St. Thomas' plan to transform from the Railway City to the Railway Tourism City took a significant step on Thursday.

Not-for-profit group, On Track St. Thomas, officially purchased the 83-year-old historic Kettle Creek Bridge for $185,000.

It's the first step in plans to turn the span into an elevated park.

"St. Thomas in its heyday, was like Pearson Airport today, because they had six railroads going through, and it was the centre for transportation in southwestern Ontario and this is one of the few remnants of it," says Joe O'Neil, a local historian.

Many in St. Thomas are excited about the future of the bridge, including resident Sam Lees.

"I just think everyone will be happy and in a better mood, because they can get out and walk and see everything from above and see the beautiful views that St. Thomas has to offer from the bridge," says Lees.

"Where we could go with this is endless and we are looking forward to continuing down the rails," says Heather Jackson, mayor of St. Thomas.

Although the end product is still many years away, the new green space might look like similar urban parks on former elevated rail lines in cities like New York and Chicago.