Beautiful RR stn for sale!

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by MasonJar, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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  2. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    I want it! I want it!!! That's an incredible price too. Hey, who wants to go in with me and buy it? :D

    Val
  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    My wife and I put in an offer.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Are you serious....!?!?

    Good luck! And be sure to invite us all over once you move in...! ;):D

    Andrew
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Naw I'm just kidding. Sorry.

    I set her the link and her response was, "So, I guess you'll be living there alone eh?"

    ...and for a brief moment...I actually considered it. sign1
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    DOH! hamr :D

    Andrew
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    GEEEEEEEEEEEEE, the gang and I are planning a two day outing ending there this summer.
  8. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    I actually saw this station in person around Christmas. We walked around it and had a good look at it.

    My idea was that a bunch of RR enthusiasts should buy it and restore an older steam engine (or diesel) and run a heritage railway up and down the railway tracks in Goderich. There is an old 0-6-0 steamer that appears to be in good condition inside the Goderich museum. (The tricky part would get getting it out of the museum as I believe the museum was built around it!)

    At any rate, this is a very half-baked idea, but I think not entirely without merit.

    Rob
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Say C$250K after negotiation, about 1000 active Gaugers.... That's only C$250 each for a great Gauge clubhouse...! ;)

    Andrew
  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    $250 bucks? I'm in!
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Perfect! I was interested in the CPR station in Goderich before I realised that it was owned by the town. This one is a more manageable size, and as an added bonus, it's on the same Maitland River that I redesigned and transposed to the Lake Erie shoreline on my layout. :D :D
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the link, Andrew.

    Wayne
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    What's the current exchange rate? Heck, I might just kick in a share just to know that I owned a piece of railroad history. Might even give me an excuse to come up there someday.:wave: :wave:
  13. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    I still like the idea of starting up a heritage railway. The station could still be used as a clubhouse as well as a functioning station. Now we just have to find an old steam engine and rolling stock! :) Rob
  14. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

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    Heh, my wife said she likes it, now, moving from San Diego to Canada is the issue, and money.
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I was so intrigued by this station that I did an mls search, but came up with no more than what was in Andrew's link. I sent an e-mail to the realtor, requesting more info and he faxed to me 8 pages, including a survey diagram, floor plan, a long list of zoning restrictions, and a page of historical background info that he had gathered. I approached my wife with the idea of buying this and converting it into a home: she was less than thrilled with the idea, but suggested that I check it out further. With "a head full of ideas that was drivin' me insane", I made an appointment to view the property. My brother, who allowed me the use of his fax line to receive the documents, asked to come along, as he was curious to see it in person. Goderich is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Hamilton, and we set off this morning under sunny skies and a promise of warming temperatures. By the time we arrived in Goderich, the weather had turned ugly, with a cold wind whipping off the lake, along with rain and sleet, and dropping temperatures. We toured around town a bit, as my brother had not been there before, then drove to the station, called the realtor, and while waiting for him to show up, had a look around. Here are a few (very few - this was not a nice day to be taking pictures).
    This is the street-side, on Maitland Road:
    [​IMG]

    And here's the track-side, and I do mean track side; this is the line of the Goderich & Exeter Railroad that runs down a very steep grade to the salt mines near the harbour. I would have taken a picture of the grade, which is visible from the main highway out of Goderich, but it was raining too hard.
    [​IMG]

    The track just visible at right is the line to the harbour, and is in daily use. According to the real estate agent, they lift the loaded hoppers nightly around 10:00pm, and depending on the number of cars, 3 to 5 locos are used.

