RAILDATE 2023.02.17

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Raildate is a collaboration between the editor and a number of contributors. Please think about supplying links that you spot. The contact email address is: raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

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This week's Raildate is being sent from the sunny island of Madeira using Remote Desktop to my home computer. Magic, huh? No railways discovered so far ...

There are sections on:

UK Rail News

East Midlands

Isle of Man



North East

North West



South East




Rail Industry

International Rail News





South Africa




Other Transport Modes





Thank you to this week's contributors.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

Where is this satellite view of?

Please email your answers to raildate.co.uk@gmail.com

Last week's Where is this?

This static display is located at the eastern terminus of one of the world's longest narrow gauge lines, which closed in 1988. Can you pinpoint the city? Or at least the correct part of the country?

Answer: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Richard Maund, Peter Davies, Peter Tisdale, Paul Hooper, Steve Back, John Grimley, and Neil Kearns.

We see Newfoundland Railway class NF 110 diesel locomotive No. 906 (built 1953) at what is now the Railway Coastal Museum, St. John's. It is in the old livery and logo of Canadian National, which took over the NL Railway.

The island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador joined Canada as recently as 1949, previously being a separate colony. A 3' 6" railway reached across the island to Channel-Port aux Basques, and various branches brought the total mileage to (also!) 906. The "Newfie Flyer" took 24 hours to trundle across the island, knocking moose aside 'most every trip. The line closed once the Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1) was fully paved.

St. John's NL is further south than Paris but the climate is chilled by northerly ocean currents, making the interior almost wholly unproductive, even for forestry. The English (from our south west), Irish, French and Basques fished the bountiful waters of the Grand Banks, and some over-wintered on land. With a sea-facing culture, the railway always struggled. One branch - the c.100 miles to Trepassy - peaked at just two trains per week. Railway debt bankrupted the colony in 1930, and self-government was never fully re-established. Churchill's destroyers-for-bases deal with the US in 1940 included Argentia in the south.

The closed trackbed is now the T'Railway - an off-road track for cycles and 4WDs in summer, snowmobiles in winter.

I spent three weeks in 2017 exploring Newfie, and found the whole experience fascinating. It is only half the distance of New York, so the flight is short and time difference small. Look at the blue sky in all the pictures - and my suntan! Photos: 1. The T'Railway. 2. After completing a 10k run [50:51 earned 41st place]. 3. The sea-ice breaking up in late-May. 4. The Union flag is still widely flown.


UK television listings with a transport theme for the next eight days

Click me to open/close [Online only, not in the weekly email]

Sorry. No Television this week due to lack of time. Service will be resumed next week.


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©  Matthew Shaw 2023