When immigrants from England and Ireland started settling Newfoundland in the 1700s, the communities were centred around the fishery and located along the coast. Eventually, over 1000 fishing villages were settled and they relied on the sea for everything, including transportation; the communities were not connected overland at all. This is where the railway and coastal boat services came into play.
- The railway had a total track length of 906 miles (1,458 km), which made it the longest narrow gauge railway system in North America.
- People often think about the railway going through the wilderness or countryside, but the trains also went right into St. John's. In the early 1900s, one railway line was located on what is now Empire Avenue and as a train was going along the track on its way to a station on Kings Bridge Road, it struck a cow and was derailed. Luckily, no one was injured. Except the cow.
- Finally, up until joining Canada, the Union Jack was the official flag of Newfoundland as it was part of the British Empire. Then a few years after Confederation, Newfoundland officially re-adopted it and the Union Jack remained the provincial flag of Newfoundland until 1980!
Elizabeth's grandfather was actually a telegraph operator with the railway and worked with them for his entire career. We looked him up in the database at the museum, but some of the information was wrong (as far as we know, he wasn't born in 1969), so we need to follow up with them later to update it.
Then after checking out everything inside the museum, we spent some time hanging out on the old train cars outside. We were lucky that Saturday was warmer and clearer than it's been lately.
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon and had a great Something Saturday! Here are some more pictures: