Port Colborne train station

IOTW: Train Station

The old train station in Port Colborne sits between West and King Streets, north of Clarence Street. The old Trillium building, once the ticket office and main building, is now home to a thriving restaurant. The tracks are largely overlooked by residents. Part of the scenery. Inconvenient. Yet still operational. Occasionally, for civic events like Canada Day, a carriage or engine is brought in for people to clamber over and take photos.

In between those times the tracks sit as a reminder of Port Colborne history as a thriving industrial community. The INCO Nickel company and assorted canal-based industries accounted for most of the employment in the busy city, then a town (it became a city in 1966). Freight and passengers coming into this train station were legion, forming the character and driving the local economy of our fair city.

This image, taken one cold February morning, shows the lonely rarely used railroad tracks crossing King Street and heading out to distant parts. Just as many of the wage earning population did when INCO ceased mining operations and the employees and their families had to move and find work elsewhere. The City, of course, could not. It was a shell. Over time it was reborn, reshaping itself into a new and vibrant community with a different demographic and new ways to make their way in life. Times change.

Youth

This image, to me, is a reminder of my youth in England. My original home town had twenty two (yes, 22) coal mines when I was a boy. Everyone worked the mine. Coal dust hung in the air and soot covered every surface, including our skin. No matter how hard we scrubbed. Things, as we know, changed. By the time I left school all the collieries were closed. Hard times followed. Very hard. Like those residents of Port Colborne, when faced with similar difficult times and hard choices, we found another way.

That’s the beautiful thing about life. It finds a way. It always finds a way. Onward.

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