Prince Edward Island Railway

The Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR) was a historic Canadian railway on Prince Edward Island (PEI). The railway ran tip-to-tip on the island, from Tignish in the west to Elmira in the east, with major spurs serving Borden-Carleton's train ferry dock, the capital in Charlottetown, Montague and Georgetown and the original eastern terminus at Souris. A major spur from Charlottetown served Murray Harbour on the south coast.

Construction began in 1871 but costs almost bankrupted the government by the next year, a problem that helped pave PEI's entrance into Confederation. The work was picked up by the Canadian Government Railways and largely completed by the mid-1880s. The PEIR saw heavy use, especially during World War II, but like many railways saw declining use through the 1970s. The line officially closed on 31 December 1989 and the rails removed between 1990 and 1992, with the provincial government receiving a one-time payment of $200 million to upgrade the road network in exchange for not opposing the closure.

The provincial government purchased the properties in 1994, and 75% of the route now forms the basis of the Confederation Trail rail trail system. The station in Elmira, at the eastern end of the line, is now used as the Elmira Railway Museum.

Prince Edward Island Railway
LocalePrince Edward Island, Canada
Dates of operation1871–1918, merged into CNR, abandoned in 1989
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Previous gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) until 1930
HeadquartersCharlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Railway Map
Map of the Prince Edward Island Railway, c. 1912
Prince Edward Island Railway Engine No. 1
Typical of the narrow-gauge engines that served the PEIR, Engine Number 1 was a compact machine with a 4-4-0 layout. These engines proved unsuccessful in mainline use, having been designed primarily for switching and yard use.
Accident on the Prince Edward Island Railway
This steam engine left the rails near New Annan in 1903. No one was hurt, but another accident at the same location three years earlier scalded the engineer to death. Such accidents were common on the PEIR's narrow-gauge line, which was subject to shifts and frost heaves.



Located wholly within the province of Prince Edward Island, construction of the PEIR started in 1871, eventually financed by Canada. The line was initially built to 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge, under the supervision of Chief Engineer John Edward Boyd a native of Saint John, New Brunswick who first advocated the use of narrow gauge for the New Brunswick Railway in the 1860s, and was responsible for the first surveys of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway and the Toronto and Nipissing Railway in Ontario. The PEIR was frequently criticized for its meandering path, reputedly caused by construction contractors who were paid by the mile; this may also be accounted for in economies taken by reducing the amount of grading and trenching required by going around hills and obstacles. At one point there was on average one railway station for every 2.5 miles (4 km) of track. The main line connected the northwestern port of Alberton (later extended to Tignish) with the Northumberland Strait ports of Summerside, Charlottetown, Georgetown, and Souris. By 1872, construction debts threatened to bankrupt the colony.


The United Kingdom had consistently encouraged the small colony to enter into Canadian Confederation, something which it had been avoiding since playing host to the Charlottetown Conference a decade earlier. The railway construction debts pushed the colony into reconsidering Confederation, and following further negotiations, Prince Edward Island became a province of Canada on July 1, 1873.

The understated provision in the Prince Edward Island Terms of Union reads as follows:

That the railways under contract and in course of construction for the Government of the Island, shall be the property of Canada;

Canadian Government Railways

Thus the Government of Canada came to inherit the PEIR in 1874 at the same time as construction was progressing on the Intercolonial Railway (IRC), which would link the strategic winter ports of the Canadian Maritimes with Central Canada. New locomotives were purchased from the United Kingdom and from Canadian manufacturers along with new rail cars.

In 1885, a new line was built connecting the Charlottetown-Summerside main line at Emerald Junction with another Northumberland Strait port at Cape Traverse. From Cape Traverse, iceboats would cross the Abegweit Passage to Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick during the winter months.

Another new line was built east from Charlottetown to Murray Harbour, part of which included building the Hillsborough River Bridge, using a former IRC bridge over the Miramichi River at Newcastle, New Brunswick. Branches were also constructed at this time off PEIR lines to Vernon Bridge, Montague, and Elmira.

From 1915-1918, the PEIR and the IRC would come to be known collectively as the Canadian Government Railways (CGR), although each company would maintain its separate corporate identity and management.

