The Avondale Railway Station is designated because of its historical associations and architectural significance.
The building is historically important because of its association with communications and transportation in Newfoundland. The building was constructed either in 1870 or 1880 to serve as a repeater station for the first telegraph land line serving St. John’s. In 1898 the Reid Newfoundland Company entered into an agreement with the Newfoundland government to operate existing railway lines across the island. Avondale served as a freight and passenger station, being an important terminus for branches serving Conception Bay and Placentia Bay.
The Reid Newfoundland Company played an important role in the development of transportation in Newfoundland. In addition to operating a mainline between the east and west coasts, the Reid Company also ran several smaller branch lines. The Reid’s were promoters of the pulp and paper and mining industries, as well as operators of a coastal boat service and telegraph line. Twenty-five years after assuming control of the railway, the Reid Newfoundland Company began to concentrate on other development schemes and wished to rid itself of the unprofitable railway. In 1923, following much political manoeuvring, the government of the Dominion of Newfoundland once again assumed responsibility for the railway, as well as the coastal boat service and St. John’s drydock. With Confederation in 1949, the Canadian National Railway took over the operation of railway lines in the province. Until its closure in 1984, the CNR used the Avondale station as a terminus for their passenger and freight service in Conception Bay.
The building has architectural value as a noteworthy example of Second Empire style typically employed in Anglo-Newfoundland Telegraph Company buildings. This includes a mansard roof and arched dormers. It is of further importance as it is one of the oldest surviving railway stations in Newfoundland.
Hours Open: The station and museums are open daily from 11 to 5 p.m
Seasons Open: July and August