De Rail Gone

De Rail Gone

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DE RAIL GONE

Would you believe that we actually had a railroad in Grand Bahama? Yes we did. So what happened to it? We got derailed (lol). But seriously now, Grand Bahama had a railroad during the time we had lumber companies who would harvest the trees and transport them to the harbor via the train with the cars in tow. The road we know today as the Grand Bahama Highway aka Farm Road is actually where the rails were laid, all the way just past where UB (University of the Bahamas) is in the eastern part of Grand Bahama. Most of the track has been removed but we can still find some remnants of it in the Freeport Harbor area.

pic of map

Figure 1: Railroad and timber exploitation map of Grand Bahama Island (Williams, 2007, p.12)

What would be wise to do moving forward is to preserve the remnants of the rails and whatever else it came with by making it a museum of some sort or historical site. The rails have a lot of history to it. A lot of Grand Bahamians was given work which assisted with the employment rate. The growth of the economy during its short life was leaning heavily on the shoulders of the rails and the lumber companies, so it’s weird that you ask a number of Grand Bahamians today, teachers included, about the railroad that was once here and they would stare and ask “We had rails aye?”. This would not happen if we have a place on site where part of the track is still in place with pictures and or train cars and the machinery and other things that go

Figure 2. Railroad and timber remnants on Grand Bahama Island (Williams, 2007, p. 23)

By Sasanna Edwards

Reference

Williams, D.D. (2007).The Rail & Locomotive History of The Bahamas. New Smyrna Beach, Florida: White Sound Press.