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Significant Dates

1850, September 30

The Northern Railroad opened through Moira.

1854, December 14

The Bytown & Prescott Railway opened through Hurdman.

1855, November 19

The Grand Trunk Railway opened through Cornwall (Cornwall Junction will be created about a mile west of the station in 1898).

1855, December

The Black River & Utica Railroad opened through Prospect.


The Adirondack Railroad opened to North Creek.

1873, October 4

GTR is standard gauged through where Cornwall Junction will be in 1898.


Dr. Darby Bergin and Joseph Kerr partner up to create a railway company that would link Cornwall with Sault Ste. Marie and the Northern Pacific Railroad as well as into the United States at Cornwall.

1882, May 17

Bergin and Kerr’s railway venture is incorporated as The Ontario Pacific Railway and was to build a line from Cornwall to the French River with a link to an American railroad south of Cornwall.

1882, September 13

The Canada Atlantic Railway opened through Hawthorne.

1883, February 2

The Eastern Ontario Railway was create to compete with the OPR in building a line between Cornwall and Ottawa.

1883, February 9

The Northern Adirondack Railroad is created by John Hurd, Charles Hotchkiss and Peter MacFarlane to build a railroad from Moira to St. Regis Falls.

1883, May 25

The OPR charter powers were changed to have the main line end at Sault Ste. Marie.

1883, September 25

NARR opened from Moira to St. Regis Falls.


NARR completed building rails from St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara but did not operate on them.

1885, August 17

The Saratoga & St. Lawrence Railroad was created by Ernest Reynolds to build from Moira to Bombay and to be a possible northern extension to the NARR.

1886, February 17

The Northern Adirondack Extension Railroad was created to build an extension of the NARR from St. Regis Falls to Tupper Lake. The NARR leased the NAERR and handed the rails from St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara to them to operate.

1886, July 6

NAERR opened from Santa Clara to Brandon (Paul Smiths Station).


NAERR competed building the Black Rapids Branch.

1887, August 15

The Ontario & Quebec Railway (CPR) opened through Finch.

1888, December 27

The United States & Canada Railroad opened into Bombay from Fort Covington. The S&SLRR opened from Moira to Bombay


NAERR opened from Brandon to Tupper Lake with the Black Rapids Branch.

1889, January 1

US&CRR opened from Bombay, through Helena, to Massena.

1889, June 1

S&SLRR is leased by the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad, which was under lease by the Consolidated Railroad Company of Vermont, which was in turn leased by the Central Vermont Railroad.


GTR was double tracked through where Cornwall Junction will be in 1898.

1890, April 5

NAERR merged into NARR and running rights over the S&SLRR were granted.

1890, July 1

NARR officially began to operate to Tupper Lake.


CRRCo.ofV was merged into the CVRR.

1891, April 23

The Saratoga & St. Lawrence Extension Railroad is created by Ernest Reynolds to build from Bombay to St. Regis at the St. Lawrence River. It is never built.

1891, April 30

The Adirondack Extension Railroad was created to build from mile 60 (just north of North Creek) on the Adirondack Railroad to Malone. It was then proposed to build to Axton on Long Lake, but it was not until 1944 when the line was built but it went to Tahawus.

1892, July 16

The Mohawk & Malone Railway opened through Tupper Lake Junction.

1894, January 25

NARR went into receivership.

1895, April 25

The Racquette River Railroad was created by Charles Hibbard to build from Tupper Lake to Axton on Long Lake.

1895, May 25

NARR was sold to Charles Hibbard and his syndicate.

1895, May 27

NARR was renamed to the Northern New York Railroad and running rights to Malone were granted.

1895, December 3

The Ottawa Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway opened trackage along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa to the site of Central Station.


Everton Railroad, owned by Peter McFarlane, opened from St. Regis Falls on the NNYRR to Everton.

1896, March 20

GTR gained control of the CVRR.

1896, April 1

O&LCRR’s lease with the CVRR ended.

1896, June 11

NNYRR began to operate the S&SLRR.

1896, July 30

NNYRR returned operations of the S&SLRR to the O&LCRR.

1896, October 22

Dr. Darby Bergin passed away.

1897, March 7

S&SLRR went into receivership.

1897, May 21

After years of stalling, The OPR is revitalized and renamed to The Ottawa & New York Railway, to build from Cornwall to Ottawa.

1897, July 22

The New York & Ottawa Railroad is created by Charles Hibbard to build from Moira to the St. Lawrence River and link to the O&NYR.

1897, July 28

The Cornwall Bridge Company was created to build the south channel bridge over the St. Lawrence River as well as the Racquette River bridge.

1897, October 28

NNYRR merged into NY&ORR and cancelled all running rights to Bombay and Malone, but maintained a section of rights in Moira.


S&SLRR was foreclosed on. ERR abandoned.

