

“As a result, work will not begin this summer as previously anticipated,” said SLPC spokesperson Katie Forrester. “The team is determining next steps.”

The SLPC’s three-year business plan has $200,000 budgeted in 2023-24 for the miniature train equipment, and $250,000 in 2023-24 and 2024-25 for the miniature train track.

The miniature train has been a visitor favourite for decades at Upper Canada Village.

In June, Geoff Waycik, Director of Historic Sites with the SLPC told The Leader that the agency was planning to rebuild the Crysler Beach station stop, and add a new station stop near the Battle of Crysler’s Farm Memorial while repairs to the amusement ride were made.

The train, known as the Moccasin after the local steam train milk-run that ran between Brockville and Cornwall into the 1950s, last had significant work completed in 2009-10.

At that time, an extension loop was added to Crysler Park Marina. That extension has not been used since 2019.

The amusement ride was originally built in the early 1960s with the opening of UCV.

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