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Jackson's Point Marine Railway

A threatened historical divesite in the southeastern part of Lake Simcoe

A "marine railway" is a means of hauling boats and ships out of the water for maintenance or to avoid the ravages of winter ice. Typically, it'd consist of a short length of track running down into the water with a carriage riding on it. The carriage would be lowered into the water, the vessel would be manouvered onto it, and then a capstan or block and tackle would be used to haul the whole works up onto dry land.

The one at Jackson's Point is fairly large, at 24 feet wide between the outer rails. 200 feet of track survive. It has three rails, and looks like it would have handled large lake steamships. The cart and tackle are long gone, and the dry-land tracks have disappeared under a parking lot and a boat-launch ramp; all that remains is the part of the tracks in the water.

The two photographs here were taken by Scott Williamson; they show almost 100 feet of track, and took a calm day, excellent water visibility, a high vantage point, and a polarizing filter.

This was prior to the building of a new breakwater just to the right of the site; efforts are ongoing to track its effect on the marine railway, especially with regard to silting.


Last modified 2004-11-27 by Anthony DeBoer.