Grand Trunk Railway

  1. Location and Background
  2. History
  3. Migrations and Towns
  4. Traveler: Albert Béliveau

  1. History
There was an urgency to this effort because of Boston's drive to connect Montréal to Massachusetts Bay by way of other railways. This was seen as a threat by both Portland and Montreal promoters. Mainers wanted the commercial advantage from being the salt-water port of Montréal, which was ice-bound by the frozen St. Lawrence River during the winter months. Montrealers worried about being dominated by a large metropolis like Boston, and Portland posed less of a threat. Their co-operation led to the completion of the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railway in 1853. It was the first section of what became the Grand Trunk Railway, the subsequent connections of which would link it westwards to the Great Lakes and northwards to Quebec City. Subsequent mergers further integrated the line into the larger Canadian and United States transportation systems. This allowed the cheaper and quicker movement of larger numbers of people, which became evident in the next decade.