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McAdam, New Brunswick (2004)
Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in its efforts to become a true transcontinental railway, looked to the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, as a key eastern point on its network. The “short line”, as it later became known, was completed through the state of Maine in December 1888. And CPR ran its first Montréal–Saint John passenger train over its leased railway company short cut — the International of Maine — in June 1889.


McAdam, NB - Exterior McAdam, New Brunswick, is located just east of the Maine border, and served as an important junction and railway terminal for the railway. Visitors to McAdam today will be struck by the beautiful McAdam railway station, built in 1900 by the CPR as a station-hotel. The three-storey station building, constructed of locally-quarried granite and built to the classic railway hotel “Chateau” style, is now a National Historic Site and is one of the most photographed buildings in the province. Originally, the station was strategically located between two railway yards, and, during the days of steam operation on Canada’s railways, it was a favourite spot for railway enthusiasts to visit and photograph trains.

The station resurged into national prominence twice in the early 1990s. First as a quaint railway architectural image on Canada’s $2 stamp, and then as the site for some of Eaton’s fashion television and print ads. Today, the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission maintains the site.

In addition to the station, McAdam also was home to railway shops where running repairs were made to steam and later diesel locomotives. Train crews were based at McAdam running west, east, and south.

McAdam, NB - InteriorToday, a regional railway operates railway service through McAdam: the New Brunswick Southern Railway. Regional and short line railways such as the 211-kilometre New Brunswick Southern play an important role in serving freight customers on lighter density but vital rail transportation arteries in rural Canada. The New Brunswick Southern terminates at McAdam, operating a line from Saint John, with a branch to St. Stephen. Its sister railway, the Eastern Maine Railroad, operates from McAdam to Brownville Jct., Maine.

The Village of McAdam is proud of its railway heritage and invites visitors to what they call “the best little community in New Brunswick.” The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame is honoured to include this railway Village in its Communities category for 2004.

Photos: CPR Corporate Archives

 
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