Marine Railway Tours Extended Through August

The Marine Railway at Starr Park, 58 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth.

By popular demand, free guided tours of the Shubenacadie Canal Marine Railway in Dartmouth’s Starr Park will continue through the month of August. The tours will now be available every Saturday until August 17, between 12:00 and 4:00 pm. The final tours of the season will be offered on Sunday, August 25, during Switch Dartmouth 2019. All tours are free of charge, but donations to the Shubenacadie Canal Commission are welcome.

This July, the Shubenacadie Canal Commission began offering tours of the marine railway for the first time since it was reconstructed in 2018. In the three days it has been open so far, nearly 150 people have attended.

“The marine railway has always been a very special project for us,” said Bill McIntyre, chair of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission. “It’s exciting that so many members of the public seem to agree.”

Between 1861 and 1871, the Shubenacadie Canal allowed boats and barges to travel directly between Halifax Harbour and the Bay of Fundy. The Dartmouth marine railway used an inclined plane and a large cable-driven cradle to lift boats out of the water at Dartmouth Cove and carry them to Sullivan’s Pond, from which they could sail onward to the rest of the canal.

The marine railway is located at Starr Park, 58 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth. Learn more about the tours by visiting our event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite.

Click here for directions to the marine railway.

Visit SCC at Switch Dartmouth on June 2

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Be among the first to experience the Shubenacadie Canal Marine Railway while listening to the sweet harmonies of a barbershop quartet. The reconstructed flume house at Starr Park will be open for free guided tours for the first time during Switch. The September Sound Quartet will also be giving two performances on site at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm respectively. While there, be sure to stop by our table and enter to win a free copy of River of Dreams: The Saga of the Shubenacadie Canal by Donna Barnett.

The Historic Marine Railway Flume House

The Marine Railway Flume House on the Dartmouth Greenway is really coming together! The project is a life-sized reproduction of the Flume House that controlled the Dartmouth Marine Railway from 1861-1871, allowing boats to travel from the Halifax Harbour into Sullivan’s Pond and thus enter the Shubenacadie Canal waterway. The Flume House used gears and a turbine to harness the power of the water flowing from Sullivan’s Pond, and then used that power to move a boat-carrying Cradle up and down the set of tracks that existed between the pond and the Harbour. The ongoing project to recreate this impressive structure is an initiative of the HRM, with support from the Shubenacadie Canal Commission on its historical aspects. The Commission is in the home stretch of fundraising efforts, but still needs a remaining $15,000 to complete the structure’s historic elements. Click here to donate. For more information on how the Flume House and the Marine Railway worked, check out this great video that outlines the process, or stop by the Fairbanks Centre at Shubie Park to see a smaller, complete model of the structure.

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Geese at Sullivan's Pond

The Sullivan's Pond geese are enjoying the beautiful fall weather. In the background you can see one of the two navigational markers used during the time that the canal was in operation. These round stone markers in Sullivan's Pond were built by Scottish and Irish stone masons in 1831. They mark the entrance to the first lock in the canal system located at the bottom of Lake Banook. Visit Building the Canal to find out more.

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