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End of the line for York-Durham Heritage Railway



DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard


UXBRIDGE: The end of the line has come for the embattled York-Durham Heritage Railway (YDHR), with the recent announcement the local tourist attraction has filed for insolvency protection, after almost 30 years in the community.

The YDHR made the announcement in a social media post on Sunday, January 21st.

In late 2023, the township cited several safety and financial issues with the heritage railway. They announced they would not negotiate a lease for the train station or the surrounding railyard and tracks. These are subleased from Metrolinx by the township to YDHR.

Documents obtained by The Standard show, at the time of the insolvency protection, the YDHR had liabilities of more than $2 million, with assets totalling just over $800,000, most of which were equipment totalling approximately $650,000.

This latest development spells the end of the Railway, which has seen overwhelmingly negative reviews from riders, vendors, and contractors in recent years. This involves numerous complaints of unpaid invoices, cancelled trips without a refund, and an overall lacklustre experience. In addition, recent train rides lasted less than 15 minutes, only taking passengers to O’Biern Road rather than to the historic train station in downtown Stouffville, as had been the case for decades prior to a change of leadership at YDHR in 2019. On January 15th, YDHR announced President and CEO John Perks had resigned, effective immediately.

In a recent council meeting, regarding what could be next for Uxbridge’s historic train station, township CAO Kristi Honey explained, there has been “significant interest in the location” from several different groups, including use as a filming location, other special events, and short-line railway operators.

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