|Railway facilities at Cape Tormentine|
The opening of the nearby Confederation Bridge on May 31, 1997 rendered the ferry service obsolete.
Recent Railway HistoryCape Tormentine was the end of the CN Tormentine subdivision that ran to Sackville, NB to connect with the rest of the CN railway network.
This track diagram, from the August 1988 CN Car Control manual, shows the layout of the track in Cape Tormentine at the time.
- R059 - turntable and roundhouse.
- R061 to R064 - storage tracks
- R065 - locomotive storage and fueling
- R069TT - team track and storage track
- R070 - new main line
- R071 - old main line
- R081 - ferry ramp track 1
- R082 - ferry ramp track 2
- R083 - ferry dock storage track
- R085 - reacher car storage
|Cape Tormentine station|
The nearby Hill Yard, less than a mile away from Cape Tormentine, had two storage tracks of 2515 feet each.
The last train left the Island on December 28, 1989 aboard the M.V. John Hamilton Gray, with CN 1786 and 1750, six flatcars, two tank cars, two gondolas, two snow plows and two cabooses.
There's a lovely A.W. Mooney photo on Railpictures.ca showing CN 3632 in front of the station. An RS-18 was stationed in Cape Tormentine to switch the ferry.
My VisitOn a recent trip to PEI, I decided to stop to visit Cape Tormentine. I had never been there before, and a recent series of photos posted by Taylor Main inspired me to visit while the railway infrastructure was still present.
|The former train station at Cape Tormentine, NB|
The provincial Department of Natural Resources acquired the station and property from CN. The station was leased by the local Cape Tormentine Community Development Corporation until 2005 and used as a tourist information centre.
|Former tourist information sign at the Cape Tormentine station|
The station's roof is definitely deteriorating, and I understand the floor has at least partially collapsed inside.
|Two stall roundhouse at Cape Tormentine|
The turntable pit is filled in but the walls of the pit are still evident in places. You can see a portion of the wall in the foreground of the photo above.
Speaking of the turntable, that is nearby, very overgrown and rusted by this time.
|Turntable at Cape Tormentine|
|Closeup of turntable at Cape Tormentine|
The railway water tower also stands.
|Water tower and roundhouse at Cape Tormentine, NB|
There is no trace of the railway between the station and the wharf as far as I could see. You can drive out to the pier but you can't drive very far along it as most is now fenced off. There is a great view of the Confederation Bridge from here, though!
|Confederation Bridge from Cape Tormentine|
Ownership and FutureI reached out to the provincial government and Jean-François Pelletier from the Communications Department responded very quickly to provide some background on who owns the station and area. It is owned by the provincial Energy and Resource Development (ERD) department, formerly the Department of Natural Resources. He provided some details on its recent history, included above, and said that in 2015 an engineering firm "was retained to assess the condition of the buildings". The firm recommended that the buildings should be removed.
This month, an engineering firm was engaged to survey the site for hazardous materials. Railway sites are often contaminated with various substances, such as spilled coal and diesel fuel and various lubricating oils.
In his email, Mr. Pelletier concluded, "Once the results of the Hazardous Material Survey are received, ERD will be in a position to make recommendations regarding the future of the site."
|The rear lighthouse at Cape Tormentine, NB|
The PEI FerriesThere were four ferries operating on the Cape Tormentine-Borden route when the Confederation Bridge was being completed: MV John Hamilton Gray, MV Abegweit, MV Holiday Island and MV Vacationland.
The first MV Abegweit is in Chicago and the second MV Abegweit has been scrapped. MV John Hamilton Gray was sold and eventually scrapped.
|MV Holiday Island, 2003|
MV Vacationland was acquired by the province of New Brunswick for Grand Manan service but never put into use. At last report she was in Quebec for refit for freight service.
The wharf itself is privately owned. The lighthouse at the end is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard and is off limits. The rear lighthouse, pictured above, is deteriorating.