1898, March 31

S&SLRR renamed to Moira & Bombay Railroad.

1898, June 13

The O&NYR is purchased by the NY&ORR and renamed to just Ottawa & New York Railway.

1898, July 29

O&NYR opened from Cornwall to Ottawa. In Ottawa, the company used Canadian Pacific Railway’s Sussex Street Station. Cornwall Electric Street Railway made a connection to move freight in and out of the O&NYR yard.

1898, September 5

The Montreal & Ottawa Railway opened through Hurdman to Ottawa and became CPR.

1898, September 6

Pier 2 of the south channel bridge crumbled into the St. Lawrence River, taking two of the three spans down in a wreck. 15 workers were killed and 18 others were injured. This is Cornwall’s worst disaster including loss of life.

1898, September 28

NY&ORR opened from Moira to Nyando.

1898, November

RRRR went under NY&ORR control.


O&LCRR went into receivership.

1899, February 1

The Rutland Railroad leased the O&LCRR with the M&BRR.

1899, March 6

Due to the Rideau River bridge crossing being declared unsafe, the O&NYR move the Ottawa station stop to the east side of the bridge at St. Patrick Street.

1899, March 20

O&NYR began to run passenger trains to Ottawa’s Central Station.

1899, April 18

New York & Ottawa Bridge Company created to run the bridge crossing that would link NY&ORR and O&NYR.


NY&ORR abandoned the Black Rapids Branch. M&BRR abandoned, sold to GTR and torn up fro scrap.

1900, April 25

NY&ORR went into receivership.

1900, October 1

The Ottawa & New York Railway Bridges opened over the north and south channels of the St. Lawrence River, linking Cornwall (O&NYR) to Nyando (NY&ORR).

1900, November 1

NY&OBCo. leased the bridges from O&NYR and CBCo.


Weidmann Cooperage Company opened a logging railroad running southwest out of Weidman on the NY&ORR.

1901, October 1

All O&NYR passenger trains that were still using CPR’s Sussex Street Station started using Central Station.


Joseph Kerr passes away.


WCCo. abandoned their logging railroad.


Brooklyn Cooperage Company purchased the right-of-way of the ERR.

1904, December 22

NY&ORR was sold in at an auction in Utica by J. Carstensen.

1905, January 19

NY&ORR was renamed to the New York & Ottawa Railway.

1905, February 1

NY&OR and O&NYR are leased by New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. Every year, NYC would renew the lease.

1906, July 22

GTR changed from left to right hand running on their double track sections. The change involved considerable alteration in crossovers, switches and semaphore signals.

1906, December 12

All operations on the NY&OR and O&NYR were now under NYC&HRRR.


BCCo. reopened the track from St. Regis Falls to Everton and expanded it eastwards for logging purposes. The Cascade Chair Company opened a narrow gauge line from St. Regis Falls southwestwards and it became electrical soon after opening. Building of it was originally started by the Watson Page Company, but during construction, CCCo. bought them.


BCCo. opened a logging railroad off the NY&OR at Meno heading westwards.

1908, June 23

The swing span bridge over the Cornwall Canal collapsed after the canal experienced a break on the west side of the supporting pier. This temporarily ends shipments between Cornwall and Nyando.

1908, August 17

A temporary swing span was in place for the NYC&HRRR to use to get from Cornwall to Nyando.


The CCCo. abandoned their logging railroad after a fire wiped out their operations.

1909, December 3

The Canadian Northern Ontario Railway opened into Ottawa.


BCCo. opened a logging railroad at Meno heading eastwards this time.

1912, June 1

A new Central Station is opened in Ottawa.


The Russell Shale Bricks Company opened a narrow gauged railway from their operation to Russell.

1913, March 7

NY&OR was merged into the NYC&HRRR as their Ottawa Division.

1913, August 5

John Hurd passed away.

1913, December 3

CNOR opened through Hurdman.

1914, July 20

NYC&HRRR renamed to New York Central Railroad.

1914, December 23

NYCRR renamed to New York Cental Lines.

1915, September 27

NYCL renewed the lease on the O&NYR for 21 years, avoiding the annual renewal.


BCCo. opened a logging railroad on NYCL’s Ottawa Division at Goose Pond to Lake Ozonia. Oval Wood Dish Company opened their lines in Kildare, running east (Iron Mountain Line), west (Main Line) and south (Blue Mountain Line).

1917, September 6

NY&OBCo. was dissolved and NYCL owned both bridges. This is likely when the CBCo. was either dissolved or merged into NYCL.

1920, January 4

Ottawa’s Central Station officially becomes Union Station.


BCCo. abandoned the Lake Ozonia Branch.

1921, June 8

BCCo. abandoned their railroads running out of Meno.


RSBCo. was sold and operations were completely shut down.


