The Historic Train Station


The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway brought McBride into existence as a divisional point on the new northern trans-continental line in 1911-1914. The company designed the townsite with the station as the focus of Main Street, flanked by two parks. The current station with its picturesque style was completed in 1919 on the foundations of the original, which was lost to fire in 1918.

In the days before television, meeting the passenger train here was major entertainment. With rail as the only viable way in and out for many years, the station was where you went to ship milk and cream, pick up supplies, have a good meal at the 24 hour Beanery restaurant, take the train, or just catch up on gossip.

Technology changed and Canadian National, the current owner of the line, moved the last operations out of the building in 1989. The Canadian government designated the station a heritage building, and the Village of McBride purchased it in the early 1990's.

Since early 2000 the station has been undergoing restoration along 1920 lines with locally grown and milled wood with the attempt to capture the original look and feel. In December 2000 the Whistle Stop Gallery became the first tenant in the newly renovated train station. Renovations continued and in the summer of 2001 the McBride Info Centre joined the Gallery in the station. In April 2003 the Beanery 2 opened for business in space that had been occupied by the original Beanery four decades previously.