Friday, July 22, 2016

The Railway Coastal Museum, Newfoundland

The St. John's, Newfoundland railway station
Newfoundland's Railway Coastal Museum is located in the historic railway station by the port in St. John's. The museum covers the history of the Newfoundland Railway and successors CN and Terra Transport, as well as the coastal boats so important to the Rock's outport communities.

The station itself was completed in 1903. The large station building hosts the museum as well as the provincial archives. The tracks were on the back side of the station, which now has a passenger car split lengthwise into two as part of a display in the museum.

Here's what the passenger cars look like on the inside.
Interior view of cars in the Railway Coastal Museum
I really like how each section of the "two" passenger cars is set up as a different car. There's a railway post office (RPO) section at the far end of this photo. Other areas include a dining car kitchen, a dining car seating area, a sleeper, coach seats, bathroom and the observation platform shown here. A great use of space!

Example panel
The majority of the museum is a series of professionally-made panels describing the history of the railway, the coastal boats and the telegraph system. Many panels include little stories from Newfoundland and many photographs are included. They are packed full of information and are well worth reading from start to finish.

There are other displays including artefacts from the railway and coastal boats, including some models of ferries, so important to Newfoundland.

There is a model train layout, which appears to be a 3-rail O gauge layout. It was not in service when I was there. It seems a little out of place, as it looked quite rough compared to the professional look of the rest of the museum.

A well stocked gift shop features numerous books, toys and other items such as jewelry. I purchased the excellent Rails Around the Rock book by Ken Pieroway and a few other items.

Exterior Display 

Outside the museum is a two car display headed by CN 906.
Speeder and railway cars in St. John's, Newfoundland
CN 906 is a GMD NF110, one of nine 1200 horsepower diesel-electrics built for CN in 1952-1953 for Newfoundland service. There are two other survivors, NF 900 in Clarenville and NF 902 in Lewisporte. I saw both of those and I'll share them in another post.

Behind 906 is CN 1805, a mail car/Railway Post Office (RPO) car built in 1952 by Canadian Car and Foundry. It was on display in Bowring Park until 2006, when it was moved to this location.

On the rear is CN 568, used by the city as a Visitor Information Centre for fourteen years from 1989 to 2003. This car was built for the Newfoundland Railway in 1949, and worked in service for the first years of CN on Newfoundland until it became a work car in the late 1970s.

CN 568 and 1805 behind CN 906 in St. John's, Newfoundland
I highly recommend a visit to the Railway Coastal Museum in St. John's!

More to come from Newfoundland...

See also

No comments: