All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

The Museum

History of the Museum

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The Railway Coastal Museum occupies the entire ground floor and the passenger platform at the rear of the building. The two upper floors house the St. John's City Archives and Records as well as the social rooms of the CN Pensioners.

One eye-catching feature of the building is the marble clock housed in the center tower of the 4th floor. The clock was an instant focal point as people could set their timepieces to the posted arrival-departure times of the trains.

In 1969 when passenger service ceased, the train station was converted to a bus depot.

The Maid of Industry

The statue "Maid of Industry," the guiding spirit of the Newfoundland Railway, has marked the front of the St. John's Railway Station since the turn of the 20th century. Granite from the "Quarry," near Gaff Topsails and owned by the Reids, was used for the statue's base. Charles Henderson, stone mason for the Reid Newfoundland Railway, carved the figure from a sandstone gatepost rescued from the Anglican Cathedral after the fire of 1892 as a tribute to his co-workers. Miss Frances Quinlan, the Henderson's housekeeper, who later married Mr. John Gushue of Whitbourne, modeled for the statue. The statue served for many years as a public drinking fountain.

Front view of the Railway Coastal Museum.
The former St. John's Riverhead Station, opened in 1903, now houses the Railway Coastal Museum. Ute Simon, 2008.
Marble clock in St. John's Railway Station.
Clock in the centre tower on the 4th floor of the Station. The heavy marble face cracked and needed restoration work. It is now in working order again. Ute Simon, 2008.
Maid of Industry statue in front of the Railway Coastal Museum.
The "Maid of Industy" has stood in front of the St. John's Railway Station since the turn of the 20th century. Ute Simon, 2008.