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.

20 comments:

Al said...

Thanks Steve. I should have typed Foley Brook Rd. (I forgot the "Brook"). Thanks for all the work you put into your site!

Eric said...

Excellent trestle photos. Drove past that on our way through NB/PEI/NS, unfortunately no train appeared on it when we were there. I often get my wife's ire up by mentioning that the trestle will be part of my railfan trip of the East Coast someday!

Nice link to the Alco cabride, with the interesting express train consist. Thanks for sharing!

Justin Pelletier said...

Wow! Beautiful! Love it, Steve, actually, I grew up right at that exact very place. For your last photo, there is a yellow house on the left of the bridge and, I grew up in that house. Sometimes, the trains were very long and, our house would shake. We were very used to it though.

One day, my dad and I were walking on the bridge and we met a train but, we just stood on the side of the birdge and the train was going by behind us. It was very scary. Anyway, I grew up there (we called this place Davis Mill, because there once was a wood mill where the river is located). This brings back good memories. I love it!

Thank you Steve,

Justin Pelletier

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Justin, thanks for commenting! I'm sure I saw your house. :)

That must have been terrifying to be on the bridge with the train.

I've heard the name Davis Mill before in reference to the area.

Glad you liked the post!

Suzanne Martin said...

I grew up in Drummond, the village where that train trestle sits. And my BFF lives right on the river within shouting distance. I haven't visited her yet in her new house but plan on doing so this summer. It looks very majestic in your pictures. THANK YOU for sharing. PS: I have relatives in the Saint Jacques area who have a train museum if you get a chance to visit, tell them their cousin Suzanne sent you. Here's the link http://www.dureelauminiature.com/leacutecho-du-rail

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Suzanne, thanks for commenting! I'm happy to share what I know. If I'm ever back in the Saint Jacques area I will try to drop in - thanks for the link!

Peter Adams said...

Steve, my grandparents had their house right at the base of this bridge in Davis Mill. I spent many a vacation and summers viewing the trains crossing. My cousin Justin (he posted an earlier comment) grew up in that house, as did our Mothers and their siblings. Our uncle also worked for CN for a number of years.

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Peter, thanks for commenting. I imagine it could get noisy when the train was going over the bridge!

Lynn Francoeur said...

Hey Steve ,our family grew up there also and some still do , my brother's own 2 of the houses in the photo and my mom ans dad still live there also :) , thank for the great photo

Steve Boyko said...

Thanks, Lynn!

Sherry Phillips said...

I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the train bridge. It is an impressive view. My great grandfather and other family members helped build that train bridge. Most of my family still live in the area. I have been on that bridge on many occasions when going to Montreal on the train....yhat is another experience in itself. ...amazing how high up you are when looking out the window and the river is so far below. ...kinda scary ad a young child to see.

Sherry Phillips said...

So glad you enjoyed seeing the train bridge. My great grandfather and other family members helped build that train bridge. I have been on the bridge many times on my way to Montreal. The view below is amazing especially for a young child looking out the train window. ...the river was so far below making it feel like we were suspended in mid air with nothing underneath the train holding it up.....great memories! !

Steve Boyko said...

I imagine it was a bit scary being in a train up there.. it's very high!

Peter Adams said...

I do not remember it being noisy, the trains had usually slowed at that point. I was just there visiting Grand Falls and drive through Davis Mill this past January. My family is the Walkers.

Liette Beaulieu said...

Thank you for posting this and bringing Foley Brook Rd in New Denmark great advertisment... The first picture on this add was my every day View. I lived on foley brook rd right where this picture was taken i bet you. Sitting on our big upper level deck, we had the most amazing sunsets and i bet i will never see it as amazing as they are there. If you can go and catch the sunset, you will not regret it. Riding along everywhere in that area is a gorgeous scenic drive. Take lots of pics as it is worth your while :)

Steve Boyko said...

Hi Liette! You must have had a great view of the train bridge and those lovely sunsets. We get some nice sunsets here in the Prairies but they're nice everywhere.

Anonymous said...

this brigs was bild in 1910 and it is 210 ft height I live 1 mile from the brigs alcide lagace Drummond n b jan 23 2016

Mario Boudreau said...

Hi Steve, I just did a drone video of that bridge. wow awesome. but I didn't get a train when we were there. it was 5 hours drive for us to get there. Does anyone know what times do the train normally crosses that bridge. IF so, please email me at corbou2000@hotmail.com
BTW my drone video will be on YouTube under user: Bou Drone or Facebook Bou Drone Videos.
Please leave a comment if you watch it.

Anonymous said...

Good!!! Check "Harvest in the Valley" at about the two minute mark and see a steam engine going across the Trestle in about 1955. Clifford_hendricksen@hotmail.com

Graham said...

Great catch Clifford!!! Thanks for sharing!