The 23 mile long Heath Steele line was opened in 1957. Touted as the first major railway construction in the Province in 40 years, the line cost $3,000,000 to construct. The line was built through an unpopulated area and passed through some difficult terrain. Rockcuts as deep as 50 feet had to be blasted in some places and more than 27 million cubic feet of rock had to be removed. The line was built to provide an efficient way to move materials like zinc and copper ore from the Heath Steel Mine. By the mid 1980's most of the ore had been extracted and Canadian National abandoned the line in 1987.
The Northern New Brunswick & Seaboard Railway was incorporated in 1909 to build a 16 mile long railway to provide an efficient way to move ore from the Bathurst Mines site. By 1914 the mine site had shut down but the area continued to receive train service Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The line continued to be used to ship wood products from a small sawmill until the line was torn up in 1918. The line was rebuilt in 1925 and was used by the Bathurst Power & Paper Company Limited to inspect their hydro lines. This track was torn up in 1959.
A separate line was built to the nearby Brunswick Mines site in 1963. This 14 mile long line was built to haul ore from the Brunswick Mining and Smelting Corporation mines of the area to a processing plant at Belledune. This line was originally operated as a branch line by Canadian National but the line is now privately owned by a Short Line Company, the New Brunswick East Coast Railway.
Brunswick Mines Map
New Brunswick, Canada
New Brunswick Railway Museum