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Kentville Roundhouse

The roundhouse before demolition - photo by Ivan Smith.

Ivan also has more information and photos of the demolition on his web site

Photos of the interior taken on

8 June 2007 by Ken Cairns

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Angela Carlsen e-mailed us to say that she was hired by the town of Kentville to document the roundhouse before it was unfortunately demolished. She has a site where she has uploaded some of her images. View photos at



(compiled by Steve Dickie)

1866 - the Windsor & Annapolis Railway incorporated

1869 - the W&A opened the line between Windsor and Annapolis through Kentville

1893 - the W&A purchases the Western Counties Railway for $265,000

October 1, 1894 - the Dominion Atlantic Railway is created through the purchase of the WCR by the W&A.

November 13, 1911 - the DAR is leased by the Canadian Pacific Railway .

1916 - the DAR constructs a 5-stall roundhouse at the west end of the Kentville yard where DAR subsidiary the Cornwallis Valley Railway branches off for Kingsport

1926 - CPR expands its subsidiary's roundhouse in Kentville, adding 5 additional stalls[

1961 - Canadian Pacific Railway stops using the roundhouse for locomotive maintenance

? - CPR transfers/sells/leases? the roundhouse to ? (Great Valley Juice Co?) for use as a warehouse.  GVJ expands and links roundhouse to its plant west of the yard on West Main Street.

June 28, 1988 - CP Rail applies to the National Transportation Agency to abandon all trackage west of Kentville to Yarmouth.

April 5 and 6, 1989 - the NTA conducted public meetings in Bridgetown in respect of CP Rail's abandonment application.

April 26, 1989 - the federal budget cuts funding to VIA Rail Canada, resulting in the company's decision to discontinue its Evangeline passenger train service from Halifax-Yarmouth via Kentville on January 15, 1990

July 13, 1989 - the NTA concludes in Decision No. 350-R-1989 that CP Rail's trackage from Kentville to Yarmouth is uneconomic.  In Order No. 1989-R-182 also issued that day, the NTA dictates that operation of this trackage be abandoned 1 year from this date.

November 27, 1989 - in light of the decision by VIA Rail Canada to discontinue passenger train service, CP Rail applies to the NTA to change the effective date of abandonment of operations west of Kentville to Yarmouth from July 13, 1990 to January 16, 1990.

January 15, 1990 - VIA Rail Canada discontinues its Evangeline passenger train service from Halifax to Yarmouth.

February 27, 1990 - the NTA concludes in Order No. 1990-R-82 that the abandonment of passenger train service by VIA Rail Canada on January 15, 1990 was a change in the facts and circumstances pertaining to Order No. 1989-R-182 and dictates that the date of abandonment for CP Rail trackage west of Kentville to Yarmouth take place effective March 27, 1990.

March 27, 1990 - CP Rail formally abandons the Kentville Subdivision from Kentville (mileage 4.6) to Annapolis Royal (mileage 58.4) and the Yarmouth Subdivision from Annapolis Royal (mileage 0.0) to Yarmouth (mileage 86.6), a total distance of 140.4 miles.

November 17, 1992 - CP Rail filed notice of intent to the National Transportation Agency to abandon all trackage west of New Minas to Kentville and north to Steam Mill.

February 24, 1993 - CP Rail applied to abandon trackage from New Minas to Kentville and north to Steam Mill.

June 14, 1993 - NTA conducted a public meeting in Saint John, NB.

June 29, 1993 - NTA conducted a public meeting in Sherbrooke, QC.

August 23, 1993 - the NTA in Decision No. 570-R-1993 found that the operation of the trackage west of New Minas was uneconomic.  In Order No. 1993-R-267 that same day, the NTA dicated that the trackage be abandoned in 30 days.  In a written submission to the NTA, the Town of Kentville supported the abandonment of the rail lines within the town.

September 16, 1993 - The last train departed Kentville at 1:20pm .

September 22, 1993 -  CP Rail formally abandons the Halifax Subdivision from New Minas (mileage 52.9) to Kentville (mileage 56.1), including the 4.3 mile Kentville Spur from mileage 56.1 of the Halifax Subdivision to the end of track in Coldbrook, as well as the 2.3 mile Kingsport Spur from mileage 56.1 of the Halifax Subdivision to the end of track in Steam Mill.

February 3, 2004 - Gary Pearl, mayor of the Town of Kentville announced that the town has offered to purchase the 7 hectare railway yard property from CP Rail for $1.  Pearl said the town has been trying to get the land developed for years but that CP Rail was slow to respond due to the cost of soil cleanup (based on residential devleopment).   The town wishes for the land to be used for commercial development which has lower soil remediation standards.  Developers have reportedly been eager for the land bounded by River, Aberdeen, Webster and West Main streets.  Mayor Pearl said that CP Rail has indicated its acceptance of the town's offer but the town is waiting for the acceptance in writing.

March 1, 2004 - CP Rail formally accepted the Town of Kentville's offer to purchase the railway yard for $1.  The town is looking over environmental assessments and consulting reports to make sure it wants to close the deal, which would open up a sizable piece of the downtown for development. Kentville chief administrative officer Bill Boyd said Monday that council hopes to have the review of the reports done by mid-March.

? - the Town of Kentville now refers to the former CP railway yard as the "Kentville Futures Land".

November 2006? - the Town of Kentville took control of the former DAR/CP Rail roundhouse on West Main Street. .

July 12, 2006 - Town of Kentville council minutes mention that a "100 foot section of the old round house has been fenced off for public safety"

May 9, 2007 - the Town of Kentville council approved demolition of the DAR/CP Rail roundhouse.

July 4, 2007 - removal of lead paints and asbestos begun.

July 9, 2007 - Walls and roof beams demolished.


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Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society

Created 7 June 2007 Updated 17 July 2007

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