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Field Report: In Search of the Newfie Bullet - Part 10

As we wrap up this series of News postings about our search for the Newfie Bullet, a few closing comments are in order.

The Newfoundland railway system was born in 1881 and died in 1988, aged 107!  It was built as a private venture by the Reid Newfoundland Company and nationalized by Britain in 1923 as Newfoundland went bankrupt and became a colony again. It was then taken over by the CNR in 1949 with Confederation when Canada joined Newfoundland as the locals like to suggest.  It struggled to survive for most of its life and its survival was a tribute to the dedication and commitment of those who managed and worked on the railway.

In the end, the CNR was unwilling to subsidize the railway any longer so the Canadian Government offered Newfoundland a deal that they could not refuse ... a modern Trans-Canada Highway system to replace the railway.  I drove most of the highway on this trip and it is truly first class.

But it was great to see that Newfoundland communities are so proud of their railway history and have preserved, restored and interpreted as much as they can across the province.  The original railbed has become the T'Railway Provincial Park which is also the easternmost part of the Transcanada Trail system.

We did not visit all of the preserved stations and train sets in Newfoundland.  Here a few links which will provide you with more insights into the history of the Newfoundland Railway and let you visit a few of the other historic sites and equipment which we were not able to visit in this series of postings:

  • A formal "virtual museum" hosted at the Canadian virtual museums website. This is very comprehensive in its coverage and is a good example of a modern "virtual museum" on the Internet.
  • Wikipedia's coverage of the railway and its history.
  • An informal "virtual museum" built by an enthusiast (including a roster of eight surviving diesels of which we visited four)
  • Another travelogue of a pursuit of their railway history (including train set pictures at Clarenville and Port Aux Basques)
Posting by Russ Milland

Click here to return to Part 1 of this series!

Click on each image for a closer look!
107 Years of railway history
Coastal Railway Museum
The T'Railway Provincial Park
The Newfie Bullet

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