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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. 




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 
entire Dominion. 

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 


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 


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- 

* 55 



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. 

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 
Works 77 



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 
ture 108 



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 



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 



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 





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 



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 
Line 232 


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 



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 

Bridge, 190 

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 

Bridge, 200 

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 
St. Lawrence. 

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 
" States." 

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 


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 


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 
ensuing week. 

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 


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 

Total 1,000,000 

Of, in sterling money 888,889 

Ira/torts to Qiiebfc. 

West India produce 5,000 

European manufactures and merchan 
dise 10,000 

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 
ticles 10,000 

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 


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 

Lord Glenelg. 

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 

million pounds. 

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- 


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 
mid Quebec. 


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 
vanced ? 

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 
with Eneland." 

* 3d July, 1837. 


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. 


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. 


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. 



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. 


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 


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 


" 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 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 
United States. 

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 


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- 


" 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. 


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- 


" 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, 


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 


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 


" 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 


" 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 
" parties." 

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. 



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 


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 


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 
of highlands. 

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." 


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 


" 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- 


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. 


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 
Canadian interests. 

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 


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 
500 miles. 

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. 


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, 


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. 


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 
that point. 

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 


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." 


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 


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 
efficiently constructed. 

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 


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 
be avoided. 

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." 


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 
certain wages.* 

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." 


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 


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 
as security. 

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 
vided for. 

Moreover, in order that arrangements might be effected, the Im- 


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 
" States." 

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- 


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 


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, 
1449.17.4 sterling. 

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 
its construction. 

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~ 


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. 



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. 


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 


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. 


" 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. 


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 
each Province." 



" 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." 











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 

New Brunswick 

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 

" 11,666% 





49 583% 


And at the end of the first ten years a 

Naca Scotia. 


72 708)4 




At the end of the first ten years a princi 

After the first ten years a sinking funi 
per annum 








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 



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." 


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 
du Loup. 

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. 





No. of line. 




Kail way 

















34 1 





Bav Chaleur 













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 
be built 


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 
ern Provinces. 

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 
du Loup. 

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. 


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 


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 
can Provinces. 

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, 


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 
and Newfoundland. 

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. 


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. 

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 



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. 


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- 


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, 


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 


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 


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 
and fish. 

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 
railway traffic. 

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- 


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. 


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 


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 
views forward. 

From the time of the survey made in 1864, Mr. Livesey continually 


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. 

To Governor the Rt. Hon. Viscount Monck. 


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. 


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 
for adoption. 

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 


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 : 


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- 


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 


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 
of construction. 

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 


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 


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. 


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 


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. 



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 : 

Division A. 




Section No. 1, 20 miles $ 175,000 

2, 20 

3, 24 

4, 26 

5, 26 

6, 21 

7, 24 




$ 700,000 







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 
iron superstructure. 


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 
of wood. 


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 


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, 


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 
proper course. 

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 


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 : 


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- 


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- 

" way." 

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. 



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 
" road." 

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. 


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 



Sandford Fleming, EngT in- Chief . 


" 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 
adopted it. 

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. 



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 
rable road-bed. 

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 




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 
sequent thaw. 

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 
stantly experienced. 

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. 


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 


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 
true economy. 

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- 


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. 

Fig. 1. 

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 

rig. i. 



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. 

rig. s. 

The scabbard-joint, 
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- 

Fig, 4. 



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 



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 

Tig. 6. 



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 
found necessary. 

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 
perfectly dry. 

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. 



Fig 8. 

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 

Fig. 9. 

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. 


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. 


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 
ordinary occurrence. 

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. 

5. Tunnels. 

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. 


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 




Fig. 10. 

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 

Fig. 11. 

Fig. 12. 

of the other four feet wide by six feet high. Figs. 13 and 14 indicate 

Tig. 18. 

Fig. H. 

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 



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. 


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 

Fig. 15. 

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. 



Ill III 

Tig. 17. 

