Accommodations Nova Scotia

Your Guide To Accommodations In Nova Scotia

Orangedale, Nova Scotia

Orangedale is a destination for train lovers. This small village is a short distance off the Trans Canada (Route 105) by taking Exit 4. It has dedicated itself to remembering the history of railroading, and a time when Orangedale was a vital link along the rail line. So if you love trains, you will love Orangedale.

The village became a household name when the Rankin Family immortalized its history in Jimmy Rankin’s award-winning song, Orangedale Whistle, inspired by the way community volunteers transformed the Orangedale Station into a museum.

That organization has also dedicated two days to specifically celebrate the era of train travel with Model Train Day, when model trains operate through a maze of routes within the station building, and with the annual Orangedale Railway Station Museum Open House.

Named Orangedale for the once prominent Orangemen’s Hall that stood in this valley, the early residents of Orangedale for years reported the fore-runners of huge machines, and many continue to believe those eerie experiences of hearing whistles and sounds of engines were the foretelling of the arrival of the railway which was built through the area in the 1880s.

The present museum, when it served as a station, was famous for the hospitality extended by Station Master Jim MacFarlane and his wife, Maggie, who lived with their family in the upstairs apartment. It was this couple who are celebrated in the Jimmy Rankin song. The restored station proudly shows off the second floor apartment where dignitaries such as Alexander Graham Bell were greeted, and shares with all visitors the memorabilia and artifacts of railroading displayed on the ground floor.

The Orangedale Station had seen quite a number of changes since it opened for business under the Intercolonial Railway in the fall of 1886. Canadian National and Via Rail also ran passenger rail services until they were disbanded in 1990; then the site became the museum run by the Orangedale Station Association.

In 2005, construction was completed on the new MacFarlane building with the intention of showcasing much of the material and artifacts from the Orangedale Station collection. A tremendous amount of work has been done recently under the leadership of Martin Boston, David Gunn and other volunteers on displaying and showcasing the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts inside the buildings.

The Orangedale Station is also home to a significant permanent collection of rolling stock which includes a caboose, a boxcar, a locomotive, a snowplow, flatcar and motorcar.

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