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A Train of Hikers on the Trail
Barbados had a train service from 1883 until 1937, when it came to an unceremonious end.
The railway route was only twenty four miles long, running from the city of Bridgetown, through the southern parishes, then turning east, traveling along Barbados"very scenic rugged east coast, to it's terminus in a small commercial center, Belleplaine, on the northeast.
The Late Dr. Colin Hudson, an outstanding, environmentalist, popular hike leader, and accomplished agricultural scientist, was challenged some years ago by one of his regular hiking customers, to walk the entire train route, in one day.
Colin took on the challenge, and was successful, this of course led to ideas, which in time, manifested as "The Great Train Hike".
This hike soon became the highlight of the local hiking calendar, with overseas hiking enthusiasts, planning their Barbados vacation to coincide with this event.
This event was promoted as one where hikers can choose to walk the entire twenty four miles, or say walk to one of the original train stops, along the route.
It was never intended to be a race, and it is still so, even though, every year there are those who must have a speed challenge. The flatness of this train/hike trail can be deceptive, in that, one may assume it's an easy walk given this flatness.
First time hikers to this all day event, soon discover, that the all day exposure to the tropical sun, is unexpectedly draining of one's energy. The last four miles are said to be the worst, as the route is all paved road, that usually appears to be never ending.
Prior to those last miles, one can expect to, negotiate, rugged coastal terrain, grass fields, and cart roads between sugar cane fields.
On this trail one will also pass next to two old sugar factories, petroleum oil pumps, agricultural fields, urban, suburban, and rural communities.
The entire route is monitored by hike leaders who communicate where first aid assistance is required, or just to guide hikers, additionally there are water and snack stations at strategic intervals.
Upon the death of Colin Hudson in 2004, a decision was taken by the organizers of "The Great Train Hike," to rename it
"THE COLIN HUDSON GREAT TRAIN HIKE," in honor of this man who touched thousands of lives, in many countries, and as agreed by all a man before his time, a great visionary.