Tourism is the single largest industry along the North Shore of Nova Scotia and Tatamagouche forms the heart of this area.  Tatamagouche is a thriving, exciting and vibrant community with some spectacular vistas over the Waugh River estuary and in to Tatamagouche Bay.


The Tatamagouche Trails Association has created a wonderful trail along the old Inter-Colonial Railway bed forming part of the Trans Canada Trail.  This trail follows the river edge to Tatamagouche Bay with wonderful scenes along the way.  However, this trail is little known to the travelling public and is therefore under-used and is a hidden gem.


Three year’s ago, Tatamagouche in Bloom Society (of which I was president), in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department, Colchester County, decided it would be an excellent idea to provide transport to Nelson Memorial Park along parts of the old rail bed. The park is difficult to reach if you don’t have your own transport and are unable to walk along the trail. The village of Tatamagouche is built on a slope with all roads leading to the water.  Many people within the village can walk down but struggle to get back up again so do not have the opportunity to take part in village life as they would like to.  As stated in one of the doctor’s letters, many of his patients are trapped in social isolation and the road train would remove this isolation and enable the elderly to have freedom of use of the village without depending upon friends and neighbours.


It was suggested that a ‘road train” would be a great idea.  The vehicle would look like a train but would run on rubber tires. The idea was expanded upon, and it was suggested that not only could it be driven along the trail, it could also travel through the village and stop at several places along Main Street and into the residential areas where it would be most appreciated.


The excitement and enthusiasm grew within the community. It was decided this could be a sustainable mode of transport for the whole village on a regular scheduled basis, with particular interest to seniors who cannot get out to do their own shopping or rely on others to take them to doctors appointments, the Pharmacy etc. Permission was granted by Tatamagouche Trails Association to use the trail for this purpose and grants were applied for and pledges were given by various organisations and individuals throughout the area in support of the train.  So far, $99000 has been raised.


This is a very unique project, the first of its kind in Canada and apart from helping local people it will encourage tourism to the area which in turn will benefit everyone.  It is planned to be a hop on hop off service by donation and advertising space will be made available on a rotational basis. The train will be purpose built to an established design consisting of a diesel 2 seat locomotive pulling a 28 seat open style coach. It is proposed to be a sustainable long term project with funding through donations, advertising, and grant applications.  The train will be fully licensed and insured as required by law.


The train could also be used for special functions such as transport for the Oktoberfest which takes place every September in Tatamagouche; the Labour Day Parade; Atlantic Training Centre special events and any other special functions throughout the season.  It would also help promote the Farmer’s Market and Creamery Square complex.