In the 1980’s, CN began to demolish old stations along the line.  Many of these stations had, with the completion of a modern highway, ceased to be the center of activity for the town and in most cases were no longer in use.  Presumably to reduce liability, CN offered the removal of the buildings up for contract.  The station at the Raush River was painstakingly taken down one board at a time by a local resident while stations at both Eddy and Croydon were burned.  Encouraged by several locals, the Dunster Community Association bought the station from CN for a dollar with the condition that moving it off the tracks would be the community’s responsibility. 

P 984.12.10
(c) 2003.The Exploration Place

With the assistance of grants and numerous volunteers, the building was moved roughly 40 feet down the hill from the tracks and the long job of preserving the building began.  The building was re-roofed, and the windows and doors re-secured.  As the building was now on a flat surface, rather than on the side of a hill, the crawl-space had to be re-designed, which unfortunately reduced easy access under the building.  The three dormers on the back side of the tracks, which were added on several years after the original construction, were removed to ensure the structural integrity of the roof.  Stucco was also repaired, and in some cases replaced.  Running out of energy, workers, and money, volunteers managed to give the outside a new coat of paint to match the original colours.  This earlier restoration kept the building in fine form until the next wave of renovations would occur.

Photo by Chuck McNaughton
For over twenty years the station sat in its new location, waiting for a new wave of volunteers.  Fast forward to early 2015 and with the 100th anniversary of Dunster approaching, a group of new volunteers dusted off the original concept of a museum in the train station.  In March they began writing grants and in April, work began in earnest.  After an initial clean-up of loose debris and remaining building materials from previous renovations, a professional Hazmat team removed the highly-toxic peeling lead paint and asbestos linoleum.  With a fresh coat of primer paint, construction crews were able to begin their work.  Three and a half months of construction saw the completion of necessary repairs for the building, leaving the curator and her crew of volunteers a week to get a museum show up in time for the reunion weekend on August 1st and 2nd, 2015.   Given the short time frame, workers were often working around each other, repairing holes, painting trim, measuring walls for displays and constructing cabinets.  102 years after its original construction, the Dunster Station was re-opened as the Dunster Train Station Museum, a place to celebrate our past and embrace our future.