A Classic Canadian Pacific Train Station
by Don Janes
This past Sept. my wife and I made a trip to Mahone Bay, NS to stay with good friends for a week. On our way home we stopped in at the amazing Hopewell Rocks and the small Bay of Fundy town of St. Andrews by the Sea. As we were heading north towards Grand Falls, NB, our destination for the night, we saw a sign for McAdam, NB. I mentioned to my wife that there was a beautiful station there and could she check the GPS to see just how far it would be out of our way. Well, as it turned out we only had to sidetrack about 15 minutes to get there. I have always wanted to see this iconic station so off we went.
McAdam station was built in 1901 from local granite and is on the CPR mainline between St. John, NB and Montreal with a branchline to St. Stephan and St. Andrews. It was getting late in the day and the afternoon sun was perfect for some photos. As we drove into town the crossing lights were flashing as a eastbound freight was heading into town. Once the train cleared we found a road that followed the tracks to try and find the station. The train had come to a stop and was blocking our view of the station so we kept going to find the head end. I couldn't find any access roads to the tracks but did see a pair of green New Brunswick Southern SD-40's on the head end through he trees. Since there was no place to take a photo we headed back to the station and got there just as the tail end cleared. Up on an embankment sat one of the most beautiful train stations I had ever seen. Full on photos are not that easy to get as the station sits on the edge of a hill and you can't really get that far back to take in the entire building. We parked the car and strolled around the station looking in the windows. It has been beautifully restored inside and out but unfortunately, it was not open when we were there.
Sitting on the tracks behind the station was a CPR inspection train. As we were looking around a van showed up and two crew members got out and started to board the engine. Upon talking to the engineer I found out that this line was now owned by New Brunswick Southern between St. John and Brownsville Jct, ME where it connects with the CPR line from Montreal. He told me they had just brought in the freight train I had just seen from St. John and were now going to head right back home on this train. He told me they normally wait until later at night and take an eastbound freight back to St. John so he was quite happy about getting the inspection train. He said they were leaving shortly so I waited until they left before wondering too far from the station. After they left I walked over to the small yard and diesel shop to get a few shots of the engines parked there. I have to assume these were used for some local job out of McAdam as there was lots of freight cars in the yard.
Once the crew was ready to go they backed their train up to a switch west of the station then departed on the track at the front of the station which turned out a lot better for photos. I am so happy I took the extra hour to head over to McAdam to check out this great looking station and got some photos of a train as well. As much as I would have liked to get some photos of the green New Brunswick Southern engines, I was more than happy to get the CP train and the station in one shot.
A view of the east end of the station
The CP Inspection train heading to St. John
This passenger car was painted similar to the Milwaukee Road colours. I am not sure of its heritage
The rear car had a large observation window and was likely full of electronic equipment
These two GATX units were tied down at the diesel shop in the small yard.