|NF110 CN 932 in Bonavista, Newfoundland|
History of the Bonavista BranchThe Bonavista Branch was the second longest branch line in the system when it was completed at the end of 1911. Stretching 87.9 miles from Shoal Harbour just outside Clarenville, it ran past picturesque Trinity (through the famous Trinity Loop) until it terminated near the ocean in Bonavista.
|Port Union train station and museum|
One unique feature of the branch was the Trinity Loop. The track had to drop more than 30 feet in a short distance to get close to Trinity. This was the only visible train loop in North America; there are others like it but this is the only one where the entire loop is visible.
After the closure of the railway, the Loop was leased by a local businessman and operated as an amusement park until 2004 when it was shut down. Hurricane Igor did serious damage to the remnants of the park in 2010 and it is dubious whether it will ever reopen.
The Bonavista Display
|Bonavista station and locomotive|
I walked over there from our hotel (the excellent Harbour Quarters Inn) on the first evening we were in town. The display is not really front and centre, being midway between the two main north-south roads through town. You could drive through town without even noticing it.
|CN 932 and train|
I didn't take any photos of the flat car, CN 12142.
The Diner Car
|Dining car in Bonavista, NL|
The car is in CN white and black but has no external markings.
Caboose CN 6060
|Caboose CN 6060 in Bonavista, NL|
The Station and Freight House
|Bonavista Train Station|
The former freight house is still in its original place, on the other end of the train display. It doesn't look like it is being used for anything but it is intact.
|The former freight house in Bonavista|
Joe has great photos from Lethbridge (not the Alberta one) and Port Rexton on Flickr.
There's also a little speeder in Bonavista. I was surprised to see this on display outside.
|CN speeder in Bonavista|
I tried to visit the Trinity Loop when we were touring Trinity, but I wasn't 100% sure where it was. I ended up driving up a road for a bit, then getting frustrated and turning around and giving up.
I realized that night that I was on the right road, only a few hundred metres away from the Loop. Shoot.
Instead I'll share this fantastic photo of the mixed train by Joe McMillan, taken from the top of the Trinity Loop.
That's the last of the railway displays I've seen in Newfoundland. There are a number of displays in central and western Newfoundland that I haven't seen yet. The biggest ones are at Bishops Falls and Port Aux Basques, with a variety of cabooses, and freight cars scattered around the island in private use.
The most unique piece on Newfoundland I haven't seen yet is the G8 locomotive at Carbonear, CN 803, the only G8 remaining on the island. I understand it is looking very shabby. I have seen a G8, though... CN 805 was outside at the Exporail museum in July 2005 when we visited it.
|G8 locomotive CN 805 in Delson, Quebec|
I'll leave you with a few non-railway images from Bonavista and area... including this photo of me enjoying cod cheeks in Bonavista. They were tasty!
|Bonavista harbour at sunset|
|Inside the Cape Bonavista lighthouse, with its rotating reflectors|
|CCGS Vladykov, docked in Bonavista, NL|