Searchmont, Then and Now

Searchmont, mile 31.5 Soo subdivision, is a familiar location on the Algoma Central, as it’s not too far from the Sault, and one of the very few places along the ACR with road access. Closed in the late 1990s, this station still stands and has been designated as a heritage structure under that act that protects old railway stations, however the building is totally derelict, and heritage status or not it’s just a matter of time before nature takes its course on this historic wood-frame building.

I chased the Canyon Tour Train north to Searchmont while visiting the Sault, and took the opportunity to take a few detail photos around the old station. Decrepit and overgrown, it’s a far cry from quaint little station it once was.

THEN:

(Photo links from Ted Ellis’s Algoma Central site.)

Viewed from the cab of a northbound train, about to receive orders from the operator at Searchmont in 1974:

http://algomacentral.railfan.net/images/AlgoCenRy/AC_Searchmont_
Fedorchuk_hoop_11-29-1974.jpg

Northbound regular passenger train arrives at Searchmont in 1972:

http://algomacentral.railfan.net/images/AlgoCenRy/Searchmont_4-25-1972.jpg

In 1992 the railway has switched to Occupancy Clearance System (OCS) radio dispatching and the station is no longer a train order office (note the train order boards have been removed) but still remains open as an active passenger station:

http://algomacentral.railfan.net/images/AlgoCenRy/AC_Searchmont_Station
_8-2-1992.jpg

NOW:

Searchmont station in 2013. Mostly boarded up; some of the second floor windows are intact, but a few are missing, exposing the building’s interior to the elements. The drywall or plaster on the second floor interior walls is totally disintegrating.

IMG_5866 IMG_5872

2 thoughts on “Searchmont, Then and Now

  1. Hi Chris,

    We are looking at maybe doing a restore on the searchmont station, depending on what CN emails us back with, but I am wondering if you have any more pictures that you might be able to share with me of either the outside/or inside or both.

    • Nathan,

      I can email you a few more photos later. We did sneak inside and take a look. It’s pretty messy and in ROUGH shape. Most of the windows are broken and the interior has been exposed to the elements. Lots of mould and water damage. Hardwood floors on the second story are buckled, etc. We weren’t brave enough to look in the basement.

      It’d be nice to see this building fixed up, but it would certainly be a big project!

      Keep me informed of the progress if anything is actually able to go forward with this, and I may be able to pass on occasional updates on this blog.

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