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Sussex CN (Canadian National Railway) Gatehouse

Beginning in the1800s railways and locomotives were becoming a common sight in Canada. As companies like Canadian National (CN) began building tracks through towns and cities the need for safety increased since the tracks would frequently cross busy streets. A way to stop people from crossing the rails while trains were approaching was required. This is where gatehouses came into play. Many of these small towers were set up along railway crossings; the operator within the tower would lower and raise the gates as trains came and went. The operator was also responsible for signaling trains of upcoming hazards.


The tower operator would communicate with trains using semaphore signals. Semaphore is a style of communication using lights or flags raised at different angles. Ex. If the light was red or both flags were pointed directly left it would mean danger ahead or stop.


Today, these towers are no longer used as there are sensors in the rails that trigger gates to close and open automatically when a train is about to cross, or has finished crossing.

The gate house pictured below was located near the Sussex Train Station that now houses the 8th Hussars Military Museum. It was operated for roughly 100 years between 1860 and 1960. After it was decommissioned, the tower was moved from its spot by the rails to The Agricultural Museum of New Brunswick where it still stands today.

Picture of Sussex CN Gatehouse. Orange in color with a black roof and a sign that Reads "Sussex CN Gatehouse 1860-1960 Sign Compliments of G.E. Barbour's."

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