My wife and I took our boys, 5 and 7 to Uxbridge to explore the York-Durham Heritage Railway. We arrived on July 8, 2012 and found that parking was limited. There is some parking behind the station on a dirt lot or along Railway Street. If you do park on Railway Street make sure you don't block the GO Transit bus stop. The Uxbridge Train Station is only used for the YDHR. It is in great original shape and kept clean. The landscaping is nice too. One of the waiting rooms has been made into a country type antique store. The back of the station is a small museum with many interesting artifacts from Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways. There is also an old handcart and a motorized rail cart. The station has one washroom that can accommodate one person at a time. The wooden passenger platform is in excellent shape and just outside the station door. To the north there is a ramp to allow wheelchair access to the train.
While we were waiting we took a horse wagon ride through a few blocks near the train station. It was sponsored by the Farmer's Market while we were there and no cost. I don't know if it's always sponsored by the market or not. It was a pleasant ride with the family. On a side note, the Farmer's Market, just up the road, is a great place to walk through and spend an hour or so.
We were going to be riding on the 2:30 pm train and arrived at 1:40 pm. There's no need to be that early but we were already in the area. We were told that there was a delay and that the train would be late arriving. As a result the train didn't depart until 3:00 pm. The staff at the station are very nice and they are all volunteers. We purchased our tickets at about 2:45 pm and it was $48.00 for my wife and I. Our two boys were free because it was "Teddy Bear" day and children with a Teddy Bear rode free. Seats are not assigned. We boarded the train and made our way into the second passenger coach. The seats were arranged in groups of four with one large window that had two smaller glass panels that could slide horizontally to allow some outside air into the car. This is an historical train and has no air conditioning. The seats are fairly comfortable but don't recline. The nice thing about this train is that passengers are allowed to leave their seats. The first car is an old baggage car that has two washrooms and a small convenience counter that sells cold drinks, freezies & candy. Very nice when there's no air conditioning.
Once the train departed there was entertainment for the kids. A "Teddy Bear" doctor passed through the coaches and provided an exam of each child's bear. Two guitar players were going from coach to coach singing kid's songs and a clown made a balloon for each child. Each seating cluster had a stuffed animal hanging above the window. I think this type of entertainment is only provided on themed trains, such as "Teddy Bear" day.
The coach was very hot and the windows provided very little breeze. This is something that I would expect from an historical train. I've traveled on many of them over the years all over North America.
The train doesn't move very fast, but most historical trains don't. The first portion of the trip from Uxbridge doesn't offer much scenery and the brush is so close to the track that it scrapes along the sides of the train. Don't put any part of your body outside of the windows. Once the train clears that area you begin to see marshes, open fields and level crossings. It's a pleasant ride. At Lincolnville the train enters the Canadian National mainline and must wait for clearance at the signal. We waited about 20 minutes for the clearance. Once clearance was given the train proceeded and stopped at the Stouffville GO Station. We were only there fifteen minutes because the train was so late.
The train left Stouffville and there were only about a dozen passengers on the train. Most tend to board at Stouffville. Since this was the final trip and the train is yarded in Uxbridge there weren't many people. This allowed us to explore the train more freely. Most of the coaches were the same as ours. The very last coach was older than the rest and had bench seats that grouped four passenger together. The seating wasn't as comfortable and was much more cramped, but each seat cluster had one window that opened fairly wide. It was much cooler in this coach and we rode most of the trip back to Uxbridge in that coach.
Just past Lincolnville the train stopped at a siding and the diesel locomotive went from the rear of the train, back to the front. The trip then continued.
Overall we really enjoyed it and my boys were asking to do it again soon. Keep in mind the scenery isn't spectacular and that the main attraction is to ride an historical train.