Old St. Andrews



St. Andrews and Quebec Railway



It is a little known fact that St. Andrews had the first railroad in the Maritimes and almost the first in Canada. The idea was mooted in 1834 when it became evident that Portland, Maine was planning to drive a railway to Quebec City, and since that city was ice-bound by a frozen St. Lawrence River during the winter, become Quebec's winter port on the Atlantic. The line was surveyed to Riveriere du Loup in 1835 but due to a border dispute with Maine nothing was done until 1847. By that point Portland had already reached Quebec City and been merged into the Grand Trunk Railway. Still, St. Andrews pushed forward. A boatload of Irish immigrants arrived in 1847 and work began. Work continued sporadically during many funding problems with shareholders and the Provincial Government, the railroad finally reaching the outskirts of Woodstock in 1862. A huge regatta in St. Andrews celebrated the event. Though the race to become Quebec's winter port was lost, the railroad did serve to keep the town at least on a semi-competitive basis with other New Brunswick towns, busy building their own railroads. It also served to bring down tourists from the upper parts of the Province, and later to connect with the Maine Central Railway when the Short Line from Montreal to McAdam Junction was completed in 1889. In that year the St. Andrews railroad was merged with the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

The tracks are gone now, though the old train station, moved to Indian Point to serve as the Kiwanis Club clubhouse, still exists.