Bay Pond Incorporated opened a logging line off NYC;s Ottawa Division at McDonald going westwards. BCCo. abandoned their logging line through Everton.


OWDCo. opened from Haynes Camp on BPInc. to the east of Buck Mountain.


Sisson White Company took over OWDCo.


SWCo. abandoned their logging railroads.


RSBCo. operations reopened under Duncan Merkley.


Duncan Merkley abandoned the railway that his brick company was operating.

1931, November 23

Cornwall-Northern New York International Bridge Company created to handle planking and operation of vehicles over the New York Central Bridge in Cornwall.


BPInc. abandoned their railroad.

1932, November 15

NYCL abandoned passenger service on the Ottawa Division between Tupper Lake and Tupper Lake Junction.

1934, May 17

New York Central Bridges open to vehicle traffic and operated by C-NNYIBCo.

1934, June 30

New York Central Bridges officially opened for vehicles and renamed the Roosevelt International Bridges.

1935, July 1

NYCL renamed to New York Central System.


NYC renewed the lease on the O&NYR for 99 years.

1937, May 6

NYC abandoned the Ottawa Division between Tupper Lake Junction and Helena. The track into Tupper Lake became a spur off their Adirondack Division (former M&MR). Running rights over Canadian National Railways from Massena (end of NYC’s St. Lawrence Division) to Helena were granted, but did not include revenue passenger trains so they had to run empty between Massena and Helena.

1937, May 7

NYC began to tear up the abandoned Ottawa Division.

1937, June 25

By this time, trackage from Santa Clara to Kildare was gone.

1940, September

Although CNR no longer ran passenger trains into Massena, NYC was forced to continue not running passengers between Helena and Massena.

1941, January 1

NYC moved out of Ottawa’s Union Station and established their own Ottawa station in their freight yard at Nicholas and Mann Avenue.


Roosevelt International Bridge Company took possession of the bridge crossing in Cornwall. Likely this was when the C-NNYIBCo. no longer existed.

1951, July 17

NYC was given permission to end passenger runs on the Ottawa Division.

1951, August 16

NYC ended passenger service on the Ottawa Division.

1951, November

NYC restarted passenger service on the Ottawa Division on a six month basis every year.

1954, April 24

NYC ran their last passenger train on the Ottawa Division.

1954, July 15

NYC declared their passenger service on the Ottawa Division was abandoned.

1957, February 14

NYC ran their last train north of Rooseveltown to Ottawa.

1957, March 22

NYC officially abandoned the O&NYR and their trackage north of Rooseveltown, the remainder to Helena became the Rooseveltown Industrial Track. The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority purchased the line from the north span bridge to Second Street West in Cornwall and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation bought from the south span to Rooseveltown.

1957, April

CNR bought the O&NYR line.

1957, June 8

CNR began to tear up the O&NYR, leaving the track in from Ramseyville to a junction at Hawthorne and another junction at Hawthorne to the Terminal Avenue Yard in Ottawa. The rails that were removed were used to build the Taschereau Yard in Montreal.

1957, October 15

RIBCo. sold their bridges to the American and Canadian Seaway companies.

1957, October 31

CNR was authorized to operate the former O&NYR between Ottawa and Ramseyville as well as in Cornwall was what was to be the new Cornwall Junction to the old Cornwall Junction. Ottawa to Hawthorne became the North Lead Track and Hawthorne to Ramseyville became the Ramseyville Spur.

1957, December 20

The O&NYR Company is dissolved.

1966, August 1

The Canadian Railroad Historical Association leased the Ramseyville Spur from CNR.

1968, February 1

NYC merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad to become the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company.

1969, October 1

PNYCo became Penn Central Transportation.

1970, June 21

PC went bankrupt.

1971, July

CNR reopened former O&NYR trackage from their main line where a new Cornwall Junction was to be to the old Cornwall Junction location as the Wesco Spur.

1972, July 6

PC abandoned the Tupper Lake Spur.

1972, July 31

The lease that the Canadian Railroad Historical Association had on CNR’s Ramseyville Spur ended.


CNR abandoned the Ramseyville Spur.

1975, February

New York State purchased the Tupper Lake Spur.


CNR became CN Rail.

1976, April 1

PC merged with other railroads to become Consolidated Rail Corporation, alias Conrail.

1979, October 9

The Adirondack Railway reopened the Tupper Lake Spur.

1981, April

AR declared bankruptcy and abandoned the Tupper Lake Spur.


CN became CN North America.

1995, November 19

CN became Canadian National Railway.

1998, December 13

CNR gave Ottawa Central Railway rights to operate over the North Lead Track.

1999, June 1

Conrail is jointly purchased by Norfolk Southern Corporation and CSX Transport Corporation. The Roosevelt Industrial Track went under CSX.

2002, July

OCR abandoned the North Lead Track north of Canada’s Science & Technology Museum.