The most revolutionary change to the PEIR occurred in 1915 when a new icebreaking railcar ferry called Prince Edward Island was ordered by the federal government, arriving from the United Kingdom with a capacity of 12 rail cars, however it would not be until 1917 that the port facilities at Port Borden and Cape Tormentine would be ready to handle the vessel. In the meantime, the Prince Edward Island continued to operate the service to the port of Pictou, Nova Scotia from Georgetown and Charlottetown for the next two years.

The new ferry port at Borden required the Cape Traverse-Emerald Junction line be modified, and a line was constructed to Borden, along with marshalling yards and other facilities. The Cape Traverse line would only last a few more years before being abandoned following the move to Borden. Up until this point, the PEIR was a completely captive system, having no need for interchange with mainland North American railways. Following the start of railcar service in 1917, the lines to Charlottetown and Summerside from Borden were dual-gauged, capable of handling mainland cars with the standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) and the PEIR's narrow gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm).

Canadian National Railways

Freight traffic on the Prince Edward Island Railway
After re-gauging, the PEIR could support full-sized locomotives and trains. This example is pulling through the Maple Hill region in the spring of 1949.

In September 1918, management of the CGR (including the PEIR) was transferred to the newly nationalized Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR). These companies were assumed by a new Crown corporation established by the federal government in December 1918, called Canadian National Railways (CNR). By 1923 all corporate entities ceased to exist under CNR.

Diesel engine used in PEI in the 1950s. PEI had diesel service a full decade before the rest of Canada.

Soon after CNR took over, it was decided to standard gauge all narrow gauge trackage on Prince Edward Island. This was completed from Tignish to Charlottetown by 1924, and remaining lines in the east end of the province were completed by 1926 except for the Murray Harbour line which was standard gauged by September, 1930.

The last significant railway construction on Prince Edward Island occurred during the early 1930s when the Hillsborough River Bridge carrying the Murray Harbour line over the Hillsborough River was unable to handle the heavier standard gauge cars, thus a 10-mile (16.1 km) connecting track called the Short Line was built from a point at Maple Hill Junction on the Mount Stewart Jct.-Georgetown line, to connect with the Murray Harbour track at Lake Verde Junction. In 1951, the Hillsborough River bridge was deemed too weak to carry even the lightest engines and cars, thus the trackage was removed and trains trying to reach Southport on the opposite side of Charlottetown Harbour would have to run over 30 miles (48.3 km) via Mount Stewart Junction and the Short Line.

CNR was extremely busy on Prince Edward Island during the Second World War when a 2-mile (3.2 km) spur line was built from St. Eleanors, west of Summerside, to service a new air force base (CFB Summerside), and the railway was pressed into service to supply a radar base in Tignish, as well as a flight training school in Mount Pleasant, midway between Summerside and Tignish.

Increased use of diesel locomotives in North America during and after the Second World War saw CNR completely dieselize its operations on Prince Edward Island by the late 1940s as a means to save money on hauling bulk coal to the province. This meant that Prince Edward Island rail lines had diesel locomotives fully one decade before the rest of Canada saw the last of steam, giving the province a prominent place in Canadian railway history as one of the first regional dieselization projects.

The rise of automobiles and trucks

The rising popularity of automobiles travelling on government-funded all-weather highways saw passenger rail traffic decline sharply during the 1950s and into the 1960s. The last passenger train on Prince Edward Island operated in 1968, being replaced by buses thereafter.

CN (name change to Canadian National Railway or acronym CN in 1960) was a major presence in Prince Edward Island's economy, from operating the freight and passenger railway (and later bus) services, to a large fleet of company owned and operated ferries. The ferry system was noteworthy by the fact that it was mandated by Prince Edward Island's "Terms of Union" under the British North America Act of Canadian Confederation, to provide "efficient steamship service." This required the use of icebreakers, some of which were the largest of their kind in the world at one time.

The decline of rail on P.E.I.

Trucks soon began to take traffic away from freight operations on Prince Edward Island, particularly as CNR improved the ferry system to accept more road vehicles. By the 1970s, critical agricultural cargo such as the potato harvests were increasingly transferring to trucks with each successive season. As a result, CN increasingly began to avoid investing capital into improving railway infrastructure in the province. In a classic "demarketing" strategy, CN's deteriorating track conditions resulted in further loss of service to trucks.

By the early 1980s CN made it clear the days of its railway operations on Prince Edward Island were numbered, but Island politicians at the provincial and federal level managed to dissuade CN from abandoning. The renewed talk of a fixed link in 1985-1986, following aborted attempts at building a highway/railway causeway across Abegweit Passage in 1957 and 1965–1969, saw CN accelerate its attempts to withdraw railway service on Prince Edward Island.


