(Continued from Part 1)
1996 saw the inauguration of the P’tit Train du Nord Linear Park. Occupying the old line of CP rail, the park was the culmination of many years of planning and organization, and a tremendous investment by government and regional authorities. Today the park links Saint-Jérome with Mont-Laurier, 200 km to the north.
A major feature of the linear park are the stations that have been proudly restored and converted to new uses (tourist information bureaus, restaurants, bicycle rental outlets, and so on) along the old rail line.
Tangible links to the region’s railway history, stations are located at Saint- Jérome, Prévost, Sainte-Adèle (Mont-Rolland), Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Saint-Faustin, Labelle, L’Annonciation, Nominingue, and Mont-Laurier. In addition, reconstructed stations may be found at Mont-Tremblant, Val-David, Val-Morin, and Piedmont.
By creating a unique attraction for cyclists and skaters (and cross country skiers and snowmobilers during the winter), the P’tit Train du Nord Linear Park has not only reinvigorated the tourism industry in the region, but serves as a model whereby tourism, recreation, and heritage can all be combined.
OTHER RAILWAY LINES AND STATIONS
Other railways penetrated the Laurentians during the railway boom, including the CN line from Montreal north through Shawbridge, Saint-Sauveur, Morin Heights, Weir, Arundel, and Huberdeau. This line operated from the 1890s into the early 1960s.
One station to have survived along this route is the tiny Arundel station. Painstakingly restored in recent years, it now serves as the village post office.
Other stations have survived around the Laurentians, including those at New Glasgow (east of Saint- Jérome) and Sainte-Thérèse. Many, however, have disappeared from the landscape.
Some, like the old CP station at Calumet, suffer from neglect. For these, it seems, it may only be a matter of time…
http://www.rootsweb.com/~qclauren/trains.htmMRC d’Antoine-Labelle, Guide d’interpretation du Parc lineaire Le «Petit Train du Nord», 1996.
Le Réseau des gares des Laurentides, «Historique des gares des Laurentides,» 2002.
Association touristique des Laurentides, Laurentides – Official Tourist Guide 2004.