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  • Lindsey Markwood

Bermuda Railway Trail

History

Did you know that for a brief period of time,17 years to be exact, Bermuda had a single track railway that ran 27.1 miles? She was referred to as “Old Rattle and Shake”. The train ran from the east at St. George's Station to the west Somerset Station and vice versa.  


The original railway was deemed to be the main mode of transportation for the locals and tourist alike. Cars were not allowed in Bermuda from 1908 through 1946. However many got around on both bikes and horse and buggies. An elitist group known as the They wanted to keep the island in pristine and natural condition as possible for tourists.


About 10% of the track was over bridges. There were about 44 stops. Don’t forget this track was just over 27 miles so it was pretty short.  This became a bit problematic as the train could never reach the max speed. As a result, anytime there was a hill, passengers would have to get off the train and walk along side it until it reached a point where it could take on passengers again. This added to the time it takes to reach your destination and made it not as pleasant of an experience that it could have been.


Not only was the initial cost pricy (about 4 million which makes it the most expensive railroad every built mile to mile), but because the track is so close to the water corrosion happened and the maintenance cost were really high. It would be unable to turn a profit and ultimately the last route was in 1948.


In 1964, the railway was converted to a walking and biking trail.

 

How to experience the Bermuda Railway Trail.

a woman poses holding a bike with the ocean in the background on the Bermuda Railway Trail
Lindsey Markwood on the Bermuda Railway Trail

If you do a tour, it will typically pick you up at the cruise port (if you are cruising) or if you are staying on the island, then they will share the meeting spot with you.


If you just want to rent bikes then you can go at your own pace and explore.


During our trip to Bermuda we chose a bike tour that was just over 3 hours in length. Yes we could have rented bikes and explored on our own, however, I recommend doing a tour. Why? In my experience, the tour guide is knowledgeable and will give you insight into the destination. It that helps you appreciate and understand what you are seeing more. As a bonus, I find it fun talking to other travelers. In our group I found most of the other tourists were from the north eastern part of the US. We were the only ones from Atlanta!

 

Learn more about the Bermuda Railway

You can learn more about the Bermuda railway from this newspaper piece from March 1948 here or stop by the National Museum of Bermuda

 

Visit Bermuda

When you are ready to plan that awesome cruise or land trip to Bermuda, schedule a consultation.




 


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