In 1975 the railway station in Elmira was re-opened to become the Island's first railway museum.[1] The museum is housed in the actual Elmira railway station. The museum originally included two former Canadian National Railway passenger cars: one former wood sided baggage car and a steel railway post office (RPO) car. In the 1990s arson claimed the baggage car. Approximately a decade later, RPO was scrapped having succumbed to age and a lack of preservation activities. The trucks from the baggage car are still on the property. Several railway cars were on display at the provincially operated railway museum at Elmira until the mid-2000s but have since been scrapped due to neglect on the part of the PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation.

In 1990, a diesel locomotive (class RSC-14 number 1767) donated to Summerside several years earlier, needed to be moved to nearby Kensington. Although now abandoned, the railway's tracks were still intact between both locations, except for several grade crossings at local roads where rails had been removed. The locomotive was towed by construction machinery across temporary tracks built over these roads to its new location, where it remains on display as part of a community-operated railway museum. The former Kensington Railway Station was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.[2]

Another railway car is currently undergoing preservation at Borden-Carleton. This car is a plywood sided, former CNR, caboose and is located adjacent to a replica railway station. Both can be seen from the Confederation Bridge.

Two former railway tank cars reside beside the railway on the property of Island Construction on the Sherwood Road in Charlottetown. Both tank cars are adjacent to the railway trail can be easily seen and photographed from the trail. These tank cars are 36' long each. During the final years of railway operation on PEI these tank cars could be seen parked in the Borden railway yard and were used to store fuel oil for the ferry boats. Both tank cars are painted a light blue colour (the same paint scheme they featured during their railway service).


The western end of the PEIR starts in Tignish, abutting Church Street which forms the downtown axis. A wye-junction just west of the end serves as a turnaround, running north to Maple Street. The line initially runs west-southwest out of town but soon turns south towards the northern edge of the original western terminus of the line at Alberton. Here the line folds back on itself, leaving town west-northwest almost parallel to the incoming line, an artifact of its later extension. The line originally bent south to run through town to the docks at Northport (now called Alberton South). The line to Northport was turned into a spur by building a large wye junction at the sharp curve that developed when the extension was added.

The line continues westward, avoiding Cascumpec Bay, which extends inland to the west for some distance. This takes the line through Elmsdale and O'Leary, where it starts bending back toward the east and south, running through Wellington (and forming Wellington Station). Here it turns east to Summerside. Just west of Summerside a wye was built to provide a spur line to service Summerside Airport, running along the eastern side of the airport.

The line continues eastward out of Summerside to the New Annan area, where several large potato processing factories were built. Today this is the site of major factories for Cavendish Farms, which runs two dozen factories in this area. The line runs through Kensington and then turns south to Emerald Junction, where a wye junction splits off a spur leading southwest to Borden-Carleton, serving the former ferry docks. The line continues east from the junction, running east and south to Royalty Junction, just north of Charlottetown. Here a wye formed a spur serving the downtown area.

The line continues away from Charlottetown running east-northeast to Mount Stewart, where it splits in a wye just west of town. The mainline continues northeast, while a major spur bends south and then southwest for the run to Montague Junction. Here a wye forms a spur running southwest to Montague and southeast and Georgetown. The mainline continues out of Mount Stewart and passes through Morell, and, on the eastern side of town, begins to parallel the northern coast of the island as far as Saint Peter's Bay. Here it leaves the coast and continues eastward to a wye at Harmony Junction, where it originally looped back westward and then south for the short run to Souris. The Harmony wye made the Souris line a spur, with the mainline continuing east to its ultimate end in Elmira. Like the western end, a wye junction and spur just west of Elmira allowed the trains to turn around.

The Murray Harbour Line started at the end of the mainline spur in Charlottetown, crossing the Hillsborough River Bridge (the original pilings can still be seen) before bending sharply to the northeast through Bunbury. From here it runs roughly eastward to Lake Verde, where a wye provides a spur running south a short distance to a large turning loop at Vernon Bridge. With the closing of the Hillsborough bridge, a second wye was added just to the east of the first, spurring off the Short Line that runs northward to meet the Montague/Georgetown spur just south of Mount Stewart, near Maple Hill. The mainline of the Murray Harbour Line continues eastward a short distance before turning south at Hermitage, and then eastward again when it meets the Belle River on the south coast, running the remaining distance to Murray Harbour. A spur was later added in the Belle River area to Wood Islands. This collection of spurs on the PEIR is the only area that has not been fully converted to rail trail use, with several sections currently undeveloped.

