London and Port Stanley Railway Box Cab Electric #L1

The L&PS was originally opened as a steam-powered railway in 1856, but the City of London assumed operations in 1913 and later electrified the line in 1915 into what was a contemporary, high-speed system.

The first electric locomotive that was ordered for the L&PS Railway was #L1. It was built by the General Electric Company in March of 1915. #L1 was then followed shortly thereafter by #L2 and #L3. #L2 now resides at Halton County Radial Rail in Milton, Ontario, and #L3 was scrapped.

Although the builders plate state that they were built in “Toronto-Peterborough,” all three locomotives were actually built in Erie, Pennsylvania. After the locomotives were built in Erie, they were shipped to Peterborough to have the builders plates installed which would technically qualify them as being Canadian-built, thus avoiding import tariffs.

#L1 was mainly used for freight service on the L&PS line until its retirement in 1966. It was then donated to the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa where it remained for almost 30 years. In 1995, #L1 was declared surplus by the museum and it was offered to the Elgin County Railway Museum for preservation.

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