All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Technology

Narrow - Gauge Rails

Narrow-Gauge Slideshow

Train car outside the Railway Coastal Museum on narrow-gauge rail.

Narrow-gauge rail has the advantage of low cost construction because it uses less construction materials. Narrow-gauge tracks can negotiate sharper turns. Maintenance costs are lower because a narrower ballast bed is sufficient. However, there are drawbacks, slower speeds and more frequent derailments being two major ones.

When the Newfoundland Railway became part of the Canadian National Railway system upon Confederation with Canada in 1949, all rolling stock crossing to and from Newfoundland on railcar ferries had to have bogeys exchanged on arrival at Port aux Basques in order to fit the Island's narrow-gauge track. Wayne Greenland Collection.

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