Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Canadian Railway Museum: New Brunswick

The Canadian Railway Caboose
 Hillsborough New Brunswick is home to The New Brunswick Railway Museum that preserves the history of the Canadian Railroad.  We have always commented on train whistles whenever we hear them. There is something about that sound hanging in the breeze that catches the imagination. It makes us think about journeys and wonder where that train is rolling off to and what it is carrying. So when found the museum by accident, seeing all those train cars in the yard pulled us right off the road.

The visitors center, which is a replica of a rural railway station,  was staffed by two gentlemen that were members of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association. They had a lot of knowledge about the Canadian rail system and  great enthusiasm for everything train.

The museum had a large collection of cars and engines. We were able to walk and sit inside many of them.  It was interesting to see that one of the cars had ties to Schenectady, New York.

There are also two buildings filled with train related artifacts that told a pictorial story of the railroad. We were fascinated by the large rail yard consoles that were full of switches to change the directions of the tracks.  Here we also saw a Velocipede meant for solitary rail travel over shorter distances of track.

There are  two snow plows on display. These plows operated independently leaving the engine free of impediments. One is double sided so that it didn't have to be rerouted to change direction in inclement weather. The other is a Jordan Spreader which was advertized as a Spreader,  Flanger, Scraper, Bank Builder,  and Snow Plow. Quite the versatile piece of equipment!  I am sure that both were necessary to keep the rails open in the Canadian Winter.

This double bladed snow plow can be used in either direction.
Fred particularly enjoyed the railroad firefighting equipment.  Each tank was able to hold 10-12,000 gallons of water and one had a self contained fire pump.  The flat bed car in between was used to hold hoses and other related fire fighting tools.

Vintage Railroad Firefighting equipment.
There are rails set up in the yard and we were able to take a short ride on a work wagon that would have been used to transport rail layers after a day of carrying timber and swinging heavy hammers at metal spikes.
Fred tried out the drivers seat of this retired Canadian Railroad Engine.
Fred and I kept thinking of his Grandfather Bonneau as we walked through the exhibit.  Pipere had worked for the railroad in Canada before moving to the United States.  We don't know what it was he did for the railroad but being in the museum sure made us curious.

We couldn't pass up visiting the Creaky Cranky and thinking how much our boys would love it.


  1. Great find, Bonnie! It reminds me of Steamtown in Scranton, PA. I didn't realize that Fred had French Canadian ancestry. We have something else in common! :)


  2. Small world isn't it Jim? Fred's grandfather was a Bonneau and his grandmother a Venne both from Quebec.