Like many lines of the era, small whistle-stop towns sprang up all along the line, typically where the railway crossed an existing road. These often bear the terms "Junction", "Crossing" or "Station" as part of their names. Many of these exist only as names on a map today, the dwellings long since gone.

Due to its relatively recent abandonment, and especially due to maintenance as part of the rail trail conversion, the route of the PEIR remains easily visible in aerial and satellite photos.

Rolling stock

Narrow-Gauge Locomotives

Number[3] Builder Type Date Works number Notes
1st # 1 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 84 Scrapped prior to 1880
2nd # 1 Mason Machine Works 0-4-4F 1873 531 Purchased from New Brunswick Railway 1880 - Scrapped 1901-04
3rd # 1 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 616 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a #10 - Scrapped 12/1924[4]
1st # 2 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 85 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 2 Mason Machine Works 0-4-4F 1873 532 Purchased from New Brunswick Railway 1880 - Scrapped after 1904
1st # 3 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 86 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 3 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 227 Scrapped 9/1920[4]
1st # 4 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 87 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 4 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 228 Scrapped 9/1920[4]
1st # 5 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 88 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 5 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 229 Scrapped 9/1920[4]
1st # 6 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 89 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 6 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 230 Scrapped 9/1920[4]
1st # 7 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 225 Scrapped prior to 1884
2nd # 7 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1884 294 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 15 - Scrapped 2/1921[4]
1st # 8 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 226 Scrapped 1884-89
2nd # 8 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1899 470 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 16 - Scrapped 2/1923[4]
9 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 227 Scrapped after 1904
1st # 10 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 228 Scrapped 1885-87
2nd # 10 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1887 326 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 17 - Scrapped 7/1923[4]
1st # 11 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3535 Scrapped 1901-04
2nd # 11 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 617 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 18 - Scrapped 12/1924[4]
12 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3536 Scrapped after 1904
13 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3537 Scrapped after 1904
14 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3538 Scrapped after 1904
15 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
16 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
17 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
18 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
1st # 19 Canadian Locomotive Company 0-4-4F 1880 Scrapped 1899-1907
2nd # 19 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 625 Displayed at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition - Delivered as # 28 and renumbered in 1907 - Became CNR class X-4-a # 19 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co. Montreal[4]
1st # 20 Canadian Locomotive Company 0-4-4F 1880 Scrapped prior to 1899
2nd # 20 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1899 471 Became CNR class X-4-a # 20 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal[4]
21 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1884 295 Became CNR class X-4-a # 21 - Scrapped 2/1921[4]
22 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1900 496 Became CNR class X-4-a # 22 - Scrapped 2/1923[4]
23 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1900 497 Became CNR class X-4-a # 23 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal[4]
24 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1901 520 Became CNR class X-4-a # 24 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal[4]
25 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1901 521 Became CNR class X-4-a # 25 - Scrapped 7/1923[4]
26 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 618 Became CNR class X-4-a # 26 - Scrapped 12/1924[4]
27 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 619 Became CNR class X-4-a # 27 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal[4]
2nd # 28 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 781 Became CNR class X-5-a # 28 - Scrapped 5/1927[4]
29 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 782 Became CNR class X-5-a # 29 - Scrapped 5/1927[4]
30 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 783 Became CNR class X-5-a # 30 - Scrapped 5/1927[4]
31 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 784 Became CNR class X-5-a # 31 - Scrapped 5/1927[4]
32 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1521 Became CNR class X-5-b # 32 - Scrapped 12/1932[4]
33 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1522 Became CNR class X-5-b # 33 - Scrapped 12/1932[4]
34 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1523 Became CNR class X-5-b # 34 - Operated the last narrow-gauge train on Prince Edward Island 27 September 1930 - Scrapped 12/1932[4]
35 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1524 Became CNR class X-5-b # 35 - Scrapped 12/1932[4]
36 Davenport Locomotive Works 0-4-0T 1910 Purchased from G.A.Morrison 1918 - Renumbered CNR class X-1-a # 1 - Sold 4/1930 to H.N.Price Moncton[4]

