CN and province pay tribute to railway history with Middleton Railway Museum project

January 18, 2021


CN and province pay tribute to railway history with Middleton Railway Museum project

MIDDLETON, NS – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and chair of CN’s board of directors Robert Pace safely met with Middleton museum Chair Dianne Hankinson LeGard Jan. 16, to recognize the recent acquisition and relocation of a 75-ton, 116-year-old steam locomotive to the museum.

CN also paid tribute to the railway history and heritage of the area with a large bronze plaque dedicated to the men and women who played such a vital role in that era spanning more than a century.

The plaque, commissioned by CN, was delivered to the museum in November.

The engine, built in Montreal in 1905, was given to the Middleton Railway Museum Society by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis after it became surplus at the former Upper Clements Park, the future home of Gordonstoun Nova Scotia, an international boarding school.

Pace became involved in the project early on when it was determined by museum volunteers that new, safe infrastructure was needed at the museum on which to place the giant steam engine. He tasked his CN crews to build the infrastructure.

“CN is proud to be associated with the Middleton Railway Museum. We were delighted to be asked to be involved in this project and to provide the track infrastructure required to support the 75-ton locomotive and tender in front of the historic railway station in Middleton, NS,” he said. “This initiative is a great success story for the museum as well as for CN.  I am confident it will result in a significant increase in tourism across the region and help boost the economy. I am very grateful for the professional and dedicated efforts of the CN team who were part of this mission. I am sure they will cherish their involvement in this project for years to come.”

McNeil, also the MLA for the district of Annapolis, supported the project early on and through a $100,000 grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the museum society was able to finance the locomotive’s move in mid December.

“It’s great to see community partners and CN come together to make this project a reality,” said Premier McNeil. “The locomotive will be a fine addition to the railway museum, and will help attract more visitors to the area. Congratulations to all involved.”

Hankinson LeGard said the success of the project was a group effort of many local companies who came together to make it all happen, including Dexter Construction, who erected an enormous base for AW Leil’s 750-tonne crane. This allowed for the lifting and subsequent move of the CN locomotive, setting the project in motion safely and efficiently.

“As a Nova Scotia based organization, we are extremely proud to have helped with this amazing project. It was an honour to take part in preserving our heritage, upgrading our infrastructure, and celebrating our community spirit,” said Al Abraham on behalf of Dexter Construction and the Municipal Group of Companies.

“The Middleton Railway Museum is located in the old Dominion Atlantic Railway station and had a great historic past. The station was used by both CP and CN, and Middleton was considered the Freight Terminal for the Annapolis Valley in the early 1900s,” said Hankinson LeGard. “Our museum is grateful to Premier McNeil and CN Chair Pace for making it possible to have the 1905 CN Locomotive as our main attraction for generations to come.”

The Middleton Railway Museum is operated by the Middleton Railway Museum Society whose purpose is to preserve and present Middleton’s railway heritage.


A bronze plaque created by CN to commemorate the relocation of the locomotive to Middleton reads:

In honour of the dedicated railway workers of the Annapolis Valley and its rich history, CN built the foundation to relocate steam engine CNR 1521 to its current home in 2020.

Special thanks to the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage society for their collaboration and support of this initiative.
— Robert Pace, Chair

CN Chair Robert Pace, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, and Middleton Railway Museum Chair Dianne Hankinson LeGard stand in front of a 116-year-old steam locomotive at the museum. Pace and McNeil visited the museum Jan. 16. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO

Dianne Hankinson LeGard, chair of the Middleton Railway Museum Society, stands with a plaque given to the museum by CN Chair Robert Pace. CN created the infrastructure on which the museum’s 116-year-old locomotive sits. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil stands beside the 75-ton steam locomotive relocated to the Middleton Railway Museum from Upper Clements Park recently. The steam engine was moved with funding from the provincial Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO

CN Chair Robert Pace stands with the plaque CN commissioned to recognize the acquisition and relocation of the 116-year-old steam locomotive from Upper Clements Park to the Middleton Railway Museum recently. CN built the infrastructure on which the train now sits. LAWRENCE POWELL PHOTO