Saint John Railfan
NB Rail Riders
The New Brunswick Recreational Rail Riders (NBRRR) were a group of people who rode track speeders over 9.5 miles of abandoned trackage between Nackawic and Millville, NB.
The New Brunswick Recreational Rail Riders were formed by Dan & Dave Dineen and Jim Robertson in 1998. We began contacting the Province of NB to see who owned the land and to see if we could acquire a lease of the rail line (formerly owned by CP Rail). We were granted a one year lease of the line. Once the lease was given to us, we began work to repair the line to make it complete from Nackawic to Millville. We had to replace eight pieces of rail that were removed by the local snowmobile club in Nackawic where their trails cross the line. We started in the early spring of 1999 and by Sept 19,1999 the first trip from Nackawic to Millville was made. This was a great accomplishment for us.
Over the winter of 1999 and the beginning of 2000 we heard from local people in Nackawic that the province wanted to remove the tracks and convert the line to a walking trail. We began a petition to help keep this line secure to us. After letters of support from Elsie Wayne, MP, Trevor Holder, MLA, and the Town of Nackawic we were granted a four year lease of the line.
We met a lot of people who say it is great to see the rails being used instead of being torn up. The maintenance of the line has been an experience. Eight pieces of rail were replaced using only chain falls and pry bars. Straight track was easy but curves were interesting. Brush-cutting is ongoing. The line has been abandoned since 1992 so there is plenty of growth.
One problem we face is a beaver dam that has washed the track out. The track is intact but sagging so we proceed over this area slowly. We have found a lot of railroad artifacts (tools, etc.) along the line as we work. This helps us understand how the line was used by the railroad.
Nackawic is located approximately half way between Fredericton and Woodstock, NB. The rail yard where we start from is located across the street from the Home Hardware and Donnie's Shell service station on Route 605. The line travels through the community of Pinder on Route 605 where our bridge is. This bridge is over a dam used by a mill at one time, creating a beautiful waterfall. The line then travels through Caverhill and Maple Ridge bringing the 9.5 mile trip to the end in Southampton Junction. This is the wye located a mile south of Millville on the line from Fredericton to Woodstock.
Update: The NBRRR's lease was terminated in 2011 and the line was removed by the province.