Diesel Locomotives

Numbers Builder Type Class Built Notes
7751, 7752 General Electric 44 Ton First diesels on PEI
7800-7817 General Electric 70 Ton Renumbered to 26-43
1615, 1616 and 1617 Canadian Locomotive Company H12-44
1700–1734 Montreal Locomotive Works RSC-13 Scrapped. Trucks to RSC-14 fleet.
1750–1787 Montreal Locomotive Works RSC-14 MR-14b and MR-14c 1975–1976


Steven Boyko notes on his blog[5]

Side note: RDC D302 was tested on PEI in March 1958 but "it proved unsuitable because of difficulties it encountered crossing the ferry ramp, and negotiating the sharp turns between Borden and Charlottetown".

Ferry service

The following vessels were owned and operated by CNR/CN (1918–1977), CN Marine (CN subsidiary, 1977–1986) or by successor Marine Atlantic (post-1986) on the Northumberland Strait ferry service:

  • Prince Edward Island (1915–1968)*
  • Scotia I (various times 1901-1955)*
  • Charlottetown (1931–1941)*
  • Abegweit (1947–1982)*
  • Scotia II (various times 1915-1968)*
  • Confederation (1962–1975)
  • John Hamilton Gray (1968–1997)*
  • Lucy Maude Montgomery (1969–1973)
  • Holiday Island (1971–1997)
  • Vacationland (1971–1997)
  • Abegweit (1982–1997)*

* denotes combination train ferry/ferry

See also


  1. ^ Friends of Elmira Railway Museum website
  2. ^ Kensington Railway Station (Prince Edward Island) National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ Lavallee, Omer Narrow Gauge Railways of Canada Railfare: Montreal 1972 p.104
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Clegg, Anthony & Corley, Ray Canadian National Steam Power Trains & Trolleys: Montreal 1969 p.67
  5. ^ Boyko, Steve Confessions of a Train Geek

External links


Borden-Carleton is a Canadian town located in Prince County, Prince Edward Island.

It is situated on the south shore fronting on the Northumberland Strait. The town was originally incorporated under community status on April 12, 1995 through the amalgamation of the Town of Borden and the Community of Carleton. The town of Borden opted to demote its status to a community in light of a declining tax base with the pending completion of the Confederation Bridge and the closure of the Marine Atlantic ferry service. The community subsequently changed to town status on July 31, 2012.

Breadalbane, Prince Edward Island

Breadalbane is a municipality that holds community status in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Located in Queens County, Prince Edward Island, its population as of 2011 is 173.

Canadian Government Railways

Canadian Government Railways (reporting marks CGR, IRC) was the legal name used between 1915–1918 for all federal government-owned railways in Canada.

The principal component companies were the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (IRC), the National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), the Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR), and the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR). There were also several minor branch railways in the province of New Brunswick that were acquired by CGR during this time.

The deepening financial crisis in Canada's railway industry toward the end of the First World War saw the majority of major railways across the country nationalized by the federal government. The CGR played a vital role in Canada's wartime effort, moving vast numbers of troops and supplies. A notable role was the relief and reconstruction in Halifax after the 1917 Halifax Explosion and one CGR employee, Vince Coleman became a celebrated hero in the explosion.The first system to be taken over was the bankrupt Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) on September 6, 1918, whereby the government-appointed Board of Management for CNoR was instructed to take responsibility for all CGR operations as well. Later that year, the federal government created the Canadian National Railways (CNR) as a means to simplify the funding and administration of the nationalized railway system, which was formally brought about by an order issued on December 20, 1918, by the Privy Council.The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR) was nationalized after defaulting on loan payments March 7, 1919, and entered the CNR fold on July 12, 1920. GTPR's parent company, the bankrupt Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) was nationalized on May 21, 1920, and was absorbed into the CNR on January 30, 1923.

Although the CGR only existed for a short period of time before evolving into the Canadian National Railway, it was a very visible Canadian railway in World War One due to the large scale of wartime railway operation. Large amounts of rolling stock were lettered for the CGR, although in many regions, such as the Maritimes, the public continued to refer to its trains and facilities by their old name of the Intercolonial. The CGR moniker ceased to be used after 1918, but the CGR itself existed on paper until the late 20th century, largely due to real estate leases and other agreements. A Privy Council order dated July 22, 1993, authorized the sale of CGR to the Crown corporation CN for one Canadian dollar.

Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick

Cape Tormentine is a village in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. It is located on the Northumberland Strait at the Abegweit Passage, the shortest crossing between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. It once flourished as a transportation hub between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island but has been in decline since 1997 when the ferry service was closed due to the opening of the Confederation Bridge. At the Canada 2011 Census the population was 108, three quarters what it was at the 2006 census.

Cape Tormentine is named for the eponymous cape. As an unincorporated community, it is part of the Bayfield local service district. For the purpose of Statistics Canada's census it is in Botsford Parish.

Hillsborough River Bridge

The Hillsborough River Bridge is a bridge crossing the Hillsborough River estuary between Charlottetown and Stratford in Queens County, Prince Edward Island. The current road bridge, built in 1962, replaced a 1905 rail bridge crossing the same span which was known by the same name.

The first bridge was built by the Prince Edward Island Railway to complete a rail line from Charlottetown to Murray River. The single-lane bridge opened in 1905, and incorporated iron spans from two bridges in Miramichi, New Brunswick built about 30 years earlier. As rail service in the province was converted to standard gauge and heavier service, use of the bridge declined until it was deemed unsafe for all traffic in the 1950s.

As the Trans-Canada Highway project was planned in the 1950s, improving the crossing of the Hillsborough River was deemed essential. A new, improved 2-lane road bridge was built immediately upstream of the old rail bridge, opening in 1962. The bridge was widened to carry 4 lanes of traffic in 1995.

James Birch (politician)

James Robert Birch (July 29, 1849 – December 6, 1941) was a merchant, horse breeder and political figure in Prince Edward Island. He represented 1st Prince in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1897 to 1900 as a Liberal member.

He was born in Port Hill, Prince Edward Island, the son of Thomas Birch, an Irish immigrant. He worked as a clerk for James and John Yeo for thirteen years. He then went to Boston for several months and returned to work for the Yeos as bookkeeper for three more years. After working in Charlottetown and Alberton, he entered the dry goods there with a partner before opening his own general store in Alberton. He helped organize a Board of Trade in Alberton in 1903 and served as its secretary.

Birch supported the development of the Prince Edward Island Railway, opposed Confederation and was an active member in a temperance organization. Besides breeding and training horses, Birch also operated, with Doctor McLean, a trotting park at Alberton and he also practiced as a veterinary surgeon. After his term in the provincial assembly, he was unsuccessful in a bid for reelection in 1900 and subsequently retired from politics. In 1901, he married Isabella Currie. Birch was also a member of the Masonic lodge at Charlottetown and of the Independent Order of Foresters.

He died in Alberton at the age of 92.

James Kennedy (Canadian politician)

James Kennedy (May 14, 1869 – April 23, 1915) was a merchant and political figure in Prince Edward Island, Canada. He represented 4th Prince in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1908 to 1915 as a Conservative member.

He was born in Breadalbane, Prince Edward Island, the son of Samuel Kennedy and Christy MacKinnon, of Scottish descent. He worked for the Prince Edward Island Railway for two years and then set up in business as a general merchant in Breadalbane, later moving to Kensington. In 1889, he married Mary Gillis.

Kennedy died in office in Kensington at the age of 45.His brother Murdock also served in the provincial assembly.


The MLW RSC-14 was a diesel-electric locomotive rebuilt by Canadian National Railway from locomotives originally supplied by Montreal Locomotive Works.

These locomotives began life as MLW RS-18s for the Canadian National Railway (CN). The base RS-18 model was derived by MLW from the ALCO-produced RS-11 model, and was equipped with a 12-cylinder four-cycle model 251B diesel engine rated at 1,800 horsepower (1,300 kW). This engine turned a General Electric (of Peterborough, Ontario) DC generator feeding four traction motors - one per axle on two bogies. Many RS-18s were equipped with so-called "light" trucks (made by Dofasco and others) in deference to light rail on Canadian branchlines. RS-18s were owned by Canadian Pacific as well as Canadian National and many other Canadian railways, and continued in service on major railroads into the 1990s. They continue in branchline and secondary service throughout North America today (April 2009).

Using the RS-18 as a starting point, the RSC-14 was created in the mid-1970s to meet CN's requirement for A1A-A1A trucked locomotives for light rural branchline service, particularly in the Maritimes.

