New Brunswick

McAdam train station ready for Christmas tours

The once-busy train station in the village of McAdam is bustling again, thanks to the Christmas season. The National Historic Site has been beautifully decorated, and is ready for tours and treats to get you in the holiday mood.

National Historic Site gets a holiday makeover to kick off the Christmas season

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      The once-busy train station in the village of McAdam is bustling again, thanks to the Christmas season.

      The National Historic Site, built in 1900, used to serve thousands of passengers a week at the height of train travel.

      But the iconic station, with its hotel, classic lunch counter and formal dining room, was closed two decades ago.

      McAdam's historic train station has each room decorated for Christmas. (CBC)
      Now, it's managed by the local McAdam Historical Restoration Commission, which raises funds for the on-going construction work on the station with special events.
      I like to show it off.- Gail Swan, train station volunteer

      For the past seven holiday seasons, the group has hosted Christmas at the Station, a tour of the delightfully-decorated rooms, with a few treats along the way.

      Elsie Carroll, a volunteer with the station committee, grew up in McAdam, and even worked at the lunch counter.

      She came up with the idea. "And it's just viral since then," she laughed. "It's just gone crazy."

      The McAdam station hasn't seen business like this since the days when Montreal society people would disembark here, on their way to summer at the nearby resort town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.

      "The first year, it was amazing," said another core volunteer, Gail Swan. "We had 250 people come to see this building decorated for Christmas.

      Train station volunteer Elsie Carroll came up with the idea of decorating the station for Christmas tours seven years ago. (CBC)
      "Last year, six years later, we had 1,300 people come through these doors. This year, we are expecting far more than that."

      Different volunteers or groups are each assigned a room on the main floor of the station, and spend hours perfecting the decorations.

      During the tour, which costs $12.00, warm cider and homemade treats are served. The funds go to the restoration and maintenance of the station, which has an annual heating bill of $30,000 alone.

      It's a year-round, full-time commitment for the volunteers, but for them, the train station means home.

      The National Historic Site, the McAdam Railway Station, gets decorated inside and out for Christmas. (CBC)
      "It's my McAdam. This is my town," said Gail Swan. "This is where I was born and brought up, this is where I'm retiring. And I like to show it off."

      Christmas at the Station tours begin Thursday, Nov. 19 and runs until Sunday, Nov. 22, with tours from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

      More details can be found at the train station's website.


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