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Bishop's Falls

Exploits River Bridge during construction, 1901.
One of the greatest challenges facing this section of the railway was to cross the Exploits River. Several attempts to build a bridge had failed. Dominion Bridge Company built the present bridge about a half mile upstream in 1901. The 927-foot structure consists of four steel spans and sits on large abutments built from granite blocks taken from the quarry at Gaff Topsail. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Bishop Falls was one of the fastest growing settlements in the interior of Newfoundland. It was the centre terminal of the railway, almost halfway between Port aux Basques and St. John's. Soon a pulp and paper mill was established and by 1910, a dispatching office was also built here. Bishop Falls became one of four train servicing points along the main line, with a dispatching office, a roundhouse and turntable, water tank, sand house, and coal ramp. Fabian Kennedy Collection.
View from tracks of Railway Station in Bishop's Falls, ca 1903.
In 1905, The Anglo Newfoundland Development Company started construction of a paper mill at Grand Falls, 10 miles upstream. In 1907, Albert E. Reed and Company started construction of a wood-pulp mill and generating plant in Bishop's Falls which was completed in 1911. The two companies jointly built the 22-mile long railway line from Grand Falls to the port of Botwood, aptly named the Botwood railway. Bishop's Falls Heritage Society.

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