Newfoundland T'Railway

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The Newfoundland T'Railway Provincial Park is a rail trail in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Protected as a linear park under the provincial park system, the T'Railway consists of the railbed of the historic Newfoundland Railway as transferred from its most recent owner, Canadian National Railway, to the provincial government after rail service was abandoned on the island of Newfoundland in 1988. The rail corridor stretches from Channel-Port aux Basques in the west to St. John's in the east with branches to Stephenville, Lewisporte, Bonavista, Placentia and Carbonear.

It forms part of the Trans Canada Trail and covers a distance of 883 km (549 mi). [1]

Construction of the railway began in 1881, and the first passenger train traveled along the whole length on June 29, 1898. The railway was decommissioned in September, 1988, and the last rails removed in 1990.[2] The T'Railway was established in July, 1997 as a Provincial Park, to use the route, with its hard surface and many trestles and bridges, as a multi-purpose recreational resource.

In February 2008, the provincial government announced that they were closing every bridge and trestle along the route pending safety inspections. Government officials admitted that regular inspections are not performed on the structures. Transport Canada inspected 14 structures and found them to be in a wide state of disrepair. In some cases debris is starting to fall off bridges. The Federal government got involved due to its responsibility to ensure the safety of navigable waters.[3]

The trail is still a work in progress. To date, about 20% of it has been resurfaced, with trestles and bridges repaired and trail signs posted. The condition of the railbed varies from region to region. While it is passable to hikers along the whole length, a mountain bike may be essential for bicyclists who want to travel the less developed parts.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Newfoundland T'Railway" (Web). Newfoundland T'Railway Council. Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  2. ^ "T'Railway" (Web). Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  3. ^ No regular inspections of T’Railway structures: province. February 19, 2008. The Telegram (St. John's). [1]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Wade Kearley, The People's Road: On the Trail of the Newfoundland Railway, Harry Cuff Publications, 1995