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Menage a Trois - April 18, 2004 Charter

Dufferin Loop

The three stars of the charter pose at Dufferin Loop.

Text and pictures by James Bow

Click here to find some video clips of the Witt car, taken during the charter.

The year 2004 represents the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association, the owners and operators of the Halton County Radial Railway museum just outside of Rockwood, Ontario. Fifty years ago a group of dedicated railfans purchased TTC streetcars which had been bound for the scrap heap. They proceeded to cut a one-mile line along an abandoned electric railroad right-of-way through rough bush, creating a museum that has entranced me and thousands of kids and adults since it opened to the public in 1971. The Halton County Railway Museum is a remarkable testament to the power of bullheadedness and spit; there is nothing like it in southern Ontario.

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary and to raise funds for further celebrations to be held throughout the year at the museum, the OERHA organized an extra-special charter. Not one, not two, but three streetcars would operate in tandem carrying railfans through the streets of Toronto. And not just any streetcars, either: using a twenty-six-year-old CLRV, a fifty-three-year-old PCC and a recently restored eighty-plus-year-old Peter Witt, the charter organizers had obtained a cross-section of the TTC's streetcar history.

The charter was by invitation only. Even so, dozens of attendees gathered at Exhibition Loop at 11 am on Sunday, April 18, 2004, in the middle of a thunderstorm, as the streetcars arrived. We did travel the city, and we turned a lot of people's heads. The only thing that would have been better is if we'd had a banner or something to promote the museum's fiftieth anniversary, but this charter was more of a fundraiser than a publicity exercise...

Here are some pictures of the day...

Menage a Trois Charter Image Archive

I would like to thank the organizers of this charter for making this one of the most memorable I've ever attended.

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