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Transcontinental Tour

New Brunswick

Intercolonial Railway

Poster of the Canadian Government Railways, 1895, with a colour illustration of the OCEAN LIMITED train travelling beside the seashore

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Canadian Government Railways, 1895

One of the resolutions adopted by the Québec Conference leading to Confederation, was that the Intercolonial Railway be constructed to complete the railroad connection between Halifax and Québec City. Linking the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) to the Maritimes was seen as essential for the success of the union, and would give Nova Scotia and New Brunswick their desired access to the United States. The idea appealed to politicians and capitalists alike. The construction of the completely government-owned and operated line proved to be the country's biggest public works project of the century.

The project was popular locally because of the employment it provided, but it created resentment in Upper Canadians who were footing most of the bill yet receiving little benefit. After completion of the original line under Sandford Fleming, acquisitions were made to extend the line to Montréal.

In 1897, the Intercolonial and three other government-owned lines were grouped under the umbrella of the Canadian Government Railways, later to form part of the Canadian National Railways (CNR).

Brochure of the Intercolonial Railway of Canada, 1890, showing the time table and advertising routes to seaside resorts Map from brochure of the Intercolonial Railway of Canada, 1890, showing the route through the Maritmes and Quebec and connecting routes in the United States

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Intercolonial Railway of Canada, 1890, cover and map

Brochure of the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railways, 1910, reading TOURS TO SUMMER HAUNTS, 1910, with a drawing of a moose head Title page of brochure of the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railways, 1910, reading TOURS TO SUMMER HAUNTS BY-THE-SEA IN QUEBEC, NEW BRUNSWICK, NOVA SCOTIA, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

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Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railways, 1910, cover and title page

New Brunswick Railway

Photo of New Brunswick Railway, engine 12

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New Brunswick Railway, engine 12

In 1870, Alexander Gibson founded The New Brunswick Land & Railway Company (later the New Brunswick Railway). Northwestern New Brunswick was a relatively prosperous area, rich in natural and mineral resources. Gibson had extensive land holdings along the St. John River and knew that a railway, especially during the months when the river was frozen, would more easily, reliably and cheaply transport lumber within the colony and to Canada.

The original narrow gauge line was opened from Gibson (opposite Fredericton) to Edmundston. The company built, bought and leased other lines to build a much larger network, spreading within New Brunswick and to Maine. The gauge was standardized in the 1880s and, in 1891, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) leased the line for 999 years. K.C. Irving bought the company after the Second World War, primarily for its land holdings.

Brochure of the New Brunswick Railway, 1881, advertising fishing and relaxation in Northern Maine and New Brunswick, with detailed black-and-white illustrations Frontispiece of brochure of the New Brunswick Railway, 1881, with an illustration of campers fishing beside Temiscouata Lake Title page of brochure of the New Brunswick Railway, 1881, reading OPEN SEASON AND RESTING RETREATS AMONG THE LAKES, RIVERS AND MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN MAINE AND NEW BRUNSWICK

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New Brunswick Railway, 1881, cover, frontispiece and title page

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