All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Interactive Map


Looking out onto Notre Dame Bay, 2003.
For many years Twillingate had enjoyed its prosperous position as the Metropolis of the North. It had been the business and shipping center for the whole of Notre Dame Bay. The opening of the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Hospital had added to its importance by making it the medical center for the bay as well. The town's merchants had become rich and most of the residents could make a comfortable living. A number of events eventually combined to decrease Twillingate's importance as a seaport and business center during the 1900s. Ute Simon.
The M.V. Northern Ranger docking in Twillingate, 1970s.
One of these events was the building of the railway across Newfoundland. This railway allowed goods to be brought across Newfoundland from St. John's instead of by the older method of schooner and steamer. The community of Lewisporte at the bottom of Notre Dame Bay was conveniently located near the railway. As more and more goods were shipped by this method Lewisporte began to replace Twillingate as the main supplier of goods and services to Notre Dame Bay. The building of a highway across Newfoundland had the same effect. People travelling from Notre Dame Bay now went to Lewisporte to catch the train to St. John's or hired a taxi to take them to the airport at Gander if they were leaving the province. Twillingate, once the commercial center of Notre Dame Bay, was now relegated to an isolated community miles from anywhere. Larry Hickey Collection.

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