A HISTORICAL SKETCH
INCEPTION, LOCATION, CONSTRUCTION AND COMPLETION OP
THE LINE OF RAILWAY UNITING THE
INLAND AND ATLANTIC PKOVINCES
WITH MAPS AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS.
BY SANDFOKD FLEMING, C. E.,
ENOlNKllU-IN-CllIJSK OF TUK NlJWJfOUNDLAND, INTERCOLONIAL AHD CAHAMAN 1 ACIFIC ItAILWAYS.
DAWSON BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS;
LONDON : SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO.
Entered according to Act of Parliament in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six,
by SANDFOBD FLEMING, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture and Statistics at Ottawa.
THE HONOURABLE ALEXANDER MACKENZIE,
MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS AND PREMIER OF CANADA.
As the Intercolonial Railway is now in a position to be opened for
traffic, it is my duty, as Chief Engineer, to submit a final Report on its
A Report such as the usual course prescribes, would necessarily
be professional and technical, and would be confined to a description of
the results which have been effected, and a statement of the cost at
which these have been attained.
But the Intercolonial Railway is national in its objects and charac
ter, and to my mind it calls for more extended consideration. As
the head of the Department of Public Works, and as the Minister who
has directed the concluding operations on the Railway, you have been
good enough to acquiesce in the view, that a barren relation of figures
and detail would be insufficient and unsatisfactory.
I have therefore felt it incumbent upon me to depart from the
course generally followed on such occasions.
I have endeavoured, in the following pages, to give the early his-
tory of the Railway, and to trace the causes which prevented the
adoption of a direct route, and in this connection I have been led to
review the negotiations which ended in the establishment of the Maine
Boundary. I have endeavoured to describe the frequent fruitless
attempts which were subsequently made to obtain the means of con
structing the line, and the considerations which led to the adoption of
the present route. In cases where the location is open to criticism, I
have given a narrative of the events which enforced its determination,
I have stated the principles which governed the construction of the
Railway, and I have described several of the most important structures ;
at the same time I have briefly set forth the character of the country
through which the Railway passes.
Although it may be said that the present volume includes much
beyond the sphere of my official duties, I venture to hope that the course
pursued by me will meet with your approval, and I trust that you will
believe that I have striven honestly, to place on record what has passed
under my own notice, and what I have gathered from official documents
and from public records.
Thirteen years have passed since my first appointment as Chief
Engineer, a duty assigned to me by the Imperial and Provincial Gov
ernments at the commencement of the Survey. At that period a long
tract of wilderness separated the Maritime from the Inland Provinces.
The Railway, which now connects them, I may venture to assert, will
rank second to none on this Continent. In the embellishment of its
structures it may be surpassed by the lines of the old world, but in the
essentials of a Railway, it will, when entirely completed, have no supe
Some further expenditure is still necessary, but the Railway is in
a condition to be opened for traffic throughout its entire length, there
fore my official relations with the work may now terminate.
In placing this volume before you, I feel that I am performing the
last act of duty, in the office I have long held, and that I am separating
myself from a work, to the prosecution of which, with many friends and
fellow-labourers, I have devoted for many years the best energies of my
life. A connection of this kind is not broken without an effort ; but
any personal considerations must disappear in view of the completion
of a work, which realizes the national aspirations of half a century, by
bringing within a few hours, the old fortress of Halifax and the older
Citadel of Quebec, and which must form an important section of the
Railway, destined, ere long, to extend from East to West through the
I am, Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,
OTTAWA, 1st July, 1876.
1832 TO 1842.
Early Suggestions of a Railway System for Canada Henry Fairbairn s
Extraordinary foresight An Intercolonial Railway first projected Explor
ation of the Route Smith and Hatheway s Report The project meets the
approbation of the Lower Canada Legislature Opinions of Captain Yule,
R. E. St. John s Press advocates the Scheme Deputation to England
Imperial Government grant 10,000 Survey commenced under Captain
Yule, R. E. Engineering Character of Route favourable Western traffic to
be competed for Opinions of the New York Press on the " Great Project "
Cupidity of the people of the United States Interference of the State of
Maine Suspension of the Survey Lord Durham The Kempt Road . . 5
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION.
1783 TO 1842.
Final settlement of the Boundary Line disastrous to the Railway Treaty
of Paris of 1783 Disputed interpretations of that Treaty Subsequent
Treaty of 1794 The Commission under it St. Croix River named in the
Treaty Doubtful location of the " Highlands " of the Treaty The due
North Line Verification of Boundary of old Nova Scotia by Ancient Let
ters-Patent Featherstonhaugh and Mudge on Original Grant Treaty of
Ghent in 1814 Blunders of the Commissioners Arbitration of the King of
the Netherlands Award rejected by the United States President Andrew
Jackson on the question His reasonable proposals declined by the English
Government New Survey organized by both Countries State of Maine
overtly breaks International Law Lord Ashburton s Mission to Washing
ton Daniel Webster The Boundary Line adopted prejudicial to Canada . 19
EARLY HISTORY CONTINUED.
1842 TO 1852.
Military Road Surveyed Railway Mania of 1845 brings out the Halifax
and Quebec Scheme Sir Richard Broun advocates it The various Routes
Government of New Brunswick favours the route by Annapolis St. An
drews and Quebec Railway revived Lord Ashburton takes Stock in it
Ashburton Treaty Kills the Scheme Halifax and Quebec routes to be
Surveyed Captain Pipon and Mr. Henderson appointed Major Robin
son s Report recommending Bay Chaleur Route Mr. Wilkinson objects-
Construction of the Railway urged as a relief for the Famine in Ireland
Major Carmichael-Smyth s views Railway Conference at Portland Nova
Scotia sends Mr. Howe to England British Government objects to the
Scheme Imperial Proposals Negotiations upset Deputation to Eng
land . 40
1852 TO 1862.
The Provinces build Railways on their own Resources Another unsuc
cessful appeal to the Home Governments-Civil War in the United States-
Provinces again appeal Resolutions of Quebec in 1861 Effect of the
" Trent Affair " Provinces ask for modified assistance Failure of Negotia-
1862 TO 1867.
State of Railway Extension in 1862 New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
make fresh efforts Survey determined on Mr. Sandford Fleming appointed
Mr. Fleming s Report Advantages of Bay Chaleur Route Newfound
land Railway Political dead-lock in Canada Movement towards Confeder
ation Members of Canadian Legislature invited to Maritime Provinces
Convention at Charlottetown The Quebec Convention Resolutions re
specting Intercolonial Railway General festivities Act of Confederation
Act guaranteeing Interest on Railway Loan 64
1867 TO 1876.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
Effects of the Ashburton Treaty on the Location of the Line Railways
previous to Confederation Commencement of Location Survey Rival
Routes through New Brunswick Military Considerations Rival Routes in
Nova Scotia Line Recommended Controversy respecting the Route Ac
tion in Nova Scotia The Controversy carried to Ottawa Final adoption
of the Combination Line Appointment of Commissioners The Contract
System Tenders Received The Bridge Controversy The Engineer ad
vocates Iron The Commissioners insist on "Wood Iron finally adopted
The Eastern Extension Controversy Line from Moncton to Amherst
adopted Location between Miramichi and Moncton Construction proceeds
under the Commissioners Completion of Line under Department of Public
THE ENGINEERING CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
Principles of Construction Climatic effects of Frost and Thaw on the
Works Action on Road-Bed Thorough drainage Clearing the Line
Natural Snow-fences Bridges When Bridges should be used Precautions
in building bridges and culverts Cuttings and their Width Ballast Iron
and Steel rails Station buildings Water supply Principles of Construc
tion concurred in The " Rail System " or Superstructure Bessemer Steel
Bails Fish and Scabbard Joints Cross-ties Ballasting The Substructure
Cuttings and Embankments Drainage Precaution against frost Em
bankments preferable to open bridges Measurement of Streams Standard
designs Box Culverts Arch Culverts Open Culverts Pipe Culverts
Tunnels Inclined Culverts Bridges and Viaducts Bridge Superstruc
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT.
General Features of the Line Greatest Altitude Geographical Divis
ions The Four Districts The Engineering Staff The St. Lawrence Dis
trict General Description Crossing the Height of Land Geology of the
District The River Systems Division A, Contract No. 1 Division B, Con
tract No. 2 Division C, Contract No. 5 Division D, Contract No. 8 Di
vision E, Contract No. 13 Division F, Contract No. 14 139
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT.
General Direction Metapedia Valley Geology of the District Tho
Restigouche Bridge Artificial Foundation Climatip Forces Ice Jam
Shoves Freshets Division G, Contract No. 17 Division H, Contract No.
18 Division I, Contract No. 19 Division K, Contract No. 3 Division L,
Contract No. 6 Division M, Contract No. 9 Division N, Contract No. 15,
Tete-a-gauche Bridge Nepissiguit Bridge 156
THE MIRAMICHI DISTRICT.
Features of the District Extensive Carboniferous basin Division O,
Contract No. 16 Division P, Contract No. 10 Division Q, Contract No.
20 Miramichi River Crossing Deepwater Branch Division R, Contract
No- 21 Division S, Contract No. 22 Division T, Contract No. 23 175
THE MIEAMICHI BBIDGES.
Location of the Two Bridges Original Design Borings Great Depth
of Bed-rock Discovered Engineering Opinions Original Design adhered
to The South West Bridge The North Abutment General Description
of Pier Foundations Pier E. Pier F. Pier G. Pier H. Pier I. South
Abutment The North West Bridge Borings Pressure Experiments
Modified Plan of Foundations The South Abutment The North Abutment
The Caissons for Piers Pier X. Difficulties met with Pier D. Pier
C. Pier B. Pier A. Concrete Masonry Plant Contractors Engi
neers Completion 187
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT.
Length and Sub-Division General Description The Cobequid Moun
tains Geological Features Springhill Coal-field The Iron Mines Divi
sion U. old line Division V. Eastern Extension Division W. Contract
No. 11, Division X. Contract No. 4 Division Y. Contract No. 7 Division
Z. Contract No. 12 220
Scope of the Volumes-General Statements Opening of Sections
Gross quantities of Work Average quantities per mile Total Expenditure
Review of the Boundary Question Diplomacy of the United States
Sacrifice of British Interests The Lesson Taught General Observations
The Railway and the Dominion Historical Events Suggestive Associa
tions Men identified with the Railway A Coincidence Opening of the
Table of Gross quantities of principal kinds of Work 241
Table shewing Average quantities of Excavation and Masonry per mile 242
The short Ocean Passage 243
The Engineering Staff 251
LIST OF PLATES.
NO. I AGE.
1. General Map, 106
2. Skeleton Map, showing drainage basins, 34
3. Reduced general Map, with projected lines, 68
4. Skeleton Map, showing direct line, 78
5 A. Great Clay Cutting at Trois Pistoles, 1 44
5. Trois Pistoles Bridge, 146
6. Bridge at Bic, 148
7. Rimouski Bridge, 150
8. Grand Metis Bridge, 152
9. Amqui Bridge, 154
10. River Metapedia Railway on opposite bank, 156
11. Causapscal Bridge 1st crossing River Metapedia, 158
12. River Metapedia Mill Stream Bridge in progress, in the distance, . 100
13. Pier Mill Stream Bridge, 3d crossing River Metapedia, in winter, . 162
14. Restigouche Bridge, Location Plan, 164
15. Pier Restigouche Bridge, winter view, 1C6
16. Restigouche Bridge from the New Brunswick side. . . Frontispiece.
17. Restigouche Bridge Plan and elevation, with section of river, . . 166
18. Restigouche Bridge Foundation and Masonry of Piers, . . , . 166
19. Tunnel at Morrisey s Rock, 168
20. New Mills Bridge, 170
21. Tete a Gauche Bridge, 172
22. Nipissiguit Bridge, 174
23. Bridge at Red Pine Brook masonry in progress, 178
24. Barnaby River Tunnel, 182
25. General Plan of Miramichi Bridges, 188
26. Southwest Miramichi Section of River Plan and elevation of
27. " " Drawing of Piers, 192
28. South Abutment 196
29. " North Abutment, . . . . 204
30. " " View of Bridge, 198
31. Northwest Miramichi Section of River Plan and elevation of
32. " " Piers, Foundations, &c., 202
33. " " View of Works in progress, 216
34. " " Pier of Bridge, 218
35. Sackville Bridge, 224
36. MuBiqouh Bridge, 226
37. River Phillip Bridge, 228
38. Viaduct across Folly River V.-illoy, 230
EARLY HISTORY, 1832 TO 1842.
Early suggestions of a Railway System for Canada. Henry Fairbairn s Extraordinary
foresight. An Intercolonial Railway first projected. Exploration of the Route. Smith
and Hatheway s Report. The project meets the approbation of the Lower Canada
Legislature. Opinions of Captain Yule, R. E. St. John s press advocates the scheme.
Deputation to England Imperial Government grants 10,000 Survey Commenced
under Captain Yule, R. E. Engineering character of Route favourable. Western Traffic
to be competed for. Opinions of the New York Press on the " Great Project." Cupidity
of the people of the United States. Interference of the State of Maine. Suspension of
the Survey. Lord Durham. The Kempt Road.
THE project of an Intercolonial Railway, to connect the Maritime
Provinces with the Canadas, early occupied public attention. Few
are aware that among the first consequences of the stimulus given to
progress, throughout the world, by the creation of the Railway system,
we must assign a prominent position to the consideration of a scheme
for connecting Halifax with St. John, and the Bay of Fundy with the
The Stockton and Darlington Railway, of which the fiftieth
anniversary was celebrated last autumn, had been but a few years
in operation, when British North America became awakened to the
necessity of establishing the Railway system within her territory as a
relief to the disability under which she was labouring. Although the
influence it was destined to exercise upon the world was at that time
but imperfectly understood by the mass of men, some minds foresaw the
power which it possessed to develope the resources of a country. They
were but few, and it was only by slow degrees that the generation which
witnessed its introduction appreciated the revolution it would accom
Extraordinary as it may seem, a writer who may be classed with
the few far-seeing men who lived two generations ago, turned his views
across the Atlantic and suggested the construction of Railways in
British America as a means of promoting her progress.
The Stockton and Darlington line, the first in the series of Eng
lish passenger Railways, indeed, the first of the kind in any part of the
world, was opened on the 27th September, 1825. In the United Service
Journal of 1832, Mr. Henry Fairbairn,-the writer in question, published
the first notice, so far as known, of a project for applying the Railway
system to Canada. He says : " I propose, first to form a Railway for
" wagons, from Quebec to the Harbour of St. Andrews upon the Bay of
" Fundy, a work which will convey the whole trade of the St. Law-
" rence, in a single day, to the Atlantic waters. Thus the timber, pro-
" visions, ashes, and other exports of the Provinces may be brought to
" the Atlantic, not only with more speed, regularity and security, than
" by the river St. Lawrence, but with the grand additional advantage
" of a navigation open at all seasons of the year ; the harbour of St.
" Andrews being capacious, deep, and never closed in the winter season,
" whilst the St. Lawrence is unnavigable from ice, from the month of
" November to May. Another great line of railway may be formed from
" Halifax, through Nova Scotia to St. John s, in the Province of New
" Brunswick, and thence into the United States, joining the railways
" which are fast spreading through that country, and which will soon
" reach from New York to Boston and through the whole New England
" States. This railway will not only bring to the Atlantic the lumber,
" provisions, metal, and other exports of the provinces, but from the
" situation of the harbour of Halifax, it will doubtless command the
" whole stream of passengers, mails, and light articles of commerce pass-
" ing into the British possessions and to the United States and every
" part of the continent of America.
" Indeed, if the difficulties and expense of constructing these works
" in our North American Colonies were tenfold greater, an imperative
"necessity would exist for their adoption, if it is desired by the Govern-
" ment of this country, to maintain an equality of commercial advan
tages with the neighbouring United States. For the splendid
" advantages of the railway system are well understood in that country,
" where great navigable rivers are about to be superseded by railways
" of vast magnitude, reaching over hundreds of miles. Indeed, in no
" country, will the results of the railway system be so extensive as in
" the United States, for it will assimilate their only disadvantage, in-
" land distance from the sea ; and it will effect the work of centuries to
" connect, consolidate, and strengthen that giant territory, lying beneath
" all climates and spreading over a quarter of the globe. If then we
" would contend with these advantages, in our North American Prov-
"inces, it is only by similar works, that we can bring to the Atlantic,
" the agricultural exports of the Colonies, and secure the stream of
" emigration, which otherwise, with the facility of inland transportation,
" will be rapidly diverted to the Western regions of the United
These words were penned forty-four years ago and they are worthy
of preservation, not only for the correctness of view expressed and for
the enunciation of a policy which has been entirely carried out, but for
the modern language and tone in which the writer clothed Ms argu
ment. The mind which, in those days, could judge what railways would
effect, and could foreshadow what has taken half a century to accom
plish, must have been of no ordinary kind, and, on the completion of the
Intercolonial Railway it seems a fitting time to remember Henry Fair-
bairn and mention his name with honour.
St. Andrews, on the Bay of Fundy, was then an important centre of
**iness in New Brunswick, and the mention of the part assigned
8 THE INTEKCOLONIAL.
to that locality in this scheme at once attracted public attention
there. The commercial importance of the undertaking was immediately
recognized and its active population lost no time in putting into practi
cal form the policy which Mr. Fairbairn had pointed out for it to fol
low ; a meeting was called on the 5th October, 1835, at which resolu
tions advocating the line of Railway were unanimously carried.
More than ordinary interest is attached to these proceedings as they
may be held to be the first step taken towards the consummation of the
project. The resolutions enunciated the necessity of a Railway from
Canada to the nearest winter port in New Brunswick, viz., St. Andrews,
the national importance of the project, and the prospect that it would be
remunerative. The resolutions further set forth that an association
be formed to promote the building of a Railway. The association was
at once organized and an executive committee appointed.*
A deputation was also named to wait upon Sir Archibald Campbell,
then Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, to demonstrate the advan
tages which must result from the scheme and to solicit his assistance.
The Lieutenant-Governor expressed his appreciation of the zeal and
enterprise which suggested a project so well calculated to prove bene
ficial, commercially and in every other respect; and promised to sup
port the project. The association appointed Mr. George H. Smith and
Mr. E. R. Hatheway to explore the territory ; so that the feasibility of
the undertaking could be ascertained, and the character of the difficul
ties in the way made known. These gentlemen reported in January,
1836. The route followed by them was in part that which the present
New Brunswick & Canada Railway has taken from St. Andrews north
ward to Woodstock, thence it proceeded up the valley of the river St.
John as far as the point called Mars Hill, about 120 miles from St. An-
* Hon. Jag. Allanshaw, Chairman.
Thomas Wyer, Esq., Deputy Chairman.
Harris Hatch, 1
John Wilson, |
James Rait, ! Committee of Management.
Samuel Frye, j
J. McMaster, j
Adam Jack Secretary and Treasu
EARLY HISTORY. 9
drews, and then turned nearly Westward towards Quebec, ending on
the height of land between the waters of the river St. John and the
St. Lawrence. The exploration was not continued farther than this
height of land, owing to an examination having been previously made
through the district lying between it and the city of Quebec, by Cap
tain Yule of the Royal Engineers. The latter exploration had been
carried on under the authority of Lord Aylmer, Governor-General of
Canada. The report of Messrs. Smith and Hatheway declared that no
obstructions had been met to impede the formation of the Railway, that
a great portion of the lands were fit for settlement, and no burnt tracts
had been found. The work was pronounced by the explorers to be less
difficult than was expected. During the progress of the survey, the
association appealed to public opinion, and a verdict was pronounced
unmistakably in its favor. In this state of affairs it became advisable
to communicate with Lower Canada ; accordingly in December, 1835, a
deputation proceeded to Quebec, to bring the matter under the notice
of the Government. Resolutions favorable to the undertaking were
adopted in the same month by both Houses of the Legislature. The
resolutions of the Legislative Council bear date 19th December. They
are highly laudatory of the project, and promise the passing of a law
authorizing the construction of the Railway, recommending at the same
time the work to the consideration of the Imperial authorities.*
Similar Resolutions were adopted by the House of Assembly the
The inhabitants of Quebec and Montreal equally expressed sym
pathy in the undertaking. The Boards of Trade of both cities joined the
association, and special committees were appointed to act in concert
with the deputation.
* That a railroad between the port of St. Andrews, in the Bay of Fundy, which is open
at all seasons of the year, and the port of Quebec, would greatly diminisli the diaadvantnee
under which this province labours from tlie severity of its climate and the consequent inter
ruption of the navigation of the River St. Lawrence. That the opening of such communi
cation between the points before mentioned would promote the settlement of the country,
greatly facilitate the intercourse between these provinces and the United Kingdom, extend
the interchange of commodities between the British possessions in America, increase the
10 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
In compliance with the wish of the deputation, Captain Yule, R. E.,
who had made the exploratory survey between Quebec and the height
of land, placed on record the expression of his opinion, that the scheme
was beyond the ordinary limits of commercial speculation ; that it was
even something more than inter-provincial in its character ; that it
included the greater object of reducing the time necessary to pass
between Europe and America.
In St. John, New Brunswick, a deep interest was felt in the scheme,
and, although a degree of rivalry existed between that place and St.
Andrews, the press of St. John gave its support to the project.*
In January, 1836, a deputation proceeded to England, carrying with
them a petition to the King, and remained there engaged in negotiation
with the Imperial Government until the following June.
During March, resolutions similar to those passed by the Legislature
of Lower Canada were carried in the House of Assembly, Nova Scotia;
and in the same month a bill passed the Legislature of New Brunswick,
demand for British manufactures, and be the means of affording additional employment to
British shipping. That for the foregoing reasons it is highly expedient to promote and
facilitate the views of the Saint Andrews and Quebec Railroad Company Association, and
that so soon as the Legislature of the province of New Brunswick shall have passed an Act
to establish a railroad between Saint Andrews and the province line, every facility ought to
be given to the enactment of a law of a similar nature upon conditions as favourable as may
have been granted to any railroad company within this province.
That an humble address be presented to His Excellency, the Governor-in-Chief, praying
that His Excellency will be pleased to transmit the above Resolutions to the Secretary of
State for the Colonial Department, as the opinion of the Legislative Council, upon the sub
ject to which it has reference ; and praying also that His Excellency will be pleased to re
commend the subject to the favourable consideration of His Majesty s Government, if His
Excellency shall think fit to do so."
* We most sincerely hope that this grand projection may receive the favourable con
sideration of the King and his government. The great importance of connecting these two
ports by railroad will at once be seen, when we remind our readers that Quebec is bound in
icy fetters for about six months in the year, while at the same time New Brunswick would
receive an additional impulse by St. Andrews being the port of exit for the productions of
Canada. We certainly think that our neighbours of St. Andrews are entitled to great credit
for the persevering manner in which they have, for a number of months past, directed their
attention to the subject, both in having visited Quebec and causing a survey of the contem
plated line of road to be made, and that, too, at their own expense. It is true, they have
much to gain if it should go into successful operation ; but at the same time, we must feel
the benefits to be derived from it, for our interests are so intimately blended, that whatever
affects the one must also be felt by the other." St. John s Courier, February 25, 1830.
incorporating the " St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad Company," for
the construction of a line from St. Andrews, New Brunswick, to Lower
Lord Glenelg was then Secretary of State for the Colonies, and it
was to him the several resolutions of the Provincial Legislature, and
the reports of what had then been done, were submitted. On the 27th
of April an estimate of the cost of construction, and of the probable
traffic, was also laid before him. The cost of the work was estimated at
$4,000,000, and the revenue to be derived at $606,000, apart from the
carriage of mails.*
The deputation urged the importance of an immediate survey on a
more comprehensive scale than that of the previous explorations, and
suggested that a sum not exceeding 10,000 be expended in an explora
tion through the wilderness country, an expenditure which would save
thousands in the end ; and as the service could not be completed in one
season, that it should be commenced without delay. The deputation
further proposed, as the means for raising the necessary capital, that
the sum of 250,000 should be given as a bonus or special grant to the
* Estimate of cost of construction.
Grading 250 miles at $5,000 per
mile (currency) 312,500
Making the road and putting down
rails for a single track, with turn
outs, etc., at $7,000 per mile 437,500
Whole estimated cost 750,000
The association thought it safe to
allow for contingencies, in ad
dition thereto . 250,000
Of, in sterling money 888,889
Ira/torts to Qiiebfc.
West India produce 5,000
European manufactures and merchan
Passengers, averaging 15 ppr day, 200
days, at 80 shillings each . . . . 15,000
Miscellaneous article?, equal to 50,000
barrels a t 5 shillings each 12.500
Emigrants, say 5,000
Amount of imports 48,100 ;
Exjiorts from Quebec.
Flour and provisions, say 110,000 bar
rels, at 3 shillings per barrel 10,500
Wheat, barley, oats, etc 10,000
Staves, ashes and miscellaneous ar
Passengers, as per contra 15,000
Amount from exports .52,100
To ami from t/ie intermediate country.
100,000 tons deals, timber, boards,
and planks, at 7s. 6d. per ton 37,500
Shingles, staves, sawlogs, scantling,
and other dimension lumber 7,500
Provisions, goods, passengers ; >. c.,
settlors and operators 0,300
Total C 51 ,"00
Probable income 151.500
Equal in sterling money to 134.000
Allowance for carrying mails and other
items not included
12 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
company on the principle established in the province for the construc
tion of roads and internal improvements ; that a further sum of
500,000 be invested in the stock of the company, the dividends to
form a part of the casual revenues; the remaining 250,000 to be
obtained in stock in the Canadas and New Brunswick.
On the 5th May, 1836, the deputation addressed a letter to Sir
George Grey, then Under-Secretary of State, acknowledging the receipt
of his letter of the 4th inst., which conveyed to them the gratifying informa
tion that their application for a sum of money not exceeding 10,000,
to be expended in the exploration and survey of the proposed line of
Railway from St. Andrews to Quebec, had been granted ; and that the
other propositions submitted by them would receive the attention of
Government so soon as the result of the survey should be known. The
deputation concluded their letter with an expression of thanks to
The day after the arrival, from England, of the deputation at St.
Andrews, 10th June, 1836, resolutions were passed at a public meeting
to the effect " that the munificent donation of 10,000 by His Majesty,
" for the purpose of carrying into effect an exploration of the line for a
" Railroad from St. Andrews to Quebec, affords an additional proof of
" His Majesty s solicitude for the prosperity of his British North Ameri-
" can Colonies, and is hailed by the members of the Association as an
" earnest of the ultimate completion of the work." Sir Archibald
Campbell was also thanked for the countenance and encouragement,
he had given to the work.
The survey was entrusted to Captain Yule, who had a high repu
tation in the Royal Engineers for practical knowledge and professional
ability, and upon the 24th July, 1836, that officer commenced the work
at Point Levis.
The object was to ascertain whether the country was suitable for
railway construction ; also, to obtain such data as time would permit,
in order to form an opinion as to the most eligible line. The scope
of the examination was not confined to the project of connecting St.
Andrews and Quebec. It was extended to the wider question as to
the benefits which the work would confer on the whole country. The
survey followed the valley of the Etchemin River to Etchemin Lake,
which had been previously examined by Captain Yule, and recommended
for the route of the Levis and Kennebec Railway. From Lake Etche
min, the line of exploration was as straight as possible towards Mars
Hill, and then direct to St. Andrews.
Between the upper part of the River St. John, nearest the Lake
Etchemin and Mars Hill, several short lines were explored. Until that
period, the country from east to west, was unknown. The only reports
made of its character had been given by hunters who had passed in
canoes along the St. John, the Allagash, or the Restock, and the gen
eral belief was that it was generally level ; at least, without great in
In the exploration made by Captain Yule not a single feature,
stream, lake nor mountain could be identified until the Restook was
reached. There was neither map nor land-mark to assist the exploring
The survey showed several level tracts ; but at other points the
route was occasionally turned to the right or left by high hills and
ridges. On the portion of the line between Mars Hill and St. Andrews,
no important obstacles were found. The route, as a whole, was found
to be remarkably free from such obstacles as might have been looked
for in a large tract, of which part was believed to partake of a highland
character; while there were few abrupt rocky ridges to lead to a
deviation of the route from a direct course. But four large rivers, and a
few broad and deep ravines were met. One unusual cause of expense
was to be looked for, viz., the difficulty of obtaining supplies. The
distance was estimated at 300 miles, and the cost of the line at one
The scheme was favourably received by the Governor-General and
by the great body of the people.
It was generally looked upon as promising extraordinary advan-
14 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
tages, and as a project which would give an impetus, never before ex
perienced, to the prosperity of the country. On all sides it was held that
every effort should be made to obtain an uninterrupted communication
with the seaboard.
Moreover, the project was thought to be the commencement of a sys
tem of internal improvements to extend to the Far West, which had
only to be put in operation to create an immense traffic and greatly to add
to the wealth of the provinces. It was argued that this consideration
should be kept prominently in view. The value of the export trade
from the West, was inferred from the rivalry between New York
and Pennsylvania in their endeavour to control it.
The people of the United States, moreover, appeared clearly to un
derstand the advantages which would result to the British Prov
inces from the undertaking. Illustrations of the spirit in which the
project was reviewed, can be found in the press of New York of that
date.* These furnish an early indication that it was this project
which suggested to parties in the United States the policy of claim
ing a portion of New Brunswick as a part of Maine, so that the pro
posed line could not be followed.
At that time the entire country through which Captain Yule pros
ecuted the surveys was held to be wholly within British territory.
* " A GREAT PROJECT. The plan which the Canadians and the New Brunswick people,
under the auspices of the British Government, have projected, of a railroad from Quebec to
St. Andrews, in New Brunswick, or the City of St. John, so as to make, as it is said, St. An
drews a. wharf and the Bay of Fundy a harbour for the St. Lawrence, is one of the most mag
nificent that lias yet been projected upon this continent, and calculated to involve, ultimately,
the most important political consequences. The idea was stolen from the Maine Legislature (!)
where the project originally started ; but Great Britain, with that sagacity and foresight
that distinguish all her political movements, has taken it up and adopted it, and is likely,
for want of sufficient enterprise in the Maine Legislature, not only to rob that State of the
honour and the profit, but even of the territory over which it is absolutely necessary to con
struct the road ; hence, undoubtedly, the reason why Sir Charles Vaugban, in his corres
pondence with our Government, relative to the North Eastern boundary, after the starting of
the project, refused even to fall back upon the award of the King of Holland, as to the
dividing line between Maine and the British Provinces, though he was very willing to adopt
that line immediately after the award. The object of the British Government now is to
secure enough of this disputed country to make a railroad upon, between the Bay of Fundy
EARLY HISTORY. 15
It was in 1837 that the Government of the United States made objec
tion to the route proposed, and Canada was then in rebellion. Were
the troubles of that date too tempting an opportunity to be neglected ?
Had that outbreak not taken place, would the claim ever have been ad
It is true that in the treaty of 1783 the boundary was very
vaguely described ; but it was capable of arrangement. Unfortunately
however, Canada, then weak, at war with herself, without cohesion,
shaken by political difficulties, offered herself a willing prey to a strong
and ambitious neighbour.
If the loss has been hers, the fault has, to no small extent, been hers
also. The facts are now the history of the past, and there are few inci
dents of modern times which more plainly tell their lesson. Let us only
hope that the lesson is not to be read in vain, and that those who follow
us will profit by its teaching and will not again, by disunion and polit
ical discord, court spoliation, or dismemberment. The promoters of the
Kail way were, for the first time, made aware of the action of the United
States Government, through the deputation of the association then in
England. Upon their application for an interview with Lord Glenelg,
the deputation received a despatch from Sir George Grey,* Under-Sec-
retary of State, to the effect, that as the Government of the State
" This project we have called magnificent, not only on account of the undertaking itself,
but on account of its high and weighty consequences. It enables the British Government
to send all her troops, munitions of war, etc., with all possible speed, from that important
naval position, Halifax, where the British Government is now fitting up one of the strongest
fortifications in the world, to Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, the Lakes, and all along our
northern and north-western territories. In five or six days, soldiers can be taken from the
great military and naval depot at Halifax and put upon the St. Lawrence from Quebec to
Ontario. The difficult and dangerous navigation of the St. Lawrence is thus avoided. The
British will also thus have a port where their produce can be sent to and from the A
Indies. Military and commercial advantages prompt the British Government to exper
$4,000.000. for with the harbour of Halifax, as it is near Europe, a cordon of British bayonets
can be made to surround us in the shortest possible time, and the produce of the C
now seeking a mart in New York in American ships, can thus be turned to St. Andrews (
St. John in British bottoms. But rely upon it, there is no question with a foreign pov
now so vastly invoMng the future destinies of this country, as the disputed boundary line
* 3d July, 1837.
16 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
of Maine had protested against the prosecution of the undertaking, on
the ground that it involved an infringement of certain stipulations re
specting the unsettled boundary question, the Governor-General of Can
ada and the Lieutenant-Governorof New Brunswick had been instructed
to prevent further proceedings until measures had be,en taken to remove
the objections of the State of Maine.
In pursuance of this interference, on the 24th of the same month,
the secretary of the association received a communication from
Sir John Harvey, Fredericton, to the effect that he had received
the commands of His Majesty s Government, in consequence of a
representation from that of the United States, peremptorily to prohibit
any further proceedings for the construction of a railroad between St.
Andrews and Quebec until the points in dispute should be settled.
Captain Yule also wrote to the association on the sudden turn of affairs,
adding a few words of sympathy and hope, and the proceedings of the
association were abruptly closed.
An attempt was made in 1838 to revive the project, but the bound
ary question had then assumed grave importance, and nothing could be
The difficulties with Maine, which followed the sudden and unex
pected suspension of the Railway survey, and the trembles connected
with the rebellion in both Canadas, pointed to the fact that if Northern
America was to remain British America, there must be a speedier con
nection between her and the Mother Country, and that in winter there
must be a mode of approach to the Canadas other than the frozen St.
Lawrence. The first indication that light had dawned in the Colonial
office upon this subject, is found in a despatch from Lord Glenelg to Sir
John Harvey,* to the effect that the Imperial Government had resolved to
advertise for tenders for carrying the mails between England and Halifax
by steam instead of sailing vessels ; and that the Imperial Postmaster-
General had turned his attention to the necessity of increased expedi
tion in the carriage of mails by land.
* 24th Oct., 1838.
EARLY HISTORY. 17
In a despatch dated 4th May, 1839, Lord Normanby informed Sir
John Harvey that a contract had been entered into for a semi-monthly
mail by steamships between Liverpool and Halifax, and the improvement
of the mail roads was again earnestly pressed on the Colonial Govern
It was, doubtless, the knowledge of the views of the Imperial
Government, which led Lord Durham in his celebrated report to allude
to the future of British America.
Some explanation has always been sought for his expressions at
this date.* The words, it is true, are not many, but viewed in the light of
our present knowledge they are pregnant with meaning. He says : "The
" completion of any satisfactory communication between Halifax and
" Quebec, would in fact produce relations between these Provinces
"that would render a general union absolutely necessary." He was
indeed more of a prophet than was believed for many years. In theory,
the railway was undoubtedly the pivot of the Dominion, in fact, the
railway owes its existence to the Dominion. In February, 1839,
a body of armed men from the State of Maine attempted to take pos
session of the disputed territory. The organization of a force to repel
the invasion must have established the necessity of a military road
through the length and breadth of British America. These various
difficulties led to a report from the post-office authorities at Quebec,*
in which the road then used for carrying mails between Quebec and
Fredericton is described as passing through the territory in dispute, and
stating that in giving up this route there was but one other choice, " the
neglected road partially opened by Sir James Kempt," between Metis
on the Lower St. Lawrence and the River Restigouche.
The advantage of the Metis road, since known as the Kempt road,
at that time was, that it passed through undisputed territory. From a
military point of view it commended itself to the Government on the
ground that troops and supplies could be brought by water from Halifax
up the Restigouche to within 300 miles of Quebec, at periods when
* January, 1839.
18 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
the St. Lawrence is not practicable. An exploration and survey of a
road from the Restigouche to the St. Lawrence was therefore made in
the summer of 1839, arid in the following year an appropriation was
voted by the Imperial Parliament for the completion of this communica
tion between Lower Canada and New Brunswick. It retained the name
of its first projector, Sir James Kempt ; for many years previous to
1839 it had fallen into disuse, and had almost become forgotten, but
the dark and complicated aspect of affairs again brought it to notice,
and led to its restoration.
Quoted by Lord Normanby in despatch, May, 1839.
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION, 1783 to 1842.
Final settlement of the Boundary Line disastrous to the Railway. Treaty of Paris of 178
Disputed interpretations of that Treaty. Subsequent Treaty of 1794. The Commission
under it St. Croix River named in the Treaty. Doubtful Location of the " Highlands "
of the Treaty. The due North Line. Verification of boundary of old Nova Scotia by
ancient Letters Patent Featherstonhaugh and Mudge on original Grant. Treaty of
Ghent in 1814. Blunders of the Commissioners. Arbitration of the King of the Nether
lands, Award rejected by the United States. President Andrew Jnckson on the Ques
tion. nig reasonable proposals declined by the English Government. A new survey
organized by both Countries. State of Maine overtly breaks International Law. Lord
Ashburton s Mission to Washington. Daniel Webster. The Boundary Line adopted
prejudicial to Canada.
The Maine Boundary question, alluded to in the last chapter, was
settled by Treaty in August, 1842 ; Lord Ashburton representing Great
Britain, and the celebrated Daniel Webster the United States. It ceded
to the United States much of New Brunswick Territory, including all
that portion west of the River St. John through which Captain Yule
had made the Railway survey in 1837. Thus its effect was almost
to sever the geographical connection between the maritime Provinces
and the Canadas.
One immediate consequence of this diplomatic sacrifice was the
indefinite postponement of the Railway ; and when a quarter of a
century later, the period came for the construction of a line, the deter
mination of its course was rendered a matter of the greatest possible
It will be necessary to revert to the treaty of Paris of September,
1783, in order fully to understand this now almost forgotten difficulty,
which at one time threatened serious complications.
20 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Tt was set forth, that in order : "to forget all past misunderstand-
" ings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good corres-
" pondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to
"establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the
" two countries, upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual
" convenience, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and
" harmony," * * * * " Article I. His Britannic Majesty acknowl-
" edges the said United States, viz. New Hampshire, &c." * * *
" Article II. And that all disputes which might arise in future on the sub
ject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is
" hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their
" boundaries, viz. from the Northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz. that
" angle which is formed by a line drawn due north, from the source of
" St. Croix river to the highlands, along the said highlands which divide
" those rivers that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence, from those
" which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the Northwesternmost head of
" Connecticut River ; thence down along the middle of that river to
" the forty-fifth degree of North latitude ; from thence on a line due
" West on that latitude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy ;
" thence along the middle of the said river into Lake Ontario ;
" * * * East, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the River
" St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy, to its source ; and
" from its source directly North to the aforesaid highlands which divide
" the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, from those which fall
" into the river St. Lawrence ; comprehending all islands within
" twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States and
" lying between lines to be drawn due East from the points where the
" aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East
" Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy, and
" the Atlantic Ocean ; excepting such lands as now are, or heretofore
" have been, within the limits of the said province of Nova Scotia."
There is every reason to believe that this description so far as it
relates to the Maine boundary was sufficiently definite and intelligible
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 21
to the framers of the Treaty, and that its meaning was distinctly un
derstood by them. Indeed tkere is nothing that the writer has seen
which suggests that any doubt was felt at that time regarding it. Only
a few years elapsed, however, when it was seen that the provisions of
the Treaty contained the elements of dispute. It is not to be wondered
at, therefore, when half a century had passed over, and another genera
tion had to interpret them, that doubts were started by the new men
who were then seeking political distinction. The old question assumed
an entirely new form. Fresh claims were propounded. Difficulties,
before unknown, were created ; and the Boundary, notwithstanding re
peated attempts at settlement, could not be defined to the satisfaction
of both parties to the Treaty.
In 1784, immediately after the conclusion of the Treaty, a part of
the ancient Province of Nova Scotia was converted into the Province
of New Brunswick. English settlements were made at St. Andrews,
and on the river Schoodic, believed to be the St. Croix of the Treaty.
But even at this early period, some of the citizens of the United States
were advancing the claim that the Magaguadavic was the true St. Croix.
Other difficulties having occurred, a new treaty, called " The Treaty of
Amity Commerce and Navigation," was made in 1794.
In the fifth article of this treaty after setting forth that doubts had
arisen, as to what river was truly intended by the name of St. Croix, it
provided that the question should be referred to the final decision of Com
missioners, to be appointed as follows, viz : " One Commissioner shall
" be named by His Majesty, and one by the President of the United States
" by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof , and the said
" two commissioners shall agree on the choice of a third ; or if they can-
" not so agree, they shall each propose one person, and of the two names so
" proposed, one shall be drawn by lot in the presence of the two original
" commissioners ; and the three commissioners so appointed shall be
" sworn impartially to examine and decide the said question according
" to such evidence as shall respectively be laid before them. * * * *
" The said commissioners shall, by a declaration under their hands and
22 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
" seals, decide what river is the river St. Croix intended by the Treaty
* * * * and shall particularize the latitude and longitude of
" its mouth and of its source, * * * * and both parties agree to
" consider such decision as final and conclusive, so that the same shall
"never thereafter be called into question, or made the subject of dispute
" or difference between them."
These instructions are sufficiently simple and explicit, and acting
upon them negotiations were commenced in 1796. By common agree
ment of the two nominated commissioners, a judge of the Supreme
Court of New York, a man whose character stood high for talents and
integrity, was appointed the third commissioner and umpire. Through
out the negotiations which continued until the autumn of 1798, it was
strenuously insisted upon, on the part of the United States, that the
Magaguadavic was the true St. Croix. This view was not accepted by
the British commissioner. The result was that the third Commissioner
decided that the British claim was fully established to the river
Schoodic as the true River St. Croix of the Treaty of 1783. The river
has two branches, one flowing from the West, the other from the North.
Of these two branches, the western had been sometimes called the
Schoodic, but the northern had been invariably called the Cliiputnati-
cook. The commissioners recognized the western branch as the main
stream. The source of the western branch of the Schoodic or true St.
Croix, is -some 50 miles distant from the source of the eastern branch
or Chiputnaticook ; the interval between the meridians of longitude
of these two points is about 70 statute miles. Notwithstanding this
decision that the western branch, the so called river Schoodic, was the
river St. Croix of the Treaty of 1783, the commissioners proposed and
decided that the Chiputnaticook, or eastern branch, should form the
line of boundary ; and in conformity with this decision they erected a
boundary monument at its source. For what cause, or on what prin
ciple they arrived at this view is unintelligible. The duty of the com
missioners was in reality limited to the determination of the geographical
position of the river St. Croix, declared, by the Treaty of 1783, to be
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION.
the boundary of the two countries. In deciding that any other river
should be the boundary they entirely overstepped their duty. It was
indeed generally acknowledged that the commissioners had exceeded
their powers, and in 1798 an explanatory article was added to the
treaty of 1794, releasing the commissioners from their obligations to
define the river St. Croix, and declaring that the decisions to which
they had come should be permanently binding on England and the
The establishment of the boundary at the source of the Chiputna-
ticook in place of that of the true St. Croix, was the first false step in
these unfortunate negotiations. From this fatal error arose all the
subsequent difficulties, which embarrassed the consideration of the
question, and ultimately led to a settlement disastrous to the interests
of Canada. It was also unfortunate that steps were not taken to de
fine the entire boundary between the true starting-point on the St.
Croix, and the succeeding governing point. Had this course been
pursued, the true meaning and intent of the description given in the
Treaty would have been apparent. Even had the labours of the Com
missioners been extended to establish the boundary from their own
starting-point, considerable light would have been thrown upon the
subject. In all probability they would have discovered the mistake tin >y
had made, and as just and reasonable men, would have been led to recti
fy it. They contented themselves, however, in creating a starting-point
not designed by the Treaty, and here their operations ceased. The main
boundary still remained undefined. Had the ordinary principles which
are followed in laying down the lines of a property, been applied, much
confusion would have been avoided, and a boundary line traced, the
substantial fairness of which would have been beyond impeachment,
Thirty-five years afterwards, the Government of the United St
clearly enunciated the principles to be followed, through the Si-cretai y
of State, the Honorable Edward Livingstone. " Boundaries of t.
"and countries, where the region through which the line is to pass is
" unexplored, are frequently designated by natural objects, the precise
" situation of which is not known, but which arc supposed to be in
" the direction of a particular point of the compass where the natural
" object is found in the designated direction, no question can arise.
"Where the course will not touch the natural boundary, the rule
" universally adopted is, not to consider the boundary as one impossible
" to be traced ; but to preserve the natural boundary, and to reach it
" by the nearest direct course. Thus if after more accurate surveys
" shall have been made, it should be found that the north course from
" the head of the St. Croix should not reach the highlands which answer
"the description of those designated in the Treaty of 1783; then a
" direct line from the head of the St. Croix, whatever may be its direc-
" tion, to such highlands, ought to be adopted, and the line would
" still be conformable to the Treaty." On this principle the first effort
was to discover the highlands which corresponded with those described
in the Treaty, and to take the point in those highlands nearest to the
due north line. It would then have been in strict accordance with the
Treaty, to draw a direct line to that point from the other known fixed
natural point, the source of the St. Croix, without regard to the pre
cise course named in the Treaty.
A due north line from the true river St. Croix crosses, 1st. A
height of land, separating the waters flowing into the Atlantic from
those flowing into the Bay of Fundy: 2d. A height of land separating
the waters flowing into the Bay of Fundy from the waters flowing into
the Bay Chaleur : 3d. A height of land separating the waters flowing
into the Bay Chaleur from those flowing into the Estuary of the St. Law
rence. A due north line from the Chiputnaticook, the assumed river St.
Croix, crosses, 1st. A height of land separating waters flowing into the
Bay of Fundy on the one side from waters on the other side flowing into
the river St. John, and finally into the Bay of Fundy : 2d. A height
of land separating waters flowing into the Bay of Fundy from waters
flowing into the Bay Chaleur : 3d. A height of land separating
waters flowing into the Bay Chaleur from waters flowing into the
Estuary of the St. Lawrence. It is obvious that not one of the heights
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 25
of land on either north line, strictly agrees with the highlands
described in the Treaty, viz : " highlands which divide rivers that
empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from those which fall
into the Atlantic Ocean." Such are to be found, however, at the
dividing ridge between the sources of the Penobscot and the Chaudie re.
At the sources of these rivers is to be found that point in the high
lands nearest to the north line of the Treaty ; accordingly such point
presents itself as the natural object described in the Treaty of 1783.
Between such point and the other known point, the source of the river
St. Croix, a direct line drawn would have indicated the true boundary.
To the west of the dividing ridge, between the Penobscot and the
Chaudiere, the course of the highlands was easily defined to the Con
necticut River, and thence along the 45th parallel of latitude to the
westward ; on this point there was no great difference of opinion.
It must never be lost sight of that in the Treaty description, the
boundary is set forth as commencing at the Northwest angle of Nova
Scotia , at the northern end of the direct line from the river St. Croix.
It is, therefore, a matter of historical interest to examine how far the line
drawn from the river St. Croix to the dividing ridge, at the source of
the Chaudiere, coincides with the boundary of the old province of Nova
The first grant of Nova Scotia is contained in letters patent to
William Alexander, Earl of Sterling, from King James 1st, in 1621, and
confirmed by Charles 1st, in 1625.
The description of Nova Scotia, given in these letters patent, is as
follows : " Omnes et singulas terras continentis, ac insulas situatas et
" jacentes in America intra caput seu promontorium communiter Cap
" de Sable appellat. Jacen. prope latitudinem quadraginta trium
" graduum auteo circa ab equinoctiali linea, versus Septentrionem, a
" quo promontorio versus littus maris tendon ad occidentem ad statio-
" nem Sancta? Maria) navium vulgo Sanctmareis Bay. Et deinceps,
"versus Septentrionem per directam lineam introitum sive ostium
"magna) illius stationis navium trajicien, qiue excurrit in terre orien-
26 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
" talem plagam inter regioues Suriquorum et Etcheminorum vulgo
"Suriquoi* et Etchemines ad fluvium vulgo nomine Sanetce
" Grucis appellat. Et ad scaturiginem remotissimam sive fontem
" ex occidental! parte ejusdem qui se prhnum predicto fluvio im.
" mescet. Unde per imaginariam directam Lineam quas pergere per
" terram seu currere versus Septentrionem concipietur ad proximam
"navium Stationem, fluvium vel Scaturiginem in inagno fluvio de
" Canada sese exonerantem. Et ab eo pergendo versus orientem per
" maris oris littorales ejusdem fluvii de Canada ad fluvium stationern
" navium portum aut littus communiter nomine de Gathepe vel Gaspee
" notum ct appellatum."
Translation of the text.
"All and singular the lands of the Continent, and Islands, situated and lying in
"America, within the head or promontory commonly called Cape Sable, lying near the
"north latitude of forty-three degrees, or thereabouts, from the equinoctial line ; from
" which promontory, towards (or along) the shore of the sea stretching to the west, to the
" ships station of St. Mary, commonly called St. Mary s Bay ; and thence, towards the
"north, by a direct line crossing over the entrance or mouth of that great ships station
"which extends inland into the eastern tract of country between the regions of the Suriqui
" and Etchemines, commonly Suriquois and Ktchemins, to the river commonly called by the
"name of St. Croix ; and to the most remote source or spring, from the western part of the
" same, which first mingles itself with the said river ; whence, by an imaginary direct line
" which might be conceived to proceed through the country, or to run towards the north, to the
" nearest ships station, river, or spring, emptying itself in the great river of Canada ; and
" thence, by proceeding towards the East by the Gulf shores of the same river of Canada,
" to the river, ships station, port, or shore, commonly known and called by the name of
" Gathepe or Gaspee."
The explanations of Messrs. Featherstonlmugh and Mudge, on the
text of the original grant, establish that the original boundary line of Nova
Scotia, from the mouth of the St. Croix to the source of the Chaudiore,
was the boundary line designed by the framers of the Treaty of 1783. In
reality, the text of the Treaty is a repetition of the grant of 1621, and it
could scarcely have been more precise, except with regard to the course
of the imaginary straight line between the two natural objects, the
source of the River St. Croix and the particular point in the highlands.
The original grant runs : " An imaginary direct line, which might be
" conceived (concipietur) to proceed through the country or to run to-
" wards the north.
THK BOUNDARY QL^STION.
A slight departure from this language was admitted into the Treaty,
probably with a view to abbreviate the description, and hence the dis
crepancy. We have due north, instead of towards the north in a direct
or straight line. Otherwise the two descriptions have one and the same
meaning. The commissioners of the two Governments, however, de
cided on the point at the source of the Chiputnaticook as the starting-
point; and they determined that this river should hereafter be consid
ered the St. Croix the Sanetce Crucis of the Nova Scotia grant, which
it undoubtedly was riot.
