Two views of Merritton

The Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway interchanged with the Canadian National Railways system in a small yard at Merritton, Ontario – now the southeast corner of St. Catharines. My visit with my friend William Flatt yesterday produced a couple of images I hadn’t seen before, which I’m sharing here.

NST82 at Merritton - November 21, 1954

NS&T 82, Merritton 1954 – photographer unknown.

Based on the file name, I believe this photo was taken November 21, 1954. It shows NS&T #82 at the Merritton station. This steel car was pretty big. Built in 1925 by the railway’s own shops, it was 61′-9″ long, tipped the scales at 80,000 lbs, and could accommodate 72 passengers. Number 82 was rebuilt into an express motor in 1956 with the addition of a pair of baggage doors on the side, and was scrapped in 1959.

NST Special - Merritton - August 31, 1958

Railfan special, Merritton 1958 – photographer unknown.

Again, based on the file name, I believe this photo was taken August 31, 1958. It shows a three-car railfan special. The first two units are sisters 620 and 623 – 50-seat interurbans built by the Ottawa car company in 1930 and acquired from the Montreal & Southern Counties – another CNR electric operation – in 1956. They were the most modern cars ever to grace the NS&T, and were scrapped in 1959.

The third car appears to be NS&T 83 – a sister to 82, the subject of the first photo in this post. It was also built by the NS&T in 1925, but for the Toronto Suburban Railway as that line’s #107. It returned home in 1935, where it was in storage for several years before returning to active service. It was scrapped in 1959.

Each car is flying white “extra” flags, plus red flags to bring up the markers. The poles have been switched for a run north into St. Catharines, but the flags have not yet been swapped end for end. Note the steam-powered CNR passenger train on the far side of the station.

I have a lot more information to process from yesterday’s trip, and will share it as I can…

2 thoughts on “Two views of Merritton”

  1. Great photos at Merriton. I think that you have your directions wrong for the railfan special. As I recall, Merriton Station was on the left hand side of the CN main line as you faced Niagara Falls. That being said, the NS&T cars should be heading to Thorold and not St. Catharines which would have been the track behind the station, unless I am confused. It has been a long time since I have been there.

    1. You’re right – the railfan special is on the north side of the station. We’re looking southeast, and the CNR train is eastbound. But given the poles that are up, the train would be headed towards us – in other words, north towards Eastchester Yard in St. Catharines. I know they could back-pole – but can’t imagine they’d do that at speed…

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