The Newfoundland railway operated for a little over a century. From 1882-97 the trains ran over completed portions of a projected
trans-insular line. The first passenger train across the island ran in June 1898. Regular passenger service ceased in July
1969, and the last freight ran in June 1988. The railbed has since been designated a "T'railway" and a linear provincial
Built to narrow (3'6") gauge for reasons of economy, the Newfoundland railway was the longest such line in North
America, and was regarded with particular affection by railway buffs (its gently mocking nickname, "the Newfie Bullet"
dates only from World War II). The main line was 548 miles, from St. John's to Port-aux-Basques. Numerous branch lines made
the operating trackage in the peak years (1915-31) 906 miles.
the newfoundland railway has been around for over 100years,and in 1989 was the last the old lady would ever be operated in
i have a few of my own photos that i have taken over the years,but sadly none while the railway was in operation.
theres are many websites out there dealing with the old newfoundland railway while she was in operation,but this site is
going to be a reminder to all,that newfoundland did own and operate its own narrow gauge railway many years ago.
No longer well you ever here the old lady blowing her horn,dinging her bell or never again well you hear "ALL ABOARD!".
jump onboard and take a jurney down memory lane,as we travel the old newfoundland railway.
The Newfoundland Railway 20years later
It was over 100years ago that a railway was too be
built across the island under the engineering direction
of the Reid newfoundland company,construction of the Newfoundland Railway commenced on the 9th of August 1881,was completed
in 1897,at a cost of $11,644,692.The first regular express train left St John's at 7:20pm on Wednesday 29 June 1898,on its
548 mile journey to Port aux Basques on the extreme southwest corner of the Island. At 10:45pm on the night of 30 June, 27
hours and 25 minutes after leaving St John's, the train arrived at Port aux Basques.
Many branch lines were under construction,one branch line known as the Trepassy to St.johns railway line was constructed
from 1911-1913 with 104 miles of the line laid and was closed during the winter months,but unfortunately the railway was offically
closed in 1931.
Another branch line was built between Harbourgrace junction,and Carbonear in 1883,under the supervision of Mr.Peirson
"Contractor",construction of this line commenced in 1883,and reached carbonear in 1886,the railway did not just
stop at carbonear,but also traveled too the communities of Grates Cove and finally reaching Port de Grave in 1916,but as with
the trepassy branch line the railway between Carbonear and Port de Grave offically closed and rails removed in 1932,traces
of this branch line can still be seen in the communities of Carbonear,Victoria,Western bay,but by 1984,the fate of the Carbonear
branch line was sealed with the closure of the branchline on sept,20,1984.
Many more branch lines closed soon before or after 1984,including the Argentia branch line,Bonavista branch,It was a
very sad few years that followed the deconstruction
of OUR Newfoundland railway. i can remember driveing across the island too visit my uncle Albert in Buchans newfoundland,and
still seeing the mainline with tracks still in place even after the complete closure of the railway,i even thought for awhile
that the mainline would stay open,if even for the summers,but this was not too happen,in 1990,the last spike was hauled from
it's tie,and thrown away. it was a sad day for sure.
Even to this very day,i very whole heartly vow NEVER too forgive the Candian goverment of the day for destroying a part
of Newfoundlands Rich History...the railway!,i have since decided too grab my camera,and document the Newfoundland railway
today,before what remains becomed just like eveything else..thrown too the wind..