All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway / Coastal History

Newfoundland Railway

Fabian Kennedy - Why Narrow-Gauge

Fabian Kennedy speaks of Narrow-Gauge

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Length: 2:09 Min
File Size: 8.5 MB

The advantage back in the days in the 1880's... when the... or before when it was determined that the railway was going to be built there was a debate if you will, about a standard-gauge and a narrow-gauge railway. And it was determined in our... Narrow-gauge was cheaper to build in Newfoundland and since there wasn't any possibility of a train from the mainland running into Newfoundland in any event with 90 miles of water in the way, it didn't seem to be any big disadvantage from an operating point of view at the time. Now when you were able later on... when it was possible that they could have brought narrow-gauge cars and locomotives back and forth well then it might have changed it a bit then.

At the time of Confederation, one of the questions that was discussed, was the feasibility of making the railway - a standard-gauge railway. I believe it was in the questions that you'll find if you go back through the federal and government. And I forget what its called, but the papers associated with Confederation. And uh But it never... but it was a pretty expensive proposition at that time although over...over... the long term it might not have been that expensive compared to what happened trying to operate a Narrow-Gauge railway and with standard-gauge cars coming back and forth, were able to come back and forth. So it was a debate but it was decided purely on economics as I understand.