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- 

Fig- 18. 



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- 

Fig. 19. 

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. 

Fig. SO. 


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 



two masonry abutments, proportioned to the height of the embankment, 
sufficiently far apart to allow a passage for the stream, and on which 

Tig. 21. 

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. 


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. 

Fig. 22. 

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 



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 

Fig. 23. 

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. 

Fig. 25. 


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 : 


and precautions were taken to prevent the water of the stream from 
finding a way underneath the paving or below the walls. 

Fig. 28. 

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 


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. 


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 


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 



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 
rail system. 

Fig. 30. 

Fig. 29. 

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 
" 2 
" 3 
" 4 


Cubic Yards. 



Giving an average of 2465 cubic yards for each abutment. 

As the difference is almost wholly in the form of abutment, it is 


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 
bridge only. 

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 
and displaced. 

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 



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 

Fig. 31. 

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 


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. 



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 
No. 14. 

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 


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 


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. 


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. 



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. 




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 



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 


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 


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. 



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 
flat ground. 


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 
this structure. 

There are numerous curves ; the three sharpest are of 1910 feet 
radius, and have an aggregate length of about 1440 yards. The grades 


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. 



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 
ward it. 

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 


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 
that year. 

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 
cubic yards. 

The Resident Engineer was Mr. John Lindsay, previously employed 
on the Surveys of 1868-69. 




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 


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 
Portland cement. 

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 


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. 


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. 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. 



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. 


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. 


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. 



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 



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 

Fig. 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. 



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. 

Fig 33. 


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 
highly satisfactory. 

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 



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. 




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 


3rd Crouing River Jtatapedia (in winter.} 


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 
special notice. 

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 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. 



No. 1. 

No. 2. 

No. 3. 


No. 4. 


Loam above summer water. - - 
Deptli of ordinary water - - - - 












o i / i j i 

Total Depth from ordinary low 

No rock met. 







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- 

o o 

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 


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. 




















S - 

i* Cn 


f 5 


c LJ 

r co 

z ^> 

t q 

















PLATE No, 18. 



Sandford Fleming. Engf-ia-Cbief . 

Photo-Lith. hy the Bur^n -!_>--.! uats Litti. Co. 






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 


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. 



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 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. 


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. 


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 


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 
cubic yards. 

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. 


This section is generally light ; nevertheless there are several 
heavy rock cuttings, and one deep, but short embankment. 


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. 

This Division leaves the Bay Chaleurs, but again touches tf at the 


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, 


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 
square miles. 

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 
nary expenditure. 


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. 


p, " 





Q, " 





R, " 





S, " 





T, " 




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, 


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. 


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. 



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. 



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 



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 
so transversely. 

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. 



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. 


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. 



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 ;. 




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- 


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 
almost complete. 



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 
joining Division. 

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 


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. 



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 

rock foundation. 

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. 



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 


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 
its adoption. 

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 
own plans. 




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 : 





6 4" 


14/ in 


1 6 


30 6 

Tough brown clay, 

41 5 


7 ;o 

Tough brown clay, 


Rock at 

48> 3" Below datum. 

Rock at 

95 0" Below 







26 9" 


13 10" 


13 10 


34 8 




6 2 

Tough brown clay, 

34 6 

Tough brown clay, 

42 4 

Rork at 

77 1" Below datum. 

Rock at 

97 0" Below 







22 4" 


16 3" 


21 3 




7 10 


5 3 

Tough brown clay, 

41 7 

Tough brown clay, 

42 3 

Rock at 

93 0" Below datum. 

Rock at 

9# 9" Below 




"udford F 













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. 


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 


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 
rock from 
preliminary borings. 

Depth to gravel bed 

subsequent borings. 

Deptli to which 
caissons were 
actually sunk. 