The next step taken to effect a settlement of the boundary was in
1814, and the course determined on is fully set forth in the fifth Article
of the Treaty of Ghent, viz :
" Whereas neither that point of the highlands lying due north from
" the source of the river St. Croix, designated in the former Treaty of
" Peace between the two Powers as the North-west angle of Nova
" Scotia,nor the north westernmost head of the Connecticut Eiver,have yet
" been ascertained ; and whereas that part of the boundary line between
" the dominions of the two powers, which extends from the source of
" the river St. Croix directly north to the above mentioned North-west
" angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the said highlands which divide
" those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from
those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwestermnost head
" of the Connecticut River, thence down along the middle of that river to
"the 45th degree of North latitude, thence by a line due west in said
" latitude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraqui, has not yet
" been surveyed ; it is agreed, that for these several purposes, two Com-
"missioners shall be appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in
"the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next pre-
" ceding Article, unless otherwise specified in the present article. The
"said Commissioners shall meet at St. Andrews, in the Province of
" New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place
" or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall have
- power to ascertain and determine the points above mentioned, in con-
28 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
" formity with the provisions of the said Treaty of Peace of 1783 ; and
" shall cause the boundary aforesaid, from the source of the River St.
" Croix to the River Iroquois or Cataraqui, to be surveyed and marked
" according to the said provisions ; the said Commissioners shall make
" a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a declaration under their
" hands and seals certifying it to be the true map of the said boun-
" dary, and particularizing the latitude and longitude of the North-
" west angle of Nova Scotia, of the north-westernmost head of the Con-
" necticut River, and of such other points of the said boundary as
" they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such
"map and declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the said
"boundary. And in the event of the two Commissioners differing,
" or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting
" to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by
" them, or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign
" or State shall be made, in all respects as in the latter part of the
" fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same
" was herein repeated."
Had these Commissioners commenced at the source of the true St.
Croix, that is to say, the main or western branch, and then extended a
line due north, they would have reached highlands, at no great dis
tance, where the waters flowing into the Atlantic take their rise. But
the Commissioners began their labours at the point of commencement
erroneously established by their predecessors at the source of the Chi-
putnaticook. Starting from this point, on a course due north, they
passed through the opening in the highlands through which the River
St. John finds a passage. The Commissioners in consequence found the
wording of the Treaty in no way in accordance with the physical fea
tures of the country. The line run, not striking highlands, but passing
through them at the opening through which the St. John flows, they
encountered a wide intermediate expanse, and finally struck a second
rano-e of highlands at a point where the river Metis takes its rise. But
the latter highlands divided the waters flowing into the Bay Chaleur,
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 29
from those flowing into the estuary of the St. Lawrence, and could not
possibly be considered the highlands of the Treaty of 1783.
The Commissioners, under the Treaty of Ghent could not arrive at
any decision. As a last resource, under its provisions, the question was
referred by common consent to the King of the Netherlands for arbitra
ment, and the duty was accepted by that monarch. The subject was
fully submitted to the arbitrator by the representatives of both Govern
ments, with documentary evidence, and all that could throw light upon
the case. It is believed, however, that the fact, that the western branch
of the St. Croix had been set aside for the eastern branch, was not
brought prominently forward. It may have been incidentally men
tioned, but it was not adduced as a link in the evidence to explain
much that was otherwise inexplicable. The boundary had in fact been
declared to be settled in 1798, as far as the monument at the head
of the Chiputnaticook could establish it, and although the selection
of that stream was admitted to be a departure from the Treaty of
1783, it was held that this settlement precluded the reopening of the
The award of the King of the Netherlands was delivered at the
Hague on the 10th of January, 1831. It was to the effect that the evi
dence submitted, and the vague and indefinite stipulations of the Treaty
of 1783 did not permit an adjudication of either of the lines claimed by
the respective Governments. The opinion was further expressed, that
the original description of the boundaries of the British Provinces did
not afford any basis for a decision ; that the instructions of Congress,
when the Treaty of 1783 was being negotiated, placed the north-west
angle of Nova Scotia at the source of the River St. John ; that accord
ing to Mitchell s map, (a document extant when the Treaty of 1783 was
made and submitted in evidence,) the latitude of that angle was as far
north as the banks of the St. Lawrence; that according to the boun
dary of the Government of Quebec, it ought to be sought for at the
highlands dividing the rivers which empty themselves into the River
St. Lawrence from those which fall into the sea ; consequently, that the
30 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
north-west angle of Nova Scotia was unknown in 1783, unascertained
by the Treaty of Ghent, and still remaining to be found.
The arbitrator was also of opinion that the rivers falling into the
Bay Chaleur and into the Bay of Fundy could not be considered,
according to the meaning of the Treaty, as rivers flowing into the At
lantic ; and specifically that the rivers St. John and Kestigouche cannot
be looked upon as answering to the latter description.
It was further advanced that the term " highlands" applies not only to
a hilly or elevated country, but also to land which, not necessarily
hilly, divides waters flowing in opposite directions ; " that the verb
" divide appears to require the contiguity of the objects to be divided ; "
and that, therefore, no highlands answering the description of the
Treaty of 1783 occurred in a due north line from the source of the
River St. Croix.
Therefore, finding himself unable to adjudge either of the lines, the
Arbitrator conceived it expedient to suggest a line of boundary.
The Government of Great Britain announced to the Government of the
United States their willingness to acquiesce in any boundary proposed
by the King of the Netherlands. The Senate of the United States re
jected the award, and invited the President to enter anew into nego
tiations with the British Government upon the whole question of the
Negotiations were accordingly renewed, and a long diplomatic
correspondence ensued. The Executive of the United States by no
means held it to be impracticable to determine the boundary in
tended by the Treaty of 1783. The President, General Jackson, ex
pressed himself sincerely anxioiis to have the question amicably ad
justed during his term of office. He directed a proposal to be made
and repeated at various times, which seemed to open a way calculated
to bring about a satisfactory solution. The proposal of the President is
fully explained in a note sent to the Duke of Wellington, from Wash
* April 28tli, T8: J ,5. Him. John Forsyth, Secretary of State, Washington, to Sir C. R. Vaughan.
"By the Treaty of 1783, the boundary between the dominions of
" the two governments was to be a line drawn from the source of the
" St. Croix, directly north, to the highlands which divide the rivers
" which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the
" River St. Lawrence , the point at which the due north line was to
" cut the highlands, was also designated as the northwest angle of Nova
"Scotia; thence along the said highlands to the northwesternmost
" head of the Connecticut River, etc. The ascertainment of the true
" northwest angle of Nova Scotia, or the designation of the highlands
" referred to, has been the principal difficulty by which the settlement
" of the boundary has been so long retarded ; and it was the supposed
."impracticability of satisfactorily accomplishing that ascertainment or
" designation which prevented the adjustment by the Arbitrator. The
" United States have always contended, that the point, to which they
" have uniformly claimed, is upon certain highlands north of the river
" St. John, which answers, in every respect, the description given in
" the Treaty, and is the true northwest angle of Nova Scotia ; a claim
" which is not intended to be abandoned or weakened by anything the
" President has authorized to be proposed or said upon the subject. If
" the highlands now referred to, do in truth, answer the description, no
" doubt could be reasonably entertained of the justice of our claim, as
" there would be a perfect concurrence in the course prescribed, and
" the natural object designated by the Treaty ; but on the part of Great
" Britain it has been strenuously contended, that no highlands, answer-
" ing the description in the Treaty, could be found northward of the
" river St. John, upon a line running directly north ; and it has, there-
"fore, been insisted that the due north line shall be deemed to ter-
" minate to the southward of that river, and at a place called Mars
" Hill. The President is advised, that it is a rule in practical survey-
" ing, which prevailed in this country before the revolution, and has
" since been, and still is considered obligatory, that when there is found
" in the location of the premises described in a deed or any other instru-
"ment. a disagreement in the course of a given line, and the bearing of
32 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
" a natural object called for, as its termination, the given course must
" be made to yield to the given object, and the line closed at the object,
" in a direction corresponding, as nearly as practicable, to the course
" prescribed ; upon the principle that the natural object furnishes evi-
" dence of the true intention of the parties, which may be relied upon
" with more safety than the course, errors in which constantly occur,
" from the imperfections in the instruments used, or the want of knowl-
" edge of those in whose hands they may have been placed. He has
" thought that this rule might be rightfully and properly applied to the
"matter now in controversy, and is willing to agree, that if, upon a
" thorough examination, it shall appear to those appointed by the par-
" ties to make it, that His Majesty s Government is correct in its assump-
" tion, that the highlands hitherto claimed by the United States, as
" those designated by the Treaty, do not answer that description, but
" that those highlands are to be found to the west of the due north
" line ; that the boundary line should be closed according to the estab
lished rule in practical surveying. Whether there are highlands to
" be found in a northwesterly course from the source of the St. Croix,
" answering better to the description given in the Treaty of 1783, than
" those heretofore claimed by the United States, and so clearly identi-
" fied as to remove all reasonable doubt, remains to be ascertained. No
* inquiry into this fact, with a view to apply it to the respective and
" conflicting pretensions of the parties, has hitherto been made. It was
" under these circumstances, and with such impressions, that Mr. Liv-
" ingstone was authorized to propose to Sir Charles R. Vaughan, for
"the consideration of his Government, that a new commission should
" be appointed, consisting of an equal number of commissioners, with
" an umpire, selected by some friendly sovereign, from among the most
" skilful men in Europe, to decide on all points in which they might
" disagree ; or a commission entirely composed of scientific Europeans,
" selected by a friendly sovereign, to be attended in the survey and
" examination of the country, by agents appointed by the parties. The
" adoption of this course would, it was urged, have the benefit of strict
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION.
" impartiality in the Commissioners local knowledge and high profes-
" sional skill, which, though heretofore separately called into action,
have never before been combined for the solution of the question."
" In consequence of a wish expressed by Sir Charles R. Vaughan
" to be more fully advised of the views of the President, upon the subject
" of this proposition, he was furnished with a diagram, by which the
" manner in which it was intended the line should be run, in the event
" of highlands being discovered better answering the description of the
" Treaty, than those claimed by the United States, was pointed out
" distinctly ; while to relieve His Majesty s Government from all ap-
" prehension of a more extended claim of territory on our part, Mr.
" Livingstone was authorized to disclaim and did disclaim, all pretensions
" on the part of the United States, to the territory East of the line,
" which had been previously run directly north from the source of the
" St. Croix. * * *
" The President sincerely believes that the new process of investi-
"gation, proposed by him, might under the control of the principle of
" practical surveying developed, lead to a settlement of this agitating
" question, which, as it would be legally and fairly made according to
" a long established and well known rule, prevalent equally among the
" citizens of the United States and the subjects of his Britannic Majesty ;
" ought to be, and he confidently trusted would be, satisfactory to all
The new principle of settlement, on the basis of the Treaty of 1783,
embraced in the above extract, was made and urged by the Government
of the United States for fully two years.*
Five despatches were written on the subject urging the fair, the
honourable, and at the same time the practical solution of the question
as recommended by President Jackson. They were forwarded to Lord
I almerston. A sixth dated April 28th, 1835, from Mr. Forsyth was
*April 30th and May 28th, 1833, from Mr. Livingstone to Sir C. R. Vaughan. June 5th,
is:;:!, and March llth and 21st, 1834, from Mr. McLane, Secretary of State, to Sir C. K.
34 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
despatched to the Duke of Wellington. The proposition made by the
United States was not entertained, but a counter proposal was sub
mitted by the Imperial Government, urging the expediency of agreeing
upon a conventional boundary ; a proceeding which would have neces
sitated a new treaty, amending the Treaty of 1783.
The United States Government had no authority to make a treaty
without the concurrence of the Senate ; moreover, it was even a question
whether the treaty could be made without first obtaining the consent of
the States, contiguous to the boundary. But the President had the
constitutional authority to establish the line described in the Treaty of
1783, and in order to effect a speedy adjustment of a perplexing ques
tion, he felt justified in submitting the principle of settlement based on
expediency and equity. At this day it is difficult to comprehend the
reasons which induced the Imperial Government to reject the proposal
of President Jackson ; a mode of settlement frequently repeated, and
which was presented on grounds supported by argument and sustained by
practice. The proposal of the President removed all difficulty in the way
of a speedy and satisfactory solution. The boundary, as far as the head
of the minor branch of the St. Croix, had been agreed upon by both
nations ; and a monument had been erected as a fixed point of departure.
It was now proposed and urged by the United States, to discard the
due north line, to seek west of the due north line the undisputed
" highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the
" river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean,"
to find the point in the " water shed " of these highlands nearest to
the due north line, and to trace a direct course from it to the monument
already established. If this principle had been adopted, a straight line
would have been drawn from the monument at the head of the Chiput-
naticook, to a point which could have been established with precision,
in the " water shed " of the highlands which separate the sources of
the Chaudiure from those of the Pcnobscot ; here being the most east
erly point in the only highlands agreeing beyond dispute with the
treaty. This point is found a little to the north and west of the
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 35
intersection of the 70th meridian west longitude and the 46th parallel
of north latitude.
An examination of the map of the country, Plate No. 2, on
which are depicted the water-sheds of the different drainage basins,
will at once satisfy the reader that no other point could possibly be
chosen. The water-shed which divides " those rivers that empty them
selves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the
Atlantic Ocean," cannot be mistaken or disputed. The most easterly
extremity of that water-shed is undoubtedly where the drainage basin
of the Bay of Fundy begins. Here three water-sheds converge ;
namely, the water-shed between the river St. Lawrence and the
Atlantic drainage systems ; the water-shed between the river St.
Lawrence and Bay of Fundy basins ; and the water-shed between the
Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic drainage systems. The point of
convergence of these three water-sheds is the only point that could
have been selected as the natural object sought for, had the proposal
of President Jackson been acquiesced in.
That the proposal fell to the ground, must be attributed entirely to
the fact that the Imperial Government declined to concur in it, unless
cumbered with conditions which a President of the United States had
no power to accept.
Occasional letters passed between the two Governments respecting
a boundary to be established by convention, but no progress was made
towards settlement. Indeed, little was done beyond an exchange of
diplomatic correspondence, until the survey for the railway from St.
Andrews to Quebec attracted attention. Representations were then
made by-the State of Maine to the Federal Government, to have the
survey stopped. The following year, on the Government of the United
States asking the concurrence of the State of Maine to enter into a treaty
for a Conventional boundary line, the House of Representatives passed
1 1 ~i ilutions* affirming the inexpediency of entering into the negotiations,
*23d March, 1836, " Resolved, that it is not expedient to give the assent of this
" State to the Federal Government to treat with that of Great Britain, for a conventional
36 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
and insisting on the line established by the Treaty of 1783, and asking
for the erection of fortifications to defend it.
In July, 1839, Colonel Mudge and Mr. Featherstonhaugh were ap
pointed by the Imperial Government to survey the disputed territory,
and to examine the several lines of boundary and the different ranges
In April, 1840, they reported that there was a denned range of
highlands lying between the sources of the rivers Chaudicre and Du
Loup flowing northward, and the Androscoggin and Keniiebec flow
ing southward, and that it continued along the head waters of the
Penobscot, which it divided from the waters of the St. John. These
highlands were described as being capable of being traced across the
river St. John and towards the head of the Bay Chaleur ; they also
reported that thesB highlands complied with the spirit of the Treaty of
1733 that no other highlands in the country to the north were found
to answer the description ; and that, to meet the want of such height of
land, fictitious mountain ranges had been inserted in maps of some
Surveyors of the United States. The Government of the United States,
on their side, directed a survey to be made of the due north line, as far
as the head of the river Metis on the high ground overlooking the St.
Lawrence. In the mean time, an armed force from Maine entered upon
and took possession of the disputed lands on the river St. John, and
in the neighbourhood of the old established British settlement at Mada-
waska. They constructed forts and roads ; their surveyors laid off lots
of land, and sales were made with deeds regularly drawn up : all under
the authority of the State of Maine, and in direct contravention of the
mutual agreements made by the United States General Government with
the Imperial Government. Conflicts occurred between the settlers and
the intruders ; on one night the marauders burned down three home-
" line for our northeastern boundary, but that tins State will insist on the line established
" by the Treaty of 1783."
"Resolved, that the Maritime frontier and the extensive interior position of this State are
" in a defenceless and exposed position, and we rely with confidence that the Federal Govern-
" inent will cause suitable fortifications to be erected lor the defence of the same."
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 37
steads, destroying property of the value of $2500. Mr. Fail-field, who
gave the name to the Fort on the Aroostook, was elected Governor a
second time, by an immense majority, for the avowed purpose of taking
possession of the disputed territory in accordance with his expressed
determination. It was believed in the United States, that one chief
motive with England was to preserve a direct mail route and military
road between Halifax and Quebec, and it was equally a chief motive
with many in the United States to stop that communication. The ques
tion became more and more perplexing. A voluminous correspondence
passed between the Imperial Government, the Government of the
United States, the Government of the State of Maine, and that of the
Province of New Brunswick, but no progress was made towards a set
tlement; and so matters continued until 1842, when Lord Ashburton,
under instructions from the Earl of Aberdeen, proceeded to Washing
ton as plenipotentiary charged with full powers to negotiate and settle
all matters in discussion between the United States and Great Britain.
Daniel Webster was the Secretary of State, and he at once com
menced negotiations with Lord Ashburton for a conventional boundary.*
Mr. Webster received the advice and assistance of four commission
ers from the State of Maine. The result was the conclusion of the
Ashburton Treaty .f The first article declared : " That the line of
" boundary shall be as follows : Beginning at the monument at the
" source of the river St. Croix, as designated and agreed to by the
" Commissioners under the 5th Article of the Treaty of 1794, * *
" thence north, following the exploring line run and marked by the
" Surveyors of the two Governments in the years 1817 and 1818,
" to its intersection with the river St. John, and to the middle of the
" channel thereof ; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said
" river St. John to the mouth of the river St. Fra?icis ; thence up the
" middle of the channel of the said river St. Francis and of the Lakes
" through which it flows, to the outlet of the Lake Pohenagamook ;
" thence southwesterly in a straight line to a point on the northwest
* 17th June, 1842. t Signed nt Washington, nth August, 1842
38 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
" branch of the river St. John, which point shall be ten miles distant
" from the main branch of the St. John, in a straight line and in the
" nearest direction ; but if the said point shall be found to be less than
" seven miles from the nearest point of the summit or crest of the liigh-
" lands that divide those rivers which empty themselves into the river
" St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the river St. John, then the
" said point shall be made to recede down the said northwest branch of
" the river St. John, to a point seven miles, in a straight line, from the
" said summit or crest ; thence in a straight line, in a course about
" south, eight degrees west, to the point where the parallel of latitude
" of 46 25 north, intersects the southwest branch of the St. John ;
" thence southerly by the said branch to the source thereof in the high-
" lands at the Metjarmette Portage ; thence down along the said high-
" lands which divide the waters which empty themselves into the river
" St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the
" head of Hall s Stream ; thence down the middle of said stream, till
" the line thus run intersects the old line of boundary surveyed and
" marked by Valentine and Collins previously to the year 1774, as the
" 45th degree of north latitude, and which has been known and under-
" stood to be the line of actual division between the States of New York
" and Vermont on one side, and the British Province of Canada on the
" other ; and from said point of intersection west along the said divid-
" ing line, as heretofore known and understood, to the Iroquois or St.
" Lawrence River." The Treaty farther declared the river St. John to
be as free and open, from its source to its mouth in the Bay of Fundy,
to the inhabitants of the State of Maine, as to the inhabitants of the
Province of New Brunswick.
This ended the dispute. On the one hand, the United States accept
ed about five thousand square miles less territory than had been
claimed for her on the plea that the line of boundary should extend on
the due north line from the river St. Croix to the source of the river
Metis on the crest of the dividing ridge between the river Restigouche
and the lower St. Lawrence. It was argued that these were the high-
THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. 39
lands described in the treaty of 1783, as separating the waters falling
into the Atlantic from the waters emptying into the river St. Law
rence : a claim utterly untenable, as the highlands at the source of
the Metis only separate waters falling into the Bay Chaleur from those
flowing into the St. Lawrence, where it ceased to be a river ; the St.
Lawrence at that point being an estuary of the Gulf of St. Lawrence,
scarcely less in width than Lake Ontario, and wider than the English
Channel between Dover and Calais. On the other hand, the Imperial
Government yielded an equal area of the territory which she had
always persistently claimed, embracing the country watered by the
river St. John, through which Captain Yule had made the survey for
the railway between Quebec and St. Andrews, a country reported to
be remarkably favourable for the construction of the projected Trunk
line of Railway.
In reviewing the whole negotiations, it is evident that the first
blunder on the part of those representing Great Britain, was made
in 1797, in accepting as the boundary, the minor branch of the river
St. Croix (the Chiputnaticook) instead of the main river ; and by
an addendum to the Treaty of 1794, declaring it the boundary
as far as the monument, which had been erected at its source. Had
the main river St. Croix been adhered to, as the Treaty of 1783
unquestionably intended, the true principles of settlement, those in
fact which President Jackson so frequently urged for adoption, would
inevitably have carried the line of boundary more than a hundred miles
south of its present position, and would have preserved for the Domin
ion of Canada a territory measuring some eleven thousand square miles,
equalling the combined areas of the states of Massachusetts and Con
necticut ; and which, from its geographical position, could not fail to be
of the utmost value to the Dominion. When the location of the Inter
colonial Railway is considered, the prejudicial effect of the Ashburton
Treaty will be more generally understood.
EARLY HISTORY CONTINUED
1842 TO 1852.
Military Eoad Surveyed. Railway Mania of 1845 brings out the Halifax and Quebec
scheme. _ Sir Richard Broun advocates it. The various routes. Government
of New Brunswick favours the route by Annapolis. St. Andrews and Quebec
Railway revived. Lord Ashburton takes stock in it. Asliburton treaty killed the
scheme. Halifax and Quebec routes to be surveyed. Captain Pipon and Mr.
Henderson appointed. Major Robinson s report recommending Bay Chaleur route.
Mr. Wilkinson objects. Construction of railway urged as a relief for the famine in
Ireland. Major Carmichael-Smyth s views Railway conference at Portland.
Nova Scotia sends Mr. Howe to England. British Government objects to scheme.
Imperial proposals. Negotiations upset. Deputation to England.
THE settlement of the Boundary question did not lessen the neces
sity for a military road ; indeed some line of communication for military
purposes was the more necessary, as the new Boundary interposed a
wedge of foreign territory which threatened to sever all connection be
tween the Maritime Provinces and Quebec.
Accordingly, not long after the conclusion of the Treaty, the Im
perial Government directed a survey of a military road to be under
taken, having in view the connection of the Provinces, at a distance as
remote as practicable from the frontier. This survey was made by Col.
Holloway of the Royal Engineers, aided by Sir James Alexander, then
a Captain in the 14th Regiment. The latter was well and favourably
known, acquainted with Canadian life, and strongly sympathizing with
The route explored crossed the interior of New Brunswick from
the bend of the river Petitcodiac, by Boiestown, Grand Falls, the
north of Lake Tcmiscouata and Riviere du Loup to Quebec. It was
E.VKLY IIIKTOUY CONTINUED. -11
reported that lines of fortification were to be constructed to protect
the road, and that a military post was to be established at the Grand
The survey was made in 1844. The reports set forth that in trav
ersing the highlands, the most difficult grades would not exceed 1 in
15 ; that these could be reduced by oblique and prolonged circuits ;
that the bridging of streams would be attended with but little diffi
culty as the main rivers, St. John and Miramichi, were avoided ; that
the projected road would traverse a fertile, uncleared country, where there
were abundant materials of wood and stone ; and that the engineers
estimated the cost at 2500 per mile for a macadamized road, and
450 per mile for a plank road subject to repairs in 5 years and
renewal in 10 years. The total length of the road was estimated at
The year 1845 will be long memorable as that of the great railway
mania in the United Kingdom. During this period many old projects
were revived and many new ones started. Among the former was that
of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway, apparently recalled to life by
the proposal of a new scheme, the Halifax and Quebec Railway, the pros
pectus of which had been issued in England.
At that time Sir Richard Broun was engaged in taking steps for
the formation of a Colonization Company, under unusually favour
able circumstances. The design was to combine the influence of all
parties, on both sides of the Atlantic, who were interested in, or other
wise favourable to the revival of the rights of the Baronetage of Scot
land and Nova Scotia. He w r as also engaged in schemes for connecthr;-
Great Britain with Japan, China and the East Indies, by means of ;i
continuous line of steam navigation and railwnys through British
North America. At this juncture he received a letter from a Mr.
William Bridges, suggesting that a railway to unite the waters of !h..
Atlantic and the St. Lawrence would be beneficial to the North Ameri
can Provinces, and requesting his aid. It was readily promised, as the
project so entirely agreed with his own theories.
42 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Sir Richard Broun accordingly took an active part in the advance
ment of the scheme of the Halifax and Quebec Railway, and advocated
it for years. In July, 1845, he forwarded to the Governors of New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia a memorial from the Provisional Board
praying for certain facilities and advantages on the plea that the pro
posed railway would supersede the necessity for the projected military
road, and that it would furnish facilities for the systematic plantation
and settlement of the whole frontier territory of British North America.
The memorial was accompanied by a letter from Mr. Bridges, asking
that the prayer of the memorialists should be recommended to the Home
Government ; and the memorial was forwarded.
Several routes were projected. One followed the line of the pro
posed military road from Halifax, by Truro, the Bend of the Peticodiac,
Boiestown, Grand Falls and Temiscouata Lake. Another, joining the
above line at Truro and starting from Canso. Another, starting from
Halifax, crossing the Bay of Fundy between Annapolis and St. John,
and then proceeding to Fredericton and Boiestown ; and another, taking
the last mentioned route to Fredericton, and proceeding up along the
west side of the river St. John to Grand Falls.
The Governor of New Brunswick, in a despatch to the Home Gov
ernment, stated, that having conferred with the Executive Council and
several influential persons in Fredericton and St. John, there appeared
to him a general disposition to co-operate with the Railway Association,
particularly if the Association would declare its intention of adopting
the route from Halifax, by Annapolis, St. John and Fredericton.
These proposals and negotiations revived the project of the St. An
drews and Quebec Railway, dormant since 1837. A meeting was held on
the 8th October, 1845, at which a delegate was appointed to wait upon the
Colonial Secretary and present a communication from the Association,
in furtherance of the general interests of the undertaking. On the 24th
of the same month, a special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of
St. John was held, when two delegates from St. Andrews were heard
on behalf of the St. Andrews Railway, and resolutions were passed,
KAULY HISTORY: CONTINUED. 43
thanking the deputation for the information they had given, assuring
them that the most eligible lines for the general good would neces
sarily command the most attention and consideration, regardless of local
In November following, the Chamber of Commerce of St. John
held another meeting and presented a report to the Governor, consider
ing only the two routes from Halifax and giving their decided prefer
ence to that passing by Annapolis, St. John and Fredericton.
On the -other hand, the people of St. Andrews continued their ex
ertions in behalf of their own project. Subscription lists were opened,
the capital asked for being ,750,000 in shares of 25 each.
On the 25th November, 1846, a general meeting of the Stock
holders was held, when a board of local directors was elected. Several
shares were taken in England, and a London board was appointed, of
which Mr. William Bridges, formerly of the Halifax and Quebec Rail
way, became Secretary. Lord Ashburton was a member of this board,
and he courteously expressed his sympathy with the project.*
The settlement of the boundary question had placed St. Andrews
at a great disadvantage. It could no longer obtain a direct connection
with Quebec, without crossing territory which now formed part of the
State of Maine. Thus the confident hope which the people of St.
Andrews had formed with respect to their town becoming the ocean
terminus of a great Intercolonial Railway, had passed away. It is
true that a joint stock company, under the name of the St. Andrews
and Canada Railway Co. after many struggles and difficulties suc-
PICCADILLY, 25th June, 1847.
* " SIB,
" In reply to your note, I beg to say that I will take with pleasure a small interest
" of (.500) five hundred pounds in the St. Andrews and Woodstock Railway Company. I
" am geting too old for any extensive ventures of this or any other kind, but I feel so strong-
"ly interested in the settling of your fine Colony, that I am tempted to take this trifling in-
" vestment in a useful undertaking connected with it."
" I congratulate you on having Lord Fitzwilliam to place his name at the head of your
" London subscribers. You could not possibly appear before the public more advantageous-
" ly than you are."
To Captain ROBINSON, R. N.
44 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
ceeded in constructing a railway as far as Woodstock, a distance of 94
miles ; but the Company has not been able to extend its works beyond
In the mean time, the Halifax and Quebec scheme was experiencing
many difficulties. The prospectus published in England had given the
names of several men of standing and influence in Nova Scotia as con
nected with it. Several of these gentlemen repudiated the connection,
stating that they never had been consulted and that their names had
been used without their sanction. This proceeding destroyed confi
dence in the association. Nevertheless Lord Falkland, the Governor,
looked upon the scheme as both practicable and desirable, and declared
that he should deeply lament its being abandoned, either for want of effort
to determine its feasibility, or from its having been undertaken by
individuals without the influence to effect its completion. In view
of the importance of the project, alike to the Mother Country
and to the Colonies, he applied to the Home Government to send
out competent Military or Civil Engineers to make an accurate sur
vey, by which the practicability of the scheme could be determined
and the best route established. He also set before the Home authori
ties that, as the mother country would obtain direct Railway communi
cation with Quebec, the object proposed by the military road, it
was hoped that the British Government would contribute towards the
railway, some portion of the money which would otherwise have been
expended on the military road.
Mr. Gladstone, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, replied
to this despatch and approached with caution the question of granting
any aid to the undertaking ; but in April, 1846, instructions were issued
to the Royal Engineers to make the survey asked for.
Public attention was much turned to the project by the speeches
and writings of many prominent men who discussed it. The points
generally considered were, the effect that the railway would have on the
commerce of the country, on the settlement of wild lands, and on the
union of the provinces into one community, the more intimate connection
EARLY HISTORY CONTINUED. -!.">
which could be established with the mother country ana the greater
general security in case of war. On the last point, Col. Holloway,
who had conducted the survey for the military road expressed himself
strongly in favour of the Railway.*
Sir John Harvey in his opening address to the House of Legisla
ture of Nova Scotia in January, 1847, recommended to their continued
attention this railway, which he said was not second to any project
which had ever engaged the notice of any Colonial Legislative in any
part of the British Dominions, and whicli would : " constitute the
" most important link in that great line of communication, which may
" be destined at no remote period to connect the Atlantic with tho
" Pacific Ocean, and to conduct to a British seaport, from those into
which it is now forced, that vast stream of trade, not of our own AVest-
" em possessions alone, but of the rich and extensive wheat and grain
" growing districts of all Central America."
Resolutions were passed by the Parliaments of the three
Provinces, in Nova Scotia on 4th March, New Brunswick on the 2d
April, and Canada on the 20 th May, 134G, setting forth the necessity
for the survey, and binding the several Provinces to make good the
expense, each within its own limits.
Accordingly instructions for the survey were issued on the llth
June, 1846, by Mr. Gladstone, to Captain Pipon and Lieutenant Hen
derson of the Royal Engineers.
These instructions gave general directions for the line of survey :
viz. From Halifax to some port in the Bay of Fundy, whence by
steamer connection would bo made with St. John ; starting again from
St. John the line would proceed to Fredericton and along the valley
of the river St. John to the Grand Falls ; thence by the East side of
* 4th May, 1830.
"I know that the British Government is strongly inclined for a military road, and if I
"see no objection on further inquiry I would gladly recommend a railway instead of the
" ordinary turnpike road. I believe the Government is impressed with the importance of a
"railway from Quebec to Halifax in apolitical point of view, and I am of opinion that it ia
"highly <lpsir:ibK.,if not absolutely essential, for the military defence of the British Amen
" cau Provinces."
46 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Lake Temisccmata to the mouth of the river clu Loup, and thence by
the south bank of the river St. Lawrence to Quebec.
A second line was projected from Halifax to tne bend of the
Petitcodiac, thence as straight to the Grand Falls as would be consistent
with the best mechanical selection of the line, and from thence as be
fore described to the St. Lawrence
A third line was projected from Halifax to the oend of the Petitco
diac, and thence keeping to the northwest by Newcastle and the Bay
Chaleur, or its vicinity, to the St. Lawrence.
The survey was carried on by Capt. Pipon and Mr. Henderson*
until 28th October, 1846, when Capt. Pipon, in an attempt to save the
life of a boy in his party, was drowned in the river Restigouche. The
whole duty then devolved upon Mr. Henderson, until the summer of
1847, when Major Robinson of the Royal Engineers was appointed to
take the place of Captain Pipon.
On the 1st May, 1847, Mr. Henderson made a preliminary report
as far as the survey had then proceeded. He objected to the first route
on four grounds. 1st, on account of the break in through communica
tion, owing to the necessity of crossing the Bay of Fundy, 40 miles
wide; 2d, from the probability that private enterprise would open
up that section of the province ; 3d, because in his opinion it was
" evidently the object of the trunk line to benefit as much as possible
" the mass of the Provinces," and 4th, because of very steep grades and
heavy works to be found on that route.
On the second route he gave the preference to a line starting from
Dartmouth, on the east side of Halifax harbour, because from that pi ace,
as a terminus, the railway would be five miles shorter than from Halifax.
The Cobcquid Mountains were well explored, and the pass by Folly
Lake pointed out. The survey by that time had reached the head waters
of the river Restigouche, and showed that there would be difficulty and
expense in crossing the river Tol.ique, a branch of Hit- .St. John, and that
* Now Col. Henderson
EARLY HISTORY CONTINUED. 47
the construction of a railway by the line which had previously been
selected for a military road was impracticable.
On the third route he endeavoured to find a line that would prevent
the necessity of following the sea-shore along the Bay Chaleur, but it was
not possible to find one. By the valley of the Nepissiguit, a practicable
line was " out of the question," the hills becoming mountains separated
by deep ravines, and at last " the mountains at the heads of the Tobique,
Miramichi, etc., rise in wild confusion." He himself explored the
greater portion ot the wilderness, in which lie the heads of the Tobique,
Nepissiguit and Upsalquitch. On the whole he was forced to give his
preference to the coast line by the Bay Chaleur.
Major Robinson made the final report of the survey under date of
31st August, 1848.
The route recommended was from Halifax to Truro, passing over
the Cobequid Mountains, thence by the Gulf shore to the river Mira
michi, which would be crossed at the head of tide, thence proceeding by
the Nipissiguit River to the Bay Chaleur, and along the coast to
the mouth of the Metapedia, proceeding up the valley of the Metapedia
to the vicinity of the St. Lawrence, thence along the St. Lawrence to
the Riviere du Loup and Point Levis.
The estimate for this line, for 635 miles, from Halifax to Quebec,
was set down by Major Robinson at ^7000 sterling per mile, or in round
numbers ,5, 000,000 sterling, and it was strongly recommended that the
railway, at whatever time it might be commenced, should be properly and
The route recommended would, in Major Robinson s opinion, secure
the greatest immediate amount of remuneration for the expenditure, and
the development in the highest degree of the commerce and fisheries of
New Brunswick. The greatest facilities for construction were afforded,
at many points, by its proximity to the sea, and, from the same cause,
the least apprehension of interruption of traffic by climatic inilu-
ences. Its remoteness from the United Stales frontier secured it from
attack in ease <,f Imsl ilitifs with (he Cnited States, and (lie grades
48 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
would be easy on account of its passing through the least elevated
Major Robinson also urged, as additional reasons for the adoption
of his route, and the speedy construction of the road : ,
That by embarking and disembarking at Halifax, the danger and
inconvenience from the navigation of the Gulf of St. Lawrence would
That the mails to and from Canada would pass over territory exclu
sively British, and yet be received at Montreal as soon as they could
be received at Boston.
That from a political and military point of view the proposed rail
way had become a work of necessity.
And that, if it should ever become necessary or advisable to unite all
the British North American Provinces under one Legislative Govern
ment, the means to the end, the first step to its accomplishment, would
be the construction of the Halifax and Quebec Railway.
In a letter of an earlier date he made mention of the difficulties
attending the survey, and he spoke of the dangers and hardships which
those engaged in the survey had experienced.*
Soon after the appearance of Major Robinson s report, Mr. Wilkin
son, of the Crown Lands Office in Fredericton, who had been in charge
of one of the surveying parties, published a pamphlet objecting to Major
Robinson s recommendation of the Bay Chaleur route and his condem
nation of the shorter and direct route through the centre of New
Brunswick. Mr. Wilkinson contended that sufficient examination had
not been made to establish the best line through the central district ( f
New Brunswick, and that more explorations were desirable.
* He writes that one of his chief surveyors and draughtsmen, Mr. Grant, " in some burnt
" land, having left the line for a short time to make a sketch from some rising ground, could
" not again find the track, and after being lost for five days without a morsel of food, was
" found on the morning of the sixtli day lying exhausted, and at the last extremity, by some
"lumbermen passing most providentially up the stream to which he had wandered, mid
" when unable to move farther he had laid down on the top of the bank for two days. This
" solitary boat was, in all probability, the only one passing that way for a twelvemonth
together. Mr. Grant s hands and feet were frost-bitten, and though this happened early
" in November, lie has not yet (17th Dec., 1817) fully regained the use of them."
EARLY HISTORY CONTINUED. 49
Major Robinson replied that large parties had been employed for two
seasons on the central route, that officers of the Royal Engineers had
explored the district for the military road, that he had made use of their
reports, and that all information showed the improbability of discover
ing in that direction a practicable route for a railway. This discussion
was continued until 1852.
In the mean time, a problem of more than usual difficulty occupied
public attention : colonization from Ireland, in consequence of the
famine of 1847. It was contended that the Imperial Government
should direct a systematized emigration to the British Colonies, with
the certainty 6f obtaining employment for the emigrant on his arrival.
The arguments mainly took the form of the scheme advocated by Sir
Richard Broun, that colonization should be considered in connection
with Railway construction. One gentleman, Mr. Buchanan, in a letter
dated 12th February, 18-17, to Lord Elgin, advocated the employment
of 25,000 men on the Halifax and Quebec railway ; to each of whom
should be given 50 acres of land along the line of the railway, besides
Lord Grey, himself, favoured the grant of money to railways, instead
of paying any direct subsidy to emigration, on the principle that emi
gration would follow the commencement of the railway. He consid
ered that the hardships and difficulties, attendant on the new life
of the emigrant, were to no small extent caused by want of combination,
and by the absence of division of employment ; and in order that colo
nization might be best promoted, Parliamentary appropriations were
required for carrying out desirable improvements, such as railways and
canals, or other public works.
On the part of the local Governments, no effort was spared to in
duce the Home Government to intervene.
On the 31st March, 1849, an act was passed by the Legislature of
* Sucli a road he said, " as a great and national work, is admitted by every one con-
" nected with the colony, to be of the first and mo** - *> the
" Colony, but to the Mother Country."
50 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Xova Scotia, authorizing the transfer to the Imperial authorities of
Crown Lands, ten miles wide, on each side of the line of the proposed
railway, and pledging the House to the payment of 20.000 sterling,
for interest on capital to carry on the work.
The Home Government, however, replied that the demands on the
Imperial Treasury were, at that time, too manifold and too pressing to
admit of any measure being submitted to Parliament for the aid
The project accordingly remained stationary ; as the united resources
of the three Provinces, unaided, were inadequate to carry on the work.
But the question in no way passed out of view. It was discussed in
the press. Several pamphlets appeared in its advocacy, among the lat
ter a brochure by Major Carmichael-Smyth, appeared in the winter of
1849, earnestly setting forth the advantages of employing the people
and capital of Great Britain in her own Colonies. This writer advo
cated the application of the surplus labour of the United Kingdom, to the
construction, not only of an Intercolonial communication, but of an
Imperial line of railway from Halifax to the Pacific coast.
The importance of a railway connection between Halifax and the
United States system of Railways, was fully recognized in the United
States, and an effort was early made to effect it. In July, 1850, a con
vention was called to meet at Portland, for the purpose of considering
a series of propositions for the construction of a railway from Portland,
through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Halifax. Representatives
from the several British Provinces were invited to attend. At the
meeting of this convention, the representatives of United States inter
ests pledged themselves to construct their part of the railway through
the State of Maine. Further, capitalists who were present professed
their readiness to complete the whole railway through the British
Provinces, provided Acts of Incorporation, with liberal grants of money
and land, were given.
The representatives of the British Provinces, however, determined
that they would construct the railway through their own territory with
EAELY HISTORY CONTINUED. 51
their own resources. But as the rate of interest on loans would be re
duced by an Imperial guarantee, another appeal was made to the Home
Government to guarantee the interest on the cost of its construction ;
the revenue of the Provinces being pledged to the British Government
The people of Nova Scotia were especially interested in the com
pletion of this railway connection with Halifax, their capital. Mr.
Howe, then premier, accordingly proceeded, as a delegate to England,
to press their cause on the Home Government. He was so far success
ful, that he received a letter, 10th March, 1851, from the Colonial
Secretary, to the effect that the Government had determined to recom
mend to Parliament that the guarantee should be granted, or that
the money should be advanced from the British Treasury, on certain
This letter made mention " of the strong sense entertained by the
" British Government of the extreme importance, not only to the Colo-
" nies directly interested, but to the Empire at large, of providing for
" the construction of a railway, by which a line of communication may
" be established, on British territory, between the Provinces of Nova
" Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada."
Mr. Howe s mission was to advocate the claims of Nova Scotia, in
regard to the railway projected from Halifax to St. John, to meet a
railway through the State of Maine from Portland. But the letter of the
Colonial Secretary stated that the British Government would not feel
justified in asking Parliament to pledge the credit of England for any
object which was not pf importance to the Empire as a whole. As they
did not consider that the railway advocated by Mr. Howe answered this
description, in order to obtain the Imperial guarantee it was essential that
satisfactory arrangements should be made with Canada and New Bruns
wick, by which the construction of a railway, passing wholly through
British territory from Halifax to Quebec or Montreal, should be pro
Moreover, in order that arrangements might be effected, the Im-
52 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
perial Government proposed to recommend to Parliament that Canada
and New Brunswick should receive equal assistance. It was also
determined, that the cost should be provided for by loans raised
by the Provinces, with the Imperial guarantee ; that the line recom
mended by Major Robinson, need not be followed, if a shorter and
better line should be found, but that any deviation should be subject
to the approval of the Imperial Government; that the loans to
be raised in the several provinces should be a first charge upon the
Provincial revenue, after payments on account of the civil lists ; and
also, that taxes should be imposed sufficient to provide for the payment
of interest and sinking fund.
It was also stated, that the British Government would " by no
" means object to its forming part of the plan which may be determined
" upon, that it should include a provision for establishing a communi-
" cation between the projected Railway and the Railways of the United
At the same time (14th March, 1851), Earl Grey, Secretary of State
for the Colonies, wrote to the Earl of Elgin, Governor General of Can
ada, that Her Majesty s Government had long earnestly desired to see
the Railway constructed, as they considered it calculated greatly to
advance the commercial and political interests both of the British Prov
inces in North America and of the Mother Country ; and that they
regarded the work as of so much importance to the whole Empire as to
justify them in recommending to Parliament that Imperial assistance
should be given. Earl Grey concluded by suggesting that a deputation
from the Executive Councils of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
should meet Lord Elgin and his Council, for the purpose of coming to
some agreement on the different matters to be considered in connec
tion with the Railway ; which agreement, after being approved by the
Legislatures of the several Provinces, might be submitted for the sanc
tion of the Imperial Parliament.
The suggested conference was held at Toronto, and a satisfactory
arrangement attained. The Parliament of Canada, being then in ses-
KARLY HISTORY CONTINUED. 53
sion, proceeded without delay to the required legislation. The Assem
blies of the Maritime Provinces were called expressly for the purpose,
but before the Legislature of New Brunswick could meet, a despatch
was received from London conveying the intelligence that, although the
British Government had no objection to the project including a proviso
for establishing a communication with the Railways of the United States,
the cost of such a communication could not be included in the
Mr. Howe had understood that the guarantee would cover the cost
of the Railway advocated by him in London, namely, from Halifax, by
Truro and St. John, to join the Railways from Portland in the United
States, as well as of the main line to Quebec and Montreal. As this
Railway (the European and North American Railway) was considered
to be of very great importance to New Brunswick, and as the Legisla
ture of that Province had already pledged the public credit to the ex
tent of .300,000 sterling for that line and the St. Andrews and Quebec
Railway, it was not considered expedient to accept the terms offered if
that line was not included in the guarantee.
The conference therefore came to an end ; but the delegates before
separating expressed their determination not to abandon the hope of ob
taining the desired aid from the Imperial Government. Accordingly
Sir Francis Hincks, Mr. E. B. Chandler and Mr. Howe proceeded to
London and pressed their views on the Government of which Lord
Derby was then the head.
Although the various despatches show that the Imperial Govern
ment, under different administrations, always held that the proposed
Railway from Halifax to Quebec would be of benefit to the Mother
Country, the terms conceded to Mr. Howe by the letter of the 10th
March, 1851, required that the Railway should be constructed at the
cost of the Provinces ; and that the Provinces should tax themselves
sufficiently to secure the Mother Country from loss by the guarantee
of interest. The assistance offered by the Imperial Government was
limited to the guarantee of a loan, by which the yearly interest would
54 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
be reduced. It therefore followed, that the deputation should consider
what would be most advantageous to the Provinces. They urged that
Major Robinson recommended this route principally on military consid
erations, treating revenue as of secondary importance, as his line avoided
the populous districts of New Brunswick ; that, on account of the settle
ment of recent difficulties with the United States, military considera
tions need no longer assume such prominence, and no special necessity
continued for keeping the railway far oft from the frontier of the
United States ; consequently, that the proposed line should pass by
St. John and up the valley of the river St. John, as that route
promised the greatest commercial advantages. It was further argued,
that as the whole cost of construction would be borne by the Prov
inces, the Colonial Legislatures could scarcely be expected to sanc
tion a line with the primary view of consulting military or Imperial in
Lord Derby acknowledged the force of the arguments, and admitted
the importance of a Railway through British territory, connecting the
Provinces. He however declined to extend aid on the terms t>roposed.
1852 TO 1862.
The provinces build railways on their own resources. Another unsuccessful appeal to the
Home Government. Civil war in United States. Provinces again appeal. Resolutions of
Quebec in 1861. Effect of " the Trent affair." Provinces ask for modified assistance.
Failure of negotiations.
No further communications on the subject appear to have passed
between the several Governments, from 1852 to 1857, with the excep
tion of a statement furnished by the Imperial authorities in April, 1856,
showing that the surveys had cost 14,605.17.10 sterling, with a re
quest to the three Provinces to repay the balance owing by them,
The three Provinces, however, without any unity of plan, but each
acting independently, determined each with its own resources to pro
ceed with the construction of railways.
The Intercolonial system accordingly was commenced at different
points, on no denned plan, and on no assured certainty when the full
system would be completed.
In 1852, Canada incorporated the Grand Trunk Railway Company
with the Provincial guarantee of $12,000 per mile, for the construction
of the line from Sarnia to Trois Pistoles, 153 miles east of Quebec.
The section to St. Thomas, 41 miles, was finished in 1855, to River du
Loup, about 120 miles from Quebec, in 1860. The line was not con
tinued to Trois Pistoles as originally intended, and River du Loup ac
cordingly became the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway.
In September, 1852, New Brunswick entered into a contract with
Messrs. Peto, Betts, Jackson and Brassey, for the construction of the
railway from the western side of the Province, easterly to the boundary
line between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. By September, 1853, the
surveys Avere so far completed that the first sod was turned on the 14th
of that month. Construction was immediately commenced, and was
prosecuted until 1854. But the financial crisis, consequent upon the
Crimean war, brought the operations to a close.
In 1856, the contractors retired from the work, and the portions of
the line on which their operations had been carried on, lying chiefly
between Moncton and Shediac, were transferred to the Provincial
Government. Operations were at once undertaken by the Government.
The railway was opened for traffic in 1860, between St. John and
Shediac, a distance of 108 miles.
In the spring of 1854, Nova Scotia passed the Railway Act, au
thorizing a Provincial loan. The first sod was turned at Richmond,
near Halifax, on the 13th June, 1854. The railway was opened for
public traffic to Truro, 61 miles, on the loth December, 1858.
Thus between Quebec and Halifax, 288 miles of railway were indepen
dently built by the three Provinces, without aid from the Imperial Govern
ment. In June, 1857, negotiations were resumed, and a deputation left
Canada in July, to submit to the Imperial Government the political con
siderations which suggested that aid should be granted to the enterprise.
The Imperial executive, however, declined to apply to Parliament for
the aid asked for, on the ground that the resources of the Empire were
already severely taxed.
The following year, pursuant to mutual agreement, each Province
sent an address to the Queen, setting forth that each Legislature was
prepared to aid the railway to the full extent of the resources of the
country, and that they would regard no sacrifice too great to promote
On the 1st May, 1858, the Legislature of Nova Scotia addressed
Her Majesty, to the effect that this enterprise, of more than colonial
importance, had been pressed upon the consideration of Her Majesty s
Government for many years, that the benefits to be derived were ac~
HiSVORY CONTINUED. <J1
knowledged, but that, as the accomplishment was beyond their un
aided resources, the result must depend on the assistance which would
be given it.
In the same year the Legislature of Canada, passed a series of reso
lutions * setting forth, that the national importance of the scheme
called for the interference of the Government, that during the months
of winter, intercourse between the Provinces could only be carried on
through the United States ; that in time of war, the difficulty of access
to the ocean would be seriously felt ; and arguing that the railway,
while extending facility of communication from Province to Province,
was necessary for Imperial interests, and would form an important
section of a highway which would ultimately extend across British
America from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Each Province also sent delegates to London again, to press upon
the Imperial Government the object so earnestly desired ; but only to
meet with another denial, the negative being clothed in the official
* 1. That the construction of an Intercolonial Railway, connecting the Provinces of New
Brunswick, and Nova Scotia with Canada, has long been regarded as a matter of national
concern, and ought earnestly to be pressed on the consideration of the Imperial Govern
2. That during several months of the year, intercourse between the United Kingdom and
Canada, can only be carried on through the territory of the United States of America, and
that such dependence on and exclusive relations with a foreign country cannot, even in time
of peace, but exercise an important aud unwholesome influence on the status of Canada, as a
portion of the Empire, and may tend to establish elsewhere that identity of interest, which
ought to exist between the Mother Country- and her Colonies.
3. That while the House implicitly relies on the repeated assurance of the Imperial
Government, that the strength of the Empire would be put forth to secure this Province
against external aggression, it is convinced that such strength cannot be sufficiently exerted
during a large portion of the year, from the absence of sufficient means of communication ;
and that should the amicable relations which at present so happily exist between Great
Britain and the United States be ever disturbed, the difficulty of access to the Ocean during
the winter months might seriously endanger the safety of the Province.
