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Grand Trunk Railway Co of Canada

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The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada

1852 the Canadian government announced its plan to build a railway between Montreal and Toronto. The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada was incorporated on November 10, 1852, to build a railway line between Montreal and Toronto.

The charter was soon extended east to Portland, Maine and west to Sarnia, Canada West.

1853 The company purchased 5 existing railway companies - the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Company, the Quebec and Richmond Railroad Company, the Toronto and Guelph Railroad Company, the Grand Junction Railroad Company, and the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada East.

1853 The contractors were Messrs Peto, Brassey and Betts and Jackson; Jackson had been involved in negotiating the project with the Canadian authorities[1]

1853 construction began between Montreal and Toronto.

1853 the GTR purchased the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway from Montreal to the Canada East – Vermont border, and the parent company Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad through to the harbour facilities at Portland.

A line was also built to Lévis, via Richmond from Montreal in 1855, part of the much-talked about "Maritime connection" in British North America. In the same year it purchased the Toronto and Guelph Railroad, the latter's railway was already under construction. But the Grand Trunk Railway Company changed the original route of the T&G and extended the line to Sarnia, a hub for Chicago-bound traffic.

By July, 1856, the section from Sarnia to Toronto opened, and the section from Montreal to Toronto opened in October of that year.

1856 Completion of the railway in October; the next month it was extended to Sarnia.

By 1859 a ferry service was established across the St. Clair River to Fort Gratiot (now Port Huron, Michigan).

Early 1860s, the company operated a railway between Portland, Maine, and Sarnia, Ontario.

1861 The Company had accumulated much debt from the cost of the expansion and due to a lack of rail traffic. Sir Edward William Watkin was sent from London to sort out the company's financial situation.

1880s the Grand Trunk Railway Company acquired the Great Western Railway Company in 1882 and the Midland Railway of Canada in 1884.

To compete with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway, the Grand Trunk Railway Company created the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company to cross the continent.

By 1917 the Grand Trunk Company wanted to reach out to the West of the country, to enable it to control its traffic over the whole journey. Public sentiment was supportive, feeling that growth of the country justified more than one transcontinental line.

1919 As a result of this expansion, the company went bankrupt. The federal government took charge of the railway

1923 amalgamated with the Canadian National Railways, which later became the Canadian National.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. A History of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, by Thomas Storrow Brown, 1864