Now that’s 19th century railroading

Caraquet and Gulf Shore engine 33 1896
I’m still surfing through the photos shared on the NBRM Virtual Museum website. I had been hoping to find photos that would overlap to what I know of PEI railroading and I feel like I’ve discovered so many examples. If you have time, check out their website (click here to go there now). This photo of a Caraquet and Gulf Shore train is another fantastic example.

Lots of great detail for track people like me here. I love the look of those hand-hewn ties and the dirt-rock ballast. The rail is pretty light too.

The train itself is short and looks like what I imagine a lot of PEI’s early trains would have looked like, albeit in narrow gauge form. A lot of the early reports of traffic over the PEIR indicate a high ratio of mileage compared to tonnage that would seem to imply short trains. I also have a feeling that most of PEI’s trains were mixed freight and passener as this picture illustrates. Speaking of passenger traffic, check out the roof on that coach. It’s a simple “monitor” style that was common PEI’s coaches too but that short clerestory section is interesting – perhaps to house an oil lamp to light the car?

Note also the lineside fencing. Most of PEI’s original trackage was fenced and I believe in a similar fashion.

There’s so much of interest here and a lot that applies equally on PEI. This is definitely a photo to return to for future reference as the layout progresses.

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