Originally built as the railway station for Western Bay, the building has also served as the community's post office and as an interpretation centre during its history.
The Western Bay Railway Station was built around 1914 in anticipation of the opening of the Carbonear to Bay de Verde/Grates Cove railway line. The railway opened in 1915 and serviced many of the communities along the northwest shore of Conception Bay. However, because it was losing money, the line was forced to close in 1931.
After the north shore railway branch closed, the station remained vacant until a post office opened up in the building. From 1933 until 1977, the building served as the post office for Western Bay, Bradley's Cove and Adam's Cove. After the post office closed, it became the headquarters of the Kinsmen Club until 1986. After remaining empty for several years, the building was restored with government assistance. Currently, the station operates as an office of the North Shore Regional Development Association.
The Western Bay Railway Station is the only one of its kind still standing along the northern shore of Conception Bay. The railway station also served as a "hub" for the area of Western Bay, Adam's Cove and Bradley Cove. Between the railway station and the post office, it became an economic centre for the area.
The building resembles most other railway stations built in Newfoundland. It is a small, one-storeyed building made of wood with a hipped roof. While the roof design of the structure might be common for other railway stations, it proved to be influential with other buildings. Several nearby ones, including the Orange Lodge, the Gospel Hall and a craft shop, all have similar roof designs.
The building has been slightly modified over the years, but remains similar to what it must have looked like when first built more than 80 years ago. The most obvious difference is the removal of the railway tracks, which occurred soon after the station was closed.
The Western Bay Railway Station was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure in June 1994 by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Also view the Western Bay Railway Station Registered Heritage Structure on the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador web site. The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site has on its site only a portion of the registered heritage structures in Newfoundland and Labrador. To view a complete list or search for a particular structure visit the Heritage Foundation's Property Search page.