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Old Time Trains


American Smelting and Refining Company


Buchans Railway

All photographs May 9, 1975 Phil Mason unless otherwise credited.

Ore train crossing Exploits River between Buchans and Buchans Junction.


American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) and the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company joined forces in 1927 incorporating the Buchans Mining Company to develop a copper mine north-west of Millertown and in 1928 a branch was built from Buchans Junction on the AND Co's Millertown Railway 19 miles to Buchans in the windswept interior of Newfoundland. The ore from the mine was shipped to Millertown Junction, where it was interchanged to the Newfoundland Railway to be hauled east to 43 miles Bishops Falls. At Bishops Falls, it was transferred to the Grand Falls Central (another AND railway) which hauled it the final 11 miles to Botwood Harbour to be loaded on a ship for smelting elsewhere. Like all railways in Newfoundland the Buchans Railway was built to the British Colonial gauge of 42" (3 feet, 6 inches).

In 1957, the Millertown Railway to Millertown and Lake Ambrose was abandoned, and Buchans took over the rest naming it the Buchans Mine Railway. In that year 370,000 tons of copper, lead and zinc concentrates were hauled over the railway. The mine closed in 1976, the railway was removed in 1977 and Buchans became a ghost town.

Baldwin Locomotivew Works/ Ray Corley Collection

Buchans Mining Co. 1 a 2-4-2T built by Baldwin #60378 1928. Cyl. 13" x 18" Drv. 42"

Only three steam and three diesel locomotives were ever on the roster. All diesel units were built by Whitcomb in USA. ASARCO 6 was the only end cab unit #61199 12/52 a 75 ton 675 hp. Centercab units 4 and 5 were 50 ton 250 hp. 10/49.

caboose 2

caboose 5

ore car 323


Buchans station. Old water standpipe for steam engines still in place.



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