Bermuda Railway Resources
Books, Brochures and Videos
These books, brochures and video can be found in Bermuda, but may be hard to get anywhere else. You may be able to get them from The Bookmart (in Browns on Reid Street, Hamilton), which will ship orders overseas. The Bermuda Bookstore (3 Queen Street, Hamilton) generally has a good selection but does NOT ship overseas.
This brochure is a guide to today's Railway Trail, which follows much of the old right of way of the Bermuda Railway. The guide divides the Trail into seven sections, each of which takes 1 1/2 to 3 hours to walk. It is available from the Bermuda Department of Tourism and from the Visitors Service Bureaus in Hamilton or St. George.
This guide is available again (it was out of print for a while) but if you can’t find it, the Bermuda Tourism brochure, Bermuda East to West, includes maps and a guide to the Trail.
Bermuda: Triton Productions Limited, 1989
This video comes from the About Bermuda television series. The Bermuda Railway presents a documentary look at the Railway using both modern and historical footage, and it includes an interesting interview with Bill Kitchen, son of the line's Chief Engineer, who also worked on the Railway before World War II. The video is sometimes available in bookstores and other shops in Bermuda, but can be hard to find.
Bermuda: Ministry of Community, Culture & Information, 1993
A fascinating book of interviews and essays based on a series of workshops with Bermuda seniors held in the late ‘80s and early ’90s. As editor Liz Jones says, it is “a rich resource for those of us who find it difficult to imagine what Bermuda was like before the days of cars, of enormous economic growth, and of political change.”
London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1999. ISBN 0-333-72753-3
Duncan McDowall's fascinating history shows how Bermudians have carefully crafted both the image and reality of tourism in Bermuda for almost a hundred years, and in the process sheds light on the original decision to build the Bermuda Railway, rather than let in the dreaded motor car.
Bermuda: Colin A. Pomeroy, 1993. ISBN 0-9521298-0-9
Colin Pomeroy has written several railway books, and The Bermuda Railway shows clearly that he is an enthusiast. For the railway lover, his book provides not just a history of the line and its operations, but also a host of information about rolling stock, stations, bridges and trestles, and other technical details. It includes many photographs of the line (from the Bermuda Archives collection and from many previously undiscovered sources) as well as Pomeroy's excellent guide and photographs of today's Bermuda Railway Trail.
(All three of Colin Pomeroy's books can be ordered from Print Link, PO Box HM937, Hamilton HM DX, Bermuda. Tel.: 441-295-4343 or by email.)
Bermuda: Print Link Ltd., 2004. ISBN 1-894916-38-7
Continuing his history of Bermuda transportation, in The Buses of Bermuda Colin Pomeroy takes on the public transport system that replaced the Bermuda Railway after the closure in 1948. Once again he combines the history of the bus system with extensive technical data and pictures of virtually every model of bus that has ever operated on Bermuda's narrow roads.
Bermuda: Colin A. Pomeroy, 2000. ISBN 0-9698332-4-5
Not a railway book this time, The Flying Boats of Bermuda provides a fascinating look at another form of Bermuda transportation. Pomeroy carefully documents the civilian and military flying boats that provided the only air link with the outside world until Kindley Field airport was built during World War II. The book's 250 pages are packed with the usual detailed information, photographs, diagrams and many appendices.
Bermuda: Pompano Publications, 1992. ISBN 0-921962-08-8
David Raine's book spends less time discussing railway details and more time presenting the railway in the Bermuda of the time, thus acting as a complement to Pomeroy. Raine also provides many historical photographs from the Bermuda Archives, as well as pictures of the remains of the line that are still visible today.
London: Macmillan Caribbean, 2001. ISBN 0-333-73042-9
David Rollinson's colourful survey covers every railway he could find in the Caribbean, from tiny sugar and mining lines on islands like St. Kitts and Aruba to the full-size Ferrocarriles de Cuba, with its thousands of route kilometres. And, while Bermudians will remind you that Bermuda is not part of the Caribbean, the Bermuda Railway is included here in Chapter 3, with the Bahamas.
Bermuda: several editions through the 1930s
The Railway published several editions of this brochure for tourists through the 1930s. It presents the railway line as it was in then, describing every station, and also includes a fold-out map. Some of the historical pictures on this site come from this brochure. (My first copy came from a Bermuda collector, but copies occasionally show up on eBay.)
Walter Brownell Hayward, Bermuda Past and Present
New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1935.
This combined history and guide to Bermuda was first published in 1911. By 1935 it had been revised twice, and this second revision included a new chapter entitled, "Bermuda from a Railway Car" that runs through the history of transportation on the island, the argument between pro- and anti-railway forces, the building of the railway, and a short guided tour of the line. It is easily found on Abebooks at a range of prices; just make sure you get the 1935 edition.
Carveth Wells, Bermuda in Three Colours
New York: Robert M. McBride & Company, 1935.
Combination history/guidebooks were clearly popular in the '30s. This one by Bermuda world traveller, adventurer and popular lecturer Carveth Wells, author of such classics as Adventure and Six Years in the Malay Jungles, has two relatively extensive chapters on the Bermuda Railway, describing the view along line line from Hamilton to Somerset, and then Hamilton to St. George's. Also readily available on Abebooks.