• Rail in P.E.I.?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Canada. For specific railroad questions, see Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Ken V

  by trainsinmaine
I was chatting this morning with some [non-railfan] friends who had recently been on a vacation on P.E.I., and a question occurred to me.

I was last on P.E.I. about fifteen years ago, shortly after CN had abandoned rail service on the island. The tracks were still intact, along with telegraph poles and a good many old depots. I know that a cross-island rail trail has been established, but I read or heard somewhere that the rails are all still there. True, or not?

P.S.: Does any rail remain on mainland Newfoundland?
  by LCJ
When I was last there (circa 1997), all of the railroad had been pulled up, I believe.

In my opinion, PEI is one of the more delightful places on the the planet -- in the Summer, anyway....

My wife's cousin has a cabin in the boonies on PEI. The day we were there they had about 50 hummingbirds flying around their feeders. Magical! Even for an old railroader like myself.

  by LCJ
Great link -- thanks! I'd love to go and explore the trails there.
  by chrismears
Hi, writing from PEI, I think I can help here.

First of all, it's so hard to beleive that next year it will be 20 years since the line was closed, I remember those chilly last days...anyway, to the thread...

Here's what is left, if I get the right I can go from one tip to the other and catch everything in some order.

Tignish, Alberton, and O'Leary still have their train stations. Alberton is a stone station like the popular one in Kensington and sharp to see.

Summerside still has it's train station right in the middle of town. Development has all but erased all other traces of the railway (save for a very oddly shaped Subway restaurant built originally on a triangle of land between the tracks and the street). The station is a library.

Kensington. There is a historical society in the train station and they have a HO scale model railway to see. The model is based on Island railroading and is maintained by a great local model railway club. Outside there is some original track on original roadbed. Also to be found here is an RSC-14 diesel, not operating but cosmetically upkept. There is also a caboose, same deal. The diesels were unique lightweights and it would be a real shame to see this one lost.

Borden. A group was trying to establish a railway museum in the town and things seemed to have slowed down. They have built a neat recreation of the Borden train station, laid some new track in front of it and placed a caboose. Then everything seems to have stopped.

Between Borden and Charlottetown more train stations, bridges, and other buildings are still extant.

Charlottetown. The train station has been fully restored and is now a Provinical Government office building. Looks really sharp. The superintendants building (originally a narrow gauge car shop) is now tourist information building and the PEI Railway car erection shops have been fully restored and are now Founders Hall. All other traces of the railway yard are gone, but it's neat to have these landmarks to remind us of some of the story.

Morrell has a new Provincial Library. What's neat is that it is styled after a PEI railway train station and placed against the right-of-way. Really sharp.

St. Peter's train station is a community building and still in use.

The Elmira Railway museum is still operating and they have expanded the site to include a miniature railway and model railway collection.

Most of the rural roadbeds/right-of-way is there, if there is anything more specific I'll try to help. I remember being part of the PEI Railway Modellers back in the late '80's when there was talk of establishing a steam railway running in Eastern PEI. Pity that never got off the ground, it would have been great.