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Hawboldt and the ‘Hellish Slow and Wobbly’

The Chester Train Station on the Halifax and South Western Railway line was built in 1905. The H & SW line, affectionately dubbed the “hellish slow and wobbly” connected Halifax to Yarmouth, and was key to furthering local economic development. The daily run brought mail, passengers and freight to the village.

A copy of the agreement between Hawboldt Gas Engines and the Halifax and Southwestern Railway Company to provide water beginning May 1, 1928 at a rental fee of $35.00 per annum.

Railway agreement for water supply 1928

In November, 1920 Hawboldt Gas Engines Ltd. and the Halifax and South Western Railway drafted an Agreement giving the line access to several parcels of land adjacent to the Station and tracks. This Agreement was later amended and signed in December, 1922 whereby the Halifax and South Western Railway paid Hawboldt Gas Engines $200 for the land. Six years later, in July1928, the railway signed a further Agreement to pay Hawboldt Gas Engines Ltd. $25 per annum to supply water.

Halifax and Southwestern Railway and Canadian National Railways passenger train schedule board for the Bridgewater station, 1920s. The times and stops for all stations and whistle stops are listed. This was the train that stopped at Chester and filled water and coal for the trip from Halifax to Bridgewater.

Timetable for Halifax Southwestern Railway

The Halifax and South Western Railway became part of the Canadian National Railways in 1918, but it continued to be known as the H & SW Railway and made daily runs to southwest Nova Scotia until 1954 when CN discontinued its passenger service.

In 1981 the Station was purchased by the Chester Municipal Heritage Society and the rail lines were torn-up and replaced with a multi-use recreational trail.

A blue and white engineer’s plan to accompany the agreement of the installation of the pipe and water supply between Hawboldt Gas Engines and the Halifax and Southwestern Railway Company in 1928. This shows the rail line, the water pipe location and all abutting property and owners at that time.

Blueprint showing the railway around the foundry

Chester Municipal Heritage Society