The Newfie Bullet in the Gaff Topsails

Madeline M  Allen

Winnipeg, Canada

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Smudge Art TM.
By: Madeline M. Allen

Thank you for viewing my work.

Image copyright © 2008, Madeline M. Allen Copying and displaying or redistribution of this image without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

In its day, the Newfoundland railway carried passengers and freight between Port aux Basques and St. John’s with frequent stops in Corner Brook. At the time, the fastest train in the province was known as the Newfie Bullet. While the Newfoundland Railway no longer operates, the Newfie Bullet is now the focal point of the Railway Society of Newfoundland Historic Train Site.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSNOWBOUND ON THE NEWFIE BULLET
December 1958
by Reg Miller, RCAF

Seeing photos of the “Newfie Bullet” brings back fond memories of travelling on a swaying, slow-moving, heavy smoke spouting train. It was great. My most memorable recollection happened around mid-December of 1958 when I was in the Royal Canadian Air Force and on my way home on leave from Whitehorse to St. John’s. I was travelling via Trans Canada Air Lines but when we got to Stephenville, the pilot advised us the weather from there to St. John’s was too bad for flying and we were going to be transferred to the “Bullet.” Adventure time!!!!

So off we went by rail thinking we would reach our destination the next day. Unfortunately, the next day the train could go no further than Goobies because the rail line to St. John’s was quite impassable. In those days, I was a drinker and luckily we were stuck a short distance from the local beer/liquor outlet – which caused a loud cheer from the passengers when we were told this. On the FOURTH day, the rail plough finally reached us and we were able to get under-way, which was just as well because the spirits had all been consumed, as had most of the food that the railway was providing free of charge. It was a wonderful four days and everyone (at least in our car) had taken the unscheduled stop in grand style.

The only unfortunate thing was that I had taken numerous photos of our entrapment and when I got back to Whitehorse the following February and sent the film in for development, I got a free film back and a letter advising me that one film in a thousand gets messed up when being developed and it just happened to be mine. That was disappointing!! Regardless, I had the memories and they were terrific. I certainly hated to see the grand old “Newfie Bullet” disappear.

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