It was 120 years ago on May 24th 1893 that the Niagara Falls Park and River Railway began operation. This was a single track line that carried 354,000 passengers from the Queenston Docks to Queen Victoria Park in the first year. The line was double-tracked, because of the popularity of the railway, and almost 500,000 passengers used the line in the second year of operation. That same year the railway line was extended to Slater’s Dock in Chippawa to pick up excursion traffic coming from Buffalo by river steamers. In the early 1900’s the railway ceased to operate when it ran into financial difficulties.
The railway tracks followed the same route that the Niagara Parks Commission Recreation Trail takes beside the Niagara Parkway north to Queenston. As a matter of fact, the recreation trail is on the old railway track from the Whirlpool Aero Car to Queenston.
Here’s an accompanying old photograph of the cars at Queenston Docks taken in 1900.