4. That in view of the speedy opening up of the territories now occupied by the Hudson
Bay Company, and of the development and settlement of the vast regions between Canada
and the Pacific Ocean, it is essential to the interests of the Empire at large, that a highway
extending from Uie Atlantic Ocean westward should exist, which should at once place the
whole British possessions in America, within the ready access and easy protection of Great
Britain, whilst, by the facilities for internal communication thus afforded, the prosperity of
those great dependencies would be promoted, their strength consolidated and added to the
strength of the Empire, and their permanent union with the Mother Country secured.
58 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
phraseology which the practised pen of the Colonial Office can so well
use. While those who were advocating the project saw that in the
future the federation of British North America must follow, the
Colonial Office considered that the opportune moment had not
arrived ; that national expenditure must yield to national resources ;
and however important the benefits which the Intercolonial Railway
would confer, objects of interest to Great Britain yet more urgent had
presented themselves, and that the project must yield to the necessity
of not unduly increasing the public burthens.
In 1861 the civil war was raging in the United States. Again
the necessity of the railway became so evident that it could not
be ignored ; and it was felt that under the pressure of events another
appeal should be made for Imperial assistance. An address was pre
sented to the Queen in April, repeating the arguments so frequently and
so unsuccessfully advanced. But there was the same reply, that it was
not possible to encourage expectation of assistance. The provinces,
however, still adhered to their determination in no way to abandon the
enterprise, and in October, 1861, a despatch was sent to the Imperial
Government, conveying the Resolutions agreed to by fifteen delegates
from the several Provinces, met in council at Quebec.
These resolutions were to the effect that the Government of the
Provinces should renew the offers of October, 1858, to the Imperial
Government, to aid in the construction of a railway to connect Halifax
with Quebec, and that a delegation from each Province should proceed
to England, with the object of pressing the project upon the Home
Government. At the same time that the Provinces should endeavour
to procure the separate provincial legislation necessary to carry out
the project, and that the route should be decided by the Imperial Gov
The delegates * proceeded to England and, while they were engaged
in submitting their propositions to the Colonial Secretary, news of
Hon. P.M. Vankonglinet for Canada, Hon. Joseph Howe for Nova Scotia, and Hon.
S. L. Tilley for New Brunswick.
HISTORY CONTINUED. 59
what is known as " the Trent affair," reached England. This event
placed the enterprise in such a light before the Biitish public, that the
success of their application seemed assured.
The delegates themselves put forward their case with great force,
stating that the late startling events rendered their representations almost
superfluous. The war against which they had desired security was
now imminent. Their frontier was unprotected, and exposed to the con
centration of hostile troops at the termini of seven railways of the United
States. A hundred thousand men, they said, could be sent across the
frontier with more ease than a single battery of artillery could be trans
ported from England, or a single barrel of flour carried to the sea-board.
In their present position, if cut off by war from the United States and
by the winter ice from Canada, the Marrtime Provinces would have to
depend upon Europe for their breadstuffs. The delegates added, that, if
the facts which had occurred, and the dangers which were apprehended
did not successfully plead their cause, all that they could advance would
only be a needless intrusion on the patience of the Government.
The terms which the delegates at this time proposed were different
from those previously submitted. The estimate for the railway, re
quired to be constructed, was 3,000,000 Sterling, and the delegates pro
posed that in order to meet the yearly interest on this sum at four per
cent, the provinces would raise yearly 60,000, if the Imperial Govern
ment would raise the other 60,000 yearly ; in consideration of which,
mails, troops, and munitions of war on Imperial account, were to be
carried free. This proposal the Imperial Government declined to ac
cept, but renewed the offer of Lord Grey, of the 10th March, 1851.
On the 10th March, 1862, delegates from all the provinces met again
in Quebec to consider the renewed proposal of the Imperial Government ;
and they came to the resolution to accept the proposal of the Imperial
guarantee of interest on the loans to be made.
Influenced by the conviction of the paramount importance of the
railway as forming an essential link in a line through British territory,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Provinces resolved themselves to
60 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
assume the liabilities necessary to its construction. Delegates were ac
cordingly appointed to proceed to England * to arrange the terms on
which loans could be made, and the extent of the security to be given,
as well as the amounts to be allowed for the transport of troops and
mails, and indeed generally to determine the best mode of commencing the
enterprise. Several interviews took place between the members of the
Home Government and the delegates. The rate of interest, the terms
of re-payment, and the question of the priority of the Imperial obliga
tion over the other debts of the provinces, were all severally discussed,
likewise the establishment of a sinking fund, which the delegates did
not favour. The delegates from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did
not recognize that serious difficulty was involved in this last condition,
and therefore to meet their legislative duties, they left London before the
termination of the negotiations. The delegates from Canada, however,
had formed strong objections to the establishment of a sinking fund ;
they therefore prepared a memorandum dated December 23rd, 1862, on
this point, setting forth, that the conditions proposed by the delegates,
and detailed in a paper submitted,! would enable the Colonies to borrow
the requisite funds at the low rate of 3| per cent., and would render
the Imperial guarantee a real act of assistance ; one which would be
* Hon. W. P. Howlnnd and Hon. J. B. Sicottefor Canada; Hon. Joseph Howe for Nova
Scotia, and lion. S. L. Tilley for New Brunswick.
t CONDITIONS PROPOSED BY THE DELEGATES.
" 1. That the loan shall be for 3,000,000 Sterling.
"2. That the liabilities of eacli Colony shall be apportioned as follows :
1,250,000 for Canada.
875,000 for New Brunswick.
875,000 for Nova Scotia.
" 3. That the debentures shall bear interest at the rate of 3} per cent.
" 4. That the interest shall be paid half yearly in London, on the 1st day of May ; and
the 1st day of November.
" 5. That the loan shall be repaid in four instalments.
250,000 in 10 years.
500.000 in 20 years.
1,000,000 in 30 years.
1,250,000 in 40 years.
HISTORY COXTTXUED. 61
accepted as an equivalent to a contribution by the Imperial Govern
ment to the undertaking. The memorandum further set forth that the
resources of the provinces were in themselves an ample security against
any loss falling on the Imperial exchequer.
This memorandum was forwarded to the Colonial Office, but no
farther interview consequent upon it was held. Their colleagues hav
ing left for Nova Scotia and Xew Brunswick, the Canadian delegates
themselves returned to their own Province.
" 6. That the net profits of the road shall be applied towards the extinction of the loan.
7. That the loan shall be the first charge upon the revenue of each Colony, after the
existing debts and charges .
" 8. That the Imperial Government shall have the right to select one of the Engineers
appointed to make the surveys for the location of the line.
" 9. That the selection of the line shall rest with the Imperial Government.
"10. If it is concluded that the work is to be constructed by a joint Commission, it
" shall be constituted in the following proportions : Canada shall appoint two of the Commis-
" sioners, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia each one. These four shall name a fifth before
" entering upon the discharge of their duties.
" Such portions of the railways now owned by the Governments of Nova Scotia, and
" New Brunswick whicli may be required to form part of the Intercolonial road, will be
" worked under the above Commission.
" 12. All net gain or loss resulting from the working and keeping in repair of any
" portion of the roads constructed by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and to be used as a
"part of the Intercolonial road, shall be received and borne by these Provinces respectively ;
" and the surplus, if any, after the payment of interest, shall go in abatement of interest on the
" whole line between Halifax and Riviere du Loup.
" 13. That the rates shall be uniform over each respective portion of the road.
" 14. That Crown Lands required for the Railway or Stations shall be provided by
62 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
CONDITIONS PROPOSED ON THE PART OF THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT.
" 1. That Bills shall be immediately submitted to the Legislatures of Canada, Nova
Scotia, and New Brunswick, authorizing the respective Governments to borrow 3,000,000,
under the guarantee of the British Government, in the following proportions : five-twelfths
Canada, three and one-half twelfths, Nova Scotia, and three and one-half twelfths, New
"2. But no such loan to be contracted on behalf of any one Colony, until corresponding
powers have been given to the Governments of the other two Colonies concerned, nor unless
the Imperial Government shall guarantee payment of interest on such loan until repaid.
" S. The money to be applied to the completion of a railway connecting Halifax with
Quebec, on a line to be approved by the Imperial Government.
"4. The interest to be a first charge on the consolidated revenue funds of the different
provinces, after the civil list and the interest of existing debts, and as regards Canada, after
the rest of the six charges enumerated in the 5 and G Vic., cap. 118, and 3 and 4 Vic., cap. 35
(Acts of Union.)
"6. The debentures to be in series as follows, viz. :
250,000 to be payable 10 years after contracting loan.
500,000 " 20
1,000,000 " 30 "
1,250,000 " 40
" In the event of these debentures, or any of them, not being redeemed by the Colonies
at the period when they fall due, the amount unpaid shall become a charge on their respect
ive revenues, next after the loan, until paid. The principal to be repaid as follows :
1st. Decade (say 1863 to 1872, inclusive). 250,000 in redemption of the 1st series, at
or before the close of the 1st decade from the contracting of the loan.
"2nd. Decade (say 1873 to 1882, inclusive.) A sinking fund of 40,000, to be remitted
annually ; being an amount adequate, if invested at 5 per cent, compound interest, to provide
500,000, at the end of the Decade : the sum to be remitted annually, to be invested in the
names of Trustees in Colonial Securities of any of the three Provinces, prior to, or forming
part of the loan now to be raised, or in such other colonial Securities as Her Majesty s Gov
ernment shall direct, and the then Colonial Government approve.
3rd. Decade (say 1883 to 1892, inclusive). A sinking fund of 80,000, to be remitted
annually ; being an amount adequate, if invested at 5 per cent, compound interest, to pro
vide 1,000,000 at the end of the decade : the amount, when remitted, to be invested, as in
the case of the sinking fund for the preceding decade.
" 4th. Decade (say 1893 to 1902, inclusive). A sinking fund of 100,000, to be re
mitted annually ; being an amount adequate, if invested at 5 per cent, compound interest, to
provide 1,250,000, being the balance of the loan, at the end of the decade. This amount,
when remitted, to be invested as in the preceding decade.
" Should the sinking fund of any decade produce a surplus, it will go to the credit of the
next decade. And in the last decade the sinking fund will be remitted or reduced accord
"It is, of course, understood, that the assent of the Treasury to these arrangements,
presupposes adequate proof of the sufficiency of the Colonial revenues to meet the charges
intended to be imposed upon them.
"6. The construction of the railway to be conducted by five commissioners. Two to
be appointed by Canada, one by Nova Scotia, and one by New Brunswick. These four to
choose the remaining commissioner.
"7 The preliminary surveys to be effected at the expense of the Colonies by three
engineers, or other officers nominated, two by the commissionerB, and (
" 8 Fitting provision to be made for carriage of troops, etc.
9 Parliament not to be asked for this guarantee until the line and surveys shall have
been submitted to and approved of by Her Majesty s Government, and until it shall
been shown, to the satisfaction of Her Majesty s Government, that the line can be con
structed without further application for an Imperial guarantee."
CANADA, NEW BRUNSWICK, AND NOVA SCOTIA INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY LOAN.
At the end of the first ten years, a princi-
pal sum oi
And after the first ten years a sinking
fund per annum
And at the end of the first ten years a
72 708 A
At the end of the first ten years a princi-
pal sum ot
And after the first ten years a sinking
fund per annum
And at the end of the first ten years a
At the end of the first ten years a princi
After the first ten years a sinking funi
And at the end of the first ten years
principal sum of
State of railway extension in 1862 New Brunswick and Nova Scotia make fresh efforts
Survey determined on Mr. Sandford Fleming appointed Mr. Fleming s report Ad
vantages of the Bay Chaleur route Newfoundland railway Political dead-lock in
Canada Movement towards Confederation Members of Canadian Legislature invited
to Maritime Provinces Convention at Charlottetown The Quebec Convention Reso
lution respecting Intercolonial Railway General festivities Act of Confederation Act
guaranteeing interest on Railway loan.
At the close of the decade ending 1862, the Railway system had
been extended through a considerable portion of British America.
The Grand Trunk Railway was in operation from Sarnia, at the foot of
Lake Huron, to Riviere du Loup a hundred and twenty miles from
Quebec towards Halifax ; a distance in all of 780 miles. A Railway
had been constructed from St. John to Shediac in New Brunswick one
hundred and eight miles in length. Halifax had been similarly con
nected with Truro in Nova Scotia, by a line sixty miles in length ;
and towards the close of 1862 a well directed effort had been made
to establish the conditions on which the Imperial Government would
assist in the completion of the line yet to be constructed. Although
this attempt did not succeed, the hope was still entertained that the
difficulties experienced could eventually be removed, if a spirit of con
cession and good feeling actuated all who were conducting the negotia
The action of the Canadian delegates with regard to the sinking
fund, led to some disappointment in the Maritime Provinces. The con
ditions had been fully discussed in repeated conferences, and changes
had been introduced to meet the objections that had from time to time
been offered. It was considered, therefore, that possibly the Imperial
Government might have been induced to modify the objections which,
it had advanced, if met by argument and conciliation.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies in a despatch, to the Gov
ernor-General of Canada, January 17, 1863, stated that he certainly had
been under the impression that, with the exception of the establishing
of a sinking fund, all the difficulties had been removed by explanation
or concession ; that the objections to a sinking fund had been to a great
extent removed ; and that he thought some of the grounds set forth in
the memorandum of the Canadian delegates would hardly have been
advanced if the objectors had thought it advisable to ascertain by
further conference the intentions of Her Majesty s Government.
The Legislatures of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in no way
remitted their efforts, they still put forth their old energy and con
tinued that unflinching support and determination, which had gone
so far towards attaining success. On the return of the delegates, bills
were passed authorizing loans for the construction of the railway. The
votes were carried with the expectation that the Government of Canada
would take the same course. But it was held in that Province that
the failure of the negotiations left matters precisely where they had
been, and that there was no call for legislation inasmuch as no defined
policy had been determined.
On the 2.3th February, 1863, an Order in Council was passed by the
Canadian Executive ; it expressed concurrence in the action taken by
their delegates and suggested a course of action which in their view
would, more speedily than any other, arrive at a practical and definite
In the recent negotiations in London, the Home Government had
insisted that the Imperial Parliament should not be asked to guarantee
the loan of 3,000,000, until the surveys had been made, the line sub
mitted to and approved by Her Majesty s Government, and until it had
been satisfactorily shown that the railway could be put in operation
66 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
without further application for an Imperial guarantee. It was further
asked that the survey should be carried on by three engineers, one of
whom was to be appointed by the Home Government.
Accordingly the Canadian Government considered that a reliable
survey and estimate should precede any further negotiations with
respect to ways and means.
A sum was therefore placed in the estimates for that purpose and
it was arranged that the duty should be performed by a commission of
three Engineers, one appointed by the Province of Canada, one jointly
by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the third by the Imperial
In pursuance of this arrangement the Government of Canada passed
an order in Council on the 22nd August, 1863, appointing Mr. Sand-
ford Fleming to co-operate with the nominees of the Imperial Govern
ment and the Lower Provinces.
This appointment was communicated to the Governments interested,
with the request that such action should be taken as would enable Mr.
Fleming with his colleagues to commence the survey without delay.
Mr. Fleming was however nominated by Nova Scotia and New Bruns
wick, and the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, likewise
appointed him on behalf of the Imperial Government.*
In making the selection of Mr. Sandford Fleming as the represent
ative of the Imperial Government while he at the same time was acting
for the British American Provinces, it was felt that the Duke had
* The appointment was made by Despatch dated October 17, 1863, to the Governor
General The Duke says; "the character of Mr. Sandford Fleming whom, in your des-
" patch No. 81, you mention as having been nominated by the Government of Canada to under-
" take the preliminary survey of the line of Intercolonial Railway, is so unexceptionable ; and
" the selection of him by the Government of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is such a
" further convincing proof of his qualification for the office of Engineer for the line, that I am
" quite ready to avail myself of his services as the representative of the Imperial Government.
"Your Lordship will accordingly be pleased to appoint Mr. Fleming at once to the situation.
"It is agreeable to me to feel that by selecting Mr. Fleming as the combined representative
"of Her Majesty s Government and of the North American Provinces specially interested in
" this important subject, much delay has been avoided, and that the wishes of your Govern-
" merit for the immediate commencement of the surrey have, as far as this appointment is
" concerned, been complied with."
HISTORY CONTINUED. GT
rightly appreciated the importance of avoiding the delay and incon
venience invariably attendant on divided responsibility.
In the meantime a discussion had arisen between the Governments
of New Brunswick and Canada, respecting a misunderstanding which
had occurred in the previous year. New Brunswick was willing to enter
on the survey, but asked Canada to pledge itself to certain conditions
regarding it. Canada, on the other hand, considered that negotiations
should only commence when the survey was completed.
The Government of Nova Scotia regarded the proposed survey as
indispensable and expressed its regret that any question had been
raised at that time as to the extent to which the Government would
ultimately be bound by it.
It does not appear that there was any actual settlement of the mis
understanding. But on the 20th February, 1864, the difficulty was for
the time got rid of by a despatch from the Governor General to the
effect : that, in order to avoid delay, Canada had decided to under
take the survey on its own responsibility and at its sole expense; but
that it would be for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to consider, in
event of the survey proving useful, if they would deem it right to pay
their proportion of the cost.
Qa the 5th March, 1864, the Engineer left Quebec for River du
Loup, the terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway, to commence a recon
naissance of the country and to arrange for forwarding the supplies
necessary to the prosecution of the work. These operations had to be
undertaken, in a country destitute of roads, on snowshoes and on do"~-
sleds. Nevertheless, on the opening of spring, a large staff of assistants
were at work at various points between River du Loup and Truro.
The survey was divided into two sections, one extending south
easterly from the railway in operation between St. John and Shediac,
to Truro, the then terminus of the Nova Scotia Railway ; the other ex
tending northwesterly from the St. John and Shediac Railway to River
In the former division a range of high lands, known as the Cobe-
quid Mountains, had to be crossed. On the latter division for about
200 miles southeasterly from River du Loup, a broken, elevated country,
covered by a dense forest, without settlements or roads, intervened.
It is in this division tha , the Tobique, the Notre Dame, the Shik
Shok, and other minor ranges of highlands, are met. Before the
close of 1864 the country between River du Loup and Truro had been
well explored, and more than one practicable line established.
The report of the survey was made on the 9th February, 1865, set
ting forth the routes surveyed, and such projected lines as seemed
worthy of notice. It specially dealt with the means of meeting ob
stacles of a physical or climatic nature, and pointed out how difficulties
of a serious character might be overcome. The quality of the land, and
its fitness for cultivation and settlement, were reported upon ; and ap
proximate estimates of quantities of the work to be performed were
attached. The comparative values of the various routes in a commer
cial point of view were also reported on.
In all fifteen different lines and combinations of lines, projected in
various directions through the country, were compared.*
* Table of Comparative Distances from Rii-er du Loup to St. John and Halifax.
TO ST. .JOHN.
No. of line.
HISTORY CONTINUED. 69
These lines were grouped under three distinct heads, and designated
"Frontier," " Central," and " Bay Chaleur " routes.
The " Frontier " routes were thrue in number, and embraced the
lines which closely approached, in some part of their course, the boun
dary of the United States.
" The " Bay Chaleur " routes were also three in number, and in
cluded those lines which in their course touched the shore of the Bay
The " Central " routes embraced all those lines projected though the
The following deductions may be drawn :
Line No. S is the shortest Frontier Koute to St. John; its total length is 301 miles, the
whole of which is yet to be built. By this line the total distance to Halifax is 567 miles, of
which 157 miles are constructed, leaving 410 miles yet to be made.
Line No. 4 is the shortest Central Route to St. Jo/in ; its total length is 326 miles, the
whole of which has to be made. By this line tiie distance to Halifax is 592 miles, of which
157 miles are built, leaving 435 miles to be constructed.
Line No. 13 is the shortest Bay Chaleur Route tn St. John ; its total length is 424 miles,
of which 37 miles are constructed, leaving 387 miles to be made. By this line the total dis
tance to Halifax is 616 miles, of which 120 miles are already made, leaving 496 miles to be
Line No. 3 is the ihortest Frontier Route to Halifax as well as to St. John, the distances
are already given.
Line No. 10 is the shortest Central Route to Halifax ; the total distance by it is 496 miles,
of which 61 miles are built, leaving to be built 435 miles.
The total distance to St. John by line No. 10 is 422 miles, of which 96 miles are built,
leaving to be constructed 326 miles.
Line No. 14 is the shortest Bay Chaleur Route to Halifax; its total length is 647
miles, of which 61 miles are constructed, leaving 486 miles to be made. By this line
the total distance to St. John is 473 miles, of which 96 miles are built, leaving 377
miles yet to be constructed
The shortest of all the lines to St. John is No. 3, Frontier Route.
The shortest of all the lines to Halifax is No. 10, Central Route.
Line No. 3 requires the construction of 25 miles less than No. 10, to connect River
du Loup with both St. John and Halifax ; but the total distance to Halifax by line No.
3, is 71 miles greater than by line No. 10, whilst the total distance to St. John by line No.
10 is 121 miles greater than by line No. 3.
The shortest route from River d Loup to the Atlantic Sea Board, on British terri
tory is by line No. 1 to St. Andrews.
The total distance to St. Andmcs b. iniiline is estimated at 277 miles, of which 67 miles
are constructed, leaving only 210 miles to lie built.
The total distance to St. John by line No 1 is 319 miles, of which 292 miles require
to be made.
The total distance to Halifax by line No. 1 is 585 miles, of which 401 miles require to
70 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
interior of the country, at some distance from the frontier on the one
hand, and from the Bay Chaleur on the other.
While in each case the general engineering features of the lines, and
the nature of the coiintry through which they were projected were set
forth, the fact was prominently put forward that there was little prospect
of any considerable amount of " local traffic " by any route, and that no
profitable return could be looked for from that source for many years.
It was likewise shown that no great proportion of " through freight,"
could, under ordinary circumstances be profitably carried over the pro
posed railway. It was argued that, during the season of navigation,
freights could be more cheaply taken by water ; and in winter, unless the
United States placed restrictions on Canadian traffic, freight now passed
in bond, would continue to follow the shorter routes to the Atlantic.
On the other hand by opening up an outlet through British territory
the effect would be that shorter lines through the United States would
be kept under control. Accordingly, even when in no way used for
freight, by the influence it would exercise on the customs regulations,
and the railway interests of the United States, the new line would
directly benefit the agricultural and commercial interests of the West
It was claimed that a line touching the Bay Chaleur possessed spe
cial advantages in the matter of passenger traffic. Previous to the sur
rey, the extension of the United States lines by the Atlantic coast to
Halifax had been advocated with the view of reducing the time taken
in the ocean passage, by shortening its length. Powerful influences
bad been enlisted to complete the coast line to Halifax. It was consid
ered probable that, on the completion of this connection, most of the
passenger traffic, not only from the United States, but also from the
Province of Canada, west of Montreal, would seek Halifax through
the United States, instead of passing over the Intercolonial via River
The Bay Chaleur, however, is not only nearly a hundred and fifty
miles nearer than Halifax to Liverpool, but at the same time it is two
hundred and sixty-six miles nearer Montreal than Halifax is. Conse
quently the selection of a port on the Bay Chaleur for ocean steamers
would shorten the whole distance between Montreal and Liverpool
fully four hundred miles. Even between Liverpool and New York one
hundred and sixty miles would be saved by commencing the ocean pas
sage at the Bay Chaleur.
The Intercolonial Railway accordingly presents an important route
for ocean, mail, and passenger traffic, to Canada, the Western States,
and to a large portion of the Central States.
These facts pointed to a lino by the Bay Chaleur as preferable to
the Ceii nil or the Frontier lines.
It was suggested that this line might exercise important influence on
Newfoundland. The consideration of the shortest lines between Amer
ica and Europe with reference more particularly to the conveyance of
passengers and -mails, pointed to the extension of the railway system
across Newfoundland.* The theory was advanced that there already ex
isted, or that in all probability there would soon be, sufficient traffic to
sustain a daily line of ocean steamers across tin; Atlantic. The idea of
including Newfoundland in the scheme of in tor-communication and mak-
in"- a railway there, a continuation, as it were, of the Intercolonial line,
with the prospect of the Island becoming part of the Federal Union
may have appeared to be visionary. But nevertheless some advance
has been made in that direction. In the ten years which have since
elapsed, Newfoundland has been awakened by the spirit of progress,
and she more thoroughly understands the importance of her geographi
cal position. Last year, the interior of the Island, scarcely before
trodden by the white man, and full of natural resources, was passed
over by a large staff of engineers sent by her Government to examine
the practicability of a railway from the extreme east to the extreme
west. Another decade may record results such as the chronicler of
* See Appendix.
72 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
to-day gives to the world of what has been effected by the Dominion in
the last ten years.
The report contained estimates of the probable cost of the Interco
lonial Railway, which however, were necessarily imperfect, as they were
based on the limited examination. The line surveyed through the
interior of the country, was estimated at an average of $46,000 per mile,
or 820,635,500, for a total distance of 458 miles, the length of new
railway to be constructed.
Only a portion of the line since adopted by the Bay Chaleur, had
then been tested by instrumental survey, but upon the data obtained,
applied as an average, to the whole distance between River du Loup
and Truro, the total cost was roughly estimated at $19,853,214. It was
stated that it was possible that a less sum might suffice, but that until
more elaborate surveys established the exact character of the work, the
line could not safely be estimated under the co^t of twenty million dollars.
While the survey was in progress in the year 1864, important move
ments were made towards the establishment of the Dominion.
The Governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Ed
ward Island, were authorized by their respective Legislatures to enter
into negotiations for the union of the Maritime Provinces ; and a con
vention was appointed to meet in the mouth of September, at Char-
lottetown, Prince Edward Island.
In Canada, after a long contest, to a great extent the result of sec
tional jealousies between the Eastern and Western Provinces, it seemed
as if parties had assumed such an attitude that the continuance of Gov
ernment by a Parliamentary majority had become an impossibility.
In Western Canada, it was maintained that that province, being the
most populous, was unfairly represented in the Legislature. Eastern
Canada, on the other hand, had held that no change could be made in the
Union Act, which assigned equal representation to both provinces.
To remedy the dissatisfaction, an attempt had for some years been made
to govern by double majorities, iu itself an unwieldy and impracticable
HISTORY CONTINUED. 73
This is not the place, however, to discuss the political events which
led to confederation. It is enough to remark that there seemed to be no
extrication from- difficulties which threatened to become chronic, ex
cept in the adoption of some measure which would unite in a whole
the several provinces of British America, so that more national interests
and a wider field would cause merely sectional interests to be of
secondary importance. It was felt by both parties that the time had
arrived when decided steps should be taken. After much deliberation,
it was determined with the general assent of the supporters of the
government and of the opposition, to unite in one effort to secure the
confederation of the Canadas with the Maritime Provinces.
On the prorogation- of the Legislature in June, a fusion of parties
took place, and a new government was announced, with the avowed
policy of consummating the confederation of the British North Ameri
Ei<>-ht of the members of the new executive were accordingly de-
puted to the convention of the Maritime Provinces, appointed to assem
ble at Charlottetown. The movement in Canada exercised great influ
ence upon the events which followed. It had long been felt that from
geographical position, and from distinct political organization, there had
been but limited business relations, and an almost total absence of social
intercourse, between the various provinces, which it was now pro
posed politically to unite into one great nationality. Accordingly,
the inhabitants of St. John and Halifax considered it desirable to
form the acquaintance of the political leaders of the provinces pro
posing to enter into alliance with them.
On the prorogation of the Canadian Legislature, the members of
both Houses were tendered the public and private hospitalities of the
cities of St. John and Halifax. The invitations were immediately
During the summer the visit was paid. A steamer with some
three hundred representative men from all parts of Canada, from the
banks of the St. Lawrence, from the Ottawa, from Central Canada,
74 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
from Toronto and its populous neighbourhood and from the shores of
the upper lakes, landed in the Lower Provinces, where a series of ban
quets followed one on the other, where private hospitality was pro
fusely offered and where abundant opportunities were created for the
crowd of visitors to know the people, the industries and the resources
of the Maritime Provinces, which were now visited for the first time, by
nearly all those present.
The time-honoured custom of the British race, of inaugurating a
great undertaking by festivities and hospitalities, ushered in the birth
of the Dominion. The banqueting which commenced in the cities
washed by the waves of the ocean, was repeated before many months
throughout Canada ; and the cities by the St. Lawrence and by the lakes
gave back the echo of the cheers which had so lately been heard at the
On the 8th September, the memorable meeting took place at Char-
lottetown, where representatives of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia, and Prince Edward Island were drawn together; but the larger
question of a federal union of all the Provinces completely overshadow
ed the more limited question of a union of the Maritime Provinces
for which the convention had been called.
After the adjournment of the convention meetings were held at
Halifax and St. John. The question, however, had really been settled at
Charlottetown ; but the usual banquets followed, the customary speeches
were made, and the subject was at each place thoroughly discussed.
In October 1864, with the sanction of the Imperial Government, a
convention of delegates from all the Provinces, including Newfound
land, was held at Quebec ; a series of 72 resolutions was adopted, by
which it was proposed to unite Eastern and Western Canada with New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. At the same
time, provision was made for the admission of the Territories then oc
cupied by the Hudson Bay Company, together with British Columbia
These resolutions formed the basis of the articles of Confederation
subsequent!} incorporated in an Imperial act. The 68th resolution
specially bears upon the subject of this volume ; it was therein deter
mined that " the general Government shall secure, without delay, the
" completion of the Intercolonial Railway from River du Loup, through
" Xe\v Brunswick, to Truro in Nova Scotia."
Within a period of five months, a series of important events hap
pened with startling rapidity ; events which culminated in a scheme
that not only provided for the construction of the Railway which effort.;
extending over a quarter of a century had failed to secure, but that
consolidated in one government Provinces scattered over half a conti
nent, which had remained separate from the first days of their exist
ence under British rule.
The resolutions of the Quebec convention, having received the a;>-
probation of the Imperial Government, were submitted to the Provin
cial Legislatures and sanctioned :
By the Province of Canada, on 10th March, 1865.
By the Province of Nova Scotia, on 18th April, 1866.
By the Province of New Brunswick, on 6th April, 186G.
The Provincial Legislatures also addressed Her Majesty the
Queen, praying that a measure might be submitted to the Imperial
Parliament to provide for the union of the whole of British North
America. The Governor General, with deputations from the govern
ments of the several Provinces, proceeded to England to arrange with
the Imperial Authorities the preliminary steps. These deputations
met in conference on the 4th December, 1866, in London.
A distinct provision for an Imperial guarantee of =3,000,000 ster
ling for the Intercolonial Railway, formed the substantial distinction
between the resolutions agreed upon at Quebec, and those submitted
to the Imperial Government at London. Her Majesty s Ministers sub
mitted a Bill to the Imperial Parliament, designated the " British North
America Act of 1867," creating the Dominion of Canada. The Bill re
ceived the royal sanction on the 29th March, 1867, and became, on the
1st July, 186T, the Constitution of Canada.
76 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
On the 12th April, 1867, the Imperial Parliament passed a second
bill in the interest of Canada, entitled: "An Act for authorizing a
guarantee of interest on a loan to be raised by Canada, towards the
construction of a railway connecting Quebec and Halifax." Under
this Bill the funds, to the extent of 3,000,000 sterling, for the con
struction of the Intercolonial Railway, were provided.
1867 TO 1876.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
Effect of the Ashburton Treaty on the Location of the Line. Railways previous to Con
federation. Commencement of Location Survey. Rival Routes through New Bruns
wick. Military Considerations. Rival Routes in Nova Scotia. Line Recommended.
Controversy respecting the Route. Action in Nova Scotia. The controversy carried
to Ottawa. Final adoption of the Combination Line. Appointment of Commissioners.
The Contract System. Tenders Received. The Bridge Controversy. The Engineer
advocates Iron. The Commissioners insist on Wood. Iron finally adopted. The East
ern Extension Controversy. Line from Moncton to Amherst adopted. Location
between Miramichi and Moncton. Construction proceeds under the Commissioners.
Completion of Line under Department of Public Works.
THE location of the line being necessarily confined to British terri
tory, it was forced to make a considerable detour, to avoid entering the
State of Maine. Had no national considerations presented themselves, or
had the boundary been laid down according to the Treaty of 1783, or even
in accordance with the settlement proposed, and, to some extent, pressed
by the United States some years prior to the Ashburton Treaty, there
would have been no difficulty in securing a direct, eligible route.
The Railway would, in this case, in all probability, have followed
the general course of the route surveyed by Captain Yule, in 1837, for
the St. Andrews and Quebec Railway, as far as the neighbourhood of
the river St. John, but with such modifications and improvements as
further surveys might have suggested. Owing to certain political
influences Captain Yule was bound by his instructions to pass to the
north of Mars Hill. Thus his line was deflected out of the direct course
to the seaboard ; and it is highly probable that untrammelled he would
have followed a shorter route. It is evident, from an inspection of the map,
and from the natural features of the country, that lines of railway might
78 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
have been projected, so as to bring Montreal within 380 miles of St.
Andrews, 415 miles of St. John, and 650 miles of Halifax ; and that the
distance from Quebec to St. Andrews need not have exceeded 250 miles ;
G7 miles less than to Portland. Fredericton, the seat of local govern
ment, would have been on the main line to Halifax, and distant from
Montreal about 370 miles ; and these lines, moreover, would have been
wholly within the limits of, the Dominion had the international boundary
been traced according to the true spirit and intent of the Treaty of
The distance between Montreal and Halifax might thus have been
lessened nearly 200 miles. St. Andrews would have taken the place
of Portland as the winter terminus of the Grand Trunk Railway, and
would have commanded, together with St. John, a traffic now cut off
from both places, and centred at a foreign port.
The direct route would have brought the Springhill coal fields
of Nova Scotia some 200 miles nearer to Montreal than by the present
line of the Intercolonial, and would have rendered it possible to trans
port coal by rail at a comparatively moderate cost.
If, under such circumstances, an Intercolonial line to connect the
cities of the Maritime Provinces with those of the St. Lawrence had been
constructed, the building of 250 miles of railway representing an ex
penditure of 810,000,000 would have been unnecessary. Great as this
saving would have been, the economy in working it and in maintenance
would have been more important. The direct line would also have at
tracted certain branches of traffic which by the longer route must either
be carried at a loss or be repelled. These considerations render the differ
ence in favour of the direct line incalculable, and cause the more regret
that the treaty made by Lord Ashburton, which ceded British ter
ritory equal in size to two of the smaller States of the Union, rendered
such a direct line through British territory forever impossible. Al
though it is too late to rectify this almost fatal error, it is important in
a history of the Intercolonial Railway to recount all the steps by which
so costly a consequence has been forced upon the Dominion.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 79
It has already been mentioned that previous to Confederation in
1867, the separate Provinces had commenced, within their own limits,
systems of railways demanded by their own requirements. In Canada
proper a railway had been built from the river St. Clair, at the extreme
West, through Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec, to river du Loup. In
Nova Scotia, the line from Halifax to Truro had been completed;
and in New Brunswick, St. John had been connected with Shediac
upon the Gulf of St. Lawrence. These important but distinct sections
it became the first duty of the Dominion Government to connect by
the most advantageous route possible through British territory.
The British North America Act, uniting the Provinces in one
Dominion, came into force on the 1st of July, 1867. One of the stipu
lations was that the Railway should be commenced within six months,
and be finished within four years.
A week had not elapsed after the date of union when the Engineer-
in-Chief received instructions from the Minister of Public Works to
proceed with the surveys necessary to establish the location.
The season of 1867 was occupied in ascertaining the best position
for the Railway between Truro and Amherst, and, in February of the
following year, plans and profiles of a route from Truro to the boundary
between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were submitted to the
Government for approval.
In 1868, the surveys were continued on the whole line, and a large
engineering staff was employed in examining the country between
Nova Scotia and river du Loup. A controversy arose between the ad
vocates of different routes through New Brunswick. The press teemed
with articles on the subject, and the contest was carried into the Legis
lature and Privy Council of the Dominion. The chief contest was be
tween a Northern or Bay Chaleur route, a Central route and a Frontier
route by the valley of the river St. John, which for a great length,
would be close to the boundary between New Brunswick and the State
of Maine. The advocates of the Frontier route set military considera
tions altogether aside. They contended that since the day of Major Rob-
80 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
inson, who first recommended the Northern route, the revolution in naval
armaments had placed the two lines on an equality ; that treaties had
opened the Gulf of St. Lawrence to all nations ; that there were no
grounds for anticipating difficulties with the United States, as their inter
ests were all on the side of peace ; that, should any disturbing element
arise, it would be settled by the pen, and not by the sword ; and that,
if the Railway should be constructed as a military road, it would be in
danger wherever placed, and would, from that point of view, invite
attack, while, if regarded as a commercial enterprise, its peaceful mis
sion would be its protection. They further argued that a vast amount of
public money would be saved by the adoption of the Frontier route.
Owing to the length of line in operation which could be available, a
much less length of new railway would be required ; 55 miles of rail
way, already constructed and in operation, being purchasable at a low
price. They farther argued that, the valley of the river St. John being
well settled, there would be a considerable revenue from the ordinary
trade of the district ; and that there would also be a large lumber
trade from Aroostook, in Maine, as well as from the New Brunswick
It was, however, asserted on the other side, that on the Northern
line there were many large lumber establishments, some of which would
turn out more sawn lumber than all the mills between Fredericton and
the source of the St. John, including those in the Aroostook country ;
that such a line would certainly benefit and develop Aroostook ; but
what was wanted was a railway to develop the resources of Canada ;
and that the population per mile on the Northern route was much
larger than that on the Frontier route, even including the population of
Aroostook, which amounted to about one-half of the total number
The advocates of the Northern route also claimed that the estimates
of the Frontier line were placed at too low a figure, as the Railways
offered for sale were sunk in debt, and were in such a bad condition as
to require extensive repairs ; and they contended that the Frontier line,
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 81
in its entirety through to Truro, would be more costly by $1,000,000
than the Northern line. They also showed by the long-continued
negotiations, that neither the Provincial nor British Governments ever
lost sight of the necessity of consulting military considerations ; and
that one of the latest Colonial Secretaries had said emphatically that
no line which did not secure the advantages of a safe military road
would ever receive the countenance of the British Government.
The contest which was most persevered in was however between
the Central and Northern routes ; the Central being mainly advocated
in the interest of the city of St. John.
The safety of the Railway from attack in time of war continued
to occupy a prominent place in these discussions. It was asserted
that the Northern route, recommended by Major Robinson because
"passing at the greatest distance from the United States, and possessing
" in the highest degree the advantage of security from attack in case of
"hostilities," was, in reality, greatly exposed to attack, as, at several
points, it was close to the sea ; and that operations could be more
successfully carried on against it than against the Central route, which,
at all points was at least 30 miles distant from the American frontier.
It was held that this distance was sufficient to make the Railway safe,
or at least as safe as a considerable portion of the Grand Trunk Rail
way westwards from river du Loup ; and that it would be so regarded
by the British Government.
On the other side, it was denied that the Northern line was open
to attack, as only vessels of light draught could enter the waters which
it touched ; and that an enemy s fleet could not enter the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, except at the risk of being cut off from support and supplies ;
whereas, an attack could be much more readily made on the Central
route, St. John city and river being comparatively near American har
bours. Besides, the long vulnerable portion of the Central line would
not be so defensible as the portion of the Grand Trunk Railway lying
nearest the American frontier, because, in the latter case, there was an
intervening range of mountains impracticable for the passage of troops
82 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
and heavy artillery ; while in the former, the line passing into the valley
of the St. John, the river would afford ready means of attack.
As in the case of the Frontier route, an argument was advanced
in favour of the Central route on account of the less length of railway
required. But to maintain this argument it was stated that no rail
ways on the route would have to be purchased, because the companies
owning them would willingly grant running powers over such as were
constructed. On the other side it was shown that the project was not in
accordance with the designs of the British Government, as evidenced by
their proposed guarantee being for 3,000,000, with the condition that
the Dominion Government would raise a further 1,000,000, whilst the
estimate of the cost on the Central route was less than the 3,000,000.
It was accordingly argued that a continuous line of railway was con
templated, and not a connection with railways in operation. A forcible
objection was made to the Central route, that one of the railways pro
posed as a connection was owned or controlled by citizens of the United
States. Offers to carry troops in case of need were made to meet tins
argument. But it was evident such offers could not be enforced : on
the declaration of war the railway companies could readily with
draw all their rolling stock within the United States frontier, and
leave the railway useless to the Dominion though available to the
Some stress was laid on the amount of through freight which
would follow the Central route to St. John as a shipping port. It was,
however, contended that through freight from Montreal would take the
line of the Grand Trunk Railway to Portland, and not a route 300 miles
longer by river du Loup to St. John. Also, it was contended that, in the
matter of breadstuffs and provisions, the United States was the natu
ral market for St. John. Trade returns showed that, while restrictions
were laid upon trade between the British North American Provinces
and the United States, the supply of breadstuffs and provisions for
St. John went from Canada; but when reciprocity prevailed this sup
ply came from the United States, to the extent of 75 per cent, of the
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 83
whole. It was further argued that, if reciprocity should be again es
tablished, the through freight would prove a nullity.
On the side of the Northern Line, it was argued that the natural
trade of the populous region through which it would pass had, even
during the existence of the Reciprocity Treaty, been with Canada ; the
imports of flour from the United States never having exceeded between
10 and 15 per cent, of the total imports, unless under exceptional
It was said that the Central route had nothing in its favour which
the Northern had not ; but that the Northern had many special advan
tages over the Central arid every other route. It would undoubtedly
fulfil the national object for which the scheme was first originated,
viz : the creation of a safe military road not open to sudden assault
either by land or sea. It would pass through much well-settled
country, including several important towns and villages ; and would
traverse many outlets by which lumber is brought from the interior.
A considerable trade might be looked for in grain, and, eventually, in
manufactures, from Ontario to the Maritime Provinces ; and very prob
ably return freight at cheap rates would be obtained in coals, minerals
The fish trade was held to be of great importance and worthy of
being fostered as productive of profit. Fish, cured and dried, was sold
for about three cents per pound ; if packed in ice and transported to
Quebec or Ontario it would bring ten cents per pound. As the cost of
curing and drying was equal to the cost of carriage, the ten cents per pound
for the frozen fish would afford a larger profit to the fishermen, would
foster this branch of trade, and would speedily develop this class of
The claims of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland were
urged in advocacy of the Northern route, inasmuch as it was generally
considered desirable to consolidate the Dominion by including these
Islands in Confederation ; and it could not be doubted that the North
ern route would be the most acceptable to them, particularly to New-
84 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
foundland, in view of the quick trans-Atlantic route by way of that
Island suggested by the Chief .Engineer in his report of 1864.
While the discussion proceeded and the objections against each
route were being answered by arguments based on commercial theories
of profit ; and while each particular route, in its turn, was zealously
advocated and its merits enlarged upon by its friends, the Chief Engi
neer avoided all expression of opinion as to the line he held to be
preferable; a course of action which was made a matter of re
proach to him by both sides in the controversy. Viewing the course
pursued, he entertains, after tKe lapse of years, the opinion by which
he was then guided, that it was unnecessary and would have been im
politic, for him to have taken part, in any way, in the discussion.
When Mr. Fleming entered upon the survey in 1864, his instruc
tions on this point were very plain. He was not called upon to se
lect what he held to be the most eligible line : indeed, as he read his
instructions, he considered it to be his duty to withhold all indications
of preference. His own opinions were, however, explicitly and directly
expressed, when it became his duty to place them on record. In
March, 1868, he was requested by the Government to report on the
route he held to be the best.
He replied that military considerations as well as the commercial
capabilities of the line had to be regarded. With a prospective in
creasing traffic, the railway would probably become self-sustaining,
but onthe other hand, a line with little traffic, and with no likelihood
of any great increase, threatened to become a permanent burden.
There appeared to be but little prospect of much local traffic on
any of the routes. Agricultural prospects were nowhere extremely
promising ; and, except in Nova Scotia, the mineral resources of the
country, as far as known, appeared of little importance. It was, in
deed, difficult to foresee that any great development of purely local
traffic would take place. The most exaggerated estimates of way
business, on any of the routes, for a long time were anticipated
to fall short of the cost of maintenance.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 85
In the matter of through traffic, the fact had to be taken into consid
eration that a railway was being constructed to connect St. John New
Brunswick, with Bangor in Maine, and thence with the railway systems
of Canada and the United States. This line would be a formidable
competitor to the Intercolonial Railway, if the latter were built ou
either a frontier or central route, while the route by the Bay Chaleur,
and the adoption of a port on that Bay, for ocean steamers, would en
able the Intercolonial Railway to command a large share o-f the rap
idly increasing mail and passenger traffic between Europe and America.
The Chief Engineer, after examining the arguments advanced in
favour of each route, placed on record his opinion, that, beyond a doubt,
the line by the Bay Chaleur was the route to be adopted.
The Imperial authorities never lost sight of the military element which
the railway should retain. On several occasions they clearly intimated
that a northern or Bay Chaleur route was the one which they preferred :
not only Major Robinson, but other military authorities pointed out the
northern route as the proper location. The commissioners appointed
to consider the defence of the Province of Canada reported in 1862 that
no time should be lost in opening a road by the valley of the Metapedia
to Metis on the St. Lawrence, and that, for military purposes, the pref
erence should be given to the line of Railway by the Bay Chaleur.
In 1864 the Deputy Director of fortifications, Col. Jervois, reported
that whilst the Temiscouata route by Grand Falls and Fredericton to
St. John was, on account of its proximity to the American frontier,
liable to be cut off at the commencement of hostilities, the route from
Halifax through Nova Scotia and along the Eastern side of New Bruns
wick, called the Metapedia route, would afford access to Canada during
war ; and that, except at the part where it runs along the Southern
shore of the St. Lawrence, where, owing to the nature and position of
the country in the adjacent part of the States, it is scarcely subject to
attack, the whole line might be held to be at such a distance from
the frontier that it would not be liable to interruption by an enemy.
Were further evidence required of this feeling, it is to be found
86 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
in the fact that the Duke of Buckingham sent a despatch to the Gover
nor General in the spring of 1868, intimating that the Imperial guarantee
would at once be made available provided the Bay Chaleur route was
adopted, and, on receiving notification of the choice of route, the Duke
forwarded a second despatch which fully establishes that the route by
the Bay Chaleur was held to be the only lino which provides for the
national objects involved in the undertaking.*
During the period that the location through New Brunswick was
the matter of daily debate, the course of the line in Nova Scotia was also
discussed, with equal warmth and pertinacity ; more especially that por
tion, some thirty miles in length, in which the mineral districts adjoining
the Cobequid mountains are included. The chief promoter of these
discussions was Mr. John Livesey, who represented the Londonderry
Iron Mines, and who for more than four years never ceased to put his
From the time of the survey made in 1864, Mr. Livesey continually
* DOWNING STREET,
22 July, 1808.
(COPY CANADA, No. 155.)
" I have received your Lordship s telegraphic message that the route by the Bay of Cha-
" leur has been selected by the Canadian Government, as the one to connect Truro with
" River du Loup and thus complete the Intercolonial Railway.
" I understand three routes to have been under the consideration of the Government of
" Canada, namely, one crossing the St. John river either at Woodstock or Frederiuton, the
" second in a more central direction tlirouyh New Brunswick, and the third following the line
" selected by Major Robinson in 1848.
" The route crossing the St. John river, either at Woodstock or Fredericton, is one to
" which the assent of Her Majesty s Government could not have been given. The objec-
" tions on military grounds to any line on the South side of the St. John river are insupera-
" ble. One of the main advantages sought in granting an Imperial guarantee for constructing
" the railway, would have been defeated, if that line had been selected.
" The remaining lines were the Central line and that following the general course of the
" route surveyed by Major Robinson, and Her Majesty s Government have learned with
" much satisfaction that the latter has been selected by the Canadian Government. The
communication which this line affords with the Gulf of St. Lawrence at various points, and
" its remoteness from the American frontier, are conclusive considerations in its favour, and
" there can be no doubt that it is the only one which provides for the national objects
" involved in the undertaking."
I have etc., etc.
Signed, BUCKINGHAM & CHANDOS.
To Governor the Rt. Hon. Viscount Monck.
LOCATION AND CONSTEUCTION. 87
urged, both privately and officially, the importance of locating the
railway on a route passing close to the furnaces of the Iron Mines in
which he was interested.
Four different routes between Truro and a point of junction on the
railway from St. John to Shediac were examined and reported on ; one
was far to the east, another was far to the west, two were central. By
combifling parts of these central routes, two other routes were com
pounded. Of the two central routes, one was essentially the same as that
recommended by Major Robinson in 1847. The other was similar to
that advocated by Mr. Livesey. It was by a combination of the two
that the route called "Line 6" was formed, to cross the Cobequid Hills
by the pass at Folly Lake and to descend by the northern slope of the
Hills towards Amherst. It was held that this line would best accom
modate all interests, having primary regard to general convenience.
In 1805, the Government of Nova Scotia directed Mr. Fleming to
report on the best route from Truro to the boundary of the Province.
In June of that year he recommended that a central route should
be adopted. From commercial considerations, a central route appeared
to him the most important, as it would accomodate the Iron District on
the Cobequid Range, and open up the Springhill coalfield. He was
accordingly instructed to proceed with the location of the most eligible
line on a central route.
The working season of 1865 was occupied in surveys. Every pass
across the Cobequid mountains, within the limits of the iron district,
was examined, and every effort was made to secure a practicable line
near the Iron works. Six lines were surveyed, designated by the letters
A, B, C, D, E, F.
The first kept the southern slope of the Cobequid Mountains, cross
ing the Folly River and the two branches of the Great Village River,
passing immediately on the South side of the Acadia Iron Works. After
wards it turned northwards, and crossed to the north side of the hills by
a gorge, known as Madison s Brook, and by Isaac s Lake on the summit,
686 feet above sea level.
88 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The line B passed close to the Acatlia Iron works, thence turning
northwards it followed the Great Village River, on which the works
are situated, to the summit at Sutherland s Lake, where the elevation is
74") feet above sea level.
Lines C, D, E and F all passed by Folly Lake, where they attained
the summit level of 590 feet above sea level.
Of these lines, B was the shortest, but had the most objectionable-,
grades. F was second in point of length, and had the most favourable
grades. A was fourth in point of length, and second in favourable grades.
