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The Last Witt Trailer Train Charter (April 4, 1954)

Text by: James Bow, photos by Julian Bernard, donated by Curt Frey.

When the Yonge Subway opened, it not only removed a number of streetcar routes from service, it rendered large numbers of streetcars surplus, and ended a few special streetcar operations. One of those was the Witt Trailer Train. The sight of Witts hauling trailers behind was a common one through the 1930s and 40s, but it started to disappear after the War. In the early 1950s, only Yonge and Kingston Road still operated trailers, and then the TTC decided to abandon trailer operation on Kingston Road. That left the Yonge line as the last major Witt-trailer operation on the system, and it was to fall on March 30, 1954. When that disappeared, it would be the end of trailer-train service throughout North America.

To remember the Witt trailers, the Upper Canada Railway Society organized a charter that was held on Sunday, April 4, 1954 -- the first Sunday after the Yonge subway opened. A lot of ground was covered, although, as Julian Bernard recalls, the TTC was adamant that the streetcar tracks on Yonge were off-limits. Pictures from that charter are below.

Last Witt Trailer Train Charter Image Archive