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Great Railroad Stations - McAdam, New Brunswick

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Great Railroad Stations 

by John C. Dahl

McAdam, New Brunswick, Canada

In the late nineteenth century, the Canadian Pacific Railway needed a shorter route to the ice free port of St. John, New Brunswick. Undaunted by geography and international borders, the CPR built a rail line across the middle of Maine, known as the "International of Maine". This line, opened to through traffic in June 1889, operated in some of the remotest portions of Maine.  Before the St. Lawrence Seaway made almost year round water shipping to Montreal possible in the late 1950's, the CPR did a great volume of winter traffic on the line. Steam held out longer on the line than in most places due to the seasonal motive power demand.

McAdam, New Brunswick, August 4, 1994. Photo by Jon Rothenmeyer

McAdam, located about 6 miles from the eastern Maine border, became a busy division point on the railroad.  At the turn of the century, immigrant trains bound for the Canadian prairies passed through on their way west.  McAdam was one link in the vast "CPR - Spans the World" transportation system.  The former New Brunswick Railway (leased by CP in 1890) crossed at McAdam, and its shops were located here.  The station, built in 1900, is especially unique in that it housed a railroad hotel on the second floor.  This multi-gabled, stone chateau structure is situated between two yards, and during steam days was quite the place to watch trains.  A pond behind the station provided ice which was stored for use in CP's vast hotel system and passenger car fleet. 

The station dominates the small town.  David P. Morgan, late long-time editor of Trains magazine described McAdam in 1953 as "a junction in the old manner with red snowplows about, a 2-8-0 dragging out a string of cabooses over there and a fretful Pacific impatient to be off with the Gull over here.  McAdam has atmosphere to burn."  McAdam only recently lost its sole remaining passenger train, VIA's Atlantic.  Although the train stopped in McAdam at off hours, it still was a vital link to the outside world.  The town is attempting to preserve the station. A Canadian postage stamp also features the McAdam station.

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This page was last updated Thursday, December 06, 2001

2001 Jim Dent - Page created by Jim Dent
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