Line A, passing close to the Acadia Iron Works, was advocated by
Mr. Livesey. The Chief Engineer, on the contrary, gave it as his
opinion that line F was in all respects entitled to the preference,
and that, in view of its engineering features, he would recommend it
The Engineer considered that lines A and F Avould equally well
accommodate the Springhill coalfield; that though F would not accom
modate the then existing iron works so well as A, it would equally well
accommodate any extension of the works, and give much better accom
modation to the traffic of the villages on the Gulf coast. He showed
also, that, although Mr. Livesey had in some of his letters endeavoured
to convey the idea that line F "just skirts the eastern edge" of the ore
district, a former manager of the works had conveyed the impression
that the ore deposits were equally on each side of line F, and that they
extended over a large area in both directions.
Other evidence of the same import was furnished by a map and
pamphlet, issued some years previously in the interest of the iron mines,
which contained reports of several mineralogists and mining engineers.
One of these writers expressed his opinion that east of the Folly River
there were deposits of ore sufficient to produce from 20,000 to 24,000
tons of metal annually, while the works at that time situated to the west
of Folly River were only capable of producing about 2000 tons per
annum. It was, however, possible to extend them so as to produce from
10,000 to 12,000 tons per annum. The map accompanying the pamphlet
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 89
showed the " proposed site of new works," one on the Folly River, and
another on Pine Brook, two miles east of Folly River.
It could not therefore be maintained that the route F, by Folly
Lake, would not extend ample accommodation to the mineral region.
In August, 1865, a contract was entered into between the govern
ments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, on the one side, and the
Intercolonial Contract Company of London, on the other, for the con
struction of the railway between Truro and Moncton. The Govern
ment of Nova Scotia, having in May, 1866, received the report of the Chief
Engineer, endorsed his views in reference to the Folly Lake route, Line
F, and refused to sanction the construction of this portion of the rail
way under the contract which they had made with the Intercolonial
Contract Company, unless the Company adhered to line F.
The members of the Nova Scotia Government were personally on
friendly relations with Mr. Livesey. And, as that gentleman took every
opportunity of enforcing his views, the members of the government were
fully informed of the importance of the iron works, and of the expediency
of selecting a route as favourable to them as the general interests of the
country would permit.
After Confederation the Chief Engineer received instructions from
the Dominion Government to locate the line from Truro to Moncton.
At this time the Dominion Ministry had Mr. Fleming s report of May
1866, approved of by the Nova Scotia Government. The marked fea
ture of these instructions was that he should adopt the most eligible
line, giving due weight to the cost of construction, cost of future work
ing and management, and also to general interests.
From the above facts it is evident that no course was open to the
Chief Engineer other than to follow the line designated F.
But Mr. Livesey was not satisfied with this course, and in Septem
ber, 1867, he addressed a letter, enclosing a copy of the correspondence,
to the then Minister of Public Works, and in consequence the Chief
Engineer was instructed again to consider the case between the two
routes with regard to :
90 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
1st. " The local traffic likely to be obtained by these lines re
2nd. " The development of natural sources of wealth in the vicinity
" of those lines respectively, by reason of their construction."
In September, 18G8, the Chief Engineer accordingly reported on
the rival lines A and F, and showed that the line F was preferable to
A under the considerations of length, cost of construction, grades and
curves, and consequently in cost of future working and management.
Although the line, as located, crossed and passed near to valuable de
posits of iron ore, it did not run sufficiently near to the iron works to
be of full service without the construction of a Branch, some 7 miles
The cost of construction of line F and a branch would be con
siderably less than that of line A, without adding to A for the extra
cost of working it. It was of importance that the iron works should
have the benefit of railway service, and it was desirable that the earliest
possible connection, consistent with general interests, should be made
with them and the Springhill coal mines. It was considered that line
F and a branch to the iron mines would also extend a connection with
the coal mines, so much more favourable for cheap transport than line
A that it would prove to be the most economical route for mineral
The decision arrived at was based on a comparison of the lines.
Line F passed over a summit 100 feet lower than that crossed by Line
A ; it was the best, the shortest, and, even including the branch to the
iron mines, the cheapest, and was therefore entitled to the preference.
A combination line was mentioned as having been traced on new
ground between lines F and A. It was four miles longer than line F
but reduced the branch from seven miles to three. In the comparison,
the Engineer considered the combination line second in point of merit
to line F, and in his opinion line A was the least favourable of the
On the other hand Captain Tyler, Government Inspector of Hail-
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 91
ways, England, was applied to by Mr. Livesey. and reported in July
1868, that in his opinion, taking into account cost of construction,
working over the super-elevations, counter gradients and curves on
steep gradients, line A would still be considered cheaper than line F ;
that the construction of line F instead of line A appeared to him, from
every point of view, to be a great mistake ; and that the manufacture of
iron in a cheap form by the use of Springhill coal was of so great im
portance that " such an obstruction to the development of such re-
" sources, as the construction of line F when line A is available and less
" costly, would be nothing less than a general misfortune to the indus-
" trial interests of the Dominion."
In replying to this letter of Capt. Tyler, the Chief Engineer stated
that he was satisfied that Capt. Tyler, and Mr. Atkinson who had
worked out the calculations for Captain Tyler, were not in possession
of all the information which the survey afforded, and therefore that
their conclusions, based on imperfect data, could scarcely be correct ;
and he repeated that without capitalizing the extra cost of working
line A, this line would cost, in construction alone, about $100,000 more
than line F with a branch to the iron mines; that line F was the
cheapest to operate, the shortest, and as far as he could judge, the best
in every respect.
During the months of September and October, 1868, Mr. Livesey
had test pits sunk in nineteen cuttings on line A, which had been assumed
in the Chief Engineer s estimates as either wholly or almost wholly
rock, and he reported that a very large deduction should consequently
be made from the estimated cost of line A. This deduction was at
once made by the Chief Engineer; but nevertheless he saw no reason
to make any material change in the views he had expressed, and he
maintained that although line A had been surveyed, tested, revised and
improved by repeated trial surveys, it remained substantially as it had
been originally described by him ; and that it was his deliberate opin
ion that, taking the two lines as they were then represented by plans
and profiles, line F was capable of doing, at the same cost of working
92 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
expenses, at least ten per cent, more business than line A, and that no
improvement could be made in line A that would materially lower the
cost of working, without at the same time greatly increasing the cost
Other parties took part in the discussion, amongst whom were
the Hon. 11. B. Dickey, the Hon. A. W. McLelan, afterwards one of
the Railway Commissioners, Mr. Morrison, M. P. P. for Colchester, and
Mr. Purdy, M. P. P. for Cumberland.
Notwithstanding that the Government of Nova Scotia had, in
1866, endorsed the views of the Chief Engineer with regard to line F,
the Executive Council of Nova Scotia, on 3d August, 1868, passed a
Minute, which was approved by His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor,
to the effect that, in the interests of the Province, the location of line
A should be adopted in preference to that of line F.
It was stated by one of the gentlemen referred to, in a letter
dated 21st September, 1868, that this Minute of Council, though passed
on 3d August, was not communicated to the House of Assembly until
15th September, and that the House of Assembly was indignant at the
action of the Government. Three days afterwards the House of As
sembly passed a resolution in favour of the Folly Lake route, line F.
A few days after the passing of this resolution, the Chief Engineer,
by request of the Government of Nova Scotia, met the Members of
Council at Halifax. There were, however, only three members present.
After hearing full explanations, they concurred in the views of the En
gineer with respect to the adoption of line F, and freely told him to
state to the Dominion Government the result of the interview. They
further intimated that they would make a Minute of Council, expressing
their concurrence, but that they felt themselves precluded from doing so
by the minute which they had previously been induced to pass, without
sufficient knowledge of the facts.
The controversy was carried to Ottawa. One Nova Scotia gentle
man, in pressing his views on the notice of the Secretary of State for
the Dominion, drew attention to the claim advanced on behalf of the
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 93
iron mines with respect to the large capital invested by the company,
and met this claim by saying that the people in the villages on the Gulf
coast had invested infinitely more capital in building wharves, clearing
lands, building roads, bridging streams, opening stone quarries, building
ships, working copper mills, and that they were at that time employing
more men, developing interests of more real and lasting benefit, and
contributing more to the Dominion revenues, than the mining company.
He contended that all this population, which he estimated at 10,000,
should not be forced to pass over 12 miles more of mountain roads to
get to the railway, because the Mining Company had located their works
on the least eligible route.
The local advocates of both lines, at considerable length, exhaust
ed every argument in favour of the line which each advocated. Their
arguments were based on the population and agricultural products of
the district ; and the controversy branched off into a discussion re
specting the distances from certain points to the line of railway, and
to other unimportant matters of a purely local nature.
A line has already been referred to, which was designated the
" Combination line," from the fact that, by a cross branch from the one
to the other, it combined portions of both the rival lines, and as it
would thus unite the local interests, previously in conflict, the combina
tion line was favoured by both contending parties. This line connected
the eastern portion of line A with the western portion of line F, the
connection passing within three miles of the iron mines.
On the 4th November, 1868, the Chief Engineer was called upon
for a report. He adhered to the opinions previously expressed as to
the engineering advantages of line F, but he was prepared to admit
that the combination line appeared to possess certain commercial
merits. It would accommodate the population on the Gulf coast
equally with line F, it being in fact identical with line F, from Folly
Lake northwards, and at the same time it would afford greater accom
modation to the iron works.
The combination line, it is true, would be some four miles longer than
94 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
line F, and would possess an objectionable alignment, but its gradients
would not be less favourable. It was further submitted that, although
the new line proposed was longer, the extra traffic arising from its
close proximity to the iron works might, in some degree, compensate
for the additional cost of operating the extra length.
By a letter of 6th November, 1868, the Government notified the
Chief Engineer that " the combination line " had been finally adopted,
and directed him to proceed with the location measurements in accord
ance with that decision.
Thus the controversy was ended ; and hence arose that gigantic
and conspicuous sweep which the railway traveller will observe on the
southern flank of the Cobequid Mountains, where the line describes
nearly half a complete circle. So marked is this feature in the loca
tion that the popular voice has applied to it the term, " The Grecian
Bend," which, possibly, may be retained so long as the railway endures.
The decision arrived at respecting the location of the line in Nova
Scotia, and the adoption of the route by the Bay Chaleur, left only
that portion which extends from the river Miramichi to the boundary
of Nova Scotia to be determined. This question was not disposed of
until the following year.
While the location surveys were in progress during 1868, the Gov
ernment, in view of commencing the construction of the line, directed
the Chief Engineer to prepare plans and specifications, so that tenders
might be called for.
The specifications and conditions of contract were submitted to
the Privy Council in November, and, with some amendments, were
adopted, and advertisements for tenders were published.
In December of the same year, in compliance with the Statute, 30
Vic. Cap. 13, four Commissioners were appointed to assume the manage
ment of the Railway.
A. Walsh, Esq., Chairman.
The Hon. E. B. Chandler.
C. J. Brydges, Esq.
W. F. Coffin, Esq.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 95
On Mr. Coffin s resignation the Hon. A. W. McLelan was
appointed. Mr. Fleming still remained the principal executive of
Under the terms of the Statute, the appointment of all officers,
except the Chief Engineer, was left to the Commissioners. They ac
cordingly engaged a secretary and an accountant, and formally re-ap
pointed the engineering staff, which, at that time, consisted of three
district engineers, together with resident engineers and the necessary
assistants, for each separate surveying party.
The Chief Engineer, with the three district engineers, met the Com
missioners on the 30th December, 1868, at St. John, N. B., for the first
time. At this meeting the Commissioners announced their intention to
alter in some essential points the specification and system of contracts
previously determined on. The proposed changes had reference to
the basis on which contracts should be entered into, and to the
character of the bridges. The Commissioners had resolved to make
the bridges of wood, instead of iron as recommended by the Chief
The Government had previously determined to construct the line
in short sections of about 20 miles, and concurred in letting the work
by measurement and price, as a schedule contract. The Commissioners
declared themselves in favour of letting each section at a bulk sum for
the whole, and not by a schedule of prices ; and they recommended
this plan to the Government.
The Chief Engineer objected to this principle, but his objections
were not entertained. Accordingly, he felt himself constrained to sub
mit his views on the subject to the Government. While, on one
hand, he felt bound to follow the instructions of the Commissioners,
he was also, directly responsible to the Government for any advice he
tendered ; and if, on essential points, his views differed from those of the
Commissioners, his duty was to submit the difference to the Executive,
and in defence of his own reputation, to place his opinions on
96 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Accordingly, the Chief Engineer addressed the Premier,* setting
forth the important changes proposed by the Commissioners, which he
held to be unwise and ill-considered; and, on two occasions following,!
he submitted at some length his objections to the course proposed, and
asked the interference of the Government with regard to it.
The Commissioners replied J to the first communication; the
second and third remain unanswered.
The controversy formed the subject of returns to Parliament in
1870, when the papers were brought down and printed. The first com
munication of the Chief Engineer was not, however, included with
In the memorandum furnished by the Commissioners, they insisted
that the proper course to be taken was to call for tenders for the con
struction of each respective section of the Railway, for a bulk sum,
and to hold the contractor to complete the work for the amount of
his tender, without advance of price for increase of work, or any re
duction for diminution of work. The Chief Engineer contended that
the knowledge of the work required on any section was insufficient to
admit of letting the work for a bulk sum ; that no contractor could
exactly understand the extent of the obligation which he was assuming;
and that contracts let on this system, as matters then were, would
certainly end unsatisfactorily; and that difficulties would arise to per
plex the Engineers, the Commissioners, and, finally, the Government.
He also pointed out that all contracts should only be let on known
data, but that if it were deemed advisable to commence construction
before the measurements were completed, and the exact quantities
established, the principle of measurement and schedule price should be
adopted. A contractor would then perfectly understand that he would
only be paid at the prices in his tender for all the work which he per
formed, and for that only.
* 2d January, 18C9. 1 27th January, 1869 ; 10th March, 186
} 2Gth January, 1869.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
The opinion of the Chief Engineer was, however, not sustained,
and tenders were asked on the bulk sum system.
In February and April, 1869, tenders for bridging and grading 161
miles, divided into seven sections, were received. The following list
will show the great difference of value attached to the work :
Section No. 1, 20 miles $ 175,000
Total, 161 miles. $1,975,597 $6,029,150
Generally speaking, the lowest tenders were accepted, and the
work was placed under contract.
The tenders varied in the aggregate from less than two millions to
more than six millions, or to the extent of fully 300 per cent., and
showed that the parties who tendered, had imperfect ideas of the work
which they offered to perform. It is not surprising, therefore, that, be
fore the expiration of twelve months, five out of the seven contracts
had to be annulled and relet at a large advance.
The failure of the first contractors to complete their engagements,
established that the proper course had not been followed in the first
instance. An attempt was made to remedy the evil, as far as it could
possibly be done, by furnishing contractors with more complete data,
but no change was made in the principle of letting the work. The
" schedule price " system was not entertained, for it was held that the
Commissioners were committed to the " bulk sum " form of contract,
and that, accordingly, it could not be departed from.
One important point, on which a serious difference of opinion arose,
was in regard to the bridges. In the specification submitted by the
Chief Engineer to the Privy Council, the abutments and piers were
designed to be constructed of the best description of masonry, with
98 THE INTERCOLONIAL
It appeared to the Chief Engineer that great precautions should be
taken with these structures, in order to have them permanent. Iron
and stone being the most durable materials, their use would remove
risk of accident from fire, and from natural decay. And, although the
first cost might be greater, the permanent structures would avoid the
constant periodical charge for restoration which wooden work would
require. Moreover, the geographical situation of the line admitted of
the delivery of materials by sea-going vessels, directly on the line at
convenient points ; so that the first cost of iron structures would be
reduced to the least possible amount.
The Commissioners entertained the opposite opinion, and decided
that the bridges should be constructed of wood.
The position was one of difficulty.. The Chief Engineer was de
sirous of avoiding all cause of difference with the Commissioners ; but
his deliberate opinion was on record. The ground assumed by him had
not been lightly taken, and the more the subject was considered by
him, the more convinced he felt of the correctness of the principles
of construction which he had advocated. No argument, however,
which he could advance, appeared to have the least weight with the
Commissioners. They had determined to make certain changes ; that
the recommendations of the Chief Engineer should be set aside ; and
that iron should not be used, but that timber should take its
In January, 1869, the Chief Engineer made his first appeal in the
matter, to the Premier, Sir John A. Macdonald, and he submitted at
length the arguments why iron and not wood should be used. This
letter was referred to the Commissioners in the usual course. It has
never been replied to; and the arguments advanced in that com
munication remain to this day without refutation. But the decision of
the Commissioners was sustained. Five of the bridges were, however,
exempted from the principle originally laid down by the Commission
ers ; otherwise, the order was given that all the bridges should be built
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION 99
In May, 1870, the Chief Engineer recurred to tne question, in a
statement prepared for submission to Parliament. A complete list of
the bridges was given, and it was there set forth that the cost of con
structing them of iron would be but slightly in excess of building them
of wood, and accordingly he recommended that iron should be used.
The Railway Commissioners still adhered to the view they had
previously expressed, for, in a majority report, signed by Messrs. Brydges,
Chandler and McLelan, they repeated the recommendation that, with
the exception of the five bridges named, wood should be used through
out the line. This report is dated 3d July. Mr. Walsh, however, the
remaining Commissioner, and Chairman of the Board, on the 5th July,
gave his opinion in favor of iron. The matter was thus again brought
before the Government, and on the 7th July an Order in Council was
passed, affirming the decision of the majority that wood should be used.
The Chief Engineer took another opportunity of appealing to the
authorities on the subject. On the 25th July, he wrote to the Premier,
Sir John A. Macdonald, and on the 22d August to the Commissioners.
In the latter communication he asked a delay of ten days for some
work in progress, so that the matter could be reconsidered by the
In September, Mr. C. J. Brydges, one of the Commissioners, address
ed, on his own account, a communication to the Privy Council on the
subject. He argued that the fear of wooden bridges catching fire was
groundless ; that, in his experience of eighteen years as a Railway Man
ager, he had known no instance of a wooden bridge having been in
juriously affected through the cause assigned. He contended that the
Chief Engineer s calculations of quantities and cost were erroneous,
that iron bridges would cost at least $300,000 more than the sum
named, and that their introduction would probably add 6500,000 to the
cost of the line and would cause delay and confusion.
Mr. Fleming replied to the communication. He cited two instances
of bridges on the Grand Trunk Railway, under the management of Mr.
Brydges, having been destroyed by fire but a few weeks before the date
100 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
of Mr. Brydges statement. Mr. Fleming contended that his estimates
were correct, and challenged examination into their accuracy : and he
further made a final appeal in favor of iron bridges.
After an examination which established that the estimates of
the Chief Engineer were correct,* the Commissioners eventually with
drew their objections and recommended that all bridges over GO feet
span should be built of iron. But the Chief Engineer persisted in
his efforts to have every bridge, down to the smallest span 24 feet-
made of iron, and at last, by an Order in Council, dated 12th May,
1871, authority was given to have them so constructed.
With the exception of three structures built of wood by direction
of the Commissioners, against the protest of the Chief Engineer, all the
bridge spans, of whatever width, throughout the line, have the super
structure of iron.
At the period when the Commissioners were appointed, the line
had been determined from river du Loup to the river Miramichi, and
from the northern boundary of Nova Scotia to Truro, but the location
of the intervening distance of about 120 miles had not been made.
It has already been mentioned that contracts had been made in
18G5 between the Intercolonial Contract Co. of London, and the Gov
ernments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, for the construction of
the line between Truro and Moncton, with the design that this section
should eventually form part of the Intercolonial Railway. In the
winter of 1866-G7 the Intercolonial Contract Co. failed, and assigned
their contract to Messrs. Clark, Punchard & Co.
By the provisions of the contract between the Company and the
Government of New Brunswick, it was set forth that the railway should
intersect the St. John and Shediac Railway east of Moncton, and should
pass the village of Dorchester within a specified distance.
Mr. Fleming s original estimate of the cost of bridges with iron super
structure, including masonry, was * 1
With wooden superstructure
The actual cost erected, completed, with iron superstructure, 1,2*4,0.2,
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
The British North America Act was passed in March and came into
force on the 1st July, 1867 ; and, as it contained provisions for the im
mediate construction of the Intercolonial Railway, the Government
of Nova Scotia took steps to nullify the contract within the limits of
that Province, no work having been executed. At the same date but
limited action had been taken either by the Company or by their assign
ees within the Province of New Brunswick. At this stage of affairs the
New Brunswick Government would also have been justified in inter
vening. Certainly they should have ascertained how far the proposed
line would have accorded with the general route of which it was ulti
mately to form a part. In the contract in question, it had been stipu
lated, in order to serve some local or passing interest, that the line
should run to the village of Dorchester. It was quite uncertain if this
location would best conform to the main route. Indeed, as it was af
terwards proved, the Intercolonial Railway, in order to serve com
paratively insignificant interests, was twisted many miles out of its
Work to some extent, however, was commenced some time before
1st July, 1867, and, on the 8th of that month, Mr. C. H. Grant, the agent
of the contractors, wrote to the Provincial Secretary, announcing that
he had arrived at Dorchester to assume his duties, and that he was
provided with full powers and instructions to carry on the work.
There appears no record of the extent of the work performed be
fore 1st July, 1867. It is, however, well understood that its value was
In July, 1867, on the formation of the first Dominion Government,
intimation was given to the Government of New Brunswick, that the
proposed Eastern Extension Railway, as the short section in question
was then designated, might not be in a proper position to form an
eligible section of the Intercolonial Railway, and in October the Min
ister of Public Works submitted to the Privy Council a memorandum
to the effect that certain parties, since the 1st July, 1867, had been en
gaged in constructing a railway between Moncton and Sackville, in
102 THE INTEKCOLONIAL.
New Brunswick, with a view to its becoming a portion of the Inter
colonial Railway, and that he was doubtful if the location of the line,
or the character of the work would be such as to justify the General
Government in adopting it as part of the Intercolonial line ; he, there
fore, recommended that the Government of New Brunswick should be
notified that the railway could not be adopted, unless it should be found
suitable in location and character ; and, therefore, that the work " must
be, and continue to be, at the sole cost and risk of the Province."
Upon this notification, the contractors agent addressed the
Minister of Public Works in a letter dated 6th December, 1867, to
the effect that the works in question had been commenced early in
June, 1866, after eight months had been spent in surveys, and that by
the 1st July, 1867, upwards of six miles of grading had been formed,
and that at the date of his letter, fourteen miles were completed and all
the material for the permanent way provided. He added that the route
taken had been prescribed by the New Brunswick Government and by
the contract, and that it passed through a most populous and most
fertile district. The Provincial Secretary of New Brunswick also de
clared that the New Brunswick Government would have cancelled
the contract at the time of Confederation, if it had been practicable to
do so, but that, in reality, the Province was obliged to accept the sit
uation, with the expectation that the Federal Government would
accept the line and make provision for refunding the subsidy advanced
by the Province.
The Minister of Public Works accordingly instructed the Chief
Engineer to examine the railway in question, so that the Government
could determine whether or not the transfer should be entertained.
Assuming that the point of junction, near Moncton, was suitable, he
was instructed to report whether a better alignment could be procured
between the point of junction and the termination of his location
surveys at the boundary of Nova Scotia. He was also to report the
actual value of the work done and the materials delivered.
The examination was made, and the Chief Engineer reported :
LOCATION AND CONSTBUCTJOS. 103
that two lines had been found, both of which passed over lower sum
mits, and were in every respect more favourable, than the line in ques
tion ; that one of the direct lines was iiii miles, and the other -1^
miles long, while the line in process of construction by Dorchester was
37 i miles, or thirty-three per cent, longer than the most direct line.
The value of the work executed and materials delivered was ascer
tained to be less than $80,000, some of which, timber and sleepers,
could be moved.
The Chief Engineer pointed out that a great saving, in first cost
even, would result by paying the value of the work done on the line
under construction, abandoning it wholly, and adopting a direct line.
He argued that the railway to connect the several Provinces should not
be unnecessarily increased in length, nor its engineering features be
made worse than need be ; and that in this case the railway would be
twisted a long distance out of its proper course without serving any
sufficient purpose. The Government of Xew Brunswick was certainly
committed to a contract for work ultimately to be a part of the Inter
colonial, which provided that the line should pass a small village of
local importance. It was discovered that this contract involved the
construction of an unnecessary length of railway, with heavy gradients
and objectionable curves ; that it would practically place Nova Scotia
from eight to ten miles farther from the remaining portions of North
America than was necessary, and thus virtually impose a tax of some
thing like one shilling a head, and the same amount per ton, on all pas
sengers and freight passing over the railway, for all time to come.
It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that the Dominion Govern
ment were unwilling to accept the unwise contract made by New
Brunswick ; or that the Engineer of the Dominion should suggest, that
it was a matter of absolute economy, to pay for the value of the work
done and place the railway in its proper position ; and thus, at an ex
pense of less than $80,000, to save the construction and perpetual
maintenance of nearly ten miles of line.
The report of the Chief Engineer being made known, several Sena-
104: THE INTERCOLONIAL.
tors and Members of the House of Commons, representing New Bruns
wick in the Dominion Parliament, met at Ottawa and addressed a letter
to the Secretary of Sta.te, in which they laid great stress on the fact, that
the Imperial Government had, through the Duke of Newcastle, assured
New Brunswick, by letter dated 19th March, 1864, " that if the Lower
" Provinces shall, at their own expense, commence the construction of
" a railway on a line approved by Her Majesty s Government, between
" Truro and the Bend, and if subsequently the proposed loan of
" 3,000,000 shall be raised under the Imperial guarantee, the railway
" between Truro and the Bend, and the works constructed thereon by
" Lower Provinces, shall, as far as Her Majesty s Government is con-
" cerned, be considered to form part of the railway on which the loan
"of 3,000,000 is to be expended. This assurance is given merely for
" the purpose of providing (as far as Her Majesty s Government is con-
" cerned) that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia shall not be prejudiced
"by commencing the railway in anticipation of a final arrangement."
They also laid great stress on a subsequent utterance of the Im
perial Government which affirmed that the Confederation of the Prov
inces " would not in any way affect or alter the correspondence which
" had already passed between the Imperial Government and the British
" North American Provinces, on the subject of the Intercolonial Ilail-
It was maintained that, on the strength of these utterances, the
Government of New Brunswick had proceeded with the construction
of the railway, and that every precaution had been taken to select
the best line that would correspond with the terms of arrangements
made with the contracting company, which prescribed a circuitous
route past the village of Dorchester.
Applications of the same character followed, of which the general
tenor was, that it would be a breach of faith, if the Dominion Govern
ment should construct a rival railway within a few miles of the one
under construction ; and an injustice to New Brunswick, not to adopt
the latter as a part of the Intercolonial Railway.
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
The matter, by order in Council * was accordingly referred to the
Intercolonial Railway Commissioners, to report on the advisability of
adopting the line as a portion of the Intercolonial ; farther, to state its
money value to the Dominion, taking into account, in case of purchase,
the prospective loss in the adoption of the line in preference to the
shorter and better route.
The Commissioners recommended that the Dominion Government
should offer to New Brunswick, to assume the Eastern Extension Rail
way, when satisfactorily completed, for the gross sum of $894,000, the
New Brunswick Government to settle with the contractors ; and that
the New Brunswick Government should be notified, that, if this offer
was not accepted within sixty days, the Commissioners should be au
thorized to proceed with the construction of the direct route.
A Minute of Council was passed in accordance with this recommen
dation, and a notification of it sent to the Lieutenant Governor of New
The contractors agent, having received a copy of this decision from
the Government of New Brunswick, appealed against it, on the ground
that the sum offered for the completed railway was insufficient, and
begged for a farther consideration.
The New Brunswick Government do not appear to have objected to
the Order in Council, but, in communicating the order to the contractors
agent, added, that " in any arrangement for the sum to be paid for
" the road, it must be borne in mind, that the amount for which the
" Province of New Brunswick is liable, as well as for subsidy as land
" damages, under the construction contract, is to be deducted, in order
" that the Province may be re-imbursed for any outlay respecting the
The question remained unsettled until the summer of 1869, when
it was finally agreed that the railway from Painsec to the boundary of
Nova Scotia should be transferred to the Dominion Government for
* 12th March, 1869.
106 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
the sum of $894,000 divided into two portions : $250,000, to be paid
to the Province, to reimburse it for an outlay of $372,500 in subsidies
and 827,500 in land damages ; and $644,000, to be paid to the con
Thus the circuitous route by Dorchester was definitely adopted for
the Intercolonial Railway.
There only remained to be determined the line between the River
Miramichi at the north and Moncton at the south, to complete the
whole location from River du Loup to Truro.
The line projected by Major Robinson in 1847, crossed the two
branches of the Miramichi at Incliantown, some fourteen miles above
the point which has been since selected, and then took a tolerably
direct course toward Shediac, passing, far up from the sea, the waters
of the Richibucto and Buctouche.
In December, 1868, a number of gentlemen interested in having the
railway constructed nearer to Moncton, the " Bend " so frequently
referred to as a point on the routes between Halifax and Quebec, met,
in compliance with a requisition, at Moncton, and passed several Resolu
tions on the subject, which were immediately presented to the Railway
The Chief Engineer was thereupon instructed to make the neces
sary surveys of the country southerly from the River Miramichi.
Three lines were surveyed, one designated the "Shore line," extend
ing from the point selected for bridging the Riv er Miramichi, by
Chatham and Richibucto to Painsec Junction.
A second line, designated " The Middle line," extending from the
River Miramichi more directly to Painsec Junction than the Shore line,
keeping at some distance from Chatham and other towns on the Gulf
A Third line, " The Interior line," proceeding directly to the
nearest point on the existing Railway, west of Moncton.
A comparison of these several lines established, 1st. That the " Shore
line," passed through the best settled section of the country; 2nd. That
PLATE No. 1
SHEWING ROUTE OF THE
Sandford Fleming, EngT in- Chief .
LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 107
" the Middle line " was the most direct to Halifax, being one mile shorter
than the " Interior line " and four miles shorter than the " Shore line ; " 3rd.
That the " Interior line " was the most direct to St. John, being three
miles shorter than the " Middle line " and seventeen miles shorter than
the " Shoreline " ; 4th. That the " Interior line " was the shortest to con
struct, the length of railway to be built being six miles less than the
Middle line " and ten milesless than the " Shore line ; " and oth. That
the " Interior line " would be the cheapest to construct, an estimate of
cost being *17o,000 less than the " Middle line " and $700,000 less than
the " Shore line."
Taking all these facts into consideration the Commissioners report
ed in favour of the " Interior line " and the Government accordingly
The entire line having now been established, the work of construc
tion was proceeded with, the Commissioners managing and controlling
the expenditure until the year 1874, when Parliament passed an Act
(37 Vic. Cap. 15) vesting all the powers and duties of the Commissioners
in the Minister of Public Works.
At the time of the transfer to the department of Public Works, the
Intercolonial Kail way was in a forward state, the portion between
Moncton and Truro and between Riviere du Loup and Trois Pistoles,
in all 153 miles, being open for traffic. Since then the works have
been carried on, to their present state of completion, directly under the
control of the Department.
THE ENGINEERING CHARACTEE OF THE LINE.
Principles of Construction Climatic effects of frost and thaw on the works Action on
Roarl bed Thorough drainage Clearing the Line Natural snow fences Bridges
When bridges should be used Precautions in building bridges and culverts Cuttings
and their width Ballast Iron and Steel Kails Station buildings Water supply
Principles of construction concurred in The " Rail system," or Superstructure
Bessemer Steel Rails Fish and Scabbard Joints Cross-ties Ballasting The
Substructure Cuttings and Embankments Drainage Precautions against frost Em
bankments preferable to open bridges Measurement of streams Standard designs
Box Culverts Arch Culverts Open Culverts Pipe Culverts Tunnels Inclined
Culverts Bridges and Viaducts Bridge superstructure.
A marked feature of the Report of 1865, was the opinion ex
pressed with regard to the structures and other works throughout
the line, and the general engineering features of the Railway, as a
The geographical position of the Railway, and the national char
acter of the work, equally suggested substantial masonry and iron
bridges ; the estimates accordingly provided for structures of this class.
The exigencies of climate were also held to be paramount, calling for a
perfect system of drainage, and ballasting, to assure a good and du
The whole character of the Railway was fully considered, and the
views expressed were sustained by such argument as the necessities of
the case suggested. Much which was then said may now be brought
forward, as setting forth the principles, on which it was proposed that
the Railway should be constructed.
The climate of Canada has a marked effect on railway works. The
frost is very severe ; it penetrates the ground, where denuded of snow,
to a depth of from three to four feet, occasionally even to a greater
CHARACTER OF THE LINE. 109
On the slopes of cuttings and embankments, the snow not unfre-
quently is drifted by the wind so as to leave such spots exposed. On
the track itself the deep snow is removed to admit the passage of trains.
In all such places the frost penetrates the soil to some distance, and if,
owing to the presence of springs, or other causes, water be retained, in
jurious effects will certainly be experienced from freezing, and the sub
Embankments, when newly formed, retain much of the rain of
autumn. During the ensuing winter this moisture is converted into ice,
and when the thaw of spring is felt, the material, to the extent the frost
has penetrated, is frequently reduced to the consistency of paste. The
material has then a tendenoy to slide and to produce results exacting
considerable outlay to restore the work to its original form.
The first winter, with the ensuing spring thaws, is the most trying
on new embankments. After the end of the third year, ordinarily
the difficulty disappears. It is different with cuttings. In wet soils,
time alone will not give stability. Year after year, on the breaking
up of winter, certain kinds of earth, impregnated with water, become
semi-fluid ; in this state they slide and fill up the ditches, sometimes
flowing even over the rails. In such cuttings, when proper precautions
are not taken to carry off the superfluous water, such results are con
The road-bed itself, even when well ballasted, is not free from dis
turbance, when the subsoil is permitted to retain water within the frost
limit. The rails, consequently, are thrown out of level and alignment,
producing an irregularity equally injurious to the rails and to the rolling
stock. Wherever the track is in this condition, it is not practicable to
maintain the speed of trains, with a due regard to safety.
Such effects are not always confined to cuttings. They are witnes
sed even on level sections of country, and, in all ct^es, are attributable
to the presence of water and the action of frost. There is but one rem
edy to meet this condition thorough drainage. Good ditching to some
extent obviates the difficulty, but this remedy is often imperfectly applied.
110 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Any shallow ditch, on a descending grade, will carry the surface
water to the extent of its own depth. But this partial result is in
sufficient. The ditch must be taken below the line penetrated by the
frost in the road-bed; otherwise the road-bed will continue to be saturated
by moisture, and penetrated by frost, with the effect described. The
subsoil, therefore, must also be kept dry by under drains, carried be
low frost limit. Wherever this work is effectually done, the slopes of
cuttings and the road-bed, in all circumstances, will be kept dry and
The clearing of the line also requires attention. In forest land the
extent cleared should be of sufficient width to remove all chance of the
obstruction of trains, from trees falling across the track, and to reduce the
risk of injury from extensive bush fires. The latter contingency is not
improbable, especially in the Maritime Provinces where resinous forests
prevail. In such cases the flame becomes unmanageable from its mag
nitude, and, rolling across the track unchecked, it destroys everything
combustible in its way, and at times impedes traffic.
The space thus cleared will, in a few years, admit of the growth
of a belt of evergreens, to act in winter as a natural snow fence.
Should the adjoining lands be cleared of their timber, a snow fence
becomes a necessity, and a thick belt of brush would prove extremely
effective for that purpose.
No portion of railway work is more important than its bridges
When a line is carried out by private effort, a circumscribed capital
may compel the adoption of cheap structures. In such cases it is not
the character of the structure, or its economy, which commends itself;
but it is the necessity of the case, which limits its cost.
A railway constructed to meet a national requirement, and situated
like the Intercolonial, is controlled by no such limitation. It requires
no argument to establish that in such circumstances all structures
should be of the best form suggested by experience, and that the most
durable material should be used. They are then permanently built,
and require no subsequent renewal. The first expense is the one cost
CHARACTER OF THE LINE. Ill
and in the end, the durable structure is by far the least costly.
These principles clearly establish what the bridges on the Inter
colonial line should be, structures marked by no unnecessary expense,
substantial, massive and permanent.
Some general rules were laid down to determine the mode in
which the large streams and the minor rivers should be crossed. Wher
ever practicable, an arch culvert for the waterway was introduced
with superincumbent embankment. Only in cases where the height
of the roadway, above the stream, would not admit an arch, was it
considered expedient to employ an open structure, and in all open
ings, except when capable of being spanned by beams of timber, it was
designed that wrought iron girders should be used.
The sizes of the bridges and culverts were not reduced to the nar
rowest limits. It was held of importance, not only to make full pro
vision for the passage of flood-water, but to keep in view the increased
freshet discharge, to be looked for at a future period when the cultiva
tion of the land and the removal of the forest would cause more
rapid surface drainage.
Mainly to facilitate the removal of snow from the track, it was de
signed that the rails should be raised more than ordinarily above the
level of the adjoining surface, and that the cuttings should have suffi
cient width to admit of the snow being cast aside by snow-ploughs. The
quantities of excavation submitted were computed on the basis that the
cuttings should have generally a width of 30 feet at formation level*
with side slopes of one and one-half to one. That average width to be
varied in different localities in proportion to the record of snow-fall.
Ballast is an important element in a railway. Much of the dura
bility of the rails, and, indeed, of the rolling stock, depends upon it.
The railways which do the most business with the least outlay arc, MS
a rule, found to be the best ballasted ; and the employment of the best
ballast obtainable, even at somewhat high cost, was recommended as
At the time when the report of 1865 was made, steel rails were but
little known, and it was then contemplated to use iron rails, weighing,
with the joint fastenings, 70 Ibs. per lineal yard. It was pointed out
that the iron should be the best manufactured. There is no economy
in purchasing low-priced, inferior iron. The charges of shipping, trans
porting, handling, laying track, and other expenditure, are the same,
whatever be the quality of the iron. This point was satisfactorily met,
as steel rails were substituted for iron throughout the whole line.
With the exception of the few localities where towns called for
extended accommodation, it was held that there was no necessity for
much expenditure on station buildings : and it was held to be wholly
unnecessary to spend money through the wilderness portions of the line
on costly buildings.
The water supply for the engines always exacts consideration, and
attention must be directed to provide a frost-proof water service ; with
out it a railway cannot be satisfactorily worked.
A sufficient number of permanent establishments, consisting of
engine stables and work-shops, with suitable machinery, for the accom
modation and repair of rolling stock, were recommended to be placed
at central and convenient points, judiciously selected.
The principles laid down received general assent, and it was
recognized that a work of such national importance should be of a high
The report and the estimates were submitted to the Imperial and
Provincial Governments, and in the negotiations which followed, these
documents, with others of the same import, prepared in London by the
Chief Engineer in 1868, formed, in part, the basis of the arrangements
by which the Imperial guarantee was given.
On the consolidation of the Dominion in 1867, the location was
proceeded with, and it became the duty of the Chief Engineer to pre
pare designs for the work, and to determine how the accepted prin
ciples of construction could be best applied.
It is not necessary to enter into the details of the explorations and
surveys, and of the preparation of the working plans, and of the con-
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
duct of the work for the years it has been in progress ; but a descrip
tion of the railway as it has been carried out, is indispensable to show
what its engineering character really is.
It is claimed that unfavorable climatic influences have been guarded
against ; that the structures are thorough and permanent ; and that
with regard to the permanent way, when drainage and ballasting are com
pleted as designed, the railway may be classed as second to no work
of its kind either on this Continent or in Europe.
A railway of a high standard is in fact a simple problem. It does
not exact magnificence of design, or works which astonish by their dis
play or cost. Architectural monuments have no place on public works
like the one in question, and many well known structures can be re
garded only as mementos of useless expenditure.
As a theory, the perfect railway consists of two parallel lines of
continuous rails, uniformly sustained by a firm and slightly elastic sup
port. Bridges and culverts are incidents naturally to be looked for,
but never to be introduced, except where absolutely exacted. It is
the duty of the Engineer to design and establish them as cheaply as
he can, having regard to permanency, and not to convert them into
opportunities for display. Taste may even be consulted without any
expenditure beyond that required to secure solidity, and the skill of
the designer should aim at the attainment of effect with the least extent
of adorned material, and strive after the grace of outline to be found
in extreme simplicity.
In the Intercolonial Railway it was held better to aim at the reali
zation of this principle, than to advocate the introduction of structures
remarkable for their magnitude and ornament, however gratifying to
the personal pride of the designer.
The Railway proper may indeed be narrowed to two essential
1. The " rail-system," which may be called " the superstructure,"
including rails, cross-ties or sleepers, ballast, and everything placed
above the permanently firm surface, known as formation level.
2. The " sub-structure," which includes all worKs required to bring
the road bed up to " formation level," on which the rail system is
The Intercolonial Railway has been laid throughout its length
with Bessemer steel rails, weighing 57i Ibs. to the yard. This weight
is nearly 20 per cent, lighter than the iron rails originally proposed,
but owing to the character of the material, the steel rails are in reality
stronger and much more durable.
It has been said that to be perfect, a rail track should be continu
ous, but such a result is not practicable. Rails are manufactured in
bars, generally not exceeding 30 feet in length, laid end to end and the
continuity is broken where the joints occur.
These frequent joints con
stitute one of the defects to be
guarded against. On the In
tercolonial Railway, two ex
pedients have been adopted, to
overcome it ; one the ordinary
fish-joint, Figs. 1 and 2; the
other what is known as the
scabbard joint. The former is
a well-known contrivance for
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
keeping the ends uniform in line and level. The fish-plates lie between
the flange and head of the rail, and are only 2 inches deep. As they
have to endure the strain of passing trains, the rigidity of the joint
is inferior to that of the rail, the latter having a larger sectional area
and a depth of 4J inches. The ordinary fish-plates do not, therefore,
give perfectly unyielding joints.
Figs. 3 and 4, is more
rigid, inasmuch as it
makes a steel beam, 3J
inches deep, instead of
2, has a greater mass
of metal, better distrib
uted ; and is more
simple, having fewer
parts. The scabbard when properly made of good steel, is undoubtedly
the best splice known for rails, and severe tests go to prove that, of all
fastenings, it makes a joint approaching the most nearly in strength
that of the mid-section of rail. In effect, it renders the rails composing
the track, approximately continuous.
The rails are spiked to cross-ties or sleepers, 6 in. thick by 8 in. on
the face, laid on an average 2 feet 6 in. from centre to centre. They
are invariably of the best description of timber procurable in the dis-
tricts traversed, and generally consist of Black Spruce, Prince s pine,
Tamarac and Cedar.
A substance, not too rigid, is needed to furnish a bed for the cross-
ties : this is designated ballast. It lies as a cushion on the road-bed,
and gives to the rail system a slight and uniform elasticity. The
quality of the material for ballast is important. Gravel, the material
generally employed, if mixed with clay or light loamy sand that will
hold water, is unsuitable and should not be used. A coating of such
unsuitable material is even injurious, as it simply elevates the road-bed,
and has the effect of narrowing the space for proper ballast. The em
bankments are 18 feet wide at formation level. If a coating 12 in.
thick be added, the side, slopes being H to 1, the width of the bal
last bed is reduced to 15 feet, and it thus becomes necessary to
widen the embankment when proper ballast is laid down. The use
of improper ballast, results in the premature destruction of rails and
rolling stock, while the longer life attainable by both on a well bal
lasted line, establishes the necessity for the use of material of the best
Everything which goes to form the foundation for the rail-system
may be called the substructure.
When a level tract of country is not intercepted by streams, no
necessity presents itself for openings through or across the railway.
We then have the most favorable conditions for construction, and it is
necessary only to form a light embankment, two or three feet in height,
brought up a trifle above the ordinary level of the snow, the material
being taken from two parallel side ditches, Fig. 5.
(- --- -5j |C 10
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
It is rarely that conditions so favorable are met. On the Inter
colonial Railway they are the exception. Although in limited locali
ties the line traverses ground approximate!} flat, the natural drainage
of the country and provision for freshet discharge, generally rendered
openings through the railway indispensable, even in these localities.
The railway passes over several ranges of elevated water-sheds
and numerous subsidiary ridges, separating the river systems which it
crosses. In traversing a long extent of country with a surface so
diversified, cuttings and embankments of all depths and heights are
unavoidable ; and nearly every variety of soil and rock is to be met.
Where embankments are necessary, they have generally been formed of
a uniform width of 18 feet at formation level, with slopes generally of
li to 1. In some cases the natural slope which the material has taken
is not in accordance with this proportion. The maximum height of
embankment on the whole line is 110 feet.
The original intention was to form cuttings of more than the
usual width, for the purpose of securing ample drainage, and to afford
EXCAVATION IN BOCK.
facility for keeping the track clear of snow. With a view to avoid
expense, this proposition was not entertained ; and generally the width
is but 22 feet at formation level. There are exceptions, however,
where the width is greater. The side slopes in rock are 0.25 horizon
tal to 1 perpendicular, as in Fig. 6; in ordinary earth li horizontal to 1
perpendicular ; but in some wet clay cuttings, slopes of 2 to 1 were
It has been stated
that the frost penetrates
the ground to a great
depth, and as a conse
quence wherever the soil
is at all wet, the thaw
disturbs the road-bed
and injuriously affects
the earthworks. Special
care was consequently
directed to drainage. Fig.
7, illustrates the plan Kg. T.
adopted in the formation of underdrains : they are placed, as a
rule, immediately at the foot of slopes ; formed with drain pipes and
the trenches filled with ballast to within a foot of the surface. In
rock cuttings, provision was made for carrying off the water by shallow
trenches on both sides, as shown in figure 6, so as to keep the track
Fig. 8 is a cross section of the ordinary cutting, 22 feet wide at
formation level. It shows the underdrains below the frost limit, so
that water to a depth of at least four feet will be carried oif, and the
road-bed kept dry and free from the effects of frost. When such cut
tings are subjected to the effects of the maximum snow-fall, as is indi
cated on the diagram, the operation of the railway becomes difficult.
A large expenditure, either in removing the snow, or in roofing the
cuttings, may be looked for.
CHARACTER OF THE LINE
It is to be regretted that the cuttings were not formed on the
principle shown by Fig. 9. The deep side ditches would have fulfilled
the duty of underdrains in keeping the road-bed dry and free from
disturbance by frost, and at the same time would have afforded space
to receive the snow thrown off by the snow plough. The increased
width would have enhanced the cost to a less extent than was
assumed by the opponents of the principle, as the extra width in many
cases would have provided material for embankments, where, the nar
rower cuttings being insufficient, borrowing pits had to be resorted to.
It is also estimated that cuttings of the larger form referred to, would
have entailed less additional cost than the erection of snow sheds.
Besides, wide cuttings are preferable ; as in themselves the snow sheds
being perishable, and from time to time requiring renewal, are always
exposed to destruction by fire.
120 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Structures for the passage of water, whether of rivers or less im
portant streams, should never be lightly considered. One of the
leading principles observed, was to create as few bridge openings as
possible. Whenever practicable to pass a stream through a covered
passage in the continuous embankment, that system was followed. The
same principle governed in carrying the line across valleys. It was
held that no viaducts should be introduced ; that as an engineering
question, an earthern embankment is preferable. A calculation of the
comparative cost, proved that of the two, under ordinary circumstances,
where the height does not exceed 80 feet, the embankment is the
cheaper, and that in some exceptional cases, embankments of a greater
height may be with economy employed.
Open bridges were, therefore, strictly confined, with a single ex
ception,* to the large river crossings.
So little was known, at this period, of the country through which
the Intercolonial Railway now runs, that it was difficult to establish in
each case the requirements of waterway and the other conditions to be
observed. In settlements, information of some kind may be obtained,
but the country to be traversed was for a great extent a wilderness, and
few data of any kind were known concerning it.
In each case reliable information had to be gathered in order that
the size and character of structure might be determined. A structure
conceived on a scale unnecessarily large calls for a useless expenditure
of money. If too cramped in size, annually during floods it will be ex
posed to the risk of being carried away. Ultimate destruction is gen
erally its fate, and when this contingency arises, even if no loss of life
results, the money expended in reconstruction may be held as so much
dead loss. Any miscalculation with regard to the size or character oi
a structure generally results in uncalled-for expense, and it is therefore
necessary clearly to determine what the true requirements in each case
Assistants were accordingly detailed to measure the streams during
Folly River Viaduct.
CHARACTER OF THE LINE. 121
the periods of maximum discharge; to ascertain the sectional area,
velocity and volume, when the freshets from the melted snows were at
their height. This information was tested by repeated observations ;
and the number and sectional area of all openings for the passage of
water was determined in accordance with it. To the sectional area
thus ascertained was added a marginal allowance for floods of more than
The precise character of each individual work next became the sub
ject of consideration.
It was deemed advisable to reduce the plans to a limited number of
classes ; to adopt designs of the simplest type ; and to prepare standard
working drawings, which would suit ordinary cases, and which could
readily be adapted to any peculiar necessity. They were as follows :
1. Box culverts.
2. Arch culverts.
3. Open culverts.
4. Pipe culverts.
6. Inclined culverts.
7. Bridges and viaducts.
Many of the structures embraced in this classification are remark
able only for their number. Nevertheless the description of the rail
way would be incomplete, without mention of them.
1. Box CULVERTS.
These culverts were designed to carry off runs of water, or for
places where an outlet for surface drainage across the line was necessary.
They ranged from two feet to six feet in width, and from two feet
to nine -feet in height, but the prevailing size was two feet or two feet
six inches in width by four feet high. Fig. 10 is a cross section of the
commonly occurring size. It was deemed advisable
to adopt four feet as the standard height for the
smaller culverts, so that a man could pass through to
repair or clean them out.
Few culverts have been constructed of less
height than four feet, although occasionally where
the road-bed was low, culverts two feet six inches square have been
As some quarries furnished large flat stones, adapted for this char
acter of work, and other quarries supplied material better fitted for the
arch, it was an object to accommodate the designs to such circum
Box Culverts, of various sizes ranging up to six feet in width
by nine feet in height, were used when it was advantageous to
do so. Figs. 11 and
12 are cross sections
of medium sized box
culverts, the water
way of the one three
feet wide, by four feet
six inches high, that
of the other four feet wide by six feet high. Figs. 13 and 14 indicate
the proportions of the largest sizes built, the water-way of the one being
five feet by seven feet six inches, and the clear opening of the other
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
being six feet wide by nine feet high. These sections show the manner
in which structures of this class, over three feet in width, had their
walls corbelled, in order to carry the massive covering stones required.
These large box culverts were introduced only when the material
available was unusu
ally strong and mass
ive. The ends of all
culverts of this class
were of a simple de
sign, as in Fig. 15 ;
they were usually
placed square to the
body of the work,
with deep apron walls
to prevent any undermining by the stream or upheaval by frost.
2. ARCH CULVERTS.
The arch culvert was designed for streams requiring a clear width
of water-way from 4 feet to 20 feet and upwards ; and when the em
bankment through which they passed was of sufficient height to admit
the turning of the arch.
