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Module Train A

Hall Beach, Nunavut, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/01/20

Operations sector of FOX-M Hall Beach set in a tundra landscape; Canada, Défense nationale | National Defense, unité de photos | Photo Unit, ISC86-753
Operations sector of FOX-M Hall Beach
Side façade of Module Train A, showing its exterior metal cladding and the size, form and spacing of door and window openings dictated by each modules function, 1998.; (Canada, North Warning System Office / Bureau du système d'alerte du Nord , 1998.)
Side view
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Other Name(s)

Module Train A
Module Train "A" HAL B01A
Train modulaire "A" HAL B01A

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1955/01/01 to 1956/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located in a remote arctic area, Module Train A building is a one-storey, long, narrow structure composed of prefabricated modules that sit on open timber deck platform foundations, with a flat ribbed roof laid end to end with one end surmounted by a radome structure. Office modules display a single window on each side and twinned windows serve the mess hall modules. Door openings are placed at regular intervals along the sides of the building facing Module Train ‘B’. The exterior of the building is largely clad in metal and there is a bridge walkway linking the Module ‘A’ Train and Module ‘B’ Train buildings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Module Train A is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
Module Train A at FOX-M main station, provides one of the best illustrations associated with the continental air-defence programs during the Cold War, the opening of the Canadian Arctic to Federal Government programs and services, the growth of Hall Beach, an important Arctic community, and its role in establishing and maintaining a Canadian military presence in the Canadian Arctic. As part of one of four main stations constructed for the (Distant Early Warning) DEW Line, Module Train ‘A’ was part of a joint US-Canada effort to monitor Arctic airspace through an innovative radar and radio system designed to provide advance warning to North American military authorities of a possible air attack from the Soviet Union. FOX-M also served as a regional communications hub, supply center and administrative base for 8 to 10 auxiliary and intermediate stations in the area and Module Train ‘A’ was the operational nucleus of the main station.

Architectural Value
Module Train A is a good example of a functional military structure. Its design reveals a unified design concept that resulted from a skillfully planned, expertly executed and highly funded building program. It is distinguished by its module construction technology, its surmounted radome structure and unique footprint. Its high quality materials and test pre-fabricated components are part of a design program that responded directly to both military considerations and to the remote Arctic location of the site. Its raised platform foundation and the gravel pad in the building area also demonstrates a competent engineering solution for building in permafrost conditions that set a standard for construction across the Canadian North.

Environmental Value
Module Train A’s location in the operation sector of the FOX-M DEW Line station strictly parallel to Module Train ‘B’ and attached by a walkway, near two communications billboards and surmounted by a radome structure is of strategic value in maintaining and establishing the technological and military character of the site in its military-industrial complex setting. The radome was located directly above Module Train A to allow workers protected access to the most critical equipment on site. Gravel pads serve as visual and functional boundaries for the building areas within the airfield and operations sectors of the station and huge corner reflectors at the edge of the operations sector contribute to the site’s historic communications function. The DEW Line station is well known in the adjacent community of Hall Beach and visitors to the hamlet are often treated to a visit to the station.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Module Train A building should be respected.

Its functional military structure, significant module construction technology, high quality materials responsive to both military and climactic conditions as manifested in;
-its one-storey, long, narrow footprint composed of 24 prefabricated modules each 7 metres long and 5 ½ feet wide with a flat ribbed roof, laid end to end and surmounted at the end by a radome structure demonstrating its modular construction technology;
-its exterior metal cladding and the size, form and spacing of door and window openings dictated by each modules function;
-the mechanical conduit bridge spanning between Module Train ‘A’ and Module Train ‘B’;
-its open timber deck foundation raised about one and one-half meters above ground level as a competent permafrost solution and building insulator as well as allowing for snow to circulate under the building and reducing snowdrifts;
-its heating system designed to reduce fuel consumption by re-circulating heat generated by radar and communications equipment;
-the gravel pad as the primary landscape feature to provide a barrier between buildings and the permafrost and to create a level surface for vehicle accessibility on the site.

The manner in which Module Train A establishes the technological and military character of the site in its military-industrial complex setting.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

LaPierre, Litchfield and Partners



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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