McAdam residents bring back Christmas at the Station
The community of McAdam, N.B., is working together to put its nationally-recognized railway station back on the map by having it play host to Christmas at the Stationfor the entire weekend.
“Everybody who works in this building is a volunteer, all the decorators are volunteers,” said event organizer Elsie Carroll.
“We have about 10,000 lights in the room so we had a power issue when we first came in,” said McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix. “We were blowing circuits but we got that all sorted out.”
The McAdam Railway Station is a national and provincial historic site. Built 116 years ago, the station was part of the Maine Canadian Pacific Rail Line into Atlantic Canada. It stopped accepting regular passengers in 1994.
Restoring the building to its former glory has become a community effort over the last several years. The Christmas event has become a major fundraiser to keep up with upgrades and repairs.
“The ground floor is completely restored to its original state,” said Carroll. “Unfortunately we have to put a roof on it very, very soon. We're working at that right away.”
Those roof repairs could cost around $400,000.
“This year we'll probably have 3,000 people come and visit, and that says a lot to the village,” said Stannix. “As people get to travel through they get to know what McAdam is all about.”
Carroll says the station constantly draws in locals, as well.
“I had a man here yesterday who said he loved this building, he doesn't care about trains or railroads, the building he just has to come two or three times a year to see it,” said Carroll.
And then there are people who are discovering the train station for the very first time.
“We have people from Fredericton who come here who've never seen the building and they're amazed when they do see it,” said Carroll.
Planning is already underway for next year's Christmas at the Station event – looking ahead to help preserve a glorious past.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.