With some modifications
to suit local circumstances,
they were all made after one
type. The lower, or down
stream end, is shown by Figs.
16 and 17 ; the former being
an elevation and the latter a
longitudinal section. The up
stream end is formed with
cross wall to obviate the possi
bility of the current finding a
passage behind the masonry.
Fig. 18 represents an elevation of the up-stream end of this cul
vert, and Fig. 19 is a longitudinal section. The parapet walls, indeed
exposed walls in all structures, were directed to be backed with a quan-
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
tity of small rip-rap or broken stone, as indicated in Fig. 17 and 19, to
prevent injury from frost. Particular attention was paid to the foun-
dations ; in all cases where the natural sub-stratum seemed at all doubt
ful, artificial foundations were obtained by piles, concrete and other
Drawings were prepared for ten different sizes, with arches from
4 to 20 feet diameter, cross-sections of which are shown by Fig. 20.
Every horizontal and vertical dimension was proportioned to the size
of the arch. The length only varied according to the height of the
superincumbent embankment. And to prevent mistakes in setting out
the work in the field, tables of lengths above and below the centre line
were prepared, by which culverts of any size, in any embankment on
the line, could be laid off with accuracy.
Only at one point has an arch of more than 20 feet been introduced ;
and special drawings were then prepared. In Fig. 20 are represented
cross sections, of the varions arch culverts up to 20 feet span, which .
have been built on the line.
3. OPEN CULVERTS.
As already mentioned, a decided preference was given to covered
structures for the passage of streams ; and they were adopted whenever
practicable. There were cases, however, when, owing to the width of
streams, or insufficient height of embankment, a covered passage could
not be obtained. In all such cases the streams had to be spanned by
open structures, which were formed of beams or girders placed on walls
of masonry. Open structures above 20 feet span were termed bridges ;
when of less than 20 feet span, they were accounted open or beam cul.
verts. Fig. 21 is a type of the open culvert. It consists essentially of
CHARACTER OP THE LINE.
two masonry abutments, proportioned to the height of the embankment,
sufficiently far apart to allow a passage for the stream, and on which
rests the rail system, supported on beams stretching from abutment to
abutment. In open culverts of small span the beams are single under
each rail ; in the larger spans they are double and set side by side.
The great majority of structures of this class do not exceed 10 feet
span and are invariably in shallow embankments. For reasons given,
the introduction of the large size was studiously avoided ; the number
on the line is consequently limited. The figure shows an open culvert
of 20 feet span, in an embankment 20 feet high ; this is the largest size.
In cases where the embankment exceeded 20 feet in height, and the
stream required the width, arches of 20 feet span were substituted.
4. PIPE CULVERTS.
In localities where building material could not be obtained without
difficulty, it was found advantageous to employ cast iron pipes or cylin
ders. These pipes were of cast iron three feet in diameter, with spigot
and faucet joints. Culverts of this class were advantageously intro
duced on sections of the line near tide-water, where the iron cylinders
could be brought by sea-going vessels. They were quickly and econo
mically made, the two ends were encased in masonry ; the body of the
culvert consisted of a sufficient number of iron pipes to reach across the
embankment, the castings being of different lengths. The pipes were
bedded and completely encased, to a minimum thickness of nine inches,
in hydraulic cement concrete.
There can be no question with regard to the durability of this class
of structure. The chemical affinity between cement and iron is such,
that the concrete becomes as hard as stone and will alone be sufficient
to resist the pressure of the embankment and all wear and tear, even
should the iron lining be removed by oxidation : a contingency not to
be looked for, except after a long interval of time. Pipe culverts were
introduced in all situations, but they were found more especially use
ful in side-hill ground, where structures of the 6th class were called
for. Fig. 22 illustrates the lower portion of a pipe culvert on side-hill.
Where streams crossed the railway in deep rocky ravines, it was
frequently found preferable, as a matter of convenience and economy
instead of spanning the ravine by a bridge or constructing a culvert, to
pierce one side of the ravine by a tunnel, through which the stream
could be diverted, and to form a solid embankment across the channel
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
of the stream itself. This expedient was adopted, not only in deep
ravines, but in other localities. Figs. 23 and 2 i show a section and plan
of a tunnel, which was formed at one point on the line under an em
bankment exceeding 100 feet in height. The whole work, including
the embankment, was completed at less cost than a bridge, or even a
culvert with the superincumbent embankment. The one condition
necessary, was the presence of rock of sufficient solidity and dura
bility. They have been used in cases where the rock was of a nature
requiring to be lined with masonry ; as in the perishable Sandstones,
along some parts of the Bay of Fundy. In all cases they brought into
play a cheap description of labour in their construction, and allowed the
formation of the roadway to be proceeded with, much sooner than
would have been possible, had structures of masonry been carried
On side-hill ground, such as occurred in passing over the Cobequid
mountains in Nova Scotia, small tunnels were frequently introduced,
they are shown in Fig. 25.
6. INCLINED CULVERTS.
The designs for structures of the 1st and 2d class were applicable
where streams flowed in channels with little fall ; but on side hills, where
the streams often become swollen torrents, it was necessary to adopt
means to prevent the possibility of destruction of the structure.
Ordinary culverts were employed in all cases where the fall of the
stream did not exceed, on an average, one foot in twenty. With streams
of a greater fall, the structures employed, came under the designation
" Inclined Culverts," and in all such cases special designs were pre
pared. Inclined culverts were built of both Box and Arch work :
Fig. 26 shows the mode adopted for arches.
In both cases the walls were regularly stepped, to insure stability :
CHARACTER OF THE LINE. 131
and precautions were taken to prevent the water of the stream from
finding a way underneath the paving or below the walls.
The line of paving was placed considerably lower than the natural
bed of the stream; the whole masonry was laid in cement; and the
walls at the upper end were built in such a way as to be impervious to
To increase the security of the work, a concrete wall Avas formed
underneath and around the body of the culvert, midway between the
two ends; and this wall was made perfectly water-tight, across the
ravine in which the culvert was built. The footings of walls were full
bedded in cement, and the spaces underneath the paving and around
the walls were filled with concrete. The paving was all laid in
132 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
Other precautions were taken to render the work secure. In cases
where the walls could not be founded on rock, the lower ends had a
deep set apron wall, with wing walls and a secondary front wall also
deep set. Above and around the whole, loose stone filling, "rip-rap,"
was placed, to deaden the effects of the stream rushing rapidly down the
smooth surface of the culvert, These and other precautions were
adopted as the circumstances of each individual case seemed to dictate,
in order to secure permanence in the work. Fig. 26, represents a longi
tudinal section of the up-stream portion of a culvert of this class.
Here the wing walls are square to the body of the structure : but at the
down-stream end, the arrangement shown on Fig. 22 was generally car
ried out, with such modifications as each case necessitated.
It has already been stated that iron pipes were used for inclined
culverts, but they were only introduced to carry off streams requiring
less than three feet water-way. The pipes were cast in short lengths,
those for the lower part of the culvert having radiant ends, so that,
when set in place, they would lie in a curve as in Fig. 22. By this
means the water descending through the culvert with great velocity,
would be changed in its direction and discharged horizontally, thus
reducing the tendency to undermine the lower end of the structure.
7. BKIDGES AND VIADUCTS.
This class includes all structures with clear openings exceeding 20
feet. On the Intercolonial Railway, the spans range from 24 feet,
the minimum, to 200 feet, the maximum.
It has already been stated that a viaduct is not, under ordinary
circumstances, an economical or desirable structure ; and that it should
only be introduced where a river of considerable width has to be cross
ed." Accordingly Bridges have been avoided in all cases, where a solid
earthen embankment could be formed. The one exception, at the River
Folly in Nova Scotia, has already been mentioned.
The number and length of spans, and, to some extent, the form of
the superstructure of a bridge, depend on the width of the river at
CHARACTER OF THE LIKE. 133
flood, the character of the river bed, the formation and movement of
ice, and the quantity of drift timber which may be looked for. It was
not found necessary in any case to have wider openings between the
piers than 200 feet, and although in many instances several openings
occur in the same structure, it was only considered expedient to adopt
spans so great in three bridges. Wherever the cost of founding piers
was not excessive, spans not exceeding 100 feet were used ; and in
every instance where the character of the river would admit with safety
the employment of spans shorter than 100 feet, they were adopted.
In laying down general principles by which the construction of
the whole of the structures on the line was to be governed, engineering
requirements were primarily regarded ; but economy in expenditure
was by no means lost sight of. It was felt that while the abutments
and piers should be designed to efficiently resist the peculiar climatic
forces to which they would be exposed, it was equally important to
accomplish the desired object at a minimum cost. A saving of expen
diture at one point, or on a single structure, might be a matter of no
great consequence, but when multiplied by the number of cases which
occur on such a length of line, the importance of a well-considered
system becomes apparent.
The question is governed by several considerations, the most im
portant of which is the difference between skilled and unskilled labour.
The Engineer determined that iron should be used instead of wood in
the spans of bridges, on account of its durability, but he also consid
ered that there should be as few bridges as possible, for reasons already
submitted ; and from the consideration that the iron work had to be
imported ; and, being the product of skilled labour, more costly than
ordinary earth or stone work executed in the locality. Again, as mason
ry, is likewise the product of skilled labour and costs for a given quan
tity, fifty times as much as earthwork, it should in consequence be
used sparingly, in fact never introduced where the latter can be sub
stituted : moreover, it was held that none but the best masonry should
be admitted and that a limited quantity of good masonry could in
most cases be employed more advantageously than a larger quan
tity of inferior masonry ; that the difference in cost between equal
quantities of both kinds was limited, and no way in comparison to
the greater degree of stability and permanency attained by the use of
masonry of the first quality.
In designing the Piers, their exposure to ice and drift-wood rendered
it necessary to make them massive and of a form which would enable
them to resist any shock. It would be no economy to make them
otherwise. But in the form of the abutments, it was found that
strength, durability, and the principles of economy referred to, could be
consulted at one and the same time.
The plan of abutment adopted, consisted simply of a hollow tower
CHAKACTER OF THE LINE.
of no greater width than was required for the support of the super
structure, and built perpendicularly on the four sides. The sections
Figs. 27 and 28 give the form of tower as it has been built ; in some
cases with two rectangular cells as in Figs. 27 and 29 ; in others, the
void was made circular as in Figs. 28 and 30 , and in both cases the
voids were corbelled or arched at the top to support the ballast and
A comparison between the cost of this form of abutment and the
plan commonly carried into execution on Railways previously con
structed, may be advantageously made.
Abutments have usually been built with wings, necessarily heavy,
in order to resist the pressure of the embankments.
Taking four different designs carried into execution on the Grand
Trunk Railway, with the formation level 60 feet high, the quantity of
masonry in each abutment is as follows :
Design No. 1
Giving an average of 2465 cubic yards for each abutment.
As the difference is almost wholly in the form of abutment, it is
136 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
not necessary to take into the calculation the intermediate piers,
when a comparison of cost is made.
The two estimates of cost stand thus :
(1) In the Intercolonial Railway system :
2180 cubic yards of masonry in the pair of
land piers and towers at $13 - - $28,340
2 sixty feet iron girders erected $ 3,834
Less 12000 cubic yards of em
bankment, saved at 30 cents 3,600 234
(2) In the Winged Abutment system :
4930 cubic yards of masonry at $13 64,090
Difference in favour of the new system $35,516
It will thus be apparent that the saving effected is large ; it
amounts indeed to fully fifty per cent, of the cost of both abutments
constructed on the old plan. The estimate indicates the saving in one
But economy in first cost is not the only or main advantage. It is
well known that winged abutments, even if built sufficiently massive
to resist the thrust of embankment, are frequently injured and ulti
mately destroyed through another agencj^. If the embankment be
formed of any material that will hold moisture, the low temperature of
winter is certain to act injuriously upon it. The moist clay or earth
behind the masonry becomes frozen solid, and in obedience to the
expansive powers of frost, produces an irresistible thrust on the ma
sonry, which, whatever its strength, will eventually become fractured
This destructive agent, acting year after year, will sooner or later
render reconstruction a necessity.
This effect can never take place with the bridge abutments of the
Intercolonial Railway. It is impossible for the hollow towers, placed
CHARACTER OF THE LINE.
in the hearts of the embankments to be rent asunder, or in any way in
jured, either by the thrust of the earth or by frost. The pressure is at
all times external, and being nearly uniform from all sides, no destruc
tive effects can result.
It is not claimed that there is anything remarkable or novel in the
peculiar kind of abutment described ; but it is held that the princi
ples of construction observed show a due regard to economy as well
as to engineering requirements and climatic condit ons.
Fig. 31 represents an abutment of moderate height before its
connection with the embankment. It also shows a common form of
pier adopted in cases where the structure is opposed to running ice.
The superstructure of three of the bridges viz. : at River du Loup,
Is e Verte and Missiguash are of wood. These were erected, under
the protest of the chief engineer, by direction of the Commissioners
138 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
before their policy on this question was reversed. All the other
bridges on the line have iron superstructures ; three of the latter viz :
the Restigouche and the two Miramichi bridges, are " pin connection "
trusses, constructed by a Philadelphia firm, Messrs. Clarke, Reeves &
Co. All the others are " plate " or " lattice " girders erected in place
by an English firm, The Fairbairn Engineering Company.
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT.
General Features of the Line Greatest Altitude Geographical Divisions The Four
District? The Engineering Staff The St. Lawrence District General Descrip
tionCrossing the Height of Land Geology of the District The River Systems-
Division A, Contract No. 1 Division B, Contract No. 2 Division C, Contract No.
5 Division D, Contract No. 8 Division E, Contract No. 13 Division F, Contract
The Railway extends for 178 miles in the Province of Quebec.
Crossing into New Brunswick at the river Restigouche, the distance in
that Province is 24H miles. At the river Missiguash it passes into
Nova Scotia, to terminate at Truro, a distance of 80 miles; joining at
that place, the line constructed previous to Confederation between
Truro and Halifax.
The greatest altitude reached by the line is in the Province of
Quebec. This is at Lake Malfait, 108 miles from River du Loup,
and 743 feet above the sea. Nova Scotia ranks second to Quebec in
respect of altitude, a height of 610 feet above the sea being attained
a-t Folly Lake, in the Cobequid Mountains, 24 miles west of Truro :
while the highest elevation in New Brunswick, 514 feet, is at Barti-
bogue, about mid-way between Bathurst and Miramichi.
At the river Restigouche, the boundary between Quebec and New
Brunswick, and at the river Missiguash, the boundary of Nova Scotia,
the railway is but little above tide-water; at the former, less than
40 feet ; and at the latter, less than 10 feet. The levels near the extreme
ends of the line Truro and River du Loup are not high; conse
quently, the line is divided, geographically, into three main ridges one
in each province. The ridges may be described as being 180, 240 and
140 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
80 miles broad, rising respectively to 743, 514 and 610 feet above the
During construction it was found convenient to divide the Line into
four Districts, which were again sub-divided into 25 Divisions desig
nated by the letters of the alphabet, beginning with A at River du
Loup and ending with Z next to Truro. The Districts were called the
St. Lawrence, the Restigouche, the Miramichi and the Nova Scotia.
The Restigouche District embraced seven Divisions, each of the
other three embraced six Divisions. The lengths were as follows :
St. Lawrence District, 129J- Miles.
Restigouche " 128 "
Miramichi " 117i "
Nova Scotia " 124| "
Total, 499i "
These four sections were each placed under a District Engineer
responsible directly to the Engineer-in-Chief. Resident Engineers
were appointed to each separate Division, who acted under the
Engineer of the District ; and the latter again had their necessary
assistants. The work on each Division was carried on under a distinct
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT extends from River du Loup along
the shore of the St. Lawrence as far as Little Metis, where the line turns
in a southerly direction to cross the highlands, dividing the waters flow
ing into the St. Lawrence from those flowing into the Bay Chaleur by
the Metapedia, a tributary of the Restigouche. Its length is 129J miles
and it embraces the following Divisions :
Division A, Contract No. 1 20 miles long
B, " 2 20 "
C, " 5 26 "
D, " 8 20
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 141
Division E, Contract No. 13 20i "
" F, 14 22i
Total length, 129i miles.
For 90 miles the railway lies within a short distance of the St.
Lawrence, in no place more than three miles from it. An irregular
highland range extending, with but very few breaks, from River du
Loup to Gaspe, dictated this location. Attempts were made to find a
location further inland, but the country was rough ; consequently, con
struction would have been expensive and the gradients steep. Along
these first ninety miles the cbuntry is closely settled : besides the num
erous farm-houses which assume the appearance of a continuous strag
gling village, there are several towns and villages, as River du Loup,
Isle Verte, Trois Pistoles, St. Simon, St. Fabien, Bic, Rimouski, St.
Luce, St. Flavie, and Metis.
The most favorable point for crossing the Mountain range occurs
near Metis, where a depression is found in the summit, 743 feet above
the sea, at a distance, on a straight line from the St Lawrence, of about
20 miles. There is, also, at a distance of 6 miles from the St. Lawrence,
an intermediate summit, 561 feet high, on a ridge overlooking the river.
The country, on this mountain range is rough and rocky, and many
curves are accordingly introduced, the grades being also steep. But,
after descending the Southern slope, the flat country along the shore of
Lake Metapedia is met, which extends to the end of the District.
There is a considerable area of good land near Lake Metapedia.
It is estimated that a belt ten miles broad, in this quarter, contains
130,000 acres of good farming land.
The rock formation of the St Lawrence District belongs principal
ly to the Lauzon division of the Quebec group ; the geological posi
tion of which is about the middle of the Silurian System. This group
extends in the form of a belt parallel to the St Lawrence, terminating
in the Gasp peninsula.
142 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The Lauzon division is of considerable breadth, west of River du
Loup, but contracts to a few miles, at Rimotiski. Small outliers of the
Sillery sandstone occur in this distance, one of which is met about two
miles below River du Lovip, and another extends between Cacouna and
River Isle Verte.
Interstratified with the shales of the Lauzon division, grey sand
stone and limestone conglomerates occur at Trois Pistoles, Bic and
Grand Metis. The conglomerates are coarse, and consist of a sandy
matrix with pebbles of white quartz and masses of limestone and dio-
Between Rimouski and Great Metis the railway crosses a small
basin of the Sillery limestone.
Near Lake Metapedia conglomerates again occur associated with
shales ; along the shore of the Lake, the rocks consist of limestone,
sandstone shales, and diorite, with an occasional trap dyke.
From these various rocks the building material for the heavy ma
sonry on the district was obtained.
The Rivers flowing into the St Lawrence, although of no great
length, yet rising, as they do, in the neighboring highlands, at times
discharge a great body of water. On all there is enormous water
power from falls and rapids, easily made available, though hitherto but
little used. At River du Loup there are three natural falls, one 100
feet high, and two about 20 feet high, almost quite unused. At the
mouth of the River the water power gained by an artificial fall drives
a large flour mill, and likewise the works of a foundry and machine-
The District Engineer, until the close of the work, was Mr. Samuel
Hazlewood, who assisted in the exploratory survey of 1864, and the
location survevs of 1868-69.
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 143
CONTRACT No. 1.
This Division, generally, is comparatively level ; it traverses the
table-land or terrace between the St. Lawrence and the elevated range
which rises at no great distance from the line. The works are generally
light, consisting of low embankments to raise the road-bed above the
ordinary snow level. There are only two rock cuttings of importance,
and these are near the western end. For four miles the railway passes
over tracts of bog, some low-lying, with peat only a few feet deep, others
lying higher, with growing peat, 20 or 30 feet deep. No difficulty at
tended the formation of the road-bed, the low embankments being com
posed of peat taken from side ditches, generally 15 or 20 feet from the
embankments. The matted roots of brushwood and scrub spruce, to
gether with moss and peaty material, formed embankments sufficiently
tenacious. Although there was a slight sinking in some places, there
was no breaking up of the surface, and the roadway is firm, though
elastic. The surface in such cases is covered with a layer of gravelly
sand about six inches thick, as a protection against fire.
The culverts on this section are unimportant, there being only
three over eight feet span, two of which are twelve feet. There are
three bridges, one with a span of 30 feet over the Terniscouata road,
one of three spans built over the River du Loup, and the third of two
spans built over the River Isle Verte, That over the Temiscouata road
is close to that over the Du Loup, and may be considered as constitut
ing parts of one bridge, the western abutment of the river bridge being
the eastern abutment of the road bridge. The river bridge is on a
skew, but the eastern abutment of it is on the square. The foundation
is rock, on the bed of the river ; and the water being shallow, having
only a depth of a few inches in summer, there was no need of coffer
The bridge over the River Isle Verte rests upon a rock foundation >
the water, during the dry season, being so shallow as to occasion no
difficulty in founding the piers.
The piers of the Isle Verte bridge are on the skew, while the abut
ments are square ; thus, each span has a short and a long side, the longer
being 100 feet and the shorter 88 feet.
All that is worthy of remark concerning the bridges of this Division,
is, that they are of wood, and constitute two of the three wooden
bridges erected upon the whole line. They were commenced anterior
to the reversal of the Government policy in this respect, all the other
bridges being of iron.
Both bridges are built upon what is known as the Howe truss
In these bridges the roadway runs on the top of the girders.
There are few curves; the two longest tangents are each about six
The grades are easy.
There was abundance of ballast on the Division, but the pits were
of little depth.
The work of construction was executed by Messrs. George and
James Worthington. The contract was entered into in March, 1869.
The time for completion assigned was 1st July, 1871, but the work
was not entirely finished until 1st July, 1872. In addition to the
amount of the contract, $189,700, a further sum of 35,000, for extra
works, was paid.
The total length of the Division is 20 miles.
The average excavation was 18,200 cubic yards per mile, and of
masonry 295 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer in charge was Mr. Leonard G. Bell, pre
viously employed on the Surveys of 1868-69.
THE ST. LA WHENCE DISTRICT. 145
CONTKACT No. 2.
This Division, for half its length, lies on land similar to the coun
try crossed by the Line on Division A. After passing the village of
Trois Pistoles, it enters the valley of St. Simon, a - wide flat ex
panse bounded on both sides by high ridges of barren rock. Generally
the u-orks are light, but there are large culverts at the village of Trois
Pistoles and an expensive bridge over the river of that name, besides
heavy cuttings and embankments at the approaches. The cuttin^ on the
side of the river was especially heavy, being at one P lace56 feet
eep. All the cuttings in this neighbourhood consisted of a blue clay of
tenacity, sometimes containing a small portion of fine dead sand.
The ordinary pick and shovel were wholly inadequate in these excava-
lons, spades proving more successful ; yet, even with them, the work
was tedious The clay was dug out in small square blocks, and dung
by means of single pronged iron forks, or spikes, into the wagons It
was so tenacious, that the slinging and the subsequent dumping scarce-
y altered the shape of the blocks. When acted upon by water and
t would, however, slide away in a semi-fluid condition, carrying
everything with it. On the west side, the cutting is on a side-hill, the
foot of which rests on the shore of the St. Lawrence, while the top reaches
the flat ground about 200 feet above the river, and having about 8
t of gravel lying on the surface. At the commencement of opera-
ons, the flow of water from between the gravel and clay, produced
masses of mud which constantly slid down to the bottom of the cut-
tmg, seriously retarding the work. Such slips were to some extent
.bviated by a deep drain, some distance back, sunk through the bed of
into the underlying clay, thus tapping the superficial springs.
>ther difficulties, however, presented themselves. At the west end of
this cutting, and under a low embankment, a small culvert had been
built on apparently sufficient foundation on the side-hill. The culvert
146 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
sank somewhat, and then remained many months without any percept
ible change. It, however, eventually sank so much that it became
necessary to remove it altogether and build it on another site. In
a few weeks after its reconstruction a landslip occurred, carrying the
culvert together with the embankment and many thousands of yards of
earth, to a distance of several hundred feet, into the river, leaving a
gulf about 200-feet wide. This landslip was doubtless caused by the un
due presence of water in the ground ; and showed the necessity of deep
under-drainage. The cuttings in which these difficulties were experi
enced, extended over a mile on the west side and a mile on the east side
of Trois Pistoles. The west side was the most troublesome. Vertical
shafts, fifty feet apart, and to depths varying from 25 to 30 feet under
formation, were sunk along the uphill side of the railway, and about
15 feet distant from it. From shaft to shaft, tunnels about five feet
diameter, were driven, each with an inclination to points where
lateral off- take tunnels to the side-hill were provided for the discharge
of the water collected. In the bottom of the tunnels a sewer
pipe was placed and the tunnels and vertical shafts were filled
with gravel. These tunnels have been effective in drying and solidi
fying the ground, more especially that portion immediately under
the Railway. During last summer, a considerable quantity of fluid
mud slipped from the surface of the South slope of the deep cut imme
diately to the westward of the Trois Pistoles River ; but though it dis
placed the rails for a short distance, the road bed and underlying earth
were wholly unmoved.
When the contract was entered into, the Engineer designed that
the slopes of the cuttings should be made 2 to 1 ; and the width at
formation level 30 feet. During the progress of the work these
designs were over-ruled by the Commissioners, who allowed
the contractors to make the slope at 1| to 1, the same as for ordi
nary earth. The action of the weather, however, in continu
ously causing surface slips, has already brought the slope to 2
to 1, or even to a flatter slope. The cutting on the east side of Trois
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 147
Pistoles River was not attended with so much difficulty, not being on a
side-hill, and not having any top bed of gravel draining into the cutting.
Underdrains of an ordinary character, laid on both sides of the road
bed at a depth of 4 feet below formation level, were here sufficient.
They keep the road-bed in good order; but the sides, from not having
sufficient slope, are constantly slipping. The embankments also gave
trouble owing to the slippery nature of the material when wet: but they
now seem to have consolidated. In some parts, the slopes have been
covered with gravel with good effect. The western embankment, in
particular, caused anxiety for a time, a portion of it being in the old
channel of the river. At this place the filling as it progressed sank con
tinually, pushing laterally and upheaving the soft material at the base
of the embankment. The application of cribwork for protecting
the embankment from the wash of the river, was found beneficial.
A timber crib, filled with stones, sheeted on the outside, was built
round the projected base of the embankment; and although the
upheaval within this crib was such as to raise the material 20 feet above
the level, it was retained in position by the protecting work: the latter
remaining uninjured except in one unimportant part.
The total width of the Trois Pistoles River, at the point of crossing,
LS about 1000 feet : the bridge of 5 spans of 100 feet each, occupies the
eastern half of the channel. The piers and abutments are on rock-
found at a little depth. Expensive coffer-dams were not necessary, the
site being nearly dry at low water. The abutments are square towers
built according to Fig. 28. The piers, were commenced for a super
structure of wood, but when the design was changed for one of iron
* breadth sufficed; and, accordingly, the piers were reduced in size,
t one portion of the pier appears forming the base of the
mpermcumbent portion as a plinth. The iron work was constructed
1 erected by the " Fairbairn Engineering Company of England"
undertook the contract of all spans from 24 to 100 feet. An illus
tration of this bridge is given in plate No. 5.
East of the village there are two 15 feet arched culverts, built in
148 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
accordance with the general designs described in a former chapter. They
are in embankments of 30 feet and 44 feet deep.
The line has comparatively few curves, and the tangents are cor
respondingly long. The grades are easy. Those reaching the maximum
of 52 feet per mile, are not of any extent.
The contractors were Messrs. George and James Worthington.
The amount of their contract was $299,000. They were, however, paid
about $60,000 more than this sum, partly on account of the difficulty
met in the cuttings at Trois Pistoles, and partly on account of extra
work. The contract was entered into in March, 1859, and the work
was to be completed on 1st July, 1871; but owing to the difficulties ex
perienced at Trois Pistoles, it was not finished until the summer of
The length of the Division is 20 miles. The average quantity of
excavation is 42,800 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 603 cubic
yards. The resident engineer, during the first two years, was Mr. W.
H. Napier, who had been engaged in the location surveys of 1868-69.
On his resignation he was succeeded by Mr. John R. Macdonnell. Mr.
Bell was subsequently placed in charge till April, 1872, when Mr. H.
Langton was appointed.
CONTRACT No. 5
This Division runs for a few miles through the valley named in
the last Division. Crossing a low ridge, it thence traverses a second
valley until it meets the face of the mountain at the head of Bic Bay.
Skirting the face of this mountain, and crossing several spurs of head
lands forming the eastern side of the Harbour of Bic, it emerges on the
sea shore, which it follows for several miles, keeping on a narrow belt of
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 149
The Division has heavy work of all kinds, the principal being the
rock cuttings near the village of Bic. The Line has been located along
the precipitous face of the mountain, in one place in front of a perpen
dicular cliff, part of which had to be removed to make room for the
road-bed. No part of the work was attended with any peculiar difficulty.
As far as Bic village the Line is somewhat curved, but the curves are
for the most part of no great length, and the general direction of the Line
is straight. The heavy work may be said to end at Otty Bay, where the
Line, which left the shore of the St. Lawrence at Trois Pistoles, again
touches it and so continues to Rimouski. In a few places between
Otty Bay and Rimouski, the works come within the wash of high tides
where protection was called for.
There are three bridges; one, near St. Fabien, of 80 feet span;
one at Bic, of 110 feet span ; and one over the Rimouski River, with five
spans, each 80 feet wide. In all cases the superstructure is of iron.
At the St. Fabien bridge the river has an S curve and a diversion of
the stream was made, over which the bridge was built upon ground
then dry. A mill stands near this place, the dam of which was inter
fered with by the works ; and the bridge has been so constructed as
to admit the passage of water to the mill, the building of a new dam
and a roadway to the mill.
The bridge at Bic is built over a rocky gorge with its two abut
ments on the rock, as shown on plate No. 6.
The bridge at Rimouski is built at the mouth of the river. It has
all the piers and abutments on rock several feet below water level. The
excavation for the foundation was through gravel, in depth from 5 to
10 feet. Coffer-dams were required, but the bed of the river was so
porous that great difficulty was experienced in laying dry the founda
tion of the deepest pier. Concrete was resorted to in this case, upon a
bed of which the masonry was commenced. Plate No. 7 is a view of
There are numerous curves ; the three sharpest are of 1910 feet
radius, and have an aggregate length of about 1440 yards. The grades
150 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
are generally easy, although several of 1 per 100 are used. There is no
elevation of importance to be surmounted.
The contract in the first instance was let to Mr. Edward Haycock
for $361,574 ; at the end of one season Mr. Haycock threw up the con
tract. The remainder of the work was let the following spring, at
$533,000 to Alexander McDonnell & Co., after $48,762 had been paid
to Mr. Haycock. The work was to have been completed by 1st July,
1871, but it was not finished until 1st January, 1873. The length of
the division is 26 miles. The average excavation is 35,000 cubic yards
per mile and of masonry 320 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer until the summer of 1871 was Mr. Roderick
McLennan, who had been employed on the surveys of 1868-69 ; but he
retired from the work and was succeeded by Mr. John R. Macdonnell.
CONTEACT NO. 8.
This Division is on comparatively level ground, some miles away
from the sea-shore. The elevated range bounding the Railway on the
right from River du Loup trends away to the south after passing Ri-
mouski where this Division begins ; but the flat country rises to wards
the south ; and the Railway, leaving the sea, gradually inclines to
The works are lighter than on any other section of the whole Rail
There is no bridge on this Division, but there are several culverts,
very few of which required much masonry. There was no especial diffi
culty in executing any of the works, except an arched culvert over a
stream about three miles from the eastern end of the Division. This is
a twelve feet culvert in an embankment about 20 feet deep. The em
bankment from the westward had been carried close to the site chosen
THE ST. LAWBENCE DISTRICT. 151
for the culvert, near the channel of the stream, during the first season s
work. No change appeared to have taken place at the site during the
winter ; but on the opening of the following season, when the excava
tion for the culvert was commenced, the pressure of the embankment
caused an upheaval of soft mud in large quantities, and in such a man
ner, that farther excavation was impossible. The ground was tested
by boring, when a firm stratum was discovered some 18 feet below the
surface. It was then determined to construct a pile foundation. The
piles were easily driven, but so soft was the material penetrated that
the driving of a fresh pile would partially float those driven. Con
sequently, they had to be weighted until the masonry was started. The
outer piles were driven perfectly close, and formed a kind of coffer-dam,
the opposite sides of which were tied together to prevent spreading and
in order effectively to enclose the whole space underneath the structure.
A bed of concrete was placed over the piles, and on this foundation the
masonry was commenced. This work was somewhat troublesome, a
whole season having been spent upon it. But it was finally completed
at no great cost, and has answered the purpose satisfactorily.
The line is generally straight, and nearly parallel to the direction
of the St. Lawrence.
The contractor was Mr. Duncan McDonald, whose price was
$100,000. The contract was dated 1st November, 1869, the work to be
finished on the 1st July, 1871. It was completed in the December of
The length of the Division is 20J- miles. The average quantity of
excavation is about 15,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 180
The Resident Engineer was Mr. John Lindsay, previously employed
on the Surveys of 1868-69.
152 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
CONTRACT No. 13.
The Railway, on this Division, crosses the water-shed between the
St. Lawrence and Restigouche Rivers,and passes over an intricate, hilly
country, with deep valleys, intersected and crossed by a constant suc
cession of ridges, whose summits rise to a considerable elevation between
the different tributaries of the Rivers Tortigaux and Metis. It was ac
cordingly a matter of some difficulty to find a good location through it.
The country was thoroughly explored and the best route obtained. The
line, nevertheless, has numerous curves, many of them of short radius.
Where the line crosses the long ridge overlooking the St. Lawrence, it
sweeps round a full semi-circle, part of which is in a long deep cutting.
On the entire Division there is an aggregate length of more than eleven
miles of curves, and the aggregation of curvature is about 1407 de
One continuous grade, rising up to cross the ridge overlooking the
St. Lawrence, is 2| miles long, and rises at the rate of 58 feet per mile.
This is followed by another grade, ascending in the same direction at
the rate of 52.80 to the mile, for a length of over 2} miles. There is
an aggregate length of over 10} miles of grades rising 1 in 100 ; and of
grades rising 0.8 or 0.9 in 100, a farther length of 1| miles; so that of
steep grades there is an aggregate length of 15 miles, out of a total
length of 20| miles, the extent of the Division.
The work on this Division is the most expensive, with one excep
tion, on the whole Railway. The excavation and embankment far ex
ceeded the quantity in any other locality. A large proportion of the
excavation was in rock, and one embankment is 80 feet deep.
The quantity of embankment required was much in excess of the
quantity of cutting on the line, and, therefore, extensive borrowing pits
were necessary. In some spots, the material available for borrowing
was so scanty that many acres of ground were stripped to furnish the
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 153
quantity required. The total quantity excavated was about 1,750,000
cubic yards, of which one-sixth was rock.
There are seven tunnels, varying from 6 feet to 12 feet in diameter,
for carrying streams across the Railway ; and one tunnel, 20 feet diame
ter, parallel to the Railway, through a tongue of land round which the
River Tortigaux flowed, crossing the Railway line twice. This tunnel
takes the whole stream and saves two bridges across the line. It is
about 500 feet long. All the tunnels are cut through rock ; and, with
one exception, it has not been found necessary to line any of them with
One of the clay cuttings gave some trouble, which would have
been avoided by making it wider and with flatter slopes, in the first
An embankment across soft, swampy ground, was laid upon a plat
form of trees placed side by side. The material sank en masse, raising
the surface beyond the embankment to a height of from six to eight
feet above the original level, and to the extent of 20 feet out from the
slope of the embankment. The embankment is now perfectly firm.
The Metis bridge is alone of importance on the Division, having
four spans of 100 feet in width. Some difficulty arose with the founda
tions. The western abutment was built upon a double platform, with
concrete deposited between the timbers. The eastern and western piers
were built upon a pile foundation; the centre pier was built upon a
stratum of gravel and boulders, the foundations being taken well down.
The coffer-dam was afterwards filled with the best concrete, made of
In order to turn the river, and prevent its flowing between the East
ern pier and the East bank of the river, a rough wing wall was built.
The piers are protected from the wash of the river by rip-rap laid
round them. The total height of the bridge, from the bed of the river
to the formation level, is 60 feet. Plate No. 8 shows the bridge com
The Contractors were Messrs. W. E. MacDonald & Co., who carried
lf>4 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
on the work almost to completion. The contract was entered into in May
1870, the work was to have been finished on the 1st July, 1872, at a cost
of $934,933. But, about the end of the year 1873, when the comple
ting of the work still required an expenditure of $126,500, it was taken
off the Contractors hands and finished by the Government late in the
year 1874. The length of the Division is 20J miles.
The average quantity of excavation is almost 85,000 cubic yards
per mile, and of masonry 423 cubic yards. The total length of the
tunnels for the passage of streams is 1,593 feet.
The first Resident Engineer, in charge of the Division, was Mr. W.
F. Biggar, previously employed on its exploration and location. On
his retirement he was succeeded by Mr. H. J. Cambie, who remained
in charge until the works were taken out of the hands of the Con
tractors, after which, Mr. William McCarthy was placed in charge.
CONTRACT No. 14.
At the end of the first mile the railway passes over the highest
summit on the whole line. It then descends through an easy country
to the basin of the Metapedia Lake and continues to run on a flat, wide,
tract of land, bordering the lake, to its outlet.
The summit which is 743 feet above the sea, is at Lake Malfait. the
source of the River Sayabec, flowing eastward into Lake Metapedia.
It is on the dividing ridge between the waters of the St. Lawrence and
those of the Bay Chaleur. At the commencement of the Division the
curves are of short radius, their aggregate length, however, is not great,
being little over a mile. In the first seven miles the aggregate length
of grades, ascending and descending, is nearly five miles, of 1 per 100.
The remaining grades, together with the curves, are light.
There are only three bridges of any importance, namely, that over
THE ST. LAWRENCE DISTRICT. 155
the St. Pierre, near the head of the Metapedia Lake ; that over the
Tobegote, near the lower end of the same Lake ; and that over the
Amqui, at the end of the division. The spans of these bridges are
respectively 80, 30, and 100 feet. The St. Pierre bridge is built on a
natural foundation of gravel and boulders. At the Tobegote bridge
site, soft material exists to a great depth, necessitating a pile founda
tion of peculiar construction, and the use of concrete. The Amqui
bridge is also built on a pile foundation, protected by rip-rap. The
principal part of the stone for the Amqui bridge is compact, hard, yel
low sandstone taken out of cuttings on the division. A view of this
bridge is given in plate No. 9.
The contractors were Messrs. Neilson & McGaw, whose price was
$245,475 and who carried on the work to completion. The work was
to have been completed on 1st July, 1872, but it was not finished until
the summer of 1875.
The total length of the Division is 22J miles. The average quan
tity of excavation is about 21,000 cubic yards per mile and of mason
ry 203 cubic yards.
The first Resident Engineer in charge of the works was Mr. Henry
Carre, who had been on the surveys of 1868-69. He remained in charge
for about 1 years, when he retired and was succeeded by Mr. John
Lindsay, who was again succeeded by Mr. T. D. Taylor.
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT.
General Description Metapedia Valley Restigouche Valley Bay Chaleur Geological
features Division G, Contract No. 17 Division II, Contract No. 18 Divieion I, Con
tract No. 19 The Restigouche Bridge Artificial foundation Climatic forces
Ice jams Shoves Freshets The massive character of the Piers Division E,
Contract No. 3 Division L, Contract No. 6 Division M, Contract No. 6 Division M,
Contract No. 9 Division N, Contract No. 15 The Tete-a-Gauche Bridge
The Nipissiquit Bridge.
This District includes the lower half of the Metapedia valley, crosses
the Restigouche at the mouth of the Metapedia, and continues by the
Bay Chaleurs. Its length is 128 miles. It embraces the following
Division G Contract No. 17 20 Miles long
H 18 20 " "
I 19 10 " "
K " 3 24 " "
L " 6 21 " "
M " 9 21 " "
N " 15 12 " "
Total 128 " "
The Line for 40 miles follows a south-easterly direction, and then
runs easterly for 30 miles, after which, its course is south-east, finally
bearing nearly due south.
The Metapedia valley is generally contracted, with steep hills and
rocky sides rising to the height of 600 to 800 feet, for many miles,
barely affording space for the Railway, the river, and the Metapedia
Road. The adjoining country, in many places deeply furrowed by
streams, rises, approximately, 800 feet above the valley.
THE KESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 157
There are several lateral valleys, the principal of which are
those of two rapid tributaries of the Metapedia, the Rivers Causapscal
and Assametquagan, rising in the Shikshok Mountains to the east of the
Railway, and those of McKinnon s Brook and other streams, on the west
ern side. For a distance of 20 miles below the mouth of the Metape
dia, the Railway follows the valley of the Restigouche, between high,
steep, rocky hills. It then crosses the promontory, at the point of
which lies the Harbour of Dalhousie. The Line runs about a mile from
the Bay Chaleur, sometimes touching the shore, until it reaches the
village of Bathurst. It then leaves the shore, in order to cross the prom
ontory between Bathurst and Miramichi. The country is slightly roll
ing, and comprises clayey, gravelly, peaty and rocky soils. The high
mountainous country is found more inland, the intervening distance
being broken and hilly.
The rocks in the Restigouche district, with some trifling exceptions,
belong to the Gaspe limestone series of upper Silurian age. This series
is known to occupy an immense area. Nearly the whole hydrographic
basin of the Restigouche belongs to this series. The rocks consist of
grey and dark shales and limestone. On the Metapedia, vast deposits
of calcareous shaly and slaty strata appear interstratified with lime
stone bands. Near the " Devil s Elbow," sandstone is met of a green
ish gray color. At the mouth of the River Restigouche, a small basin
of the lower carboniferous rocks occurs. It consists of red sandstone
and conglomerates. Conspicuous conical hills of amygdaloid and other
trap rocks attract attention near Dalhousie. The basin is flanked on
both sides by the Gaspe 1 limestone series, which generally occupies the
elevated country overlooking the valley, and it extends from Dalhousie
to Bathurst. It afforded excellent limestone for the masonry at several
Grey granite is exposed on the rivers flowing into Bathurst Har
bour, composed of opaque white feldspar, colourless translucent quartz,
and black mica. In some respects it resembles the celebrated Aberdeen
granite ; and yielded massive building material for some of the finest
masonry on the Lane.
158 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The principal rivers are the Metapedia, the Restigouche, Eel River,
the Charlo, Jacquet River, the Tete-a-gauche, and the Nipissiguit.
The Metapedia drains an area of 1700 square miles ; the Resti
gouche, with its tributaries above the crossing of the Railway, drains
about 5200 square miles, of which the Upsalquitch, a branch from the
south, drains 1400. The rivers from the Restigouche down to the
Nipissiguit drain about 1300 square miles, and the Nipissiguit in a
course of 70 miles drains 800 square miles.
Mr. Marcus Smith conducted the surveys of the District in 1868-
69, and afterwards had charge of the works of construction until April,
1872. He was succeeded by Mr. L. G. Bell.
CONTRACT No. 17.
This Division lies in the valley of the Metapedia river. The west
ern half traverses a comparatively open country with gently sloping
hills. The eastern half is contracted between steep, rocky banks.
About one half of the Line is curved, but the curves, except in a few
cases, are of ample radius. The grades, which are easy, have generally
a descent eastwards. The greatest difference of level, that between the
two ends, is 212 feet. The works are moderately heavy, requiring care
in their execution, but no very great difficulty was experienced. The
total quantity of cutting is about two-thirds of a million cubic yards,
of which one-fifteenth is rock. But little of the rock excavated was
found suitable for masonry. The ashlar stone had to be brought some
distance, chiefly from the eastern end of Lake Metapedia, but mate
rial for the smaller structures was obtained near the middle of the
Division at Otter Brook quarry. This stone is a kind of sand-stone,
close and firm in th e texture, and generally well stratified.
Two bridges cross the Metapedia, the first at Causapscal, near the
THE RESTIGOTJCHE DISTRICT.
middle of the Division, the second nearer the eastern end. At each
crossing the line passes the river at an angle of 45, and the bridges,
consequently, are askew. Each bridge has three spans of 100 feet
wide on the skew face. No difficulty was experienced in their con
struction. The foundations were built in caissons excavated from
within, pumps of some power being requisite to control the water. At
one point, the Line passes through a sharp bend in the river, called
" Aleck s Elbow," owing to a very high cliff which causes it to sweep
round a sharp curve of a quarter of a circle. A diversion of the river
was made, the Railway being protected by crib-wharfing. There are
several pieces of crib-wharfing in the Division, but the work at
"Aleck s Elbow" is the heaviest and most important. Fig. No. 32
illustrates the manner in which crib-wharfing was constructed when
the line encroached on the river. The embankment was faced with
rip-rap, interlaced with a rough framework of cedar timbers, as a precau
tion to prevent inroads by flood-water on the newly formed earthwork.
Abundance of ballast was found on the Division. The contractor
was Mr. S. P. Tuck, the price being $440,000. The work was to be
completed on the 1st July, 1872. In 1874, there being still much of
the work to be performed, the Government took the Division out of
the contractor s hands and finished it by day s labor. It was com
pleted in 1875.
The Division is 20 miles long.
The average quantity of excavation is about 30,000 cubic yards per
mile, and of masonry 435 cubic yards.
The resident Engineer was Mr. Walter George Bellairs. Mr. Bel-
lairs dying in April, 1874, was succeeded by Mr. John R. Macdonell.
CONTEACT NO. 18.
This Division lies in the valley of the Metapedia, but in a more
contracted portion than the Division last described ; the line being con
fined within the narrow limits of the high, abrupt boundaries, and gen
erally following the windings of the river. The curves are numerous,
and many are of short radius, but very few exceed 1,000 feet in length.
There are several heavy cuttings and embankments, but neither
cuttings nor embankments were attended with difficulty.
Many of the rock cuttings turned out excellent stone for masonry
backing, and for covering culverts ; but little of it, however, could be
used in face work. A portion of the building stone used came from the
Otter Brook quarry. As the slopes of the embankments, in some cases,
extended to the bed of the river, crib-wharfing, similar to that con
structed at " Aleck s Elbow," was adopted where expedient. In other
places, near the large rock cuttings, large seized flat stones were built
into a heavy wall with a face batter of 1| to 1, backed up with ordinary
stones as in Figure No. 33.
THE KESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 161
There are but two bridges of any importance on the Division,
namely, that over McKinnon s brook, having two spans eighty feet wide,
and that over the third crossing of the Metapedia at Millstream, having
four spans, each 100 feet wide on the skew face. Like the upper Meta
pedia bridges, the latter crosses the river at an angle of 45 with the
general direction of the stream. Notwithstanding that the whole bed of
the river, for a considerable distance up stream, is rock, the foundations
of the bridge did not reach it, owing to the dip of the strata being too
great. Attempts were made but it was found impracticable to sink the
foundation down to it. They are accordingly on the coarse gravel
which forms the bed of the river. Piling was not considered necessary.
The eastern abutment and the three piers were built in water, from
6 to 8 feet deep, all the masonry being carried 14 feet under
low water and protected by rip-rap. A good quarry was dis
covered near the bridge; not, however, until a quantity of
stone had been brought down from the quarry at Metapedia Lake
The cost of transportation was necessarily great ; but the Contractor
requiring cedars for crib-wharfing, which he procured at the Lake,
they were used for rafting the stone. Each raft was worked by three
Indians, and carried about two cubic yards of stone. The distance from
the quarry on the Lake to the bridge is nearly 50 miles. Plates Nos.
12 and 13 are illustrative of the site and character of the structure.
There are several cast iron pipe culverts, 3 feet in diameter, on the
steep side-hill, for which they are peculiarly suitable, and prove
The work on this Division was undertaken early in the summer of
L870, to be finished by 1st July, 1872. It was not, however, until the
beginning of 1876 that the work was finally completed.
The Contractors were Robert H. McGreevy & Co., the contract
648,600. At the beginning of the season of 1875, the Govern
ment took the work into their own hands.
The length of the Division is 20 miles. The average quantity of
excavation is about 45,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 445
162 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
cubic yards. There is a total length of 424 feet of cast iron pipe cul
verts. The first Resident Engineer was Mr. W. G. Thompson. In
April, 1872, he was succeeded by Mr. Peter Grant.
CONTRACT No. 19.
About two-thirds of this Division is located in the Valley of the
Metapedia, At the mouth of this valley the Railway crosses the Res-
tigouche, by the bank of which the line is continued. It has many
curves, few of them, however, extend for much length. Heavy cuttings
and embankments are not frequent, owing to narrow stretches of flat
ground along the river bank which afford space for the line. At the
crossing of the Restigouche there are two heavy rock cuttings and
one long and somewhat high embankment. The rock cuttings sup
plied a great quantity of the stone required to raise the base of the
embankment above high water mark; one cutting furnished all the
stone used in the Restigouche bridge, except material for the face of
cutwaters, copings of piers, and girder seats, which are of Bathurst
There are several pieces of heavy protection work, but none at
tended with any special difficulty. A large quantity of crib-wharfing
had been provided for in the estimates. Owing, however, to a method
of removing earth, then, at little cost, successfully introduced by the
Contractor, the crib-work was not considered necessary. At this place,
a steep bank about 120 feet high and composed chiefly of gravel pro
jected for a distance of about 1000 feet along the edge of the river, leav
ing no site for the Railway. It was designed to construct an embank
ment along the river side protected by extensive crib-wharfing. The
sub-contractor introduced a method of washing away the gravel by
means of water jets. Streams from the high side-hills were dammed
PIER. MILL, STREAM BRIDGE.
3rd Crouing River Jtatapedia (in winter.}
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 163
up at a point about half a mile from the work ; the water was conveyed
by a wooden trough to the place where required, and directed against
the face of the bank in a continuous stream. Its force undermined and
loosened the material so effectually that masses, often by thou
sands of yards, would slide into the river in a brief space of time.
Immense quantities of material were thus removed, with very little
manual labour and at a cost, probably, less than one-sixth of ordinary
excavation. The result was that the railway was made on solid ground,
requiring little or no protection. The change had also the effect of
flattening the curvature of the line. This system of excavating material
by an available flow of water was so successful, that it was adopted on
other portions of the line where streams with sufficient fall could be
There are several small girder bridges on this division, but the
chief structure is the Restigouche bridge, a work which calls for
The Division was originally let to Mr. S. P. Tuck, to be completed
1st July, 1872. It was afterwards transferred to Messrs. Thomas
Boggs & Co. Subsequently an arrangement was made, by which, the
Bridge was severed from the other work, Mr. Martin Murphy becom
ing contractor for the main structure.
THE RESTIGOUCHE BRIDGE,
The River Restigouche, constitutes the boundary between Quebec
and New Brunswick. The Railway bridge connecting the two Prov
inces is the only bridge which crosses the River. It is situated below
3 confluence with the Metapedia. After emerging from the con
tracted valley through which the Metapedia flows, the railway turns
almost at right angles, to follow the Restigouche. The main stream for
some distance is hemmed in between high steep hills, rising abruptly
to a height of from 500 to 700 feet, and the sudden change in the direc
tion of the Railway, necessitates the construction of the bridge on a
skew of forty-five degrees.
