Name: The T’Railway
Distance: 900 +- km's
Duration: 2-5 days
Rating: Primarily class 3, a couple of stretches of class 4
Creator: Geoff Smith
The " Newfoundland T'Railway" route is a complete, and essentially continuous, trans-Newfoundland trail, which has some interesting sections, but is for the most part, less interesting and less challenging than the branch line routes and other trails it connects. Certain areas along the route, such as the high barrens of the ‘Gaff Topsails’, and the spectacular coastal sections of the trail along the Southwest Coast and the Codroy Valley, are among the most rewarding places you will experience while you travel the T’Railway. The T'Railway can be thought of much like a 'trail highway' across the island. Or the trunk of the tree, as it were. And the great thing about it, especially for riders looking for a less challenging route, but with some serious distance to cover, is that you can enter the trail from the ferry terminal at one end of the island, and exit by way of another ferry terminal on the other end of the island, 900 kilometres away. The other great thing about the T’Railway, is that it connects you with the even more spectacular and challenging coastal branch line trail routes of the island.
The longest railway trestle on the island, at Bishop’s Falls, spanning 927 feet
A group of riders on the T’Railway near Brigus Junction
One of the rare sections of track remnants near Avondale Station
A highway underpass near Brigus Junction
Dualsport riders enjoying the T’Railway
The Newfoundland T’Railway parallels the Trans Canada Highway (Route 1) for most of it’s length, so fuel, accommodations, food, and help in case of an emergency, are generally never far away. The terrain is mostly hard-pack gravel, with some sections of loose crushed stone. Some riders of heavily loaded bikes may find the infamous undulating ‘whoops’ of the T’Railway, which are more pronounced in some areas than others, to be a minor annoyance. The key is to slow down over these humped or whooped areas of the route. After a heavy rainfall, you will encounter many puddles of water along the route, so make sure you bring waterproof riding gear and boots.
Temperatures along the T’Railway route can vary greatly from season to season, and sometimes from hour to hour, and from region to region. The inland section of trail can see temperatures above 30 degrees C during the months of July, August, and early September. Black flies can be a problem, particularly in June and July, so bring along a repellent containing ‘deet’. It’s the only thing which really works to keep these annoying little insects from bighting. Dust can also be a factor on the T’Railway, so groups of riders may wish to space themselves out somewhat, during periods of very dry weather. Although frequent days of rain or showers are more the norm, especially during early to mid summer, so bring your rain gear.
August and September are probably the most comfortable time of year to travel the trails of Newfoundland, including the main T’Railway route. The weather is less unpredictable, less likely to be wet, and the black fly population is greatly reduced during the mid to late summer period.
Always be cautious of moose crossing the trails and roads of the island. The very high moose population is a big problem, and many people are killed and injured in collisions with these large and unpredictable animals every year...