This image shows 19 men posing beside Reid Newfoundland Railway Company train No. 100 while it is stopped on the track at Port aux Basques, with schooners in the harbour. Photographer unknown. SS Bruce at the pier in the background was part of the Reid Alphabet Fleet, and operated between Port aux Basques and North Sydney between 1898 and 1911, when it was wrecked off Cape Breton. It was replaced by the SS Bruce II, which operated until 1915, when it was sold to the Russian government. Construction began on the Newfoundland Railway in 1881. The track was completed from St. John’s to Port aux Basques in 1898.
Port aux Basques was the final stop on the railway coming from St. John’s. This was the connecting point for ferry service to mainland Canada and the United States. The very first train left the St. John’s station in June 1898, and met the coastal boat SS Bruce in Port aux Basques. The SS Bruce was an extension of the railway, and connected Newfoundland with Canada. Because Port aux Basques was a freight hub, the yard was dual-gauged, meaning that it had three lines in order to accommodate the narrow-gauge system in Newfoundland, and also the standard-gauge system of Canada. Port aux Basques was, and still is, a major transportation hub for people traveling on and off the Island.
Scanned from glass plate negative.