    Here's a view of the main waiting room, which is 28'x34'. The area to the right of the doors is a mirror image of this side. The picture was taken from about where the ticket counter had stood.
    [​IMG]

    The building is a single storey, except for the two turrets, but the ceiling is quite high, maybe 15'. I thought the lights built into the ceiling were rather unique.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a view out the trackside windows. Behind those hoppers, and about 150' below, is the Maitland River.
    [​IMG]

    A look out of the north window of the main turret confirms that the river is indeed there.
    [​IMG]

    And scanning out the west window, we see a small shed, which is to be removed. It sits at the western boundary of the property, and the entire lot, which is just over 1/3 of an acre, is pretty much covered by the station. There is room for parking, on the street side of, and perpendicular to the building, and a small area on the east end of the structure, beyond the porte cochere.
    [​IMG]

    According to the agent, the owner bought the station after it had been out of use for some years, mainly because he "had always wanted to own an historic building" and he had put about $150,000 into restoring the exterior (which is in very good condition), and cleaning up the interior. There is a small utility room, which is the only basement, of about 17'x24', with a new furnace/boiler, and a water heater. The entire building has been rewired. The owner, now in his 80's, had not had any plans or use for the building: he merely wanted to own and preserve it. I got the sense that the local population was very interested in seeing this building preserved, even though there is no official historical designation. (Such a designation cannot be imposed without the owner's consent, as it comes with severe limitations on the changes, or even repairs, that can be made. There is grant money available with the designation, but it's "matching funds").
    The zoning useages allowed here are very strict, and preclude its use as a dwelling. My brother suggested a restaurant for railfans, which might work in the summer, as the area is a popular tourist destination. There is switching activity in the area, in addition to the salt trains, and the loco service area is nearby. Unfortunately, a restaurant is also a non-conforming use. The agent told us that he had shown the property, not only to people from the surrounding area, but from Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa (Andrew? :D ), Montreal, and several people from the U.S.. He believes that the building will soon be sold, as they have a town meeting scheduled to make an application for an amendment to the zoning, and the civic government is anxious to facilitate saving this treasure. An offer is pending.
    While I wouldn't mind being this close to an operating railroad, zoning regs and a non-trainnut wife put me out of the picture. As we toured the building, I also checked for the possibility of moving the building to another site, but the structure is solid masonry, not brick-veneer. It is also much larger than the photo indicates: a little over 86' long and about 35' wide at the main turret end.
    As I mentioned, not a great day for photography (I also discovered that my camera, which uses 2 AA batteries, uses them very quickly: about 12 pictures until the batteries are flat.)
    Here are a few more shots, the first ones of something you may have noticed in the shot out the west turret window:;)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This shot was taken from the eastern end of the station, from inside my truck, which is sitting on the small piece of property mentioned earlier. The porte cochere is just out of the picture to the left.
    [​IMG]

    This is just a bit farther east. In steam days, this was not too far from where the CNR turntable stood. There's a picture and a trackplan of the area, along with a partially obscured view of the west end of the station, in Ian Wilson's book To Stratford Under Steam.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We also stopped briefly at the former CPR station near the harbour, which has been out of use for many years.
    This structure, which is in poorer shape than the CNR one, is owned by the Town of Goderich.
    A partial view from the north side:
    [​IMG]

    And a view from the east end, with the harbour in the background. There were several lakers tied up here for the winter.
    [​IMG]

    And finally, the Goderich Elevators, to the north of the CPR station.
    [​IMG]

    I hope to come back here, when the weather gets nice, to take more pictures, and maybe talk to some people about getting a closer look at some things.

    Wayne
  16. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

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  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Interesting description, Wayne. And the pics are quite good, despite the dreary weather.

    We have friends who own a cottage near Goderich. Goderich is a really nice, picturesque town -- great views over the lake, many nice century-old homes, lots of charm. During our visit last Christmas, it was SOOO peaceful and "anti-stress" there, especially compared to Toronto! We had a very relaxing time.

    As noted, we had a good snoop round this train station & it certainly does get you thinking. I sure hope someone does purchase it and keeps it in good shape.

    Rob
  18. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I accidently posted this before I had all of the pictures included, so I've edited it to add the last few.

    Wayne
  19. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    Wayne, thanks for posting the photos - I sure wish you could have been the one to buy this building. I hope someone decides to turn it into a RR museum with an operating layout of the Goderich area.

    Val
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Wayne...

    What a great field trip. Thanks for sharing! :D

    Nice to hear that the Town is so interested in preserving the structure, and kudos tot he current owner for taking such a long view of things. I hope that the new owners, whoever they may be, have as good an appreciation for it.

    Andrew