The hills are composed of a metamorphosed slate, much contorted
and so tilted, that the direction of the cleavage is not easy to deter
mine. The river takes the direction of the strike and has, no doubt,
shaped its course from denudation. Blue clay underlies the gravel in
the bed of the river, but it is undoubtedly local.
Soundings and borings were made through the ice, early in 1869,
which led to the opinion that the bed of the river was rock overlaid
with some inches of gravel. But it was found that stones imbedded in
gravel, were the hard substance met, and that the solid rock was at a
much greater depth. The outcrop of rock on both sides of the valley
suggested that the stone in the gravel was rock, in situ. Subsequent
borings, however, showed the gravel to extend from seven to ten feet,
underlying which, plastic blue clay is found. The Section, plate No.
17 will show the position and thickness of the different strata.*
At pier No. 1, rock was reached at 53 feet under the summer level
of the river ; at pier No. 2, at 75 feet ; at pier No. 3 at 62 feet ; and
at pier No. 4, at 54 feet.
Accordingly, piling was necessary in all the foundations, except
for that of the Easterly abutment, which was built on the rock. The
work of piling was continued throughout the winter, that season being
suitable for this operation, the ice forming a platform for the ma
chinery. The coffer-dams were protected by triangular shaped cribs to
act as breakwaters, so constructed as to prevent injury to the works,
* The more recent borings show the following strata at the different structures.
Loam above summer water. - -
Deptli of ordinary water - - - -
o i / i j i
Total Depth from ordinary low
No rock met.
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 165
from the ice. The arrangement of the piers, coffer-dams, and break
waters is shown 011 plate No. 17.
The pumping was effected by five engines, with an aggregate of 70
horse power. Centrifugal pumps, capable of discharging nearly 6000
gallons per minute were used. Owing to the stratum of gravel, and the
heavy flow of water, the excavation was performed with difficulty. The
pier foundations consist each of close square piling, enclosing an area
of 102 feet by 16 feet, with four rows of intermediate piles, three feet
apart The space between the piles was filled with concrete and a plat
form was constructed upon them 8J feet under water, so as equally to
distribute the weight of the superincumbent masonry. Much difficulty
was experienced in the execution of these works in a deep and rapid
river. The pile driving, of more than 60,000 lineal feet of timber
was carried on almost continuously from August 1872 until April 1874.
Ice begins to form in this River in November ; and although the rapids
of the River remain for some time open, where the current is slight, ice
sufficently firm to carry a man will form in twenty four hours. From
November until March, but little rain falls, the thermometer rano-ino-
from 32 above to 32 below zero. The average, during the five years
occupied in constructing the bridge is slightly below zero. A change
in the weather, when the winter sets in unusually early, accompanied
with rain, will occasionally raise the water and break up the ice, pro
ducing " ice-jams." The Metapedia is especially liable to these inci
dents ; in the Restigouche they are not common. The low temperature
as a rule, from November to March, produces ice from two to four feet
thick and about the end of March it reaches its maximum strength.
Moreover, the ice is not confined to the surface of the River. As in many
northern localities anchor ice is developed to a great extent, sometimes
to double the thickness of the surface ice. It is not therefore surprising
that at the end of winter a sudden thaw raising the water of the main
stream and setting adrift the whole winter ice, should produce aston
ishing results. Floating down stream, these masses of ice meeting with
obstructions will pile one on the other, until a "jam," completely
166 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
across the river, is produced. The water thus dammed back will in a
few hours rise to a height, sometimes of twenty feet. The " jam "
ultimately gives way, and a moving mass of ice, water and uprooted
trees is borne onwards often with a current of 7 or 8 miles an hour.
The piers were designed to resist these occasional forces, and hence
their peculiar form shown in the drawings, plate No. 18.
The river Restigouche is liable not only to these " ice shoves," but
to occasional freshets ; the most marked of which, the " spring freshet,"
occurs yearly with regularity at the end of May, or beginning of June.
So regular is this periodical flood, that it is annually anticipated.
The spring freshet is distinct from the " run of ice," several weeks
intervening. It always occurs immediately after the warm weather sets
in and is due to the melting of the snow in the uplands, where the
tributaries take their rise. This freshet usually raises the Metapedia
12 feet, and the Restigouche 18 feet above ordinary summer level.
The rise of the water is gradual, and still more so is its fall ; the for
mer generally occupies several days, and the latter as many weeks;
the river rarely assuming its ordinary level until the last week in
The Restigouche has been famous for its lumbering operations for
half a century; and a great quantity of timber is still cut on its banks.
The contingency of rafts and drift logs striking the piers and endanger
ing the superstructure, had to be provided against. Hence the prolonga
tion of the cut-water to the extent shewn in the drawings.*
Every precaution has been taken to render the piers of the bridge
capable of resisting the formidable forces, to which they will periodically
be exposed. It is believed that they will remain uninjured.
It has been stated that the masonry is built on a pile foundation,
except in the easterly abutment which is built on rock. Although,
The writer has witnessed the entire removal of a bridge in Canada through this cause.
When proper precautions are not taken the occurrence is not uncommon. During a " tmiber
drive " at flood water, the logs form a jam against the piers ; and as the water rises, are
raised beneath the superstructure ; lift it from its seat, and finally carry it away.
PLATE No, 18.
: N D EVATION
RE S TIG O UCHE BR ID GE :
DRAWINGS OF FOUNDATION AND MASONRY OF PIERS,
Sandford Fleming. Engf-ia-Cbief .
Photo-Lith. hy the Bur^n -!_>--.! uats Litti. Co.
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 167
owing to the current, the ice impinges with great force on that side of
the river, the foundation being well let into the rock, and the wall
being well built and protected, no injury is likely to result.
The masonry, generally, is built of stone found in the adjoining
railway cutting, on the south-easterly bank, where blocks of good di
mensions were obtained. The work is executed in courses, 30 inches
thick in the footings, and 24 inches in the body of the work, the
blocks being from six to eight feet long. The stone is tough and well
adapted for work requiring great strength. Being difficult to dress,
however, except in the line of cleavage, it was decided to use granite
for the cutwaters and quoins.
The granite was brought from the River Nipissiguit, beyond
Bathurst. It is not unlike the well known Aberdeen granite, the scales
of mica only being somewhat smaller. The distance from the quarry is
nearly 90 miles, 70 of which only were by open navigation. The blocks
were therefore prepared in the quarry, and when reduced to their
proper size, weighed from three to nine tons each. The massive
character of the piers is shown by plate No. 15.
The necessity for great strength is evident from the foregoing ac
count of the phenomena yearly witnessed in the river, which no light
structure could resist. The face stones of the cutwaters, the coping,
bridge seats, and the two upper courses of ashlar, together with the
skew quoins on the down-stream end of piers, are of granite. A strik
ing contrast is accordingly obtained to the dark slate colour of the
body of the masonry, which adds to the appearance of the structure.
Plate No. 16 is a view of the bridge from the south bank of the
The total quantity of masonry exceeds 6000 cubic yards ; the
whole is built in Portland cement, and the exposed parts of piers were
secured by strong iron clamps, so contrived that it would be impossible
for floating logs, or ice, to disturb a single stone without moving the
whole mass to which it is attached.
The work was commenced in the summer of 1870, and completed
168 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
by Christmas, 1875. During the whole of that time, notwithstanding
the heavy plant and material employed, not a single serious casualty
occurred. Mr. Martin Murphy was the contractor. Mr. Peter Grant
was in charge of the work throughout, as Resident Engineer.
CONTRACT No. 3.
This Division is for several miles of its length on the slope, or at
the base, of steep and rocky side-hill.
No especial difficulty attended any of the cuttings, or embank
ments, except the cutting at Morrissey s Rock, a point of rock jutting
out sharply into the River Restigouche, and which it was necessary to
pierce in order to avoid curvature and heavy protecting works. The
maximum depth was 95 feet, the length of the point was 600 feet, half
of which was about 20 feet deep. As material was required for em
bankment, it was designed to make an open cut throughout, but 166
feet of the length is tunnelled. The rock lies in shapeless unstratified
masses, and no difficulty was experienced in completing the work. The
rock is hard, but exposure to the weather may render it friable, in
which event, it may become necessary to line the tunnel with ma
sonry. This is the only tunnel through which the railway passes.
At Morrissey s Rock there is a diversion of the public road for a
length of 24 miles.
There are on this Division four bridges ; one with a single span of
40 feet wide ; one at Christopher s brook, near the " head of the tide "
in the Restigouche, has eight spans, each of 60 feet : the two other
bridges, one at Campbellton, and one over Eel River, have each three
spans 60 feet wide. The bridge at Christopher s brook provides for the
passage of the stream, the conduit to a saw-mill, the tail-race from a
grist-mill, and access from the public road to a lumber yard. The ma
sonry is built of hard, red stone found near the spot. The Camp
bellton bridge is built in tideway over the mouth of a small river.
THE KESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 169
The foundation is on piles. The embankment leading up to the bridge
is protected by crib-work from the wash of the sea.
On the steep side-hill, pipe culverts are introduced to a greater
extent than on any other division in the District.
Much of the stone was taken from the quarry at Bordeau on the
Quebec side of the Restigouche ; of a bluish, gre} r sandstone, easily
quarried and worked.
The port of Campbellton, about the middle of this Division, was
of advantage during construction ; and the Government made a pier
and a short branch railway, by which the rails were delivered. About
10 miles eastward from Campbellton, the line leaves the shore of the
Restigouche, and traverses the promontory on which Dalhousie is situ
ated. Dalhousie, at the head of the Bay Chaleur, has a fine natural
harbour. It was much to be desired that the railway should pass by
this place, but though the portion of the line to the west would be of
easy construction, that from Dalhousie, toward the east, would have
involved heavy cuttings, sharp curves, and a tunnel, besides increas
ing the length about four miles.
The contract was let to Messrs. Elliott, Grant and Whitehead, in
March, 1869, for the sum of 8288.000. But the work could not be
completed for that amount. Accordingly in May, 1870, a new contract
was made with Messrs. F. X. Berlinquet & Co., for the sum of
$462,4-14, being an addition of about 77 per cent, to what remained
of the money unpaid to the original contractors under their contract.
This sum, however, proved still insufficient. The contractors were
bound to complete their work by 1st July, 1871, but though they
had received from the Commissioners large advances, in the begin
ning of the working season of 1873, nearly two years after the date
appointed for the completion of the work, and when there was still a
great deal of work of all kinds to be done, they notified the Commis
sioners that, without considerable help in money, they could not con
tinue. Their contract was then annulled, and the work was com
pleted by the Government in 1874.
170 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The division is 24 miles long. The average quantity of excava
tion is about 26,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 477 cubic
yards. There is also a total length of 1065 feet of cast-iron pipe cul
The Resident Engineer was Mr. Henry A. F. McLeod, who re
mained in charge until the work was practically completed.
CONTRACT No. 6.
This Division lies along the Bay Chaleur at no great distance
from it. There are several heavy cuttings and embankments, but none
which caused any especial difficulty. Several embankments being close
to the waters of the Bay, have been protected by rip-rap, or crib-
The first five miles of the Division are straight, and the curves on
the whole are few and easy.
The grades also are light.
There are on the whole Division nine bridges, amounting to 1150
feet in length. The largest is the Jacquet bridge, which has three
spans, each 100 feet wide. It is built in the estuary of the River
Jacquet, which, although 1500 feet wide at high water, has very little
water at low tide, except in the main channel, about 100 feet wide. A
good gravel foundation was obtained for the piers and the eastern
abutment, but the foundation for the western abutment was not at
tained until the excavation had reached a depth of between 12 and 15
feet below the bed of the river. The main channel lies between the
west abutment and the west pier, from 6 to 8 feet deep at low water.
The force of the current, in the spring, against temporary obstructions,
caused such an eddy that a great deal of the bed of the river near the
west abutment was scooped away, almost to the level of the founda
tion, 12 feet or more below the level of the old bed, but no farther
THE EESTIGOUCHE DISTEICT. 171
damage was done. In the following winter a large quantity of heavy
stones was sunk through the ice into the bed of the river, completely
covering all parts liable to be acted on by freshets, and so arresting
the scour. The embankments on both sides of the Jacquet river bridge
have been protected by crib-wharfing.
Of the nine bridges on this Division an illustration of one New
Mill Bridge is furnished. Plate No. 20. The contract was let in April,
1869, to Mr. Jacques Jobin, for $241,500, the work to be finished on 1st
July, 1871. This contract was annulled, and a new contract was en
tered into in May, 1870, with Messrs. F. X. Berlinquet & Co., to be
finished by the 1st July, 1871. The price contracted for was $456,946,
being considerably more than twice the amount then remaining unex
pended under Mr. Jobin s contract, and nearly double the amount of
the first tender, made by Messrs. Berlinquet & Co., for the whole of
the same work. But the new contractors, in the beginning of 1873,
were unable to proceed; their contract was annulled, and the work
was completed in 1874, by the Government,
The length of the Division is 21 miles ; the average quantity of
excavation about 26,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 572
The Resident Engineer was Mr. Edward Lawson, who had been
on both the exploratory survey of 1864, and the location survey of
1868. He was succeeded by Mr. Henry N. Ruttan, who remained
until the whole was nearly completed and transferred to the Depart
ment of Public Works.
CONTRACT No. 9.
This section is generally light ; nevertheless there are several
heavy rock cuttings, and one deep, but short embankment.
172 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The grades are easy, there being a difference of only 113 feet be
tween the highest and lowest levels. The Division is almost all on tan
gent lines, there being but five curves of a total length of something
more than a mile. But as all these curves, except the last, which is
only 500 feet long, and flat, turn in one direction, toward the south,
the general direction of the line at the end of the division, is nearly at
right angles to that at the commencement. There is one tunnel across
the line, made in rock on the side of a deep valley, by which tunnel, a
long culvert in the bottom of a mill-dam has been obviated. The rock
in which the tunnel has been cut is not firm, so that eventually the tun
nel may have to be lined.
There are three bridges, all on rock foundations, with but little ex
cavation. That over the river Belledune, has two spans 60 feet wide,
and is across a short valley 50 feet deep. The other bridges, over the
Elm Tree and Nigadoo rivers, have each only ene span 80 feet wide.
The Division is almost all in bush land, and generally about one
mile distant from the shore of the Bay Chaleur.
The length of the Division is 21 miles. The average quantity of
excavation is about 22,200 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 339
cubic yards. The work was let in October, 1869, to Messrs. J. B. Ber-
trand & Co., for $354,897, and was to have been finished on 1st July,
1871. These contractors signified their inability to proceed with their
work at the time when Messrs. Berlinquet & Co., with whom they
were connected, failed to carry out their contract. In 1873 the Gov
ernment assumed the completion of this division also.
The Resident Engineer, was Mr. Charles Odell, who had been em
ployed on the location surveys of 1868-69.
CONTRACT No. 15.
This Division leaves the Bay Chaleurs, but again touches tf at the
THE RESTIGOUCHE DISTRICT. 173
head of Bathurst Harbour. In general direction it bears southwards,
towards the base of the promontory which lies between the Bay Chaleur
and Miramichi, terminating at Shippigan.
It is a short section, only 12 miles long, but in proportion to its
length, it is one of the most expensive.
There are nine curves, amounting in the aggregate length, to nearly
2| miles; they are all easy. The grades also are light; the greatest
difference of level between any two points, being only 78 feet. The
rock cuttings are comparatively light, but there are several heavy earth
cuttings and embankments. Of these, two embankments, at Tete-
a-o-auche, contain 120,000 cubic yards, and the cutting between them
held 90,000. Another embankment at Nipissiguit river, contains
90,000 cubic yards, and the cutting at the west end of it, from which it
was principally made, gave 74,000 cubic yards. Several of the cuttings
east of Tete-a-gauche, had good clear gravel, from which a large quan
tity of ballast was obtained. In a few cuttings the clay was of a
slightly sandy nature, and slipped until the sides assumed a flat slope.
The excavation caused some trouble during wet weather ; but the cut
tings are neither long nor deep.
The heaviest work was in masonry, there being six bridges, besides
three large arched culverts. One of the latter is 20 feet span, in an
embankment 30 feet deep, and is built of heavy granite ashlar. Near
to this is the bridge over the River Tete-a-gauche, which has five
spans, each 100 feet, crossing a valley about 55 feet deep. The next
important bridge, is that over the River Nipissiguit, with six
spans, each 100 feet. The river is 500 feet wide and the depth of its
bed, below formation level, is 43 feet. The water is not deep during
the summer season, but flows in a shallow, turbulent stream, on a
rough rocky bed. The masonry was laid at low water, without diffi
culty. Plates Nos. 21 and 22 illustrate these important structures.
The masonry on this Division is marked by the massive character
of its granite courses.
The granite cutwaters and quoins of the Restigouche Bridge,
174 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
were transported from this locality. The granite was easily cut, and
the quarrying of stone was not expensive, as there was little waste
and no stripping.
The length of the Division is 12 miles. The average quantity of
excavation is 52,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 1061 cubic
The work was let on the 15th June, 1870, to Messrs. J. B. Bertrand
& Co. They failed in fulfilling their contract, and the work was
assumed by the Government and completed in 1874.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. P. A. Peterson who had been
employed on the location survey. He was succeeded by Mr. Charles
Odell, who remained in charge until the work was completed.
The starting point for the proposed branch to Shippigan, has been
located near the crossing of the Nipissiguit. This branch was sur
veyed in the winter of 1873-74, and was designed to form a short mail
route between England and America. The harbour of Shippigan was
also surveyed, soundings being taken through the " Shippigan Sound,"
and the channel out to the Bay Chaleur, over an area of about 20
The result of the survey is to show that only wharves and piers, a
short distance out from the land, are required to make the harbour
available for the largest steamers; they likewise establish the fact,
that the branch railway can be constructed without any extraordi
THE MIRAMICHI DISTRICT.
Features of the District Extensive Carboniferous basin Division 0, Contract No. 16
Division 1 , Contract No. 10 Division Q, Contract No. 20 Miramichi River Crossing
Deepwater Brancli Division R, Contract No. 21 Division S, Contract No. 22
Division T, Contract No. 23.
This District commences East of the River Nipissiguit. The line
is remarkably straight, there being but a slight bend in the general
direction, at the River Miramichi, calling for the introduction of some
curves. The District has the greatest length of tangents ; and the
longest single tangents, on the whole Railway, one being continuous
for a distance of thirty miles.
The following are the Divisions :
Division O, Contract 16,
18| Miles long.
Total length, 1174 miles.
The first two divisions lie on the water-shed between the tribu
taries of the northwest Miramichi and those waters falling into the
Bay Chaleur and the Gulf. The streams crossed are consequently
small. The surface of the country is slightly undulating, and large
tracts of flat boggy land and swamps are met. The land is wild,
176 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
of a poor quality and generally covered with dwarf spruce; a growth
which has sprung up since the great Miramichi fire, which devastated
so much of the Province fifty years ago.
The River Miramichi lies in a low wide trough, and the approaches
to it from both sides are through a somewhat broken country ; the rail
way accordingly has a winding location in descending into the valley
from the northerly side where it follows the slope of the deep, crooked,
steep-sided valley of a tributary.
After crossing the Miramichi and ascending the southerly slope of
the valley, the railway enters on another water-shed dividing the nu
merous rivers, Kouchibouguac, Richibucto, Buctouche, &c., falling into
the Gulf, from Salmon river and the Washademoak, tributaries of the
River St. John. The land is undulating, but the ridges are higher and
the earthworks heavier than on the western portion. The soil some
what improves, but the country is wild, though important settlements
are not far distant.
This District spans a remarkable carboniferous basin, forming as it
does one of the most conspicuous geological features of New Brunswick.
Bathurst is at one side of the basin, while Moncton is at the other, and
it extends far into the interior of the country. With the exception of
a narrow fringe of lower carboniferous rocks, the strata within this ex
tensive area belong to the middle coal formation and consist chiefly of
greyish sandstone and shales in horizontal strata. Only a few thin
seams of coal have yet been found.
On the south side of the Bay Chaleur, two coal seams, of only six
and eight inches respectively, crop out ; another, about two feet in thick
ness, occurs at Grand Lake, some distance to the west of the railway.
Other seams have been reported, and there are reasonable grounds for
supposing that " boring " to a considerable depth near the middle of
the basin would develope workable beds of coal, near the line of rail
Near Bathurst a stratum of shale contains nodules of vitreous sul
phide of copper. An attempt to work this deposit has been made.
THE MIEAMICHI DISTRICT. 177
Southwesterly from Moncton, near Hillsborough, the remarkable
mineral " Albertite," so valuable for gas making, is found and profitably
Although the railway runs along a succession of water-sheds, the
country is not in any place very elevated, the highest point being 514
feet above the sea.
The District ends at Moncton, the " Bend of the Petitcodiac."
Here the railway between St. John and Shediac is met, and at this
place large workshops and offices have been erected.
The District Engineer, until the railway was transferred to the
Department of Public Works, was Mr. Alex. L. Light. Previous to
1869, Mr. W. H. Tremaine had charge of the surveys.
CONTRACT No. 16.
This Division has a course mainly due south, there is only one
curve on the line, about 1600 feet long and of long radius. The work
throughout was light, and the grades in general are easy ; some, how
ever, rise 1 in 100, but the longest is only li miles long. They gener
ally rise towards the south ; those descending towards the south have
a total fall of 72 feet, and those ascending, have a total rise of 484 feet;
the greatest difference of level between any two points being 412
feet ; this difference being at the extreme ends.
The line being on or near the water-shed, the culverts and
bridges are neither large nor numerous. The number, however, which
would have been required, was considerably reduced by extensive
ditching along the line of railway, the ground being peculiarly suit
able for this work. There are, however, several large open culverts
of wide span, to permit the passage of the large flow of water accu
mulated by the drainage works.
The only bridge on the division has three spans of 40 feet each,
over the Red Pine Brook. The valley over which this bridge is built
is about 36 feet deep, below formation level ; but the abutments, on
the side of the valley, are only about 25 feet high. The foundation is
a shuly rock ; the masonry is of granite, in massive blocks. Plate 1
23 shows this structure in process of construction.
The work was let, in May, 1870, to Messrs. King & Gough for
$206,000, to be completed on the 1st July, 1872. During the con
struction of the work, the contractors and their sureties got into d
culties, and the conduct of the work devolved upon Mr. Gough alone.
In March, 1874, a considerable quantity of work remaining to be exe
cuted, it was completed by the Government.
The line runs, throughout, over wild land. The length is
miles; the average quantity of excavation, 18,600 cubic yards per
mile, and of masonry 172 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. James W. Fitzgerald.
CONTRACT No. 10.
This Division is straight for the first 8 miles ; nine curves are
met on the succeeding part of the line ; the last is nearly three-fifths of
a mile long, and extends nearly ninety degrees of a circle.
The greatest difference of level between any two points on the
division is & that between the extreme ends, the northern part being 366
feet hi-her than the southern. The grades on the whole "division are
rather steep, several being at the limit of 1 in 100, one being 3J miles
The cuttings and embankments are heavy. Three cuttings
187,000 cubic yards of earth, and 65,000 cubic yards of rock. One
THE MIEAMICHI DISTRICT.
embankment has 185,000 cubic yards ; another, only 450 feet long, has
71,000 cubic yards ; three cuttings have an aggregate of 200,000 cubic
Part of the southern end of the Division is on difficult ground, on
. the side of a deep valley ; but, in general, although the country is in
some places hilly in the direction of the line of railway, it is seldom
The line being near a water-shed, there are very few important
streams. Consequently, the culverts are generally small ; many, how
ever, are long. The only bridge is over the river Bartibogue, having
one span 80 feet wide, and about 30 feet high from the foundation.
The rock formations on this section are sandstone of good quality.
Many of the culverts are under heavy embankments, and display ex
cellent examples of masonry of the class shown by Fig. No. 34.
The work was let, near the end of 1869, to Messrs. McBean &
Robinson for $362,083, to be completed on 1st July, 1871. Toward
the end of 1870, however, when work to the extent of |30,850 had
been done, the contract was annulled. A new contract was entered
into with Mr. Duncan Macdonald, to finish the work by 1st July, 1872,
for the sum of $365,920. It was completed on the 10th December,
The line generally passes through wild bush-land, of poor qual
ity ; the total length is 20 miles. The average quantity of excavation
is about 47,500 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 430 cubic
The Resident Engineer was Mr. Walter M. Buck, who had
engaged on the Location Surveys in 1868-69.
CONTRACT No. 20.
This Division, though only 6 miles long, was let for the highest amount
of any division on the whole railway except Division E, but the mileage
rate is two and one-half times that of Division E.
About three-eighths of the Division is on curves, but the curves are
not of short radius. There are two grades of 1 per 100, of an aggre
gate length of 3* miles ; the rest of the line is nearly level.
The cuttings and embankments are comparatively light, the
deepest cutting being 24 feet, and the highest embankment about 2
except at two points, where the embankments enter the Miramic.
River There is scarcely any rock in the cuttings.
The culverts are very few and small. The principal work on the
division is the crossing of the two Miramichi rivers, the bndges
which are specially described.*
The contract for all the work on the Division, except tl
* Chapter XI.
THE MIRAMICHI DISTRICT. 181
structure of the bridges, was made in September, 1870, with Messrs.
Brown, Brooks & Ryan, for the sum of $642,854, the work to be com
pleted on the 1st July, 1873. Afterwards a change was made in the
plans, by which the bridge over the North-west Miramichi was to be con
structed with six spans, instead of five as originally intended, and the
time was extended. For the additional span the contractors were to
be paid the sum of $25,000. The work was finished at the close of
the year, 1875, by the original contractors.
The average quantity of excavation is about 47,500 cubic yards per
mile, and of masonry, independent of the Miramichi bridges, 157 cubic
yards. The bridges contain 11,082 cubic yards of masonry.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. W. B. Smellie.
About a mile towards the west from the crossing of the North-west
Miramichi, a branch leaves the main line and extends to deep water in
the Miramichi Harbour, at the town of Newcastle. Its general course
is easterly; its length If miles.
The line is almost straight for its whole length, and its maximum
grade is 63 feet in a mile. At the point where the branch ends, the
Government purchased the property including a wharf. This wharf has
been extended a short distance into the river, and now forms a conve
nient landing for sea-going vessels. The rails are laid to the wharf,
and extensive accommodation is afforded for shipping.
The work, including grading, ballasting, tracklaying, wharf-exten
sion, and station accommodation, was constructed in 1872, under con
tract with Mr. George Perkins, at a cost of $25,123.
182 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
CONTRACT No. 21.
On this Division, 25 miles long, there are but six curves, the ag
gregate length of which is less than two miles. The last five miles of
the Division are straight. One curve 500 yards long has a radius of half
a mile ; the other curves are easy.
The grades in general are light, there being but four which have
an ascent of 1 per 100. Each of these is about one mile long. The
greatest difference of level between any two points is 256 feet, these
points being 16 miles apart.
There are but two places where the cuttings and embankments are
heavy; the first is between -the llth and 15th miles, where the cut
tings amount to 64,000 cubic yards of rock and 50,000 cubic yards of
clay, and the embankments to 279,000 cubic yards. There is also a
river diversion with 7000 cubic yards of rock and 8000 cubic yards of
clay. The second is between the 19th and 21st miles where two cuttings
amount to 26,000 cubic yards of rock, and 33,000 cubic yards of clay;
and a river diversion at the same place, where 7000 cubic yards of rock
and 3000 cubic yards of clay have been excavated. The embankment
between the two cuttings contains 150,000 cubic yards.
The masonry is light ; there are but three bridges, each with a
single span ; one 100 feet wide, the other two being 80 feet, The
foundations of the latter are on rock, attained at a depth of a few feet
below the beds of the rivers ; that of the first is hard clay at a depth of
about 20 feet below the surface of the adjoining ground. The river
had to be diverted for this bridge, the bottom at the original cross
ing being a mixture of quicksand and clay. The diversion is about 10
feet deep, made through gravel.
The three bridges referred to are over the Barnaby river and one
of its branches ; the course of the river is very winding, and crosses the
-* I MlT^
4" Aft, i -
fer f * ]
: . ! .
,:. m ;.
THE MIKAMICHI DISTRICT.
railway at two points besides those just mentioned. At the first a
tunnel about 115 feet long, and an open cutting at each end has been
constructed through solid rock for the passage of the river. The total
length of open cutting and tunnel is about 700 feet, the width is 20
feet, and the height of the tunnel is 20 feet : the rock being solid it was
not necessary to line the tunnel. A culvert to perform the duty of
this tunnel would have been under 40 feet of embankment, about 140
feet long, and would have greatly exceeded the tunnel in cost. This
tunnel is shown in Plate No. 24.
At the last crossing of the Barnaby river there is an arch culvert
16 feet wide, built on rock in the line of a diversion, about 1000 feet
long. The diversion is 4 feet deep, in rock throughout its length, and
the rock is so solid, that where the culvert is built, the abutments stand
on top of the rock and not on the level of the bottom of the diversion.
Another large structure is a segmental arch over the Kouchibou-
184 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
guac river. It is built under an embankment 60 feet high, and is con
sequently nearly 200 feet long. There are no abutments of masonry,
the river is diverted into a rock channel, and the arch 30 feet wide,
springs off the sandstone rock. Fig. No. 35 is from a photograph of the
arch before the heavy embankment was carried over it.
Near the 22d mile on the Division, there is a large bog, part of
which was wet. The railway has a low embankment about 5 feet
high over it. Where the bog was moist, a layer of trees was placed to
receive the embankment : the bog sank two or three feet under the
superincumbent weight, but the surface remained intact : the ground
outside the railway line was in no way disturbed. The embankment
is now quite firm.
Near the 10th mile, the railway is carried across a shallow lake, the
water having been drained by long and wide side ditches. Near the
same place the railway is formed over high bog, on a platform of trees ;
the bog sank a little, but the work is firm.
The work was let to Mr. Patrick Purcell in 1870, to be completed
on 1st July, 1872 ; the work was finished in November 1874.
Nearly all this Division is wild land, much of it marshy and boggy ;
there are several settlements on good land near to the Koucliibouguac
and Barnaby rivers. The valley of the Barnaby river, from the rail
way to the Miramichi, contains some excellent land.
The length is 25 miles ; the average quantity of excavation is
about 32,000 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 269 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. F. J. Lynch.
At 700 yards from the beginning of the division, a branch, about
9 miles long, runs to the town and Port of Chatham, on the east side of
the Miramichi. It is under construction by a private company, and
THE MIEAMICHI DISTRICT. 185
CONTRACT No. 22.
With the exception of a curve 1700 feet in length, the railway is
carried on tangents 30|- miles in length, extending 8 miles into the ad
The grades are easy ; a few rise 1 in 100, only one extending
somewhat less than 1| miles. The difference of level between the
highest and lowest points, is 171 feet in a distance of 7 J miles.
The cuttings and embankments are light. An embankment at
the river Kouchibouguacis, near the beginning of the Division, contains
about 40,000 cubic yards ; another at the river Richibucto, about the
middle of the Division, contains 105,000 cubic yards ; and another 67,000
cubic yards. Two cuttings, one on each side of the river Richibucto,
held about 14,000 cubic yards of rock and 56,000 cubic yards of clay.
Another held 17,000 cubic yards of rock and 23,000 cubic yards of clay.
Additional borrowing was, however, required for the embankments.
There are seven bridges, four with one span each ; one of 80 feet,
another of 30 feet, and two of 24 feet. Of the three larger bridges,
one has three spans of 50 feet, and the other two, have each three spans
of 40 feet,
The streams at the two last bridges are very rapid, in consequence
of which, extensive protection works were provided. The masonry
throughout is built of sandstone.
At the bridges last referred to, over the North and South Coal
branch rivers, coal and bituminous shale have been found.
The work was let in December, 1870, to Messrs. C. Cummings &
Co., to be completed by 1st July, 1872, for 1331,000. At the end of
the latter year, the work, being not more than one-half done, was
taken out of the hands of the contractors, and completed by the Gov
ernment in the Spring of 1875.
All this Division is in wild forest land. Its length is 25 miles. The
186 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
average quantity of excavation is about 29,100 cubic yards per mile,
and of masonry 270 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. W. J. Croasdale, who was suc
ceeded by Mr. Charles Blackwell.
CONTRACT No. 23.
This Division is almost straight ; there are but four curves of
ample radius. The difference of level between the highest and lowest
points is 300 feet ; the grades are generally steep, most of them ranging
between 0.75 in 100 and 1 in 100, there being seven subordinate
The cuttings and embankments are generally light ; one embank
ment, however, contains about 75,000 cubic yards. The adjoining cut
ting amounted to 60,000 cubic yards, in part rock.
Some trouble was experienced from one of the embankments hav
ing slipped. About 60,000 cubic yards of material were brought by
train to make good the deficiency.
There are two extensive wet bogs, but the road has been success
fully formed across them. A layer of whole trees with their branches
was placed in the direction of the line of the railway ; and another
layer transversely, the butts being at the outer sides of the railway
line. The embankment was then formed and stands well.
The masonry is light ; the culverts are nearly all small, and there
is only one bridge, over the North river. It has a span of 50 feet on a
The work was let in December, 1870, to Messrs. Sutherland, Grant
& Co., for $276,750, to be completed by 1st July, 1872. It was event
ually taken out of the hands of the contractors and finished by days
labour, by the Government, early in 1875.
The first engineer in charge of this division was Mr. CollingWOO
Schreiber. In 1871, Mr. Charles Blackwell was appointed.
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES.
Location of the two Bridges Original Design Borings Great depth to bed-rock dis
covered Engineering Opinions Original Design adhered to The South- West Bridge
The North Abutment General Description of Pier Foundations Pier E Pier F
Pier G Pier H Pier I South Abutment The North-West Bridge Borings-
Pressure Experiments Modified Plan of Foundations The South Abutment The
North Abutment The Caissons for Piers Pier X Difficulties met with Pier D
Pier C Pier B Pier A Concrete Masonry Plant Contractors Engineers
After the River Miramichi had been carefully surveyed, it was de
cided that the Railway should cross two miles above the point of junc
tion of the northwest and southwest branches ; here the Northwest
Branch is 1350 feet wide, and the Southwest 1600 feet. The range of
ordinary tides is about five feet; but that of extreme tides is more
than ten feet. Tidal influences extend up the two rivers some fourteen
miles above the points of crossing. Owing to the presence of shoals,
especially in the Southwest River, navigation is difficult for sea-going
vessels beyond the junction of the branches.
The town of Newcastle, the port for vessels of deep draught, is
situated below the confluence of the two Rivers, and a branch Railway
14 miles in length, has been constructed from the main line to the deep
water terminus at that place.
It was originally designed that the Northwest should have five, and
the Southwest Branch six spans of 200 feet ; but it was found expe
dient to make the Northwest bridge of six spans. Thus both struc
tures have precisely the same water-way, 1200 feet.
The first survey led to the opinion, that rock was met in both
rivers at a depth of from 45 ft. to 50 ft., under extreme high tide ; that
the actual depth of water varied from 15 to 33 feet ; and that the bed of
both rivers consisted of silt from 17 to 30 feet deep.
The plan originally adopted for the foundations was to construct
them of huge caissons filled with concrete. The lower part of the
caisson was to be a chamber, designed in the form of an inverted hop
per, to admit of undermining and of dredging operations ; each cham
ber being accessible by a shaft. During the work these shafts were
designated " wells," which indeed they resembled ; and it was through
them that the silt, when removed by dredges, was lifted to the surface.
Jt was designed that the caissons, when undermined, should sink through
the silt of the river bed to the rock ; and that, when finished, they
should be brought to the level of six feet under low water, and be en
tirely filled with concrete ; thus giving a solid foundation to the
masonry. It was originally determined, that the Southerly abutments
of both bridges should have their foundations on these concreted cais
sons ; and that the Northerly abutments should be built, in the ordinary
way, on the dry land of the two shores.
When the work described was placed under contract, and opera
tions were commenced, it was discovered that the stratum immedi
ately under the silt was not. rock, as supposed, but a bed of gravel,
more or less compact, and of varying thickness, overlying a thick de
posit of sand and silt in the northwest river, and of clay in the south
west. It was found that the average depth to the bed rock under
high water, waa, in the Northwest branch 112 feet, and in the South
west 90 feet, instead of less than half these depths as at first believed.
After careful investigation, the Engineer did not consider it
necessary to incur the enormous expense involved in the carrying of
the foundations to the bed-rock of the River. He satisfied himself that
it would be sufficient to sink the caissons to the depth of the gravel
stratum which formed the hard substance assumed to be rock when
the preliminary survey was made. He did not deem it expedient to
change in any way the contract plans for the Southwest Bridge ; but
he thought it advisable to make some modihV ation in the designs for
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES. 18f)
that of the Northwest. In this case he proposed another span, so as to
throw the southerly abutment upon the river bank, and thus secure
a rock foundation, relieving the comparatively thin gravel bed, and the
other strata forming the bed of the river, from the weight of the high
embankment which formed part of the original plan. He also consid
ered it prudent to enlarge the base of each pier, in order to distribute
the super-incumbent weight over a greater supporting area.
The Chief Engineer announced to the Commissioners the decision
he had come to.
The latter, however, in view of the magnitude of the work, referred
the matter to two other Engineers, Messrs. Samuel Keefer and C. S.
These gentlemen reported against the plans of the Chief Engineer
and expressed a strong opinion adverse to the practicability of cant
ing them out. At the same time they brought forward a design
their own, which they recommended the Commissioners to adopt.
The plan proposed appeared to the Chief Engineer to b
open to grave objections ; and he advised the Government not to hazard
After several communications had passed on the subject be-
tw een Jan. 13th and March 9th 1872, the Government finally passed
an order in Council, sustaining the views of the Chief Engineer, and
throwing upon him the responsibility of carrying into execution his
THE SOUTHWEST BRIDGE.
It has been stated that the original borings, made during the pre
liminary survey of 1868, led to erroneous conclusions respecting the
river-bed. The only tools and appliances which could then be obtained,
were imperfect and not well adapted for ascertaining, with accuracy,
the character of strata at a considerable depth under water. The conse
quence was, that a hard substance met with, at from 40 to 50 feet under
high water, was assumed to be a continuation of the rock formation,
which cropped out on the banks of the river.
During the winter of 1870-1, more perfect implements were used,
and tl\ discovery was made that the hard stratum was only a bed of
grave^ *nd that the true bed-rock was, in the southwest river, some 50
feet lower than it was previously believed to be. Plate No. 26, shows
the relative position of the several strata which underlie the river.*
*The following is an abstract of the borings made at the several piers and abutments
subsequent to 1870 :
AT FACE OF NORTH ABUTMENT.
OF PIER O.
Tough brown clay,
Tough brown clay,
48> 3" Below datum.
95 0" Below
OF PIER E.
OF PIER H.
Tough brown clay,
Tough brown clay,
77 1" Below datum.
97 0" Below
OF PIER F.
OF PIER I.
Tough brown clay,
Tough brown clay,
93 0" Below datum.
9# 9" Below
E BURUND-D 1
THE MIRAMICHI BRIDGES. 191
The Chief Engineer, nevertheless, decided to carry out the original
design, and to sink the caissons of the piers down to the gravel bed,
and that of the south abutment to some distance into the underlying
The work has been accordingly carried out as shown in the draw
ings. The north abutment is at the river s edge. The south abut
ment stands about 300 feet from the shore, an earthen embankment
connecting it with the river bank.
THE NORTH ABUTMENT.
When the north abutment was proceeded with, the foundation
for the front wall was excavated to the depth of 16J feet below high
water, and the area filled with concrete to a depth of eighteen inches.
The foundation for the wing walls was stepped back, as shown on the
drawings, plate No. 29.
The masonry was commenced on the 27th July, 1871, the founda
tion stone being laid by the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Aquila
Walsh, on the 3d of August. The work was continued until the end
of November, when a few stones only were wanted in the parapet
walls to complete the structure.
The five piers are lettered E, F, G, H and I ; they are placed at the
points indicated on the drawings ; E being next the north abutment
and I nearest the southern side of the river.
The following table gives the depths, to the supposed rock, from
AT SOUTH ABUTMEXT.
Face. Centre. Back.
Water, 17 2" 17 4" 17 4"
Sand, 60 50 53
Sand and Grarel, 10 20 10
Mud and Vegetable Mould, 89 58 26
Gravel, 1 4
Tough brown clay, 43 9 45 47 3
Rock at 78 0" 75 0" 73 4"
the preliminary borings ; to the gravel bed, from subsequent borings ;
and also the depths to which the caissons have been actually sunk.
Site of Pier.
Depth to supposed
Depth to gravel bed
Deptli to which
The original design for the foundations of the piers, as shown in
Plate fro. 27, was adhered to ; and as all the five cases were alike, a
brief description of one will suffice.
The foundation works consisted, essentially, of a large caisson
formed of hewn timber and water-tight planking; the top dimensions
73 feet by 17 feet were constant, the bottom varying according to
depth. The caisson was divided into compartments, all of which, ex
cept the lower ones, designated " bottom chambers," were filled with
concrete as the work proceeded.
The bottom chambers were left for the purpose of excavating un
derneath the caissons, either by dredges, steam pumps or divers ; they
communicated with the open air by means of vertical shafts or wells,
through which the excavated material was elevated. The bottom
chambers, as the drawings show, were constructed like inverted hop
pers, terminating in a cutting edge formed of hardwood timber and
As the material underneath was removed the caissons were sunk
until they reached the required depth ; the bottom chambers and the
shafts leading to them were then filled in solid with concrete, from the
cutting edges to the surface.
For the purpose of building the masonry, coffer-dams were attach
ed to the tops of the caissons, but so as to be removable when the piers
were completed. In order that they should extend above high water, they
were from 12 to 14 feet deep. They were made of such strength as,
-.--__ ** \-
in m mmm^:
THE MIRAMICHI BRIDGES. 193
when pumped out, would resist the pressure of the outside water, and
they were thoroughly secured to the caisson. The outsides were
covered with three-inch planks, put on with close water-tight joints.
The first of the caissons built was that for pier E. It was com
menced on the 12th of June, 1871, and when the building was suffici
ently advanced it was launched on the 17th of August. A stag
ing upon piles driven into the river bottom was erected around the
site of the pier,, forming a platform along both sides, and across the
down river end, the upper end being left open. Into this space the
caisson was floated, the building proceeded with, and finished, to
the full height of 30 feet, before any concrete filling was done.
The depth of water at the site of the pier was 26 feet 9 ins.
and it was required to sink the caisson to the depth of 43 feet, or 16
feet 3 ins. below the bed of the river.
The filling of the compartments with concrete was begun on the
14th of September, and proceeded a t .the, rate of 20 cubic yards a day.
The caisson settled down gradually. By the end of October the com
partments were filled and the caisson had sunk 2 feet 9 inches into
the bpd of the river.
Two Woodford " Dredge Pumps" were then put in operation for the
removal of the underlying material ; they continued at work up to the
end of the season, during which time-.jthe caisson sank a farther depth
of 2 feet.
Work was resumed on the 21st of May, 1872, but the progress
made with the pumps was so slow that it was determined to substitute
dredging machinery. Frequent interruptions arose from sunken logs
and branches, which had to be removed by divers. Nevertheless by
the 20th of June a further depth of 5 feet had been obtained.
When the dredges commenced operations the cutting edges stood
36 feet 6 inches below high water. It was soon discovered that the
194 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
caisson was passing through a heavier description of material than what
had been anticipated. It consisted of gravel mixed with clay, and was
so compact that the dredge buckets made little impression upon it. It
therefore became necessary for divers to excavate, by pick and shovel,
the material from beneath the cutting edges, and to remove stones
by hand. This subaqueous work was very tedious, and it was only
after a month s incessant labour, that the caisson finally obtained a
level bearing 2 feet 9 inches higher than at first intended.
To give the caisson additional weight to aid it in sinking, it
was arranged that the material dredged out of the chambers should be
deposited within the coffer-dam, the wells having been continued to
the top of the coffer-dam by temporary planking.
The chambers and wells up to the proper level were filled with
concrete. On the completion of this work the dredged material was
removed from the coffer-dam preparatory to laying the masonry.
When the coffer-dam was pumped out, there being very little leakage,
the water was perfectly under control, and in no way impeded building
The masonry was commenced at 11 feet 6 inches below high water
level. It was begwi on the 3d of October 1872, and during the season
was carried to the top of the cut-water, 6 feet above high water mark.
Work was resumed on the 12th of May 1873, and the pier was
completed on the 18th of June following.
The caisson for this pier was ready for launching with the high tide
in the middle of September 1871.
The depth of water was 22 feet 4 inches. The top of the gravel
bed was found at 43 feet 7 inches. The depth required to be reached
was fixed at 44 feet below high water.
On the 31st of October the concrete filling was begun, and con-
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES.
tinued to the end of the season, at which time the caisson had settled
about a foot into the sand.
During the winter a scour took place around the up-river end
of the caisson, which had the effect of lowering it a further depth of 5
Work was resumed on the 12th of June 1872, and after some con
crete filling had been done, the caisson was brought to a horizontal
bearing by the operations of a Woodford pump, and the cutting edges
lowered to 31 feet below high water.
The dredge towers were then erected and carried directly upon
the top of the coffer-dam lending th^ir weight to the sinking of the
caisson. Fig. No. 36 shows the dredging machinery in position.
Fig. .Vo. 35.
196 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
On the 17th of September the dredges commenced operations;
the caisson sinking gradually. Meeting with no obstructions, it reached
the required depth on the 25th of the same month. During the fol
lowing month the bottom chambers and wells, were filled with con
crete to within 6 feet of the top. The work was stopped for the
season on the 1st of November.
Work was resumed on the 5th of May 1873, the concrete filling
was completed and the coffer-dam pumped out. There was a consider
able leakage in this dam, probably from the fact that it was exposed to
the action of ice. Two pumps were required to permit the lower
courses of masonry to be laid. .
The lay;ng-of masonry was begun on the 15th of May, and was
completed on the 21st of July, 1873.
The depth of water at the site of this pier at high tide was 14 feet
7 inches. The top of the gravel was found at the depth of 45 feet
below high water. The caisson had therefore to be sunk over 30 feet
through the sand.
The construction of the caisson was begun on the 18th of Septem
ber 1871 and considerably advanced in October. It was deemed ad
visable to leave it on the stocks until the following summer. It was
successfully launched on the 23rd July 1872, and two days afterwards
floated into position.
The building of the caisson was suspended when it had reached a
height of 22 feet. No further building was done until the 26th of Septem
ber, when the concrete filling was begun. There being only about 3
feet of water in the compartments at low tide, advantage of this was
taken to have the concrete in the compartments deposited about the
time of low water, and consequently, most of it had time to partially
set in the air before it was subjected to the action of water.
By the 12th of October, the filling of the caisson, to the extent
it was built, was completed. It was then necessary that the dredging
PLATE No. 28.
:AISSONANo MASONRY OF SOUTHERLY ABUTMENT
^ Seaidford Yl^^inxL^En.mjeer-m-CMef,
PLAN OF FOUNDATION,
Photo-Lith. by the Burlanrl-Desbarits Lith. Co-
THE MIRAMICHI BRIDGES. 197
should be commenced before the building could be continued. To
enable the dredges to work, and at the same time admit the other opera
tions to be proceeded with, it was necessary to erect a strong frame to
carry the dredge towers, at some height above the floor of the general
platform. The work of sinking the caisson was resumed early in June
1873, and by the 18th of the month, the cutting edges had reached the
required depth of 45 feet below high water.
In removing the dredged sand from the coffer-dam it was found
that the quantity of water coming in was so great that two steam
pumps were required to keep it under control during the laying of
the first courses of masonry. The masonry was begun on the 25th
of July, and completed on the loth of September 1873.
The depth of water at high tide at the site of this pier was 13 feet
The depth to the gravel bed on which the caisson had to rest was
Constiuction of the caisson was commenced early in June 1873. It
was launched on the 10th of July, and floated into position on the 15th.
The filling with concrete was continued up to the 21st of August, at
which time the caisson was 24 feet high and had settled 2 feet 6 inches
into the river bottom.
The dredges commenced operations on the 14th of October. On
the 1st of November the depth of 35 feet was reached ; and the work
was then closed for the season. Operations were resumed on the 23d
May, 1874, and continued until the 23rd of June, when the full depth
of 49 feet was reached.
After filling up the caisson with concrete, one steam pump was
sufficient to keep the water under control.
The setting of masonry began on the llth of August, at 14 feet
below high water, and the pier was finished on the 28th of September
198 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The depth of water at high tide at the site of this pier was 11 feet
3 inches. The depth to the top of the gravel bed was 47 feet below
high water ; the height of the caisson had therefore to be 33 feet.
The caisson was commenced on the 21st of July 1873, on the 10th
of September it was floated into position, and soon afterwards con
crete filling was proceeded with.
A scour having taken place at the up-river end, the caisson was
brought to a horizontal bearing by means of the pumping machinery,
and the weak points protected by rip-rap. Work was suspended on
the 14th of November, the cutting edges then standing 20 feet 6 inches
below high water.
Work was resumed on the 9th of June 1874, and Woodford pumps
were used to lower the caisson, until on the 29th of July the dredges
were ready for work. The operations were then continued and after
sundry interruptions, the caisson reached the required depth on the
The Chambers and wells were filled with concrete as in the other
piers ; and on the 29th, masonry was commenced. The leakage of the
coffer-dam, in this case, was so considerable, that two steam pumps were
required to keep the water sufficiently low. The masonry was com
pleted on the 31st of October.
This abutment was about 300 feet from the shore, with a depth
of water at high tide at its site of 17 feet 4 inches. It was necessary
that the caisson should rest horizontally and therefore that the cutting
edges should be sunk into the brown clay which the borings showed as
lying 26 feet below high water at the back of the abutment and 34
feet at the face. The sinking to the necessary depth was tedious and
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES. 199
The foundation works were similar to those already described,
except that the caisson had four wells or chambers through which the
silt was removed.
The construction of the caisson was begun about the 1st of Sep
tember 1872. When it was floated into position, the building was
carried on until the 31st of October, when work was suspended for the
The building was resumed on the 7th of June 1873, and finished
shortly after. During the winter a scour took place around the North
west corner, which gave a depth of 20 feet below high water and the
caisson settled accordingly. . Before proceeding farther, it was neces
sary to bring the caisson to a level bed ; and therefore the sunk corner
was supported by a couple of 2 inch iron rods from a truss resting on
the surrounding staging : the iron rods having long adjusting screws.
Towards the end of June the caisson was brought to a level. When
the clay was reached, the sinkingbecame very slow. The clay was too
hard to be excavated by the dredges and had to be excavated by hand
by the divers with pick and spade. This labour had to be carried on
to the depth of 8 feet at the back of the abutment, but to a less depth
along the front and sides. It required the constant exertions of two
divers and a large number of other men for two months.