CN retired its older A1A-A1A configured MLW RSC-13 and MLW RSC-24 models in the mid-1970s and rebuilt several dozen RS-18s using the A1A trucks from the scrapped RSC-13 and RSC-24 units. The horsepower rating for the locomotives was lowered from 1,800 hp (1,340 kW) on the RS-18 to 1,400 hp (1,040 kW), thus the new designation "RSC-14".

The locomotives saw extensive use on Prince Edward Island (see Prince Edward Island Railway), and on branch lines in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Most were retired or sold by the mid-1990s.

There are only two of these locomotives left in Canada:

CN 1754 at the Salem & Hillsborough Railroad

CN 1762 at the former train station in Kensington, Prince Edward Island

Narrow-gauge railways in Canada

Although most railways of central and eastern Canada were initially built to a 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge, there were several, especially in The Maritimes and Ontario, which were built as individual narrow-gauge lines. These were generally less expensive to build, but were more vulnerable to frost heaving because vertical displacement of one rail caused greater angular deflection of the narrower two-rail running surface. Most of the longer examples were regauged starting in the 1880s as the railway network began to be bought up by larger companies.

The largest systems in the country were the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) lines such as: the Newfoundland Railway and others on the island of Newfoundland (969 mi or 1,559 km); Ontario's Toronto and Nipissing Railway and Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway (304 mi or 489 km); the Prince Edward Island Railway (280 mi or 450 km); and the New Brunswick Railway (189 mi or 304 km) in the Saint John River valley of New Brunswick. Various mining and industrial operations in Canada have also operated narrow-gauge railways.

Almost all rail gauge in Canada is standard gauge. By 2015, the only remaining narrow-gauge system in Canada was the White Pass and Yukon Route, which used some of the rolling stock of the Newfoundland Railway which closed in the late 1980s.

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Railway

The New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Railway, was first incorporated in 1874 as the Cape Tormentine Branch Railway Company to build a 32-mile-long (51 km) line from Sackville on the Intercolonial Railway line to Cape Tormentine from Sackville via Baie Verte. It was reincorporated as the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Railway in 1889.

Cape Tormentine is the closest port to PEI. Canada was required under the terms of Confederation to provide Prince Edward Island a year-round link with the mainland. The railway was built on a shoestring budget. The ground was level and was not ballasted, but the line was immediately profitable.It came under the control of the Canadian Government Railways in 1914 and was then operated by the Intercolonial Railway until that railway was taken over by Canadian National. In 1917 the first railcar ferry arrived at the Borden terminal on Prince Edward Island from Cape Tormentine.

The line was abandoned in 1989, the same year as the Prince Edward Island Railway. Today the Confederation Bridge handles all the traffic to the Island once transported by the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Railway. The attractive railway station at Cape Tormentine, built in the late 1930s, continued to be used as an information centre for ferry and marine traffic. With the opening of the Confederation Bridge in 1997, the station was closed. Today remains include the abandoned station and a few other rail structures, and an abandoned lighthouse.


PEIR may refer to:

Prince Edward Island Regiment, an armoured reconnaissance regiment in the Canadian Forces primary reserve

Prince Edward Island Railway, an historic railway in Canada

Peter Adolphus McIntyre

Peter Adolphus McIntyre (July 19, 1840 – July 16, 1910) was a Canadian politician, public servant, physician and coroner.Born at Peterville in Kings County, Prince Edward Island, McIntyre's paternal grandfather came to Canada from Scotland around 1785 and settled at Cable Head, PEI. McIntyre's great-grandfather on his mother's side fought under General Wolfe at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.McIntyre was educated at the Quebec Seminary, Laval University and McGill University where he earned his medical degree in 1867. He returned to Prince Edward Island to begin his practice. He served as Kings County coroner for several years.In 1872 he was appointed one of the commissioners overlooking the construction of the Prince Edward Island Railway and was railway commander.Following Prince Edward Island's entry into Canadian confederation which occurred, in part, as a result of the debt incurred by the colony for the railway's construction, McIntyre was elected in the 1874 federal election to the House of Commons of Canada as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Kings County. He was defeated in the 1878 federal election but regained his seat in 1882 and was re-elected in 1887. After being defeated in the next two elections, McIntyre was appointed the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island by the Laurier government in 1899. He served in office until 1904 and died six years later in Souris, P.E.I.

Sackville, New Brunswick

Sackville is a town in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. It is home to Mount Allison University, a primarily undergraduate liberal arts university. Historically based on agriculture, shipbuilding, and manufacturing, the economy is now driven by the university and tourism. Initially part of the French colony of Acadia, the settlement became part of the British colony of Nova Scotia in 1755 following the Expulsion of the Acadians.

