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.