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TORONTO    TRAMWAY

In 1889 the Excelsior Investment and Building Company acquired an estate of 1000 acres fronting the shores of Lake Macquarie. The nearest access was the newly constructed Sydney to Newcastle railway, almost 3 miles distant from the Toronto pier to the Fassifern station. On the 10th October, 1889, the Toronto Tramway Act, was drawn up for the construction of a branch line for conveyance of passengers. This line was constructed in the N.S.W. Standard Railway Gauge of 4 ft. 8 1/2". The line was opened on the 2nd August, 1891.

A small tank engine was purchased from the N.S.W. Railways while a passenger carriage seating 20 first class and 40 second class passengers was bought new.

During 1897 the train was involved in an accident and was unusable. After this accident the company hired a horse tram car from the N.S.W. Tramways and worked a horse-tram service for the next 2 years.

In April, 1899, the branch line was leased to the Toronto Hotel and Tramway Company for a period of 10 years. The following month the company purchased a vertical boiler loco with a 2 cylinder engine. This loco, "The Coffee Pot" as it was locally called worked the service with another engine as standby. The Coffee Pot was not a success on the line due to the heavy grades and curves. By 1906 it was in such a bad state that it was condemned as unfit for service and was stored in a shed at Toronto. In October, that year it was replaced with steam motor No. 67A which was purchased from the N.S.W. Tramways, together with the standby engine.

The Company got into financial difficulties and the track and plant fell into disrepair with the bridges being in a particularly bad state. In 1908 public agitation became very strong to have the line taken over by the government. The conditions were so bad that departmental engines were prohibited from using the line. From February until May 1909, the service was worked with a horse drawn car, seating about 20 passengers.

In August, 1910, the line was taken over by the Railway Commissioners and worked by steam motor 61A and trail car 158B.

A sale of the company's assets was conducted and the Coffee Pot and standby engine sold and the 60 passenger carriage was scrapped.




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