Sherwood, Prince Edward Island

Sherwood is a neighbourhood of the city of Charlottetown in central Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Sherwood is centrally located in Charlottetown on the border of Queens Royalty and the township of Lot 33.

Originally the settlement was known as Sherwood Station, as it was located on the mainline of the Prince Edward Island Railway running from Charlottetown to Royalty Junction (where the line bifurcated east to Mount Stewart and west to Emerald. Sherwood Station was incorporated as a village in 1960 and its name was shortened to Sherwood in 1983. The village was amalgamated into the city of Charlottetown on April 1, 1995.

Sherwood was largely a farming district, located east of the royalty's common pasture land (present-day Agriculture Canada experimental farm). It bordered Charlottetown and West Royalty on the west, Parkdale on the south, and East Royalty on the east.

One of the biggest changes that came to Sherwood occurred in 1938 when a 300-acre (1.2 km2) parcel on the northern edge of the community was purchased by the city of Charlottetown to create an airport. The Charlottetown Airport remains a defining landmark in the north-central part of the city and has had a major influence on Sherwood's post-war development. During the 1960s-1990s, much of the remaining farmland in Sherwood was developed in housing projects which resulted in many single-detached homes constructed throughout the area, making Sherwood one of PEI's top-five communities in terms of population.

Sherwood is home to the Sherwood Falcons of the Island Junior Hockey League, as well as the Sherwood Metros of the Prince Edward Island Junior C Hockey League.

Presently a neighbourhood, Sherwood has a mix of housing, commercial and light industrial districts.

Watervale, Prince Edward Island

Watervale is a small farming community located about 20 km east of Charlottetown in lot #48 on Prince Edward Island, Canada. It was called Forgan Hill but the members of the community voted to change the name sometime in the mid-19th Century. Although today it is home to no retail outlets or public spaces in the past it housed a community store, a family-run saw mill, a one-room school and a flag station on the Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR). It has a population of approximately 50 permanent residents. Common family names found in Watervale over the past 50 years include Bradley, Burns, Hayes, Quinn, Shea, Trainor, Walsh and Wisener.

Wellington, Prince Edward Island

Wellington (2011 population: 409) is a municipality that holds community status in Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is located in Prince County, and extends as Wellington Centre onto Route 2 from Richmond through to St. Nicholas.

Located in the "Evangeline Region", a cluster of Acadian communities in the central part of Prince County, Wellington is served by Route 2, and until 1989 was served by the Prince Edward Island Railway. Wellington is home to the head office of Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É.

William Richards (politician)

William Richards (born May 15, 1819), was a political figure in Prince Edward Island. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1870 to 1872.

He was born in Swansea, Wales, the son of Captain William Richards, and was educated in Wales and Ireland. At the age of eighteen, he went to sea with his father, going on to become owner of his own ship and then a ship builder, building about one hundred ships in his career. Richards settled at Bideford, Prince Edward Island where he built a shipyard. He also owned shipyards at Summerside and Egmont Bay. Rogers purchased a sawmill and cutting rights in New Brunswick. In 1849, he married Susan, the daughter of James Yeo. He supported the bill for the construction of a Prince Edward Island Railway. Richards was elected to the Legislative Council in 1876 for one term. He was president of the Charlottetown Steam Navigation Company.

His son James William served in the provincial assembly and the Canadian House of Commons.

Winsloe, Prince Edward Island

Winsloe is a neighbourhood in the northwestern part of the Canadian city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island

Wood Islands is a rural farming and fishing community located in southeastern Queens County, Prince Edward Island on the Northumberland Strait. It takes its name from several small forested islands, then located several hundred metres offshore in the Northumberland Strait. The community of Wood Islands falls within the larger PEI Township of Lot 62, which had a population in 2011 of 470 residents, a 13% decrease from the 2006 census count of 540. While the named islands are located on maps by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin: Karte Bellin, 1744: 'I a Bova' and Louis Franquet: Cartes Franquet, 1751: 'Isle a Bois', it was Samuel Johannes Holland who correctly surveyed and depicted the islands, about their basin. The 'European' settlement of Wood Islands began in 1803, but saw its most noted arrivals in 1807 with the arrival, after wintering in Pinette, of a large party of Scottish settlers from The Spencer.

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