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Group widening railbeds, installing rest areas, cleaning up past work
Across the Conception Bay North region, there are groups doing work to breathe new life into the railbed.
They’re widening the railbeds, putting in rest areas and cleaning up where they’ve already done work.
The CBN T’railway is one such group putting hours into rejuvenating the old railway network that exists in the area.
They’ve been operating since 2017 and have so far completed 150 kilometres of trail, with the help of a large volunteer group and some fundraising efforts.
“There’s been a lot of work done in the area,” said Adam Hindy of C.B.N. T’railway.
Originally known as the Carbonear and Area Trailway group, the C.B.N. T’railway has been working to rejuvenate the abandoned railbeds in the region.
The work would connect two different railway lines that previously existed in the region and connect Brigus Junction to Bay de Verde in a multi-use trail network.
To date, they’ve taken 20 tonnes of metal off the trails.
In the past year, Hindy said, the group has completed 50 kilometres of trail.
Posted by Adam K Hindy on Thursday, April 1, 2021
“We’re trying to rejuvenate the whole railway system,” said Hindy.
He sees the benefits for the region as being immense when the tourism aspect is added to its inherent recreational qualities.
Hindy said he has gotten inquiries from people across the province and elsewhere about the system and where it will take them.
In C.B.N., every couple of kilometres along the trail, users pass through a community, and that equals plenty of potential for future adventure tourism.
“This is a good thing for us,” said Hindy.
The C.B.N. T’railway group isn’t the only one helping in the region.
That project will connect that road with what is already being done elsewhere in the region.
Aside from what Hindy and his group are doing in the Carbonear area, a group in Harbour Grace is also contributing to the trail network.
“That’s the whole point. To join in and meet up,” said Sonia Williams, who is with the Harbour Grace group.
They started last September and have seen a steady number of volunteers since they started working on the railbed from Bristol’s Hope to Spaniard’s Bay.
They’re getting ready to start again as the weather starts improving, and have plans to clear three rest areas along their part of the route.
“We’re trying to rejuvenate the whole railway system." — Adam Hindy
Williams said the trail has been getting plenty of use in recent months as people have been getting outside more and more because of the pandemic.
She’s seen snowshoers, walkers and all-terrain vehicle users at various times on the trail since work started on rejuvenating the area.
“Everybody is a bit anxious to get out,” said Williams.
Across Conception Bay North, there has been considerable buy-in into what groups like the CBN T’railway are trying to provide residents and visitors alike.
The C.B.N. T’railway’s Facebook group has about 3,600 members and there are consistent posts from people doing what they can to help where they can.
“It is community spirit,” said Williams. “It is something that everybody uses.”