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Visit the historic Michigan Central Railroad Locomotive Shops – home of the Elgin County Railway Museum. Discover why St. Thomas was known as the Railway City. Explore railway artifact displays, our rolling stock collection – including the CN 5700 steam engine, and the History in Motion Model Railway exhibit.
Century Old St Thomas MCRR Locomotive Shops
Home of the Elgin County Railway Museum
The railways played an integral role in the foundation, and growth of the City of St. Thomas, both economically and in population. In it’s railway heyday, St. Thomas was interchangeable with the term “Railway City” or “Railway Capital of Canada” as it was a North American railway hub with at least five different railroads steaming their way through the city. The MCRR Locomotive Repair Shops were constructed over a period of a year between 1913 and 1914. An article from the St. Thomas Daily Times – March 28, 1914 with the headline “M.C.R.’s New Quarter Million Dollar Shops Nearly Completed”, demonstrates the significance of this building and the impact it has on the community – “The completion of these works places St. Thomas among the leading railway divisional centres, in point of equipment, on the American continent and no effort has been spared either by the Michigan Central Railway or the contractors to make both the buildings and the equipment the most up-to-date possible to obtain.” This new industrial building also impacted the community economically, employing more than 400 workers at its peak. The Elgin County Railway Museum has been housed in the 52,000 square foot building since it’s incorporation in 1989, and purchased the property in 2010.