Saturday, December 13, 2008
Salmon River Trestle in Winter
Al in Vancouver sent me a couple of winter photos of CN's Salmon River trestle in New Denmark, near Grand Falls. Here is his description.
My Visit to NB's Most Impressive Railway Site
I grew up in Saint John, Campbellton and Fredericton during the 1960's and 1970's then moved away to the west coast. I thought I knew something about trains in NB but then I discovered Steve's site and have been hooked ever since. One thing that surprised me was the Salmon River trestle - I saw a photo and could not believe it was in NB !!
I return to NB occasionally to visit family in Fredericton, so I have been looking for a chance to go see this structure. Earlier this month, the opportunity arose and I saw it in person for the first time. Let me tell you... photos cannot portray the scale of this trestle! You need to see it in person!
I think the route I took was a good way to experience it... I took Foley Rd. north off Hwy 108 at New Denmark. Less than a km up the hill, just before the railway crossing, is the Valhalla Restaurant. It serves awesome home cooked food and has some historic photos of the New Denmark station circa 1939 as well as CNR 5527 Type Pacific 4-6-2 Hand Fired Passenger Engine that apparently was used on the Moncton - Edmundston run. The restaurant is in an old building which I believe is shown in another old photo with some rolling stock.
Looking south along the tracks I could see an impressive trestle less than a km from the crossing, which at first glance I thought might be the Salmon River trestle.
I continued north along Foley Rd. It wasn't long before I was greeted with my first vista of the (unmistakeable) Salmon River trestle. A picture is worth a thousand words but I have to say you need to see it in person.
I continued down to the right, then left and across the Salmon River at a single lane army bridge, then left again and eventually passed under the trestle. All along the route are nice vistas - this is beautiful country.
If you have never seen this in person, I draw your attention to the size of the telephone poles in the photos.... this gives an idea of the scale. It is deceptive to judge scale by various buildings in the photos as some are huge barns that look like small houses from a distance.
It is a little off the beaten path (Trans Canada Hwy) but well worth the trip. I'd like to return in summer and stay at a B&B in the area.
My only regret is that I did not spot any trains during my visit. This will be my excuse to go back! I periodically remind Steve to give me a heads up on any Via diversion over the Napadogan sub. I would love to ride over this trestle; adding this to the memories of wigwags in Moncton and Campbellton during the 1960's, my cab ride up the Matapedia Valley in the early 1970's to 8mm movie and my RDC ride into Fredericton station during the early 1980's.
Happy Holidays and all the best for 2009.
Al in Vancouver
PS Steve here - you may wish to read my post Bridges of Victoria County for more information on this and nearby bridges.