All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway / Coastal History

Newfoundland Railway

Dockyard Slideshow

Photo of St. John's Dockyard.

The St. John's Dockyard has been a fixture of St. John's Harbour since the end of the 1800's and it has long been associated with the Railway. Built in 1883-84 by J.E. Simpson and Company, the dockyard was an impressive and expensive undertaking, costing $550,000 to construct. The HMS Tenedos was the first ship to enter the dock on December 10, 1894.

J.E. Simpson and Company operated the Drydock under lease at $15,000 per year until 1892 when they went bankrupt. The dockyard then was operated alternatively by government and several local firms, before becoming part of the Reid Newfoundland Company's holdings under the 1898 contract.

The Reid company operated the dockyard until 1923, when the dockyard and the railway once again became the responsibility of the Newfoundland Government. It remained that way until 1949, when under the terms of Confederation it was turned over to Canadian National Railways.

It was operated as a department of the railway and later as independent subsidiary of CN Marine and Marine Atlantic until 1997, when it was sold to a private operator and became Newdock.

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