Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Grand Falls, New Brunswick
Exterior photo (© (Robert Power, 1992.))
Exterior photo
(© (Robert Power, 1992.))
Address : CN Road (at Industrial), Grand Falls, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 52 (4th Supp.))
Designation Date: 1994-01-07
  • 1912 to 1913 (Construction)
  • 1950 to 1950 (Significant)

Research Report Number: RS-157

Description of Historic Place

The Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station at Grand Falls is a two-storey, wood railway station, built in 1912-1913 and extended in 1950. It is located in an industrial area on the northern edge of the town of Grand Falls, about one kilometre from the centre of town and the Saint John River. The formal recognition is confined to the railway station building itself.

Heritage Value

The Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station at Grand Falls is the only remaining station of those built in Atlantic Canada by the National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), the eastern division of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR). The Grand Falls station represents the pre-World War I period of prosperity and optimism for the railway industry and Atlantic Canada. During World War II, the station functioned as a key transfer point for transporting men and materials. After World War II, the station supported Grand Falls’ new role as an important shipment centre for potatoes.

The Grand Falls station is the only surviving example of its standard NTR type. It is typical of GTPR stations of its time in its complex roof line, overhanging shelter and shingle finish. It is unusual among New Brunswick stations for its retention of almost all original window and door units.

The station retains the industrial character of its setting, established after World War II.

Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station, Grand Falls, New Brunswick, September 1993; Gwen Martin and Robert Power, Railway Station Report 157, Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station/Former National Transcontinental Railway Station, Grand Falls, New Brunswick.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Former National Transcontinental Railway (Canadian National Railways) Station at Grand Falls include: its asymmetrical massing and picturesque roofline, consisting of: a two-storey block, set off-centre with a hipped gable roof; flanked by one-storey wings of differing lengths with slightly bell-cast hip roofs (one wing has slightly bell-cast hip roof, the other wing has a gable roof.); the overhanging eaves on all sides of the first floor roof, supported on plain, wooden rafter tails; the deeper eaves along the track side of the central block and east wing, and partway along the east end, creating a platform canopy supported on simple, curved, wood brackets; its horizontality, emphasized by: the long, low roofs of the first storey; the overhanging eaves; the wainscot of shiplap cove siding rising to window sill level; and the horizontal courses of wood shingles above; features typical of early-20th-century railway stations, including: hip roofs; a rectangular plan; wide, overhanging eaves; large, wood brackets; and a projecting operator’s bay on the track side; its cottage-like appearance, created by: the off-centre placement of the two-storey block; the picturesque roofline; the combination of shiplap cove siding and cedar shingle wall finishes; and the arrangement of domestic-scale windows and doors in the east half of the station; the arrangement of windows: singly, in pairs, and flanking a door, with transoms above; surviving original wood doors, windows and storm sash, including: six-over-two and four-over-two windows; two- or three-light transoms; and double or sliding doors with chamfered rails and stiles, diagonally-boarded panels and glazed panes; the textural contrast provided by its finishing materials, including: the shiplap cove siding; the cedar shingle upper walls; and the smooth finish of the door and window trim; its all-wood construction and finishing; its ground-hugging relationship to grade; surviving original interior finishes in the freight (west) wing that recall its freight function, including: unpainted tongue-and-groove panelling on the walls and ceiling; heavy, timber door sills; painted signage indicating the number of each door; and numerous wooden shelves supported on brackets.