By the 6th of October, the front of the caisson was brought to
rest on the clay, with horizontal bearing throughout. When building
commenced, the water coming into the coffer-dam was kept under bj
one steam pump.
The masonry was begun on the 21st of October, and continued to
the 13th of November, at which period, the masonry had reached 6.5
feet under high water, and further work was suspended.
At this time the heavy earth embankment had approached close to
the abutment. During the winter the material was tipped over the
front and sides of the coffer-dam, till it appeared above the surface
of the water.
The false works were destroyed during the winter, but were
200 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
restored in the spring of 1874. The masonry was completed on the
6th of August of the same year.
The embankment was formed around the abutment, and the slopes
and sides covered with rip-rap, three feet thick, from the bed of Ihe
river to five feet above extreme high water.
. THE NORTHWEST BRIDGE.
It has already been stated, that the first design for the North West
Bridge was similar to that for the South West ; the chief difference be
ing in the number of spans. The northwest structure was to have had
five spans, each 200 feet wide ; while the other was designed to have
six spans of the same size. It has also been explained, that the first
survey led to a misconception with regard to the strata in the bed of
the River ; that, instead of rock being found at an average depth of 48
feet under high-water, the hard substance struck by the boring tools
was only a bed of gravel overlying a great deposit of silt, and that the
rock was actually 112 feet below high water.
It is necessary to state, that, when the preliminary survey was made,
only such boring implements could be obtained ; as could be extempor
ized in the neighbourhood by a country blacksmith, and that with
these imperfect implements the attempt was made to ascertain the na-
ure of the river bottom. The bed of the river was from twenty to
i \venty-five feet below high-water ; and after the boring rods had
passed through about the same extent of mud, they, in every trial,
struck a hard substance. The operator saw sandstone rock cropping
out on the river bank ; and he naturally, but as it afterwards proved,
incorrectly, inferred, that he had struck a continuation of the rock for
mation, underlying the river.
During the winter of 1870-1, more perfect boring implements were
employed in testing the nature of the river bottom before building
operations were commenced. It was then that the true nature of the
river bed was discovered.
THE MIRAMIGHI BEIDGES. 201
A series of accurate borings was then instituted. These borings
were made from scows during the summer of 1871 ; and from the
ice during the following winter. The site of each pier was carefully
established : and besides the test borings on the centre line, others were
made on parallel lines 50 feet distant on each side of the centre line.
The results did not materially differ from those obtained on the centre
line, and showed that the strata were horizontal.
The boring was performed in the usual manner, 7-inch tubing be
ing used. Some arrangement was, however, necessary to meet the dif
ficulty which the rise and fall of the tide presented when operating
from the ice, in order that the tube should be maintained vertical and
steady and free from all liability to derangement, as the ice rose and
fell. A wooden tube or box, 9 inches square inside, and of sufficient
length to extend beyond the range of tides, was sunk through the ice,
and had arms which rested upon and were made fast to the surface.
This box protected the upper end of the iron tubing from the ice, while
itself rose and fell with the tide. When operating from a scow, a
well through the floor of the scow served the same purpose. On reach
ing a suitable depth a smaller tube 5 inches diameter was introduced,
telescopic fashion ; care being taken that the upper end of the smaller
tube did not fall below the bottom of the larger one. The point of the
tubing was in all oases made to precede the point of the valve auger
or other boring tool in use, and thus the exact depth and character of
the various strata were ascertained. The results are shown on the
section of the river bottom, plate No. 31.
As the boring proceeded for the northwest bridge, experiments
were made to ascertain by direct pressure the load which the strata
would carry. On the tubes reaching the point to be tested, and the
material within having been removed, iron rods smaller than the
tubing were passed down. The rods terminated in a blunt end with
an area of three square inches. They were kept clear from friction,
and were loaded above the surface of the water with different weights,
which were allowed to remain for definite lengths of time. In this
202 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
manner the supporting power of the different strata in the bed of the
river was distinctly ascertained.
The result of these tests may, possibly, possess some interest to the
The information thus obtained having established that the piers
might safely be founded on the gravel stratum, the Chief Engineer did
not deem it necessary to change in any way the original plan ; he,
however, held it expedient to increase the width of the caissons from
24 to 30 feet, in order to distribute the weight over an area one-fourth
greater than at first designed. But a difficulty arose with the contract
ors. They argued that an increase in the width of the base of the
caissons would render the sinking of them extremely difficult ; and they
demanded a large increase in price for the additional labour and expense
which they asserted the change would exact. To meet these objections
the Engineer proposed a modification in the form of the caissons with
an increased base, which the contractors undertook to carry out for
little more than the original contract price.
The modified plan of foundations for the Piers, adopted and car
ried into execution, is shown in Plate No. 82. A large oblong caisson
open at the top and bottom, was first sunk in proper position at
each pier site ; its lower edge resting on the bed of the river, and its
upper edges extending above water. Around the four sides were
square piles driven close together. Within the enclosed area, all the sand
and mud, down to the gravel bed, were removed, and the space
filled with rubble stone and concrete in equal proportions. The space
within the caisson, and above the original river bed, was then
filled with concrete up to the bed for the masonry. The concrete thus
formed a huge monolithic mass for the support of the superincumbent
It has already been stated that an additional span was given to
the Northwest Bridge ; by this arrangement the two abutments were
PLATE No. 32.
Bad of BJTr
, . a^a. -*
PLAN OF PIER.
r\ WDAT. OM. V4SOMH V .
Photo- Lith. by the Burland-Desharats Lith. Co.
saaresgR*^.,. - .:y
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THE MIBAMICHI BRIDGES.
placed on the shore, where no difficulty was experienced in founding
The five piers were lettered consecutively from north to south ; A.
B. C. D. and X.
Plate No. 31 shows the relative position of the piers and abutments ;
together with the strata which underlie the River.
Fig. No. 37.
THE SOUTH ABUTMENT.
Operations were commenced on the 13th of May, 1872, at the
Southerly abutment. One-half of the site lay within the water
mark ; and in order to obtain a foundation, a coffer-dam was necessary.
This was constructed of crib work and sheet piling, and of only
three sides, carrying a platform about 20 feet wide. A wharf for the
discharge of building stone was formed on the front, and a travel-
204 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
ler was constructed, by which the material for building was lifted
directly into position. The sheet piling within the crib work was in
two rows, 5 feet apart, driven to the rock ; and the space between the
rows was filled in with clay puddle. The rock bottom was laid bare,
and then cut into steps to receive the masonry, the front wall of which
commenced 12J feet below high water level. Little trouble was
experienced from water ; what little was met with, flowed in through
fissures in the rock.
The masonry, 985 cubic yards, was commenced on the 13th of
June, and completed on the 28th of August, 1872.
THE NORTH ABUTMENT.
The site being entirely within high-water mark, it was necessary
to construct a coffer-dam. The shore at "this point is bold, and the
rock dips towards the river, when, at the face of the abutment, it
drops to a slope of about one to two. The whole abutment is placed on
solid rock, the front wall commencing 19 feet 6 inches below high-
water. The rock lay in a series of irregular benches, and was cut into
horizontal steps, to receive the masonry. The coffer-dam was well
constructed ; and in consequence the water was controlled by one
Woodford pump, driven by an engine on a scow alongside. The
masonry was placed in position by a Traveller erected on the crib-
work. The masonry, 1115 cubic yards, was commenced on the 15th
of August, 1872, and completed in the following November. The
mass of the masonry is of freestone from quarries in the locality : the
girder seats are of granite, in single blocks, 6 feet by 4^ feet, and 2J
feet deep. The upper surface is 23 feet 7 inches above extreme high-
Plate No. 29 shews the form and detail of these abutments.
THE CAISSONS FOR PIERS.
The caissons were each 60 feet by 30 feet, built of timbers, 12
PLATE No. 29.
ENLARGED FRONT ELEVATION.
Photu-Lith. by the Burland-Desbarats Lith. Co
THE MIRAMICHI BRIDGES. 205
inches square, hewn true on their beds, halved together at the corners
and breaking joints on the sides and ends. A roll of oakum was laid
between the timbers, both on the flat, and at the butt joints, to render
all water-tight. The timbers were fastened every 4 feet of their length,
and at the butts, with juniper treenails.
The caissons were commenced on launch-ways near the Bridge
site, and were built to a height of six or eight feet previous to being
launched. The construction was then proceeded with, afloat, until the
requisite height was obtained. The tops when in place were, in all
cases, left above high-water level, as each caisson had eventually to
serve as a coffer-dam.
As the caissons had to be pumped out to permit the building of the
masonry, it was necessary to strengthen them internally by means
of longitudinal and lateral struts and braces, which were afterwards
When the caissons were floated into position, they were loaded
down with stone, to hold them in place. Square piles were then driven
round the four sides, to the gravel bed. The piles were each bolted to
the upper timbers of the caissons, and a waling timber was secured
along the outside faces, about midway between high and low tide
Pier X was the first commenced ; and as the difficulties met were
here first overcome, a brief account will suffice for all the piers. The
caisson for this pier was commenced on the 19th day of June, 1872.
Some little difficulty was experienced in launching it, but it was even
tually floated into position on the 6th July, and temporarily secured by
driving a few piles on each side and end. Building was then pro
ceeded with, and the required height was reached on the 26th. On the
caisson grounding, it was found that the bed of the river was some
what uneven, and it became necessary to level it by dredging away the
inequalities and so allow the caisson to rest horizontally.
206 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
In order to sink the caisson, a platform was foamed on its top, and
loaded with stone.
Two steam pile-drivers were then employed in driving the sheet
piling. The piles were twelve inches square ; driven, as close as possible,
to a depth of 47 feet 6 inches below high water ; passing 8 inches into
the gravel bed, which, at this pier, is 6 feet 8 inches in thickness. The
driving for the last few feet was very slow. This work was completed by
the 6th of September, when temporary piles were driven for a platform 20
feet wide on each of the four sides of the caisson. On the platform a
gantry was erected, of such height and length as would allow the
traveller which it carried to lift building stone from the scows and set
them on any part of the structure. Before commencing the masonry,
the traveller was constantly in use in moving the engines and pumps
employed in dredging, and in raising any sunken trees found embedded
within the area of the foundations. The engines and machinery used
in dredging and in pumping, were placed on the platform, which further
served as a wharf for the discharge of material of all kinds.
The river bed at this pier consisted of a black vegetable deposit,
fully 16 feet in depth, and a mixture of mud and sand about 8 feet deep.
Two pumps, driven by separate engines, commenced operations on the
21st of September 1872, but the progress made in the vegetable deposit
was very slow. The pumps simply settled down into an area a little
larger than their base, while the material stood firm with nearly vertical
sides. The action of water jets was brought to bear on it; and by
means of this expedient, it was reduced, and ultimately removed by the
The upper layer of material contained a quantity of partially
decayed wood, which continually became jammed in the working
parts of the pumps, and necessitated frequent disconnecting of the
machines for the removal of the obstruction. Two logs of Birch were
found embedded in the deposit. 30 feet below high water. The
removal of these occupied several days, as the material overlying them
had to be dredged out for their whole length before they could be
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES. 207
moved. Eventually, chains were made fast to them by divers, and the
logs were raised by the traveller overhead : one piece measured 26 feet
long and 16 inches in diameter, the other 15 feet long, and 20 inches
The pumps continued in operation up to the 20th of November,
when the formation of the ice rendered a suspension of work necessary.
Up to this time a great proportion of the vegetable deposit had been
removed. Work was resumed on the 5th of May 1873, and the whole
material within the area of the caisson was dredged out to the depth of
46 feet below high water mark by the 31st of May.
The dredging of this foundation extended over a period of twelve
weeks ; but deducting for wet weather and other delays, the actual
pumping occupied sixty days of two engines and two pumps.
The quantity of material removed was 1416 cubic yards ; and taking
the capacity of each pump at seven cubic yards (1200 gallons) per
minute, it appears that a cubic yard of water carried out with it on an
average 0.075 cubic feet of solid matter, or at the rate of 1 cubic yard
of the deposit to 356 cubic yards of water.
Preparations were at once made to put in a 2J feet layer of con
crete over the whole area excavated. It was deposited through large
spouts reaching to the bottom. Alternate layers of quarry rubble stone
and concrete were evenly distributed over the area until the space was
filled up to the level of the bed of the river. A layer of concrete 6J
feet thick was then put in by means of boxes with movable bottoms.
These boxes were contrived to open only when they touched bottom,
in order that the concrete should be as little diluted as possible, by
passing through the water.
The concrete was brought to the proposed level by the middle of
July ; when, after a few days delay, an attempt was made to umvattT the
dam with two Woodford pumps : but the concrete had not sufficiently
set, and the machinery was overpowered and pumping had to be
With a view to make good the defects in the concrete and to
208 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
reduce the head of water, another layer of concrete 18 inches deep was
put in, which brought the surface up to 15 feet below high water.
On the 30th of Jflly a second attempt was made to pump out the
dam with two pumps, but without success. On the following day bags
filled with clay were laid over the places where the leaks seemed to be
greatest, viz. along the timbers of the caisson. The two pumps then,
with ease, ran the water down to within three feet of the concrete, and
held it there ; though the leak was still considerable, and evidently was
increasing. Walls of clay puddle were now built over the heaviest
leaks, and a third pump introduced. On the 9th of August the three
pumps were started with the falling tide, and in fifteen minutes the sur
face of concrete was laid bare.
This condition was maintained for some time ; when, without the
slightest warning, a large mass of concrete, close to the timber on the
northern side, was forced up and the dam immediately filled, notwith
standing the pumps continued running. The Chief Engineer decided
to make good the concrete, to add an additional layer, and defer further
pumping for some months, in order to give the concrete time to harden.
At the same time, with the view of securing and strengthening the
caisson, he directed that heavy iron rods should be passed through from
side to side, dividing it into six equal lengths, and that similar rods
anchored in the concrete should be placed at both ends. All these rods
were firmly tightened by nuts and screws ; and as they were placed at
some distance under water, divers in ordinary waterproof armour were
employed. Rods such as described were placed in all the other piers.
The work was not proceeded with in winter, but was resumed on
the llth of May 1874. Two pumps were then started, the water was
speedily lowered to the concrete which proved hard and solid. The
leaks between the concrete and the timber were still considerable, but
there was no appearance of leak through the body of the mass. In put
ting in the concrete in July 1873, wells were left at each corner into
which the pumps were set. It was considered that much of the leakage
came in at these points ; and on the additional layers of concrete being
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES. 209
put on, the wells were filled up. As the Woodford pump requires water
at least 12 inches deep in order to work with advantage, the concrete
could not be laid quite bare, and the first course of footings 2J feet
deep was set partly in water. Any irregularities in the surface were
removed by making up the concrete to a uniform level, so that every
block had a solid bed. That the water might be entirely under control
at any state of the tide a second engine and pump were put in position.
The first course was set by the 18th of May.
There was no further difficulty in keeping the dam free of wa
ter, and the masonry soon rose above the surface ; but all anxiety was
It was discovered at the end of June that the foundation of the
structure, since the commencement of the masonry, had settled about
six inches. Accurate measurements were regularly taken, and it ap
peared that a gradual settlement was going on. The building of the
masonry was continued until the 6th of July, when the work was sus
pended, the pier being then four feet from the required height. Up to
the 29th of August, the work had settled in all ten and a half inches.
It was now determined to place on the pier a load several hundred tons
greater than, on the completion of the bridge, it would be required
to carry, and thus by direct weight force the whole structure to a per
manent bearing. This course was the more called for as doubts
had been strongly expressed as to the sufficiency of the strata,
underlying the river, to carry the bridge. For this purpose a
platform was built on the footings of the masonry ; upon this
and the unfinished pier, stone and rails to the weight of about 450 tons
were placed. Up to the 3d of October, under this load, a further de
pression had taken place of 2J inches. The work remained thus load
ed until the following spring, when another 100 tons were added, but
no farther settlement was perceptible. Fig. No. 38 shows the pier
Careful investigation showed that the close piling around the
concrete had not been disturbed in any way ; that each pile re
mained precisely in the same position as when first driven and that
Fig. No. 38.
the gravel stratum which supported them had not yielded in any way.
The settlement was therefore wholly within the caisson ; and was un
doubtedly due to the compression and consolidation of the stone fill
ing below the concrete, under the load which had been built over it,
It was evident from the fact that the masonry was without the slight
est sign of crack or flaw, that the concrete had a monolithic character,
and had gradually sunk en masse as the material under it became com
pressed by the superincumbent weight.
When the structure was completed, and the false works removed,
the sheet piling and dam were cut off below low water level, and a
mass of rip-rap deposited, as shown in Plate No. 32, so as entirely to
cover and secure the whole of the works on which the masonry rests.
The rip-rap was allowed to take a natural slope, and was rounded at
the up and down stream ends to reduce the effects of any cross-cur-
THE MIRAMICHI BRIDGES. 211
rents produced by the obstruction of the stream ; and to obviate, as far
as possible, the chances of a scour.
The foundation caisson, as constructed, is as that for Pier X. It
was launched on the 9th August, 1872, and moved near to the site of
the pier. The building continued till the 16th of October, when it
had attained the required depth of 30 feet. On the following day,
and while the tide was running out, the caisson broke from its moor
ings, but it was recovered without being damaged. It was loaded and
sunk, and the driving of the sheet piling commenced : but when the
works were closed for the season on the 20th November, the piling
was not completed. In this case the piling was driven to the depth of
43 feet below high water level.
The work was resumed on the 6th of May, 1873, and by the 1st
of June, the sheet piling and the piling for the surrounding platform
were completed, and the plank and machinery placed in position. The
dredging, carried on as in the last pier, was commenced 5th of June,
1873. The material, a clean coarse sand, yielded readily to the action
of the Woodford pump ; the result accordingly differed from that at
pier X. The depth of the sand was over 11 feet, and the excavation
measured 700 cubic yards.
By the 18th, the dredging was completed to the depth of 41 feet
under high water ; and although it extended over fourteen days, only 10
days were employed in actual pumping, with two engines and pumps.
The capacity of each pump being twelve hundred gallons, or seven
cubic yards per minute, a cubic yard of water carried with it 0.21
cubic feet of sand, i.e., 1 cubic yard of sand was removed with 126
cubic yards of water.
The concrete filling was completed by the 25th September. No
masonry was, however, laid that season.
On the 21st of August, 1874, an unsuccessful attempt was made
212 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
to pump out the coffer dam. On the 24th, a second attempt was made ;
but the water could not be lowered more than 11 feet below high water
with the pumping power employed. An additional engine with pump
being put in operation, the water was run down sufficiently for the
first course of masonry to be started. The stream of water discharged
was at least 7000 gallons per minute.
The masonry progressed rapidly, and was soon brought above the
water lerel. No settlement took place until between the 17th and
24th September, when it was found that the pier had settled slightly.
On the 2nd of October, building was suspended, the top of the
structure being then 6 feet from the required height. The pier was
then loaded with stone and iron, weighing about 500 tons, and it was
found, on the 7th November, that a further settlement had taken place,
of 0.17 feet. On the 27th January, the total settlement had reached
0.46 feet. Since the latter date no further subsidence has been
detected. The load remained on the pier all winter, building was
resumed on the 1st June, and in four days the structure was com
pleted. As in pier X, the masonry settled with the mass of concrete on
which it rested without loosening a joint or fracturing a single stone.
The depth to the bed of river at the site of this pier was 29 feet.
The caisson for the foundation was similar to those already described.
It was launched on the 16th of May, 1873, floated away, and finished
to the height of 30 feet. On the 23d of June, it was placed in
position and loaded down. The sheet piling, driven to the depth of
44 feet below high water, was completed on the 8th of July.
The dredging commenced on the 15th of August. The material
overlying the gravel bed, consisted altogether of 13 feet of clean coarse
sand. The dredging extended over seventeen days, but the machinery
ran only nine days in all. The quantity of sand removed was 8
THE MIEAMICHI BRIDGES. 213
cubic yards, every cubic yard of water thrown out carrying with it 0.28
cubic feet of sand, or 1 cubic yard of solid matter in 94.5 cubic yards
of water pumped.
The filling of the space dredged out was treated differently from
that of piers X and D. Instead of the alternate layers of concrete and
rubble stone, the whole space up to the level of the river bed was
filled in with stone, crushed to the size used for concrete, but with
out sand being added ; and a layer of concrete 13 feet in depth was
deposited upon this base. The concrete was completed by the 29th
of October, 1873, when the works were closed for the season.
On the 16th of June, 1874, everything being ready, three pumps
driven by two engines, were started, with a favorable tide. The water in
the dam was then run down to 12 feet below high water, but the pumps
in operation could do no more. It was apparent that more power must
be used. On the 22nd, a trial was made with four pumps, driven bv
three engines ; and, for a short time, they succeeded in lowering the
water to 14 feet below high water. It was necessary, however, for the
four pumps to run without intermission to hold their own. On the
stoppage of a pump, the water at once began to rise. A third effort
was made on the following morning with the same result. The
greatest head obtained was 8 feet 10 inches. On the stoppage of all
the pumps, the water rose in the dam 52 inches in eleven minutes.
Operations were now suspended at this pier for three weeks. It was
simply a question of pumping power, and it was accordingly deter
mined to add a large Gwynne dredge pump, and a fourth engine. In
the mean time blocks of stone for a 2J feet course were placed roughly
in position by divers. The five pumps were put in operation. They
succeeded in lowering and holding the water 14 feet below high water
On the stones being laid bare they presented an uneven appear
ance, some having been carried upon the laitense, and others upon
points of concrete standing above the surface. It was accordingly
necessary to raise the stones in order to obtain a level bed. By the
214 THE INTEKCOLONIAL.
27th of July the first course, 2i feet thick, was set, after which no diffi
culty with the water was experienced.
The Masonry steadily progressed, and no settling was discovered
until the 7th of August. On the 15th, when there had been 13| feet of
masonry built, a subsidence of 2 inches had taken place. Up to the
17th of September when building was suspended at 6 feet from the
full height, the total settlement was 0.24 feet. As in the other
cases the pier was loaded by placing on it 575 tons over and above the
weight of pier when finished. During the operation of loading, a set
tlement of 0.13 feet at the up-river end, and 0.07 feet at the down river
end took place, and from the 23rd of November to the 31st of December
1874, a still further settlement 0.07 at the up river end, 0.09 feet at the
down river end was observed. At this date the total settlement was
0.48 feet. The load remained on the pier until the 6th of April 1875, when
work was resumed and completed. But no change whatever haa
taken place since the close of 1874; and the masonry as in the other
piers remains without a flaw.
The depth of water was 27 feet 4 inches, and the material a clean
sharp sand 24 feet 5 inches deep; the gravel bed being reached at 51
feet 9 inches below high water ; a thickness of gravel 5 feet 6 inches
overlying the deep deposit of silt between it and the rock.
The caisson was floated into its exact position on the 8th of July
1873. In grounding it indicated unevenness of bottom. The inequali
ties were rectified by the use of a force pump and hose. The piling,
50 feet long, was at once begun.
The dredging commenced on the 15th of September, and extended
over 36 days. The actual running time of the two pumps was 161
days. The quantity of material removed from within the limits of the
foundation was 1495 cubic yards. Each cubic yard of water thrown
THE MIKAMICHI BRIDGES. 215
out by the pumps must therefore have carried with it 0.29 feet of sand,
or 1 cubic yard of sand with 92.7 cubic yards of water.
The dredging was completed on the 22nd of October, and the
foundation was then filled with crushed stones to the level of the river
bed. On the 10th of November, work ceased ; at which time the fill
ing was completed.
On the 27th of May, 1874, work was resumed. The concrete filling
was completed on the 12th of June, bringing the surface up to 16 feet
below high water. During the period allowed for the concrete to
harden, divers were engaged putting in iron tie-rods similar to those
already referred to.
An attempt was made to pump out the dam on the 13th of October,
with the hope that the footings of the masonry might be laid before the
season closed. Four engines with five pumps, however, after repeated
attempts, failed to lower the water to the full depth required.
During the winter it was determined to add another layer of con
crete 4 feet in thickness and thus bring the surface to 12 feet below
high water, as at pier X. The concrete was finished on the 22d of May,
On the 13th of June, the pumps were started and the surface of
the concrete laid bare in 20 minutes. The concrete was found hard
and compact. The surface was levelled off, and the masonry began on
the following day. It continued without interruption till the 24th of
July, when work was suspended preparatory to loading the structure to
test for settlement. The load in this case was 550 tons. During the
process of loading, from the 24th of July to the 4th of August, the pier
had settled 0.18 feet. On the 9th of August, a further settlement had
taken place of 0.14 feet. On the 20th of August no further change
could be observed. Building was resumed on the 24th and completed
on the 30th of August.
216 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The depth of water at high tide is 31 feet 6 inches at the site of
this pier. The material under the river bed was a black vegetable
deposit 18 feet 9 inches deep, overlying the gravel bed found at 48 feet
6 inches below high water.
The caisson was made fast in position on the 4th of September,
1873. The dredge pumps were put in operation on the 25th of Oct.
and continued until the 15th November when the work was suspended
for the season.
Work was resumed on the 29th of May, 1874, and the dredging
completed on the 30th of June. This work extended altogether over
54 days, but the actual running time was 24 days. There were 1044
cubic yards of material removed, giving 0.14 cubic feet thrown out with
each cubic yard of water, or 1 cubic yard of solid matter with 193 cubic
yards of water. The space dredged out was filled in with crushed stone
to the level of the bed of the river.
Early in July the concrete was begun, and deposited to a depth of
15 feet 6 inches below extreme high water. No attempt was made to
pump out the foundation of this pier, as it was anticipated the same dif
ficulties would be experienced as at pierB, and it was allowed to stand
over to the following summer. During the winter it was decided to
put in another 4 feet layer of concrete. This work was done early in
the summer of 1875, and on the first attempt to pump out the dam the
surface of the concrete was laid bare with comparatively little trouble.
The water was lowered to 12 feet in 15 minutes and readily maintained
there during half tide. Building was commenced on the 27th of July,
and finished for the purpose of applying the load by the 21st of August.
The first settlement observed was on the 4th of August, when it was
found to be 0.05 feet. On the 21st of August previous to loading for
test, the structure had settled 0.42 feet. The load applied was 550
tons. During the process of loading the structure settled 0.33 feet.
THE MIEAMICHI BRIDGES. 217
The load remained for ten days without further settlement. The
masonry was completed on the 14th of September 1875. The total
settlement was 0.74 feet.
The concrete used in the foundations was made from broken stone
coarse river-sand, and the celebrated English Portland cement. The
stone was broken to pass through a ring less than three inches in diam
eter. As the breaking of the stone by a Blake Machine, pulverized
much of the material, the proportion of sand depended upon the condi
tion of the stone ; but sufficient sand was always added to the broken
stone to fill up all the interstices and render the mass compact.
The concrete for the foundations of the Northwest Bridge was
made with two barrels of cement to the cubic yard of crushed stone,
that for the foundation of the Southwest Bridge with one barrel to
the cubic yard ; except in the filling of the caisson for Pier E, and 01
the wells of all the other caissons, the concrete for which had two bar
rels per cubic yard of broken stone. Care was taken to thoroughly
mix the ingredients. The total quantity of cement used in these bridges
was about 14,000 barrels.
The masonry of the abutments and piers was of a thoroughly mas
sive and substantial character. The stones were of large dimensions,
well proportioned and put together in the best style ot workmanship.
Each stone in the cutwaters and exposed angles was secured by
iron dowels run in with cement. The masonry was laid in Portland
cement mixed in the proportion of two measures of sand to one of pure
The stones for the girder seats and faces of the ice breakers
218 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
were massive blocks of granite ; some of which were brought from the
Nipissiguit River near Bathurst, a distance of about 175 miles by water.
The greater portion, however, was obtained from boulders near
the river banks, from twelve to sixteen miles above the railway cross
ing. The building stone proper is a light coloured free-stone obtained
from two quarries ; one on the River Miramichi, about four miles
below the site of the bridges ; the other, from which the greater quan
tity was brought, near the mouth of the River Bartibogue, a tributary
of the Miramichi, about seventeen miles distant from the railway
crossing. Both quarries furnished stones similar in colour and quality.
The remaining work at this bridge was now confined to the deposit
of rip-rap around the piers and the erection of the iron superstructure.
The plant employed in the construction of these bridges was large
and costly ; besides a full assortment of ordinary tools and appliances,
it consisted of a steam tug, with 21 large scows ; machinery worked by
steam for excavating, crushing stone, pile-driving, dredging, lifting and
moving material ; also diving apparatus. The pumping machinery was
especially effective; it consisted of 4 Woodford pumps, with 7 inch
discharge pipes, and 1 Gwynne pump with a 12 inch discharge. These
were driven by 5" steam engines, of 50-horse power each. The pumps
made, on an average, 400 revolutions per minute, at which rate they
threw from 1200 to 1500 gallons per minute each. The Gwynne pump
threw as much as 2500 gallons per minute. The Woodford pumps
had their pipes in lengths of 9 feet, attached to light angle-iron frames
3 feet square; each length having its own driving shaft attached.
The lengths were easily fitted into each other, and secured by small bolts
at the angles, the shafting at the same time locking together. The
driving pulley was quickly raised or lowered on the shafting to suit the
situation, and was secured with screws. The pumps rested on the
material to be removed, and although secured to the caisson so as to
prevent lateral motion, they were free to move vertically and they
settled down with their own weight as the material was thrown out.
In conjunction with the Woodford pumps, two powerful Cameron
THE MIEAMICHI BRIDGES. 219
force pumps, with a supply of three-inch hose, capable of throwing six
heavy streams, were constantly in operation. The flexible hose termi
nated in metallic nozzles of one-inch bore, which were attached to the
ends of long guide poles, by means of which powerful jets of water were
directed against the material in the coffer-dams, to loosen it, and bring it
within the operation of the purnps.
The work of both bridges has been satisfactorily completed by the
Contractors, Messrs. Brown, Brooks, and Ryan
The difficulties experienced in carrying out the north-west bridge
have been fully described. Mr. Joseph Tomlinson acted as Superin
tendent in connection with the foundations of the south-west bridge.
This structure wa.s carried to completion without any departure from
the original designs, and without any claims for extras on the part of
Mr. A. L. Light was Engineer of the District ; and under him, Mr.
W. B. Smellie had direct charge, as Resident Engineer, of both the
Miramichi bridges, from the commencement of construction until their
The south-west bridge was first completed. The first train was
passed over, and the bridge was opened for use, on August 26th, 1875,
by His Excellency, General Sir William O Grady Haly, Administrator
of the Government.
THE NOVA SCOTIA. DISTRICT.
Length and Sub-Divisions General Description The Cobequid Mountains Geological
Features Springhill Coal Field The Iron Mines Division U, Old Line Division
V, Eastern Extension Division W, Contract No. 11 Division X, Contract No. 4
Division Y, Contract No. 7 Division Z, Contract No. 12.
This District commences at Moncton, and after following 8 miles
of the railway between St. John and Shediac, takes an indirect course,
the general bearing of which is nearly south-easterly, to terminate at
Truro at the head of Cobequid Bay, in the Bay of Fuudy.
It comprises the following divisions :
Division U. E. & N. A. Railway, 7| miles long.
" V. Eastern Extension, 37 " "
" W. Contract No. 11, - - 4J " "
" X. " " 4, - - 27 " "
" Y. " " 7, - - 24J " "
" Z. " " 12, - - 24i " "
Total length, - - 124f miles.
It has the most crooked alignment, the greatest extent of curva
ture, the sharpest curves, the highest bridge, the deepest embank
ment, the steepest grade, and the second highest summit on
the whole railway. It touches tide water at four points, and a con
siderable summit is found between each two of the points. It has the
longest stretches of the most level ground ; and it passes through the
roughest country, except that at the chief summit on the St. Lawrence
District. The character of its soil is accordingly varied, ranging from
the highest fertility in the marshes surrounding the heads of bays of
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 221
the Bay of Fundy, to almost absolute barrenness in the elevated spots.
Its rocks range from the granite of the Cobequid mountains, to the
coal measures. It was the source of protracted contention in regard to
the route ; although the location was confined to the narrow limits of
an Isthmus between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy.
The Cobequid mountains cross the Nova Scotia District about 25
miles from its southerly end. From Moncton to the Cobequid range,
the line crosses three belts of lower carboniferous rocks, and two of the
middle coal formation ; one of the former being at either extremity, the
third being in the middle. The well-known Springhill coal field, is
situated on the most southerly of the belts of the middle coal forma
The flanks of the Cobequids are occupied by rocks partially meta
morphosed. On the southerly side the strata consist of quartzites and
slates. These are intersected by a large irregular vein composed of
carbonates and oxides of iron. This vein extends a long distance on
each side of the railway, and is being worked by the Steel Company ot
Canada. The construction of the Intercolonial line and the Branch to
Pictou, places the iron region midway and within easy reach of two
all but inexhaustible coal fields. These favourable conditions promise
the future establishment of important industries in this quarter.
In the middle of the Cobequid range, a hard reddish granite or
gneiss is met. Between the Cobequids and Truro, the railway traverses
another trough of carboniferous rocks, but no coal-seams sufficiently
thick for profitable working, have been found.
The first District Engineer, was Mr. W. H. Tremaine, who had
had the conduct of the location surveys, and also assisted in the pre
liminary surveys of 1864. He remained in charge of the works until
the close of 1871, when he was succeeded by Mr. Collingwood Schrei-
ber, who remained until their completion.
This title has been given to a section, about eight miles long, of
the St. John and Shediac Railway, extending northward from Moncton
to Painsec, which is common to the two railways. The St. John and
Shediac Railway was constructed by the Government of New Bruns
wick, and is apart of one of the rival schemes of 1845, for connecting
Quebec and Halifax. This section was opened for public traffic in
1860, and having been well constructed is in excellent order. The
Engineer-in-Chief, was Mr. A. L. Light.
This Section, otherwise known as the " Eastern Extension " of the
St. John and Shediac Railway, extends from Painsec to the Provincial
It was constructed by a Company under contract with New Bruns
wick, and was finished during the summer of 1871. After comple
tion it was purchased for the Government of the Dominion, by the
Intercolonial Railway Commissioners, for the sum of 1894,000; be
ing at the rate of $24,000 per mile, for 37i miles, its total length. The
line departs, to some extent, from a right line drawn between the
termini ; making a sweep of seven miles in a distance of 20 miles.
Besides this general deviation, the line in itself is exceedingly crooked,
13 of the 37 miles being on curves, some of which are very sharp.
About the middle of the division there is a sharp 4 curve (Radius
1432 feet) which sweeps round a semicircle ; it is succeeded by another
curve, nearly as sharp, which passes round three-eighths of a circle.
These curves are on long maximum grades.
As a great deal of this division is on meadow land, the cuttings and.
embankments are generally light. There is, however, some heavy work,
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 223
but as the railway was constructed at a fixed rate per mile, easy con
struction was more attended to than directness of route. Consequent
ly, even in the most difficult sections of the route, so much curvature
has been thrown into the line, that the earthwork on the whole, is com
paratively easy. The curves are, as a rule, sharp, and the grades steep.
From Dorchester, the middle of the division, for more than four
miles, there is an almost continuous ascending grade, the greatest part
of which rises 1 in 100. It is succeeded by a continuous descending
grade of 1 in 100, for 2 miles. The remaining grades are easy, the few
that rise quickly, have been introduced to reduce the earthwork.
In the meadow lands, or marshes, which would be covered by high
tide, "aboideaus" have been built across the embankments to keep back
the rising tides. They are square wooden culverts, generally about 3
feet 6 inches wide, each side made of three squared logs, laid transversely
to the railway, the top and bottom being of squared logs laid at right
angles with the sides. The lower end for six or eight feet, is 4 feet 4
inches square ; where the narrow dimensions commence, two half doors
are hung horizontally, one at the top and one at the bottom, closing
together tightly in the middle, the lower rising with the rising tide.
They are made of hard wood, in pieces bound together by copper bolts.
The lower falls on a slip of wood to keep up the outer edge a fev?
inches, and the rush of the incoming tide is sufficient to raise it to a
vertical position and close it. Under circumstances where a larger
sectional area is necessary for the drainage discharge, instead of in
creasing the size of the aboideau, two or more are constructed side by
side. In one case, at Aulac, east of Sackville, there are five. These
aboideaux have in all cases been found very efficient.
When the railway embankments are subject to the action of the
tides, a cheap but efficient protection for the slopes, has been formed,
by placing trees and brushwood in layers at right angles to each other,
with thin couches of ordinary marsh mud* between them. This pro
tection, even when almost plumb on the face, has fully succeeded.
* The local term for the rich plastic substance thrown up by the tides of the Bay of
224 THE INTERCOLONIAL,.
On this portion of the Railway there are many small pile and
trestle bridges. A peculiarity in their construction is the use made of
" Ships Knees " as angle pieces.
A bridge with three spans, each 160 feet wide, crosses the river
Tantramar, at Sackville. The superstructure is of iron, on the English
lattice principle : the roadway is on the lower chord, the upper horizon
tal bracing being at a height to admit the passage of trains. The piers
were, in the first place, of slight construction. Indeed they may be de
scribed as having had no greater dimensions than was barely necessary to
carry the superstructure. Consequently, the first winter tried them
severely; one pier subjected to a heavy thrust of ice was found not to
have strength sufficient fully to resist the strain, and a displacement re
sulted endangering the whole structure. These piers have since been
rebuilt, at a cost many times exceeding the outlay which would have
been necessary to build them sufficiently massive in the first place.
Six miles from Painsec, there is an iron girder bridge of 50 feet
span ; the only one of the Warren pattern between Riviere du Loup
and Halifax. The roadway is carried on the top chord.
In general, there is not sufficient ballast on this division, and in
many places it is not of good quality. Difficulty was experienced in
obtaining suitable material; excepting near Sackville, there was no
good gravel to be had on the line. Iron rails are laid 34 miles ; the rails
have not worn well ; the insufficiency and inferior quality of the ballast
have doubtless contributed to this result, for without good and sufficient
ballast no road can be maintained in good order.
The Eastern Extension, having been constructed by the Province
of New Brunswick, ends at the boundary between that Province and
Nova Scotia, in the middle of the river Missiguash ; and, as is usual in
such cases, only the Western abutment of the bridge over that river
was built by New Brunswick.
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 225
CONTRACT No. 11.
This Division begins in the middle of the river Missiguash,
and includes the Eastern abutment and the whole superstructure of
This superstructure is of wood, a Howe truss, with the roadway
on the bottom chord. The span is 100 feet, the width between the
trusses 19 feet, and the total height of the truss to the upper horizontal
bracing, 21 feet 6 inches. It is the third of the wooden truss bridges on
the whole line of the Intercolonial Railway.
Although timber has been employed in spanning the river, the
abutments are of substantial masonry, in every way suitable for the
support of iron girders ; should a spark at any time from passing trains
lead to the destruction of the bridge by fire, and for a time sever
railway connection between the two Provinces.
The masonry is built on a pile foundation properly protected by
crib-work and rip-rap from the wash of the tide.
There are two aboideaux on this division ; one for Gordon s Brook,
near the first mile ; and the other for the river La Planche, about 2
miles from the beginning of the division. The first has double, and
the second has four-sluiced passages.
There was considerable sinking of embankments over places where
the marshes were soft and boggy, but it was anticipated and provided
The division is only 4J miles long. The work was let in Novem
ber, 1869, to Messrs. Davis, Grant and Sutherland, for $61,713, to be
completed by September of the year following. Changes were made in
the location and grades, by which the cost of construction was in
creased by $8,668.24. The work was not finished until 27th Novem
226 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
The average quantity of excavation is 37,750 cubic yards per mile,
and of masonry 290 cubic yards.
The Resident Engineer in charge was Mr. George H. Henshaw.
CONTRACT No. 4.
This Division, 27 miles long, is the longest division constructed
under the Commissioners. It begins one mile east of Amherst, on the
" Amherst Ridge," where there is a cutting, one mile long, which con
tained 60,000 cubic yards. The embankment following was calculated
to require 50,000 cubic yards in less than half a mile of its length.
On account of its soft marshy bottom, a further qiiantity of
18,000 cubic yards was provided. The embankment has settled down,
spread out at the base, and raised up the adjoining surface; the
sinkage still continues, and the embankment requires occasional atten
tion. There is, however, no probability of accident.
The line is much curved, there being forty curves amounting in
the aggregate to nearly 13 miles in length, with more than 1600 de
grees of curvature. One curve, almost a mile long, encloses an arc of
127 degrees ; and is followed by one, 1000 yards long, enclosing an arc of
103 degrees. Only a few of the curves are of short radius.
Generally the grades are approximately level. But for 14
miles the separate grades vary from 0.75 in 100 to 1 in 100, three
ascending eastwards, divided by level, or easy grades in the same direc
tion ; the total height ascended is 206 feet in 5 miles, gaining the high
est point on the division, 245 feet above the lowest point. The line
then descends continuously for 133 feet in a length of 3J miles.
The first cutting, with 60,000 cubic yards, is the heaviest on the
division. The cutting at the tenth mile contained 42,000 cubic yards.
There are four heavy embankments, the lightest requiring 42,000 cubic
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 227
yards, the heaviest 65,000 cubic yards. Except on the marshes the
embankments are all short ; the cuttings are also short.
The quantity of rock in the cuttings, was in the ratio of one to
twenty of earth.
A special protection, which has been found efficient, was provided
for the railway, where the line runs close to the Maccan river. Piles
were closely driven to the level of the ground, by the side of the river,
stayed by a second row of piles driven inland, 10 feet apart, the space
between being filled with stone and brushwood.
There are several aboideaux on the line, similar to those described,
and many small culverts of masonry.
The Nappan river is crossed by a bridge 100 feet wide, with
wrought iron superstructure, having the roadway on the lower chord.
The abutments are built on a pile foundation, the outside piles being
closely driven, and the foundations protected by masses of heavy rip
rap. Embankments washed by the tide are protected, according to
local practice, by brushwood and small poles, laid in layers with " marsh
mud " between them.
A skew bridge of 24 feet span, with iron superstructure, is con
structed over a tramway from a coal mine.
A third bridge, of 100 feet span, with iron superstructure, is built
over the Little Forks river. The abutments are about 33 feet high,
built on rock a few feet below the bed of the stream.
The work was let in 1869, to Messrs. Elliott, Grant and White-
head, for the sum of $297,000. At the close of that year, when work
to the amount of $46,200 had beenperformed,the contractors found their
prices were too low ; and their contract was annulled. On 25th May,
1870, a new contract was entered into with Messrs. Smith and Pit-
blado, to finish the work for $438,326, on 1st July, 1871. It was fin
ished one year later.
The length of the division is 27 miles. The average quantity of
excavation per mile is 25,800 cubic yards, and of masonry 418 cubic
228 THE INTEECOLONIAL.
The Resident Engineer to the close of 1871, was Mr. Geo. H.
Henshaw : at the latter date the District Engineer assumed charge and
Mr. J. R. Smith acted as assistant.
At the Springhill station, a branch has been constructed to the
Springhill coal mines. It is short, with sharp curves and steep grades,
and with numerous changes in both. The ballast is bad, in many
places being sandy clay. The Branch is not a part of the Intercolonial
Railway, but is worked by the Springhill Coal Company.
CONTRACT No. 7.
This Section is heavy, having upwards of a million cubic yards of
earth excavation, and forty thousand cubic yards of rock. Nearly all
the heavy work is OB the last six miles. There are several deep rocky
ravines, the embankments over three of which have respectively a
height on the centre line of 70 feet, 96 feet, and 105 feet. One cutting,
chiefly rock, has a depth of 52 feet on the centre line ; as these works
are on the steep sides of hills, so the extreme heights and depths are
The division for three-fourths of its length is on ordinary rolling
land ; but for the remaining distance it lies on steep rocky side-hill, by
which it ascends from the valley of the river Wallace, to a high sum
mit at Folly Lake, the highest point on the railway between Metapedia
and Halifax. The height of this summit is 607 feet above the sea, and
the height of the lowest point, at River Philip, near the west end of
the division, is 83 feet, so that the total ascent is 524 feet. On the
whole length there are eleven miles of steep grades varying from 0.80
in 100 to 1 in 100, H miles descending, and 9i miles ascending,
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 229
The curves are numerous and some are sharp ; one, a 4 curve,
1433 feet radius, is nearly 2100 feet long; and another, a 3 20
curve, radius 1619 feet, is over 1800 feet long. The total length of
curves is above 10 miles, and the total curvature amounts to 1025 .
The tangents are all short except in one instance, where the length is
On this division seven tunnels are introduced, in place of long
heavy culverts, in the ravines passed over ; three of 9 feet diameter, four
of 7 feet. The three former are respectively 300, 355, and 370 feet
long. These seven tunnels are cut through solid rock ; and require no
lining, except in the case of one, which, for a length of 211 feet in the
middle, required the protection of stone masonry 18 inches thick, with a
water-way of 6 feet. There are, moreover, several tunnels 4 feet wide
by 5 feet high, to take the place of box culverts for ordinary surface
drainage. These tunnels are constructed on a steep side-hill and answer
the purpose well. The small tunnels, at the upper end, have a wide
perpendicular well, cut into the rock, from the bottom of which the
incline commences, parallel to side-hill. Choking \>y floods and injury
to the road-bed are thus avoided. A depth of at least 6 feet of solid
rock has been maintained over the smaller, and of 12 feet over the
larger passages so the conduits themselves are imperishable.
There are three bridges on the division, one over the river Philip
with three spans each 100 feet wide. The two others have spans of
50 feet and 60 feet, over branches of the Wallace river. There is
nothing peculiar in their construction. The extreme height of the
bridge over the river Philip is 60 feet.
The work was let in 1869 to Messrs. H. J. Sutton & Co., for
$413,955. After executing work to the extent of $53,731, in 1869, the
contractors gave up their contract, as their prices were too low. The
remainder of their work was let in May, 1870, for $557,750, to Messrs.
James Simpson & Co., the work to be completed on 1st July, 1871 ;
but it was not completed until the summer of 1872.
The total length of the division is 24i miles. The average quantity
230 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
of excavation is about 45,260 cubic yards, and of masonry 342 cubic
yards, per mile. There are besides 576 lineal feet of cast iron pipe
culverts, and 1803 lineal feet of tunnels.
The Resident Engineer from the commencement of the work until
the close of 1871 was Mr. Tom S. Rubidge, who had been employed in
the Exploratory surveys of 1864. Mr. P. S. Archibald, his assistant
remained until the rails were laid, and had charge of the track
laying and ballasting.
CONTRACT No. 12.
The first seven miles of this division have many curves, the line
winding round headlands of the River Folly valley ; the remainder of
the division has long tangents with some long flat curves.
As the Railway falls from Folly Lake, 600 feet above the level of
the sea, to Truro, only a few feet above the sea level, many of the
grades are extreme, the greatest difference of level being 578 feet.
One continuous grade, more than two miles long, descends at the rate
of 1.20 in 100. There is an aggregate length of 51 miles on grades
descending at rates varying between 0.80 and 0.94 in 100. There are in
all 104 miles of heavy grades on the Section.
Several tunnels take the place of culverts under deep embank
ments ; with one exception, in compact conglomerate rock, all required
to be lined, the other six being built in soft red sandstone, or rather a
hardened sandy clay.
The most important of the several iron bridges, is that over the
river Folly, with six spans of 100 feet, 82 feet in height from the bed
of the river, a striking structure built of durable sandstone of various
colours. The foundations are on rock. It spans the eastern portion
THE NOVA SCOTIA DISTRICT. 231
of the valley at this place. A long narrow ridge, about 50 feet high,
divides the valley of the Folly from that of a smaller stream. This
second valley, 80 feet deep, is crossed by a solid embankment; the
stream being diverted through a tunnel into the Folly.
There are three low bridges, each with two spans of 100 feet ;
another bridge, over the Salmon river at Truro, has three spans of 100
The work was let by contract in 1869, to Messrs. Sumner and
Somers, for $597,600, to be completed on 1st July, 1871. But on
July 1st, 1872, although $551,000 had been paid to the contractors, the
work being much behindhand, the Government undertook its completion
by days labour. $105,000 in excess of the original contract sum has
The total length of the division is 24 miles ; the average quantity
of excavation about 43,700 cubic yards per mile, and of masonry 462
cubic yards. There are 1251 lineal feet of tunnels.
The Resident Engineer was Mr. Wm. Hazen, who had been on
the location surveys of 1869. He was in charge until the close of
1871, after which the District Engineer took charge.
At Londonderry station, about 7 miles from the commencement of
the division, a branch 3 miles in length, runs to the Londonderry Iron
mines. It was constructed by the Mining Company.
At Truro, the Railway joins the line constructed from Halifax to
Pictou by the Government of Nova Scotia, before the union of the
Scope of the Volume General Statements Opening of Sections Gross Quantities of Work
Average Quantities per Mile Total Expenditure Review of the Boundary Ques
tionDiplomacy of the United States Sacrifice of British Interests The Lesson
Taught* General Observations The Railway and the Dominion Historical Events-
Suggestive Associations Men identified with the Railway A Coincidence Open
ing of the Line.
It has been the aim of the writer to give, in the preceding pages,
a concise account of the Intercolonial Railway, in its several stages.
While setting forth the principal facts in its history, as far as he has
been able, the writer has also presented those subsidiary events, which
have more or less influenced the project from the beginning. These
records may appear of doubtful utility to those who are familiar
with them ; but, when the present actors shall have passed away,
the permanence of the record may be held by another generation
to be of some value.
The Railway will hereafter be known to the general public chiefly
on account of the advantages which it has created, and the con
veniences which it has increased. To the statesman and the engineer,
its history has more suggestive teaching. The writer, however, does
not conceive it to be his province to enlarge on this view. It only
remains for him to add some general statements respecting the under
taking, and so bring to an end the duty he has assumed, of record
ing its vicissitudes and its successful consummation.
The line south of Moncton has been open since 1873, by which
means Railway connection between St. John and Halifax was
attained. At the north the distance from River du Loup to St.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. 233
Flavie, 86 miles, was opened in August, 1874. Between Campbel-
ton and Moncton, 185 miles, trains have been running, with some
interruptions, since last winter. The remaining sections are now
completed, and the line may be considered fit for traffic throughout.
Tables are given, in the appendix, which show the gross quanti
ties of the work in each District, and the average quantities per mile
on each Division. Being based on the returns of actual measure
ments, they may be regarded as authoritative.
They show that more than two hundred thousand cubic yards of
masonry has been built, and that the excavation amounts to sixteen
million cubic yards, of which nine to ten per cent has been rock.
Comparing the different Divisions, the lowest average excavation
per mile is 13,665, the highest 81,996 cubic yards. The lowest aver
age of masonry is 179, the highest is 2,004 cubic yards per mile.
