Andy and Debbie Hess are disappointed that the Port Elgin and North Shore Railroad will not be operating this summer after running the train each summer since 1993 .
The train is a 24‐gauge replica of an 1836 American Steam engine and was built locally by H.E. Schlenker & Sons Ltd in 1978. The train originally ran at Old Castle Farm, south of Windsor, Ontario and returned to Port Elgin in 1983.
The Hess(es) bought The Station and the train in 1991 after a failed business model left the train locked in the station house for a number of summers. Andy worked diligently to have the train run again beginning in 1992 and he was recognized by the Port Elgin Tourist Association with a Special Award of Merit in the spring of 1992 for his efforts to bring this iconic train back to life on Port Elgin beach .
The Hess(es) have employed dozens of people and delighted thousands as they rode the two‐mile track around North Shore Park and back to The Station. Many brides , wedding parties , birthday celebrations and family gatherings have ridden the train as part of their special celebrations.
Unfortunately, a lease with the Town of Saugeen Shores could not be negotiated to allow the train or The Station, which offered rounds of mini- golf, ice cream and confectionery, home made fudge and beach toys , to operate in 2018.
Andy and Debbie wish to thank all of their staff, supporters and loyal customers, who have made the Port Elgin and North Shore Railroad a part of their summers for over 25 years.
They are now offering the train and the Station for sale in hopes that a new owner can negotiate with the Town of Saugeen Shores to once again allow the train whistle to blow as it rolls along the beach, harbour and North Shore Park.
The business that Andy and Debbie have built with the help of their dedicated staff is now for sale.
This includes the Station building, the train and the track as well as the mini-putt , fixtures and chattels listed at $499,000. The hope is that a Buyer can negotiate a lease with the Town of Saugeen Shores and continue to run the train on this fantastic beach.
A second option would be to sell the train, the track and the related equipment and remove them from the Port Elgin beach. This option is being offered for $299,000.
Andy & Debbie would not be pleased to see the train leave Port Elgin but believe it is necessary to explore all sale options. The Station building, and related items would then be offered for sale separately.
The Station, however, will not be sold before the fate of the train is known. It is the hope of all involved that the Port Elgin and North Shore Railroad will once again be operational on Port Elgin’s beach.