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Milepost 24
CPR Galt Subdivision

What's in a Name?

We at the Credit Valley Railway Company are very proud of our name and its history. Originally, our store was located in the historic Village of Streetsville (now part of the City of Mississauga). Since we were establishing ourselves as a model railway and railway collectibles store back in 1993, it was logical to adopt a railway name that was linked to our locale.

Why we chose our name actually relates to the history of the area. Streetsville, Meadowvale, Churchville, Forks of The Credit, and Cataract are all communities located in the valley of the Credit River. In the 1880s, a railway was constructed to provide these villages with a connection to Toronto, thus giving them an outlet for the goods and materials they produced.

This railway followed the valley of the Credit River for much of its length, while branching out of the valley in order to include major communities such as Brampton. It was therefore logical to give the Credit Valley Railway its name.

Streetsville was one of the more important communities along the line. It was here that a branch of the Credit Valley Railway left the mainline and headed west towards Galt (now part of the City of Cambridge). The Junction at Streetsville between the branchline and the mainline up to Orangeville became the focus of much railway activity. Streetsville also had a number of mills and manufacturing businesses that the Credit Valley Railway serviced.

Within four years of its completion, the Canadian Pacific Railway absorbed the Credit Valley Railway into its system, with the intention of extending the branchline to Galt further west to connections all the way to Windsor.

Streetsville remained a busy junction, but the Credit Valley Railway name disappeared and ultimately became known as the CPR Orangeville Subdivision.

Thus, we thought it appropriate to name our store 'The Credit Valley Railway Company'.

We recently moved from the Village of Streetsville into a brand new 6,000+ sq ft facility just minutes away from our previous location. The new location for our store was chosen because of its ease of access from major highways, the large parking area, and the design of its space. Our new location enables us to carry more products, offer more services and conduct our business more efficiently. Customers who visit us for the first time usually say “Wow!” when they first walk through our doors.

What about other railway names?
The Canadian Pacific Railway was created as a private corporation to connect the new Dominion of Canada with the Pacific Ocean and hence markets in the Far East. The Canadian National Railways, on the other hand, was created from merging a number of bankrupt railway systems, which the Government of Canada had absorbed. The Canadian government strongly believed that these railways were needed to preserve access to many parts of the country. Both of these railway companies eventually acquired many local railways to act as feeder lines to bring commerce to the main lines and thence to major markets.

Some little branch lines originally had names that indicated the location of the railway, and sometimes the goals of the founding fathers. Unfortunately, many of their goals were never reached.

The Brockville, Westport, and Sault Ste Marie Railway was intended to connect Brockville on the St Lawrence River to Lake Superior. However, it only managed to reach Westport, about fifty miles away.

The Coburg and Peterborough Railway connected those two towns. The connection did not last long as the causeway constructed across Rice Lake was destroyed by winter storms only a few years after completion.

The Kingston and Pembroke did connect those cities, but bypassed most of the communities close to the line. Since the founding fathers of this railway were lumber mill owners, the main line was constructed from one stand of timber to the next. Serving the nearby communities was only an after thought, so short branch lines ran to each of the communities from the main line. Passenger service was so slow that the locals referred to the Kingston and Pembroke (K&P) as the “Kick and Push.”

Some Railways were just named after their owners. Examples include The Standard Chemical Railway and The Trout Creek Lumber Company Railway.

Consider a name for your Railway
Create a name for your own model railway can be a creative process. Pick any two place-names, or any two family names, or a business name that interests you, and create a name from them. Another option is to build a branch line railway from a real town to an imaginary locale. For example, the town of Stratford on the CNR could interchange with a fictional short line railway linked to the fictitious town of Trafalgar. What would its name be? Ontario Midland Railway? Or how about a line from Brussels, Ontario to the fictional town of Sprouts, Ontario? Call it The Green Line?

What is in a name? A lot of fun if you wish to create one.