Making comparison of the four Districts, the average excavation
per mile is as follows :
The St. Lawrence District - 33,631 cubic yards.
The Restigouche District - - 33,000 " "
The Miramichi District -------- 31,940 " "
The Nova Scotia District 30,200 "
The average masonry per mile may also be stated thus :
The St. Lawrence District --------- 332 cubic yards.
The Restigouche District - 557 " "
The Miramichi District 376 " "
The Nova Scotia District 330 " "
On the line, as a whole, the average gives the excavation at 32,210
cubic yards, and the. masonry at 401 cubic yards per mile.
It is not practicable to state the precise cost of the several sections
in each case, as many of the claims advanced by contractors are unset
tled. Moreover, some time must elapse before the entire ballasting
and draining are thoroughly jcompleted.
234 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
At this date, the capital account shows a total expenditure of
$21,569,136.79, on all services, including branch lines and rolling-
The statements of quantities and cost may be said to be all
that was needed to close the description of a work which, for so
many years, has occupied public attention, and which is now a fact
in the history of the Dominion.
The Boundary question, no pleasant page in our records, might have
been briefly passed over : the consideration of it adds little to national
pride, or national satisfaction. But when we find that railway con
nection with the nearest British Atlantic port is now attained by
traversing twice the distance which, under a just settlement of that
question, would have been necessary, the subject prominently pre
sents itself; and the events which led to this condition of affairs
claim investigation that could not be avoided.
At this date, we look back with bewilderment at the extraordin
ary series of negotiations which ended in the establishment of the
Maine Boundary, a result which converted undoubted British ter
ritory into foreign soil, which alienated the allegiance of thousands
of British subjects, without their consent, and which made a direct
connection on our own soil, between Central Canada and the Atlantic,
The diplomacy of the United States has not always appeared so
straightforward as it seems to have been in this matter. Individual
citizens may have acted in a captious, exacting and aggressive spirit.
But it is evident, throughout, that the Executive at Washington
desired to settle the line of boundary, described in the Treaty of
1783, on a fair and equitable basis. Indeed, it is scarcely possible to
suggest a proposal more marked by sagacity and justice than that
made by President Jackson. The local irritation in Maine was a
minor quantity in the problem ; General Jackson would have elimin
ated it in a very simple manner. The truculence of a few provincial
politicians would have cost him little thought. In Lord Ashburton s
CONCLUDING REMARKS. 235
time the temper of individual citizens would have been as readily con
trolled by Daniel Webster, whose strength of will would have been
little coerced by the now forgotten delegates sent to assist him.
The local irritation in Maine did not gain strength until years
after the rejection of the Washington propositions for a settlement.
The ill-feeling subsequently shown was strongly incited by the men
who sympathized with the Canadian rebellion of 1837. Had the
offers made by the United States been accepted, the boundary would
have been satisfactorily established long before the period of the out
break. Even in 1842, it was possible to fall back upon President
Jackson s offer, had Lord Ashburton possessed the least fitness for his
No Canadian can reflect, without pain and humiliation, on the sac
rifice of British interests in the settlement that was made. Yet
however strongly we may be actuated by this thought, we can have no
ill-feeling against the United States. The fault does not lie with the
Washington Government. It is due to the ignorance of the merits
of the case, and to an indifference to the interests at stake, on the part
of the Imperial representative, who had been entrusted with the pro
tection of the rights and the honour of the Empire.
The Imperial authorities recognize the lesson taught by the Ash-
burton Treaty, in adopting the policy of the federation of the British
American Provinces, and in acting on the principle that no Canadian
interest shall hereafter be discussed in Imperial negotiations without
the presence of a Dominion representative.
It is scarcely necessary to say that these remarks in no way point
to a severing of the tie that links Canadians to the Parent Land. The
universal feeling throughout the Dominion is, that British connection
is a mainstay in our political existence ; and the strength of that con
nection has been shown by the way in which it has withstood occa
sional shocks, among which may be reckoned the Treaty of 1842.
Though the Dominion has sustained an irreparable loss of inherit
ance, she fully appreciates the advantages of her position. Under the
236 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
fostering care of the Mother Country, she has passed peacefully into
the possession of illimitable acres, vast forests, inexhaustible deposits
of mineral wealth, and fisheries on three oceans. Her still boundless
territory and resources will tax the energies and enterprise of her sons
for centuries, and may well afford room and welcome for the millions
who may seek her shores from less favoured lands.
v For more than twenty years after the Ashburton Treaty, many
fruitless attempts were made to revive the railway project. Delega
tion after delegation called upon the Home Government, without suc
cess, to connect the several Provinces by railway, so that British
America should have the mea.ns of inter-communication. Explora
tions and surveys were indeed made, but no practical result followed
until the time arrived for the political union of the Provinces.
The Intercolonial Railway owes its existence to the creation of the
Dominion, although it may be said that neither could have been
consummated without the other/) One of the first efforts of united
British America has been the establishment of this line of com
munication, to make intercourse possible between the Provinces. It
is the railway which brings the Maritime Provinces into connection
with Central Canada. At each extremity of the wilderness hitherto
unoccupied except by the hunter or the Indian, and never traversed
without difficulty, were found separate communities, each with the
sentiment that all had interests in common ; all equally belonged to
the outer Empire of Great Britain ; all were identified with her
glories and greatness; all had been devoted to her in the hour
of trial, yet all were denied means of intercommunication, and were
unable to unite for a common purpose. There is no longer an un-
penetrated wilderness to bar the hope of realizing all the benefits
of union. The Provinces are now brought into daily connection
and association, possessing identity of political life, with institutions
extending equal justice to all, covered with the ample flag of the
Empire, and with advantages which are unrivalled. If we but prove
true to ourselves, our future prosperity is assured.
CONCLUDING REMARKS. 237
It does not fall within the province of the writer to allude to the
past history of the country, or to make special mention of the places
of interest that are reached by the Railway. The district now opened
up has, through want of communication, been hitherto cut off from
the every-day life of the rest of Canada ; but it possesses much
to repay the tourist, both in the variety and character of its land
scape and in the traditions which throw a halo over many a locality.
The railway Avill give easy access to many of the scenes of the
long struggle between France and Britain for the mastery of the
Northern Continent, terminated by the triumph of Wolfe at Quebec.
The record of many of these events is still imperfectly written.
The naval engagement on the Bay Chaleur, the fierce contests around
the now grass-grown Forts of Lawrence, Beausejour and Moncton, are
seldom heard of; but the scenes of these conflicts are now made
accessible ; and some future historian, may, by the inspiration of view
ing the ground, be induced to perpetuate the events. The expulsion of
the Acadians from their homes, which, Wolfe declared, " added
nothing to the renown of the King s arms," we may wish to forget.
The ever-memorable Miramichi fire, half a century ago, still remem
bered, might well be entombed in similar oblivion ; but the tale is to
be told, and to be remembered.
More than three centuries ago, Jacques Cartier, coasting by New
Brunswick, landed on its shores, to abandon them for an exploration
of the great river, with which his memory is for ever connected.
At a still earlier date fishermen from the Basque Provinces left
their Biscayan homes, to enrich their country by the oil and ivory of
the walrus, which in vast herds frequented the Bay Chaleur and the
St. Lawrence, in those early days. Pushing investigation still far
ther back, we meet the Indians, who held the country as a possession
from nature. We ask the remnants of this once fierce and numerous
race, and we ask the ethnologist, equally in vain, whence they came,
and from what stock they descended. The district traversed by the
238 THE INTERCOLONIAL.
railway is full of suggestive associations, and cannot fail to awaken
the attention and interest of enquiring minds.
During the past forty years many public men, conspicuous in the
Councils of the several Provinces, have been identified with this rail
way. Of late years another class, less prominent but more numerous,
have been the direct and immediate instruments in bringing the work
to its present completion.
All may feel an honest pride in this connection, whatever part
they played. Some may have toiled for renown : others have pa
tiently and silently laboured for duty or for bread.
The traveller, who is borne onwards, moving in an hour a distance
which would have taken weeks to traverse through the tangled forests,
scarcely casts a thought on the thousands of the sons of labour, who
toiled so many days and years, in making smooth his path. Promi
nent in the list are those who explored the forest, who traced the line,
and who directed the work to its completion. Their professional bro
therhood and official relationship with the writer suggests to him
the duty of placing their names permanently on record. The En
gineering Staff, from the earliest explorations to the present time,
is given in the Appendix. It is a mournful duty more especially to
record the names of those who have fallen, and to pay the last
tribute to their memory.
It appears, from the account of Jacques Carrier s first voyage, that
on the 1st July, 1534, at a point between the Bay Chaleur and Mira-
michi, he first planted his foot on the new Continent.
On the 1st July, 1761, the great Indian Chief, Argimault, whose
race had long warred against the British settlers, met the authorities
at Halifax, and terminated the Indian wars, by declaring perpetual
submission to Great Britain, and with great solemnity buried the
hatchet for ever.
The Dominion came into being 333 years after the bold navigator
of St. Malo landed on the shores of Acadia; and the anniversary of its
CONCLUDING REMARKS. 239
birth in the present year marks another important epoch in the his
tory of the country. On this day, July 1st, 1876, may be chronicled
the completion of the Intercolonial Railway, and the full consum
mation of the union of the British Provinces in North America.
TABLE of Gross Quantities of the principal kinds of work executed on the
DESCRIPTION OF WORK.
Earth excavation ----------
Iron pipe culverts, 2,188 lineal feet, equal to substi
tuted Masonry ----------
Tunnels for streams, 4,862 lineal feet, equal to sub
stituted Masonry ---------
Cross Ties (Sleepers) ----.-----
Steel Rails --------
TABLE, shewing average quantities of Excavatwn and Masonry per mile.
Per cent a "v
St. Lawrence District - -
" "i. .
t " . -
(I . .
" - -
Averages, St. Lawrence District
Restirouehe District - - -
.t U _
U " .
u a .
a u .
Averages, Restigouche District
Miramichi District - - -
Averages, Miramichi District
Nova Scotia District - - -
11 " -
Averages, Xova Scotia Distrir
Averages for the whole Lino
THE SHORT OCEAN PASSAGE.
EXTRACTS FROM THE CHIEF ENGINEER S REPORT OF 1865, ON THE
EXPLORATORY SURVEY FOR THE INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY.
" Newfoundland, a large Island off the main land of North America, and
Ireland, an Island off the European coast, resemble each other in being similar
outlying portions of the Continents to which they respectively belong. Possibly
they may have a more important similarity and relationship, through the remark
able geographical position which they hold, the one to the other, and to the great
centres of population and commerce in Europe and America.
A glance at the chart of the Atlantic will shew that between Ireland and
Newfoundland, the Ocean can be spanned by the shortest line.
Ireland is separated from England and Scotland by the Irish Channel ; New
foundland is separated from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by the Gulf of
St. Lawrence. Already railways have reached the western coast of Ireland and
brought it within sixteen hours of the British capital. "Were it possible to
introduce the Locomotive into Newfoundland and establish steam communication
between it and the cities of America, a route would be created from Continent
to Continent, having the Ocean Passage reduced to a minimum.
This route would not be open for traffic throughout the whole year ; during
certain months, the direct course of steamers would be so impeded by floating
ice, that it could not with certainty or safety be traversed. It therefore remains
to be seen whether the route has sufficient advantages whilst open, to recommend
its establishment and use, during probably not more than seven months of the
In this respect the Newfoundland route must be viewed precisely in the
same li<;ht as many other lines of traffic in North America, ami possibly it may
be found of equal importance. Of these works may be mentioned the Canals of
Canada and the United States, which although closed to traffic during winter,
have justified the expenditure of enormous sums of money in their original con
struction, and in repeated enlargements and extensions.
Having alluded to the great objection to a route across Newfoundland, we
may now proceed to enquire into its merits.
The track of steamers from the British coast to New York, and to all points
north of New York, passes Ireland and Newfoundland, either to the north or to
the south ; the most usual course, however, is to the south of both Islands. Ves
sels bound westerly, make for Cape Race on the south-easterly coast of New
foundland ; whilst those bound easterly, make Cape Clear on the south-westerly
angle of Ireland. Not far from Cape Race is the Harbour of St. Johns, and
near Cape Clear is the Harbour of Valentia ; the one is the most easterly Port
of America, the other is the most westerly Port of Europe. They are distant
from each other about 1 640 miles.
The Irish Railways are not yet extended to Valentia, but they have reached
Killarney, within about 30 miles of it.
From St. Johns across Newfoundland to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the dis
tance is probably about 300 miles. On the St. Lawrence coast of the Island, the
Chart shews two Harbours, either of which may be found available as points of
transhipment ; the one St. George s Bay, the other, Port au Port ; they are
situated near each other, and both are equally in a direct line from St. Johns
westerly to the main land.
On the westerly shore of the Gulf, we find at the entrance to the Bay Cha-
leur. the Harbour of Shippigan. From St. Georges Bay to Shippigan, the dis
tance is from 240 to 250 miles. Shippigan may be connected by means of the
contemplated Intercolonial Railway with Canada and the United States.
The line of Steam communication from Great Britain across Ireland and
Newfoundland, and by the contemplated Intercolonial Railway to the Interior of
North America, possesses some important recommendations as will presently be
seen. It will, -however, first be necessary to allude to the question of speed.
At the present time Ocean Steamers generally carry both freight and passen
gers, and in this respect they are like what are termed "mixed trains " on Rail
ways. These mixed trains are employed to serve localities where there is not
sufficient passenger and freight traffic to justify the running of separate trains.
On railways doing a large business, the traffic is properly classified ; fast
trains are run to carry passengers and mails only, whilst slow trains are used to
convey heavy freight. A similar classification of Ocean traffic may be suggested.
Freight will naturally go by the cheapest mode of conveyance, while Passengers
and Mails will seek the speediest.
It is well known that the shape of a steamship, other things being equal,
governs her speed. The shape again depends on the load she may be constructed
to carry : if the ship is required only for mails and passengers and sucli voy;m<->
as need but a small quantity of fuel, she may be constructed on a model both
sharp and light, and thus be capable of running more rapidly than if built to
carry heavy and bulky loads. A steamship for heavy loads may be compared to
a dray horse, whilst one made specially for passengers and rapid transit, may
resemble a race horse, and like the latter, the less weight carried the more speed
will be made.
If these views are correct, it is clear that the speed of Ocean Steamships
might be considerably increased when constructed for a special purpose. The
distance between St. Johns (Newfoundland) and Vah-utia. is not much more than
half the distance between Liverpool and New York : and hence about half the
quantity of coal and supplies would be required for the passage, between the
It is quite obvious, therefore, that a steamshirj constructed specially to run
between St. Johns and Valenrta, and for the purpo.-i- of carrying only passengers
and mails, with such light express matter as usually goes by passenger trains,
would attain a higher rate of speed than existing ocean steamers.
A rate of 16^ miles per hour is thought to be quite possible: the distance
between Valentia and St. Johns is 1640 miles. At this assumed rate therefore
the ocean passage might be accomplished in 100 hours.
With regard to the speed on land, it appears from Bradshaw s Railway
Guide, that the Irish mails are regularly carried between London and Ilolyhead
at the rate of 40 miles an hour including stoppages, that the Irish Channel is
crossed at the rate of 16 miles an hour, including the time required for tranship
ment at Holyhead and Kingston, and that the mails reach Queenstown some 16
hours after they leave London. Valentia is very little further from Dublin than
Queenstown, and on the completion of a railway to Valentia, there is nothing to
prevent it being reached from London in the same time now occupied in carrying
the mails to Queenstown.
Galway has been mentioned as a proper point to connect with ocean
steamers, it is fully an hour nearer London than Valentia, but probably three
hours (in time) further from America.
Although 40 miles an hour is a common rate of speed on the railways in
England, it is not usual to run so rapidly on the American side of the Atlantic.
On the leading passenger routes in the United States, 30 miles an hour
including stoppages is attained. With the rail track and rolling stock in a
good condition, there is no difficulty in running at these rates of speed. There
fore, a minimum rate of 30 miles an hour, may reasonably be assumed as that at
which the mails might be carried overland, to various points hereafter referred to.
Having fixed upon a practicable rate of speed by land and water, the time
necessary for the conveyance of the Mails Irom London to New York, by the
projected route, may now be ascertained :
From London to Valentia at present rate of speed in England ..1C hours
" Valentia to St. Johns, 1C40 miles at 16^ miles per hour .100 "
" St. Johns to St. Georges, 8|
" St. Georges to Shippigan, 250 miles at 16 miles per hour 15^ "
1 " Shippigan to New York, 906 miles at 30 miles per hour . 31 "
Total, 171 hours.
It is thus apparent, that without assuming rates of speed at all extraordi
nary, it would be possible to carry the mails from London to New York in 171
hours, or 7 days, by the route passing over Ireland, Newfoundland, and by the
proposed Intercolonial Kailway from Shippigan.
In order to compare the route referred to with existing lines, the results of
the past year (1864) may now be presented.
PASSAGES BETWEEN LIVERPOOL AND NEW YORK.
Name of Steamship Line.
(Vest n Pas.
East n Pas.
Ltmim Line. Average of 52 Eastern and
d. h. m.
d. h. m.
52 Western passages
13 19 11
12 18 54
Shortest passages ...
11 v \J
Cunard Line. Average of 27 Eastern
and 25 Western passages . . .
11 12 4G
10 11 42
PASSAGES BETWKKX SOUTHAMPTON AND NEW YORK.
Name of Steamship Line West n Pas. East n Pas. Mean.
Hamburg Line, Average of 23 Western d. h. m. d. h. m. d. h.
and 25 Eastern passages .... 13 11 46 12 15 53 13 1
Shortest passages 10 9 10 17 10 13
Bremen Line Average of 20 Eastern
and -2-2 Western passages .... 14 8 27 12 9 42 13 9
Shortest passages 10 17 10 19 10 18
From the above it will be seen, that while the mean average of all the pass
ages, made between Liverpool or Southampton and New York, ranges from 11
days up to 13 days 9 hours; it is estimated that by Ireland, Newfoundland, and
Shippigan, the passage could be made in 7 days 3 hours, nearly four days less
time than the lowest mean average, and two days less than the shortest of 246
pa>sages. if not the very s/iortest passage on record. These advantages alone are
sufficient to attract the attention of business men, but the great recommendation
of the Newfoundland route to most travellers, would be the shorteniii"- of the
Ocean passage "proper, from 264 hours (the average by the Cunard line) to 100
The above comparison has been made because the greatest number, and per
haps the best, Ocean Steamship Lines run to New York. A similar comparison
with the Boston, Portland, and Quebec lines, would show a result still more in
favor of the Newfoundland route.
The following table, giving the time required between London and various
points in North America, will show at a glance the great advantage which would
accrue to the people of both hemispheres by the establishment of the short Owtn
passage route. By this table it will be seen that the Mails from London, could
not only be carried to all parts of the British Provinces, and to all points in the
Northern States, in a marvellously short space of time by the route herein pro
jected, but that it is quite possible to deliver them on the shores of the Gulf of
Mexico in nine days. less time, in fact, than the shortest passages of the Cunard
or of any other Steamers between Liverpool and New York.
Time required to carry the Mails by the Proposed Short Ocean Passage, and by the
intercolonial Railway from Shippigan.
From London to St. Johns, N.F. - - - - 4 days 20 hours.
" " Shippigan 5 " 20
" " Halifax - - - 6 " 5 "
" " St. John, N. B. - - - 6 " 4 "
" " Quebec - - - - G " 10 "
" " Montreal - - 6 " 16 "
" Toronto 7 " 2 "
" Buffalo - - 7 " 6 "
" " Detroit - 7 " 8 "
" " Chicago - - 7 " 20 "
" " Albany - - - - 7 " "
" New York - - - - - 7 " 3 "
" " Boston - 6 " 19 "
" Portland - - 6 " 15 "
" " New Orleans - - - - 9 " "
Having shown that by shortening the ocean passage across the Atlantic to a
minimum, the time of transit between the great centres of business in Europe
and America can be very greatly reduced ; so much so indeed, that a reasonable
hope may be entertained that the entire Mail matter passing between the two
Continents, may eventually be attracted to the new route, it may be well now to
enquire what proportion of passengers may be expected to travel over it.
Before 1838 the only mode of crossing the Atlantic was by sailing ships;
the passage commonly occupied from six to ten weeks, until the introduction of a
superior class of vessels known as the American Liners ; these fine ships made
an average homeward passage of 24 days, and an average outward passage of 36
The year 1838 saw the beginning of a New Era in transatlantic communica
tions. Two Steam vessels crossed from shore to shore ; one, " The Sirius," left
Cork on April 4th, another, " The Great Western," left Bristol on April 8th,
and they both arrived at New York on the same day, the 23d of April ; the aver
age speed of the former was 161 miles per day, that of the latter 208 miles per
" The Great Western" continued to run from 1838 to 1844, making in all 84
passages ; she ran the outward trip in an average time of 15 J days, and the home
ward trip in an average time of 13^ days.
The Canard Line commenced running in July, 1840, with three steamers, "The
Britannia," " The Aeadia," and " The Caledonia," under a contract with the
British Government to make monthly passages.
lu 1846, under a new contract, the Cunard Company undertook to despatch a
Mail Steamer once a fortnight from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, and
another Mail Steamer once a fortnight from Liverpool to New York. This ser
vice has been maintained with amazing regularity and increasing efficiency to the
These were the pioneers of a system of Ocean Steam Navigation which has
already done so much to increase the intercourse between the two continents-
By reducing the length and uncertainty of the voyages as well as the incon
veniences, in many cases, the miseries, which passengers had previously to endure,
a vast deal of good has been accomplished.
The number and tonnage of steamships engaged in carrying passengers and
goods between the British Islands and North America, has of late years increased
with wonderful rapidity. In 1864 no less than ten regular lines of Ocean
steamers were employed in running either to New York or to ports north of that
city in the United States or in Canada. Of these ten lines, two- were weekly and
eight fortnightly, equivalent in all to six weekly lines ; so that there were on an
average six stfain>hips leaving each side weekly, or nearly one every day.
The total number of passengers carried by these various Steam lines during the
past year was 1:!0.:!17, and by far the largest number travelled during the Summer
It would not take a very large proportion of Passengers crossing in any one
year to give employment to a daily line of Steamers on the short Ocean Passage
route from St. John to Valentia or to Galway. A total number of 4,000 each
way would give 200 passengers each trip, for seven months in the year.
It is obvious then that there is already abundance of Passenger traffic, if the
purely passenger route under discussion, possesses sufficient attractions. To settle
this point the advantages and disadvantages of the route must be fairly weighed.
The obstructions offered by floating ice during several months in the year, are
insuperable while they last ; during this period Halifax or some equally good port,
open in winter, will be available.
The frequent transhipments from Railway to Steamship, and vice versa, maybe
considered by some an objection to the route ; for conveyance of Freight they
certainly would be objectionable, but most passengers would probably consider the
transhipments, agreeable changes, as they would relieve the tedium of the journey.
With regard to the comparative safety of this route, it would seem as if
the advantages were ureatly m i ts favour. The portion of a voyage between New
York and Liverpool, which seamen least fear, is that from Ireland to Newfound
land. It is well known that the most dangerous part of the whole voyage, is along
the American coast between New York and Cape Race, where thick fogs so
frequently prevail ; this coast line is about 1,000 miles in length, and it has been
the scene of the larger number of the disasters which have occurred. No less than
fourteen or fifteen Ocean Steamships have been lost on this portion of the
The route which favours increased security from sea-risks, and which is the
shortest in point of time, must eventually become the cheapest, and in consequence
the most frequented. If then the route proposed across Newfoundland and
Ireland avoids many of the dangers of existing routes, and reduces the Ocean
passage proper to 100 hours, would not the current of travel naturally seek this
route in preference to others, during the open season ?
If, as it has been shewn, this route would reduce the time between London and
New York some three or four days, and bring Toronto one third nearer Liverpool
(in time) than New York is now ; if it would give the merchant in Chicago his
English letters four or five days earlier than he has ever yet received them ; if it
be possible by this proposed route to lift the mails in London and lay them down
in New Orleans in less time than they have ever yet reached New York, then
it surely possesses advantages which must eventually establish it, not simply as an
Inter-Colonial, but rather a< an Inter-Continental line of communication.
These are purely commercial considerations, and however important they may
be as such, the Statesman will readily perceive, in the project, advantages
of another kind. It may be of some consequence to extend to Newfoundland, as
well as to the other Provinces of British America, the benefits of rapid inter-com
munication. It will probably accord with Imperial policy to foster the Shipping of
the Gulf, and to encourage the building up of such a Fleet of swift Steamers as a
Daily Line across the Ocean would require. It must surely be important to the
Empire, to secure in perpetuity the control of the great Highway between
the two Continents. It must be equally her policy to develop the resources and
promote the prosperity of these Colonies and to bind more closely, by ties of
mutual benefit, the friendly relationship which happily exists between the people
on both sides of the Atlantic."
THE ENGINEERING STAFF.
1863 to 1876.
Gentlemen engaged with the Engineer-in-Chief in the reconnoissance made
during the winter of 18G3-G4.
Those recorded in italics are now dead.
W. II. TREMAINE, H. J. CAMBIE,
J. Royer Smith, John Fleming,
Alex. Fruser, H. Bradley.
STAFF ON THE EXPLORATORY SURVEY.
Those recorded in italics are now dead.
Engineers in Charge.
DAVID STARK, \f. II. TKKMAINE,
WALTER LAWSON, TOM S. RUBIDGE,
H. J. CAMBIE, EDWARD LAWSON,
J. F. GAUDET, AV. B. LEATHER,
G. McGuire, A. Williamson.
W. G. BelMrs.
C. BLACKVTELL, E. H. KEATING,
J. F. Harwell, J. R. Smith.
H. Bradley, Alex. Fraser.
STAFF ON THE PRELIMINARY SURVEY.
W. II. TREMAINE,
H. J. CAMBIE,
S. PARKER TUCK,
STAFF ON THE PRELIMINARY SURVEY.
W. H. TREMAINE,
H. A. F. MACLEOD,
"\VM. II A ZEN,
E. W. JARVIS,
J. R. SMITH,
W. DALE HARBIS,
H. A. GRAY,
W. G. BELLAIRS,
E. H. KEATING,
C. H. McLEOD.
STAFF ON THE LOCATION SUKVEY.
Chief Engineer s Office.
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. E. BURPE, Secretary.
C. SCHRKIBER. W. H. TREMAINE,
MARCUS SMITH, S. HAZLEWOOD.
Engineers in Charge.
W. IT. E. NAPIER, P. A. PETERSON,
E, McLExxAx. HENRY CARRE,
H. A. F. MACLEOD, E. SHANLY,
W. M. Bt-CK.
L. G. BELL,
J. J. McGEE,
E. CARR HARRIS,
E. H. KEATING-,
H. S. LANGTON,
G. E. FELLOWES,
J. R. HARTLEY,
J. E. MORSE.
THOS. REYNOLDS, JUNK.
G. H. GARDEN,
E. A. HA KRIS,
W. D. HARRIS,
J. R. SMITH,
H. N. EUTTAN,
J. A. DICKEY,
P. S. ARCHIBALD.
STAFF ox LOCATION AND CONSTRUCTION. 1869.
Chief Engineer s Office.
W. J. FORREST, Assistant, T. R. BUKPE, Secretary.
A. L. LIGHT,
W. II. TREMAINE.
Engineers in Charge.
W. H. E. NAPIER,
II. A. F. MACLEOD,
W. J. CROASDALE,
G. H. HENSHAW.
L. G. BELL,
W. F. BIGGAR,
P. A. PETERSON,
T. S. RUBIDGE,
F. J. LYNCH,
W. M. BUCK,
THOS. REYNOLDS, Jr.,
J. R. MCDONELL,
B. D. McCONNELL,
A. J. HILL,
J. B. HEGAN,
J. L. P. O llANLY,
E. A. WILMOT,
E. H. KEATING,
J. F. DARWALL,
H. S. LANGTON,
G. R. FELLOWES,
H. N. RUTTAN,
P. S. ARCHIBALD,
T. D. TAYLOR,
J. J. McGEE,
G. E. MCLAUGHLIN,
J. C. BROWN,
R. C. HARRIS,
E. A. HARRIS,
G. H. GARDEN,
J. W. ROBERTS,
J. ROYER SMITH,
E. W. JARVIS,
J. A. DICKEY.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION. 1870.
Chief Engineer s Office.
"W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary.
SAMUEL HAZI.EWOOD, MARCUS SMITH,
A. L. LIGHT,
L. G. BELL,
H. J. CAMBIE,
P. A. PETERSON,
W. F. BIGGAR,
"SV. J. CROASDALE,
II EX u Y CARRE.
F. J. LYNCH,
"\V. J. FITZGERALD,
W. B. SMELLIE,
W. II. TRE.MAINE.
Engineers in Charge.
W. II. E. XAPIER,
AY. G. BELLAIRS,
\V. G. THOMPSON,
W. M. BUCK,
II. A. F. MACLEOD,
G. H. HENSHAW.
THOS. REYNOLDS, Jr.,
G. E. MCLAUGHLIN,
H. S. LANGTON,
J. R. MCDONELL,
J. B. HEGAN,
G. II. GARDEN,
L. B. HAMLIN,
R. C. HARRIS,
J. ROYER SMITH,
E. H. KEATING,
H. P. BELL,
P. S. ARCHIBALD,
J. C. BROWN,
J. J. McGEE,
T. D. TAYLOR,
G. R. FELLOWES,
J. W. ROBERTS,
B. D. MCCONNELL,
J. F. DARWALL,
WM. GOSSIP, Jr.,
E. W. JARVIS,
P. S. ARCHIBALD,
E. A. WILMOT,
J. L. P. O HANLY,
A. J. HILL.
H. N. RUTTAN,
J. A. DICKEY.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
Chief Engineer s Office.
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary.
A. L. LIGHT,
Engineers in Charge.
L. G. BELL,
J. E. MCDONELL,
H. A. F. MACLEOD,
W. J. FITZGERALD,
W. B. SMELLIE,
F. J. LYNCH,
G. H. HENSHATT,
"W. J. CROASDALE.
"W. H. TREMAINE.
H. J. CAMBIE,
W. G. BELLATRS,
W. G. THOMPSON,
W. M. BUCK,
P. A. PETERSON,
T. S. RUBIDGE,
THOS. REYNOLDS, Jr., T. D. TAYLOR,
L. B. HAMLIN,
G. W. McCREADY,
G. R. FELLOWES,
R. CARR HARRIS,
E. W. JARVIS,
E. A. WILMOT,
G. H. GARDEN,
H. N. RUTTAN,
H. S. LANGTON,
G. E. MCLAUGHLIN,
J. C. BROWN,
J. J. McGEE,
J. B. HEGAN,
J. ROYER SMITH,
WAI. GOSSIP, Jr.,
J. A. DICKEY,
H. P. BELL,
A. J. HILL.
P. S. ARCHIBALD.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
Chief Engineer s Office.
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary.
A. L. LIGHT, L. G. BELL,
SAMUEL HAZLEWO OD, C. SCHREIBER.
Engineers in Charge.
H. J. CAMBIE, JOHN LINDSAY,
J. R. MCDONELL, W. G. BELLAIRS,
W. G. THOMPSON, H. A. F. MACLEOD.
PETER GRANT, W. B. SMELLIE,
W. J. FITZGERALD, F. J. LYNCH,
W. M. BUCK,
H. S. LANGTON,
G. R. FELLOWES,
G. W. McCRBADY,
G. H. MlDDLETON,
R. CAKR HARRIS,
WM. GOSSIP, Jr.,
E. A. WILMOT,
W. J. CROASDALE,
P. A. PETERSON,
T. D. TAYLOR,
J. J. McGEE,
J. C. BROWN,
J. B. BROPHY,
H. N. RUTTAN,
G. H. GARDEN,
P. S. ARCHIBALD,
L. B. HAMLIN,
J. B. HEGAN.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
Chief Engineer s Office.
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary.
L. G. BELL, SAMUEL HAZLEWOOD,
A. L. LIGHT. C. SCHREIBER.
Engineers in Charge.
H. J. CAMBIE, J. R. MCDONELL,
JOHN LINDSAY, W. G. BELLAIRS,
PETER GRANT, C. ODELL,
"W. J. FITZGERALD, W. B. SMELLIE,
W. M. BUCK, F. J. LYNCH,
H. A. F. MACLEOD, \V. J. CROASDALE,
J. J. McGEE, G. W. McCREADY,
W. MCCARTHY, T. D. TAYLOR,
L. B. HAMLIN, H. N. RUTTAN,
J. B. HEGAN, C. MORSE,
H. DONKIN, R. C. HARRIS,
WM. GOSSIP, Jr., H. DONKIN,
G. H. MIDDLETON, J. JELLETT,
E. A. WILMOT, G. R. FELLOWES,
JAMES CADMAN, G. H. GARDEN
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
C. SCHREIBEK, S. HAZLEWOOD,
L. G. BELL, A. L. LIGHT.
Engineers in Charge.
H. J. CAMBIE, J- R - McDoNELL,
PETER GRANT, W. J. FITZGERALD,
W. B. SMELUE, F. J. LYNCH,
W. M. BUCK, C. BLACKWELL,
H. A. F. MACLEOD, C. ODELL.
T. D. TAYLOR, G. H. MIDDLETON,
H. S. LAUGTON, G. R. FELLOWES,
W. MCCARTHY, H. N. RDTTAN,
L. B. HAMLIN, G. H. GARDEN,
JAMES CADMAN, C. MORSE,
P. S. ARCHIBALD.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
PETER GRANT, W. B. SMELLIE,
C. BLACKWELL, J- R- MCDONELL,
P. S. ARCHIBALD, W. MCCARTHY,
A. SINCLAIR, W. MANN.
STAFF ON CONSTRUCTION.
PETER GRANT, W. B. SMELLIE,
C. BLACKWELL, J. R. MCDONELL,
P. S. ARCHIBALD, W. MCCARTHY,
A. SINCLAIR, W. MANN.
Aberdeen, Earl of, 37.
Aboideaux, 223, 225, 227.
Abutments, Plan of, Adopted, 134.
Acadia Iron Works, 87, 88.
Allanshaw, Hon. Jas., 8.
Alexander, Sir James, 40.
Aleck s Elbow, 159, 161.
Allagash River, 13.
Altitudes, 139, 228.
Amherst Ridge, 226.
Androscoggin and Kennebec, 36.
Annapolis, St. John and Fredericton
Apron Walls, 123.
Aroostook. 37, 80.
Ashburton, Lord, 19, 37, 43, 78, 235.
Ashburton Treaty, 37, 39, 77, 78, 235.
Ballast, 111, 224.
Baronetage of Scotland and Nova
Bartibogue River, 218
Bathurst, 172, 176.
Bay Chaleur, 24, 36, 47, 71, 157, 173.
Bay Chaleur Routes, 68, 79, 83, 85, 86.
Bend, The Grecian, 94.
" of the Petitcodiac, 177.
Bessemer, Steel Raik, 112, 114.
Bogs, 184, 186.
Boundary Question, 19, 234.
Bordeau Quarry, 169.
Boring, 190, 192, 200, 201.
Bridges, 98, 110.
Bridges, Mr. William, 41, 43.
Bridges and Viaducts, 133.
Bridges on the Intercolonial,
Amqui .... 155
Barnaby ... 182
Bartibogue . . . 179
Belledune. ... 172
Campbelton . . . 168
Christophers . . .168
Elm Tree ... 172
Jacquet . . 170
IsleVerte . . .143
Metapedia . . . 159
Millstream . . . 161
McKinnon s . . . 161
Miramichi . . . 187
Missiguash . . . 225
North .... 186
Nigadoo . . .172.
Nipissiguit . . . 173
Red Pine . . .178
Restigouche . . 163
River du Loup
British North America Act, 75, 79,
Broun, Sir Richard, 41, 42, 49.
Brydges, C. J-, 94, 99, 100.
Buckingham, Duke of, 86.
Caissons, 188, 191, 196, 197, 202, 204,
Cameron, Force Pumps, 218.
Campbell, Lieut. Gov. Sir A., 8.
Campbelton, Port, 169.
Canadian Climate, Effects of, on
Canada, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia Railway Loan, 63.
Capital Account, 234.
Carboniferous Basin of New Bruns
Central Routes, 68, 69, 79, 81, 82.
Chandler, Hon. E. B., 53, 94, 99.
Chatham, 106, 184.
Chaudiere River, 34.
Chaudiere and River Du Loup, 36.
Charlo River, 158.
Chief Engineer appointed, 66.
Chiputuaticook River. 22, 24, 27, 34, 39.
Clarke Reeves & Co., 138.
Clark Punchard & Co., 100, 101, 102,
Clay Cutting at Trois Pistoles, 145.
Cobequid Mountains, 46, 68, 87, 88, 94,
loffin, W. F., 94.
lolonization Company, 41.
Jombination Line, 93, 94.
Commissioners of Treaty of 1794, 21,
Commissioners of Intercolonial Rail
way, 94, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, 105,
107, 189, 222.
Concrete, 151, 153, 188, 191 to 217.
Concrete "Wall, 131.
Conditions proposed by Delegates, 60.
Conditions proposed by Imperial Gov
Confederation of Provinces, 72.
Conference, Toronto, 52.
Connecticut River, 27.
Contracts, Bulk Sum, 95, 96, 97.
Contract No. 1, 143.
" 3, 168.
" 4, 226.
" 5, 148.
" 7, 228.
" 9, 171.
" 10, 178.
. "12, 230.
" " 15, 172.
" " 16, 177.
" 17, 158.
" 18, 160.
" 20, 180.
" 21, 182.
" . " 22, 185.
" 23, 186.
Division A, Geo. and Jas. Worth-
Division B, Geo. and Jas. Worth-
Division C, Edward Haycock, 150.
Division D, Duncan McDonald,
Division E, W. E. McDonald &
Division F, Neilson & McGaw, 155.
Division G, 8. P. Tuck, 159.
Division H, R. H. McGreevy & Co.,
Division I, Thos. Boggs & Co., 163.
Division K, F. X. Berlinquet & Co.,
Division L, F. X. Berlinquet & Co.,
Division M, F. X. Berlinquet &
Division N, J. B. Bertrand, 174.
Division O, King & Gough, 178.
Division P, McBean & Robinson,
D. McDonald, 179.
Division Q,Brown, Brooks & Ryan,
Division R, Patk. Purcell, 184.
Division S, C. Cummings & Co.,
Division T, Sutherland, Grant &
Division W, Davis, Grant & Suth
Division X, Elliott, Grant &
Division T, H. J. Sutton & Co.,
Division Z, Sumner & Somers, 231.
Miramachi Bridges, Brown, Brooks
& Ryan, 219.
Conventional Boundary Line, 35.
Convention at Charlottetown, 73.
Cost of Bridges, estimated, 100.
" " actual, 100.
" Railway approximate, 72.
" " actual, 234
" of Survey, 55.
Culverts, general plan, 121.
" box, 121, 122.
" arch, 123.
" open, 126.
" pipe, 127.
" inclined, 130.
" covers, 122.
Curves, 148, 149, 152, 158, 160, 163,
170, 172, 173, 177, 178, 180,
182, 185, 220, 222, 226, 229.
Cuttings, 109, 111, 117, 119, 145,
Cribwork, 147, 169.
Crib-wharfing, 159, 161, 170, 171.
Cross-ties, 115, 116.
Dalhousie, 157, 169.
Derby, Earl of, 53.
Devil s Elbow, 157.
Dickey, Hon. R. B., 92.
Diverted Streams, 128.
Division A, 143.
Division L, 170.
Divisions of Railway, 139, 140.
Distances, 40, 78, 140.
District Engineers, 140.
Ditches, 110, 119, 177.
Dorchester, 101, 104.
Dredges, 188, 195, 197.
Dredge Pumps (Woodford s), 193, 195,
Due North Line, 30, 36.
Durham, Lord, 17.
Eastern Extension Railway, 101, 103,
105, 222, 224.
Elgin, Earl of, 52.
Embankments, 109, 116, 117, 120, 136,
148, 151, 153, 173, 179, 186.
Engineering Staff, 238, 251.
Etchemin, River & Lake, 13.
Excavation and Masonry (averages).
144, 148, 150, 151, 154, 155,
159, 161, 170, 171, 172, 174,
178, 180, 181, 184, 186, 226,
227, 230, 231, 241, 242.
European and North American Ry.,
Fairbairn Engineering Company, of
England, 138, 147.
Fairbairn, Henry, 6.
Fairfield, Governor, 37.
Falkland, Lord, 44.
Featherstonehaugh and Mudge, 26, 36.
Fish Joints, 115.
Fisheries, 47, 83.
Folly Lake, 46, 87, 88, 89, 92, 93, 228.
Folly River, 88, 132, 230.
Formation Level, 113, 117.
Foundation of Arch Culverts, 126.
" Piers, 192.
Forsyth, Hon. John, 30.
Fredericton, 17, 45, 80, 85.
Freight, through, 70, 82.
Frontier Routes, 68, 69, 79.
Frost, action of, 109, 136.
F. Line, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93.
Frye, Samuel, 8.
Geological Formations, 141, 221.
Gladstone, Right Hon. Mr., 44.
Glenelg, Lord, 11, 15.
Grades, 144, 148, 149, 151, 158, 171,
172, 173, 177, 178, 180, 226,
Grand Falls, 40, 45, 85.
Grand Lake, 176.
Grand Trunk Railway, 55, 78, 81, 82
Grant, C. H., agent, 101, 102, 105.
Grant, Mr., 48. .
Great Village River, 87.
Grey, Earl, 49, 52.
" Sir George, 12, 15.
Gwynne Pump, 218.
Gzowski, C. S., 189.
Halifax, 45, 78, 79, 85.
Halifax and Pictou Ry., 231.
" " Portland, 50, 51.
" " St. John, 5.
Halifax and Quebec Railway Routes,
" " 37, 41, 45, 46, 48,
50, 53, 58 106.
" Truro, 36.
Hatch, Harris, 8.
Hatheway, E. R., 8.
Harvey, Sir John, 16, 17, 45.
Heavy Cuttings, 146, 152, 160, 173,
178, 182, 226, 228.
Highlands of the Treaty, 20, 24, 27, 30,
Hiucks, Sir Francis, 53.
Holloway, Colonel, R. E., 40.
Howe, Hon. Joseph, 51, 53, 58, 60.
Howe Truss Bridge, 144, 225.
Howland, Hon. W. P., 60.
Jack, Adam, 8.
Jackson, President Andrew, 30, 33, 34,
Jacquet River, 158.
Ice, action of, 133, 165.
Imperial Guarantee, 51, 60, 75.
Jervois, Colonel, 85.
Imperial Negotiations on Canadian
" Railway, 50.
Interior Line, 107.
Invasion of Disputed Territory, 36.
Irish Colonization Project, 49.
Iron Bridges, 98, 100.
" District of Nova Scotia, 87, 88.
" Ore, 90.
Isaac s Lake, 87.
Isle Verte, 141.
Keefer, Samuel, 189.
Kempt, Sir James, 17, 18.
Levis & Kermebec Ry., 13.
Livesey, John, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91.
Livingstone, Hon. Ed., 23, 32.
Local Traffic, 70, 84.
Location of the Line, 77, 86.
Londonderry Branch Line, 231.
" Iron Mine, 86, 88, 93.
Lumber Establishments, 80.
Maccan River, 227.
Macdonald, Sir John A., 96, 98, 99.
McLane, M., 33.
McLelau, Hon. A. W.,92, 95, 99.
McMaster, J., 8.
Madison Brook, 87.
Magaguadavic River, 21.
Mail Route, 48.
Maine, State of, 14, 16, 17, 19, 36, 37,
Malfait Lake, 154.
Mars Hill, 8, 77.
Masonry, 133, 173, 217.
Metapedia Lake, 141, 154.
" River, 157, 158.
Valley, 47, 85, 156, 158,
Metis, 17, 36, 85, 141.
Metjarmette Portage, 38.
Middle Line, 106, 107.
Military Road, 40, 45, 85.
Minister of Public Works, 79, 89, 102,
Mitchell s Map, 29.
Miramichi Bridges, 187.
" District, 175.
" River, 47, 100, 106, 173,
Moncton, 89, 101, 106, 176, 220, 223.
" and Sackville Ry., 102, 103,
Montreal, 9, 78, 79.
Morrison, Mr., 92.
Morrissey s Rock, 168.
Mudge, Colonel, 36.
Natural Snow Fences, 110.
Netherlands, King of, 29.
New Brunswick and Canada Ry., 8, 19.
New Brunswick Routes, 68, 69, 79, 85,
Newcastle, Duke of, 66, 104.
" Branch Railway, 181, 18.7.
" Railway, 71.
New York, 14, 38.
Nipissiguit River, 158, 175, 218.
" Valley, 47.
Normanby, Lord, 17.
Northern Route, 80.
Northwest Bridge, Miramichi, 200.
Notre Dame Mountains, 68.
Nova Scotia Boundary, 105, 224.
Nova Scotia District, 220.
" Railway, 67.
" New Brunswick and Can
ada Railway, 51.
Open Structures, 126.
Opening of the Intercolonial, 233.
Ottawa, 92, 104.
Otter Brook Quarry, 158, 160.
Otty Bay, 149.
Painsec, 106, 222.
Palmerston, Lord, 33.
Parliament, Returns to, 96, 99, 104.
Passenger Traffic, 70, 84.
Penobscot River, 25, 34.
" and St. John, 36.
Permanent way, 112, 113.
Peto, Betts, Jackson & Brassey Messrs.
Pictou Branch Line, 221.
Piers, 134, 191, 192, 224.
Pier A, (Miramichi,) 216.
Pier B, " 214.
C, " 212.
" D, " 211.
E, " 193, 217.
" F, 194.
G, " 619.
Pier H, 197.
X, " 205.
Pine Brook, 89.
Pipon, Captain R. E., 45, 46.
Point Levis, 47.
Pohenagamook Lake, 37.
Prince Edward Island, 83.
Principles of Bridge Building, 133.
" " proposed Settlement with
U.S., 33, 34.
Provincial Boundaries, 139.
Purdy, Mr., 92.
Quebec Conference, 59.
Quantities, Tables of, 241, 242.
Quebec, 9, 17, 78, 79.
Quebec Convention on Confederation,
Rails, 113, 114.
Rail Joints, 114.
Rail System, 113.
Railways in British America, in 1862,
" Previous to Confederation, 79.
" Subsidies, 49.
Rait, James, 8.
Reciprocity Treaty, 83.
Restigouche Bridge, 163.
Restigouche District, 156.
River, 17, 18, 38, 46, 158,
Restock River, 13.
Richibucto, 106, 176.
Rimouski, 141, 142.
River du Loup, 40, 45, 67, 68, 79, 81,
100, 106, 141, 232,
Robinson, Major, R. E., 46, 47, 52, 79,
81, 85, 87, 106.
Road-bed, 110, 111, 118,147.
Rock Cuttings, 118, 149, 152, 160, 162,
Routes projected to St. Lawrence, 42.
" through Nova, Scotia, 87.
Royal Engineer s Survey, 44, 46, 47.
Rules for crossing Rivera and Streams,
Sandstones of Bay of Fundy, 129.
Sayabec River, 154.
Scabbard rail joints, 115.
Schedule price system, 97.
Schoodic River, 21.
Segmental arch, 183.
Shediac, 79, 87, 106.
Shik-Shok Mountains, 68, 157,
Shippegan Island, 173, 174.
Ships Knees as angle pieces, 224.
Shore Line, 106, 107.
Short Ocean Passage, 243.
Sicotte, Hon. J. B., 60.
Side hill pipe Culverts, 128, 161, 168.
" Slopes, 111, 118.
Skew bridges, 144, 159.
Smith, Geo. H., 8.
Smyth, Major Carmichael, 50.
Snow, 108, 111, 118.
Snow fences, 110.
SouthWest Bridge (Miramichi), 190,
Spans of bridges, lengths of, 132.
Springhill Coal Field, 78, 87, 90, 91,
Steel Company of Canada, 221.
" Rails, 111, 114.
Stirling, Earl of, 25.
Stockton and Darlington, Ry., 5, 6.
St. Andrews, 7, 12, 13, 43, 78.
" and Quebec, Ry. 11, 35,
41, 42, 53, 77.
and Woodstock, Ry., 43.
St. Croix River, 20, 21, 24, 25,26, 28,,
St. Fabien, 141.
St. Flavie, 141.
St. Francis River, 37.
St. John, 10,42, 45,78, 79, 85, 86, 95.
" River, 9, 13, 19, 45.
" and Shediac Ry., 56, 67, 177,
" District, 139.
St. Luce, 141.
St. Simon, 141, 145.
Sub-soil drainage, 110.
Substructure, 116, 117, 118.
Superstructure, 113, 115.
Summits of ranges, 141, 154.
Surveys, 36, 40, 65, 79, 87, 102, 103, 106.
Structures for passage of Water, 120,
Table of distances, 68.
" quantities, 233, 241, 240.
Temiscouata Lake, 40, 46, 85.
" Road, 143.
Tilley, Hon. S. L., 58, 60.
Tenders, 94, 97.
Tobique River, 46, 47.
" Range, 68.
Tortigoux River, 152.
Test Pits, 91.
" of Bridge Foundations, 209.
Tete-a-gauche River, 158.
Tunnels, 128, 153, 172, 183, 230.
Tunnel at Morrissey s Rock, 168.
Transatlantic route, 84.
Traveller, 204, 206.
Treaty of Paris of 1783. 19, 26, 31,
Treaty of 1794. 21, 25, 37, 77.
Treaty of Ghent, 1814. 27.
" Ashburton, 37, 77, 78, 235.
Trent Afiair, 59.
Trois Pistoles, 141, 145.
Truro, 67, 79, 87, 89, 100, 104,
Tyler Captain, 90.
Under drains, 118, 147.
United States Opposition, 15, 17.
Upsalquitch River, 47.
Valentine and Collins, survey, 38.
Vankoughnet, Hon. P. M., 58.
Vaughan, Sir C. R., 32, 33.
Vermont Boundary, 38.
Walsh, Aquila, 94, 99,191.
Warren Bridge Pattern, 224.
Water Jets, 162.
Water Sheds, 152, 154, 175, 177, 179.
" of Treaty, 35.
Webster, Daniel, 19, 37, 235.
Wellington, Duke of, 30, 34.
Wilkinson Mr., 48.
Wilson, John, 8.
Winged Abutments, 136.
Wooden bridges, 98, 99.
" on Intercolonial, 144, 225.
Woodford Dredge Pumps, 193, 195,
198, 204, 209, 211, 213, 218.
Wyer Thomas, 8.
Yule, Captain, R. E., 9, 10, 12, 13, 14,
16, 19, 39, 77.