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 bed and breakfast 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.

PPS I was sent a few older photos of the Salmon River bridge..

The Salmon River bridge under construction

A double header steam train crossing the Salmon River trestle


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!

Unknown 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

Canadian Train Geek 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!

Unknown 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

Canadian Train Geek 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!

Unknown 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.

Canadian Train Geek said...

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

Unknown 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

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Lynn!

SherMax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SherMax 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! !

Canadian Train Geek said...

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

Unknown 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.

Unknown 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 :)

Canadian Train Geek 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

Unknown 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
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.

Graham said...

Great catch Clifford!!! Thanks for sharing!

Brad Garrity said...

Been wanting to visit this bridge for quit some time and finally had the pleasure this past weekend. Very impressive in person. Drive under it on the Davis Mills road and then turned up the dirt road on the left just after going under it to take some pics front the top. Wow is all I can say!!

Unknown said...

I can't seem to find this location on a map...please help

Graham said...

Hi Florelle. Hopefully you can find either New Denmark or Grand Falls (both are in New Brunswick, Canada). The trestle is closer to New Denmark or about 25km east of Grand Falls.
I hope this helps.

Unknown said...

Hi Justin, my dad has mentioned your family name many times. My father worked at Davis Mill. Actually have at recording from that time. Hope to visit there in the future. There's a documentary on the area called " Harvest in the Meadow" My father is gone now, but brings back memories memories of the area when we visited as children. Beautiful landscape!

Unknown said...

correction "Harvest in the Valley" in the film they mention the Murphy's, this is my Aunts and Uncles and my Grand Mother.

Frederic Hore said...

I have enjoyed reading the posts above about the Salmon River bridge. I am a long time train geek too, having ridden on trains and photographed bridges and viaducts in many different countries around the world, including Canada.

I found out about this bridge today while flipping through a 2019 calendar, at a barbershop in Pointe Claire, Quebec. Turns out this bridge is prominently featured in a CN calendar, with of course a CN freight train crossing it! Very impressive!
I was in the Grand Falls area in 2017... guess I am going to have to come back and campout by the bridge, so I can take a good shot of it with a train passing.

And to Florelle who was looking for a map of it, I found it on google maps. When you go to the 2D satellite view, you can see the shadow of the bridge in the valley below. Here's the link:,+NB/@47.0717062,-67.7073116,15.82z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4cbcd3da067fe90f:0x654f0ece5d2e4f62!8m2!3d47.0360231!4d-67.683411?hl=en

Hope this helps!
Cheers from Montreal.