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Improved Railway Trail for End-to-End

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An improved decline on the Railway Trail near Somerset Bridge (Photograph provided)

Walkers in the annual End-to-End will enjoy a string of improvements to the Railway Trail sections of the route tomorrow.

Friends of the Bermuda Railway Trail, in partnership with the Parks Department and D&J Excavating, have carried out work to arrest erosion along the paths.

Mike Murphy, co-founder of the charity with his son Tucker Murphy, said work had been done on eight hillsides between Hamilton and Somerset Bridge.

Mr Murphy said: “The slopes were smoothed and reinforced with a composite material filling geo-cell webbing, then topped with a skim cap containing minimal cement in the mixture — all the latest design to prevent, or at least significantly slow, the constant hillside erosion from heavy rains.

“The Friends of Bermuda Railway Trail would like to thank Brad Huntington, Angela Huntington, John Williams and Fiona Williams for their generous financial support, which led to these improvements.”

The charity rose to prominence in 2013, when work started on a new bridge spanning Bailey’s Bay in Hamilton Parish.

Other crucial bridges for the trail included crossings at Store Hill, Smith’s, and a bridge now in progress over Flatts Inlet.

The group invests in the trail itself, as well as structures surviving from the days of train travel in Bermuda. The island’s railway shut down in 1948 after only 17 years in operation, leaving 18 miles of routes for runners, walkers and cyclists.

Mr Murphy said the Bermuda Tourism Authority had matched funds donated by the Williams and Huntington families for the latest improvements.

The charity said the Ministry of Public Works has installed a stoplight and crosswalk near Harmony Hall in Paget, and put a new coat of paint for four former railway stations.

Mr Murphy added: “The trail is becoming a more popular attraction for many tourists seeking a unique and active experience of walking, running or pedal biking amid the varied and new vistas opened up along the trail.

“The Bermuda Hotel Association, and particularly the Fairmont Southampton in adopting the care for the trail passing by their property, have been supportive of the efforts to enhance the tourist experience.

“In the near future, the Friends of Bermuda Railway Trail hopes to open up and improve some of the overgrown less-utilised pathways connecting the trail to other tourist sites on the west side, which may require assistance from volunteers, as a good portion of the work may need to be done by hand.”

Workers install geo-webbing to prevent erosion at the Railway Trail near Barnes Corner (Photograph provided)