Burlington Northern Railway Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Salmo, British Columbia
Exterior photo (© Salmo Museum)
Exterior photo
(© Salmo Museum)
Address : Railway Avenue (Hwy. #6), Salmo, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1992-06-04
  • 1913 to 1913 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Great Northern Railway  (Organization)
Other Name(s):
  • Salmo Railway Station  (Other Name)
  • Great Northern Railway Station  (Other Name)
Research Report Number: RS-129

Description of Historic Place

The Burlington Northern Railway Station at Salmo is a small, one-storey, wood-frame railway station, built in 1913. It is prominently located on Railway Avenue in the village of Salmo. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Burlington Northern Railway Station at Salmo represents the rivalry between transcontinental railways in the mineral-rich interior of southern British Columbia. The Salmo station was part of a deliberate move by the American-based Great Northern Railway (GNR) to challenge the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for dominance in the Kootenay and Boundary districts of British Columbia.

The Burlington Northern Railway Station is one of the best surviving examples of a standard GNR depot in Canada, and an unusually good example of the standard railway station architecture used on western Canadian branch lines. By 1913, standardization had evolved sufficiently to produce buildings of relative sophistication and architectural merit.

The Burlington Northern Railway Station is a prominent local landmark, and a reminder of the significant role played by the railway in the establishment and growth of the community. It retains its relationship with compatible commercial buildings in the village.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Burlington Northern Railway Station, Salmo, British Columbia, March 1993; and Leslie Kozma, Railway Station Report 129, Burlington Northern Railway Station, Salmo, British Columbia.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Burlington Northern Railway Station at Salmo include: its simple form, consisting of a rectangular, gable-roofed structure with deep eaves and a polygonal operator’s bay on the track side; the pattern of wood siding and trim, consisting of narrow horizontal siding and wider, board siding separated by a wide frieze board under the eaves and horizontal banding at the level of window and ground sills; traditional detailing, including returned eaves, six-over-six wood windows and panelled doors; its wood construction; its standard interior plan, consisting of three principal spaces: the waiting room, the ticket office and the freight and baggage room; the exterior expression of interior spaces, including the location of the operator’s bay and the pattern of openings; surviving original fittings and furnishings, including the ticket window and counter, the operator’s table in the bay window, the cash drawer and company safe, and the station scale in the waiting room.