C.N. Railway Station (Carbonear)
An excellent example of the kind of railway stations in existence on the island during the era of the Newfoundland railroad, the Carbonear Railway Station was built to help stimulate the local economy.
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
The history of the railway in Carbonear was a tumultuous one. Though a railway had been built from St. John's to nearby Harbour Grace in 1884, because of various financial difficulties, the tracks did not reach Carbonear until 1898. The completed line had two trains running daily. The fare from Carbonear to St. John's was $2 first class, $1.20 second class and half price for children under twelve.
For 20 years, Carbonear was served by a smaller station. In 1913 a branch line was created to Bay de Verde, increasing traffic to Carbonear and consequently in 1917 plans were drawn up and a new station constructed. The exact date of completion is unknown, but it is either 1917 or 1918. The station was located at the start of Water Street, the main business district for Carbonear.
The station was witness to numerous historical events. For example, on October 7, 1932 the trains were delayed because of a riot. The next day a train from St. John's brought in 100 policemen to restore order.
Despite the downturn of the railway, the closure of the Bay de Verde line in 1932 and the near closure of the St. John's-Harbour Grace-Carbonear line in 1947, the station remained opened. However, as business continued to decline it became inevitable that the railway would close and on March 31, 1984, the station ceased operations.
The Carbonear Railway Station is a one-storeyed rectangular wooden building with a cottage roof. It exemplifies the kind of railway station used through Newfoundland during the 100 years the railway operated in Newfoundland.
The station has been taken over by the Carbonear Heritage Society, restored and turned into a museum of railway paraphernalia. It is also used as a tourist information centre.
In June 1987 the Carbonear Railway Station was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure.