Our side-by-side trestle adventure

by | Sep 19, 2023

“I hear the train a-comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend,” goes the Johnny Cash song. I was thinking of this tune during our July bumble. On that trip, I never expected to see a train literally coming around the bend, but that’s precisely what happened.

On July 29, 25 people and 13 ATVs travelled from Waterville to Limestone Siding and unloaded at Grace and Anthony’s, who would be our guide to the Salmon River Train Trestle. Leaving their place, we bumbled the managed trail along the West River Road, passing the Grand Falls Generating Station, Beton, Armour Transportation System and many other businesses. This trail takes us to Main Street, Grand Falls, where we continue along with the vehicle traffic, passing by the Grand Falls Gorge, with very little water coming through the dam and over the rocks.

We bumble along Evangeline Street, connecting us to the managed trail again. It is a beautiful day; a bit overcast and 22 degrees. When we stop for a rest to stretch our legs, we can see the train trestle way off in the distance. Now, I am getting excited to see it up closer. Break over and time to bumble on.

A little further, and here we are. Looking down the track, it seems like it will never end. Most of the crew walked along the tracks while Brian and I decided to explore a bit, which took us to the bottom of the trestle looking up. I am taking a picture while trying to figure out what the bright light is that I am seeing through the lens. IT IS A TRAIN COMING AROUND THE BEND!

What are the chances? I am still in awe at how we managed to be there at the right time. There were 207 containers and three engines.

Some containers were marked Armour, Canadian Tire, and even one from China. The trestle was completed in 1911 at a cost of $815,070.87. It is 4,000 feet, or 1,220 metres in length, and 200 feet, or 61 metres in height.

During the wars, the trestle was heavily guarded as it was a link for the main freight line between Halifax and Montreal. The trestle was built as a part of a $15 million National Trans Canada Railway Agreement between the federal government and the Grand Pacific Railway Company. It is Canada’s second-largest train trestle, with the first in Lethbridge, Alberta. I think this trip has got to be one of my favourite bumbles. Now, on to lunch. We pull off to the side of the trail and enjoy a relaxing meal. We then pack up and bumble our way back to Evangeline Street, but before leaving Grand Falls, we stop at Dave’s Market for a treat of ice cream. Thank you, Grace and Anthony, for a wonderful day. Happy Trails!

For road conditions, click the map

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