Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sheila Burnham, like many other business owners in the Dart River Industrial area, had a problem. Sheila had a problem shifting goods. Sheila owned a company that made small bolts. She had some business in the Oak River area but most of the goods went over seas.
Originally, the bolts were transported by road to Sarah's Cove, but that took a long time, and the road was unreliable. Sometimes the cargo and drivers would go missing without a trace. When Bob Ribblesand first starting shipping goods by barge to Dartmouth all was well. The service was cheap and efficient and no goods ever went missing.
Unfortunately for his customers he had no competition and so was able to ratchet up the price for his services. A box of bolts that sells abroad for $5 costs $4 to ship on the barge. That's not a lot of room for profit once other costs are taken into account.
Jim Steinbach knew of the problem and had an idea. He knew some people in the steam business and had an idea. He would transport goods quicker and cheaper than the barges and he would do so by train.
However, this was a big undertaking and required a lot of financial backing. Jim decided that speed was of the essence and planned on a line that ran from Dart River in the west through Dartacre and up to Sarah's Cove.
The local councils were reactionary. Since there was no other railway line, he knew that there were no railway laws and decided to use this to his advantage by planning an almost straight route without diverting via Oak River.
Part of the plan was to build a little community by the source of the River Folsense. They would collect rent from the people who lived there, thus supplementing the railway income.
Work started in earnest in Dart River where the ground was quite flat. Trees were torn down and the ground smoothed and a rough track was laid out.
Passenger stations at Dart River and Dartacre were constructed as well as a freight station in Dart River.
Written by Dr Philip Younger at 4:16 PM