Pier E, 
" F, 
" G, 
" H, 
" I, 


44 feet. 
44 " 
41 " 

49 " 
41 " 

40.6 feet. 
43.6 " 
45. " 
48.5 " 
47.2 " 

40.2 feet. 
44 " 

45 " 
49 " 
47 " 

43.8 feet. 

45.0 feet. 

45 feet. 

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 
boiler plate. 

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^: 


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 



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- 



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. 


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. 



^ Seaidford Yl^^inxL^En.mjeer-m-CMef, 



Photo-Lith. by the Burlanrl-Desbarits Lith. Co- 


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 
10 inches. 

The depth to the gravel bed on which the caisson had to rest was 
49 feet. 

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 



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 

6th September. 

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 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 


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. 


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. 





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 


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 
professional reader.* 

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 

See Appendix. 

PLATE No. 32. 

Bad of BJTr 

, . a^a. -* 




r\ WDAT. OM. V4SOMH V . 

Photo- Lith. by the Burland-Desharats Lith. Co. 

saaresgR*^.,. - .:y 

. .>;*; 


, , , 1 K^^^=>-=H " - .- 




: -vir- . . - . 



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. 


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- 


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 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 were each 60 feet by 30 feet, built of timbers, 12 

PLATE No. 29. 



Photu-Lith. by the Burland-Desbarats Lith. Co 


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. 


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 


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 
in diameter. 

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 


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 


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 
not removed. 

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 
partially loaded. 

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- 


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 


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. 

PlBK C. 

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 


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 


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 


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. 



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 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 


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 


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 
the contractors. 

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 
final completion. 

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. 



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 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 
Boundary Line. 

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, 


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 


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. 




This Division begins in the middle of the river Missiguash, 
and includes the Eastern abutment and the whole superstructure of 

the bridge. 


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 
ber, 1871. 



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. 


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 


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 


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. 



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, 
towards Truro. 


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 

5 miles. 

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 



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. 



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 


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 
been expended. 

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. 


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. 


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, 
an impossibility. 

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 


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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 
whole line. 








Cubic yards. 



Lineal feet. 


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. 

o t- 





d *-* 


_> 0) 

Per cent a "v 



Cu. yds. 



Cu. yds. 

St. Lawrence District - - 













" "i. . 







t " . - 







(I . . 







" - - 







Averages, St. Lawrence District 





Restirouehe District - - - 







.t U _ 





















U " . 







u a . 







a u . 







Averages, Restigouche District 





Miramichi District - - - 

















K . 




















Averages, Miramichi District 


* 2 



Nova Scotia District - - - 





U " 






" - 






11 " - 














a . 







Averages, Xova Scotia Distrir 





Averages for the whole Lino 


9 91 





" 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 
former points. 

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. 


Name of Steamship Line. 

(Vest n Pas. 

East n Pas. 


Ltmim Line. Average of 52 Eastern and 

d. h. m. 

d. h. m. 

d. h. 

52 Western passages 

13 19 11 

12 18 54 

13 7 

11 50 

10 5 

10 17 

Shortest passages ... 

11 v \J 

Cunard Line. Average of 27 Eastern 

and 25 Western passages . . . 

11 12 4G 

10 11 42 


9 17 


9 01 



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 
present day. 

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 
Atlantic Seaboard. 

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." 


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. 

J. Royer Smith, John Fleming, 

Alex. Fruser, H. Bradley. 


Those recorded in italics are now dead. 

Engineers in Charge. 







G. McGuire, A. Williamson. 

W. G. BelMrs. 
Junior Assistants. 


J. F. Harwell, J. R. Smith. 

H. Bradley, Alex. Fraser. 









. 1867. 




"\VM. II A ZEN, 





H. A. GRAY, 

C. H. McLEOD. 





Chief Engineer s Office. 
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. E. BURPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 



Engineers in Charge. 




W. M. Bt-CK. 

L. G. BELL, 
J. J. McGEE, 




Assistant Engineers. 



"W. McPniLLiPs, 












Chief Engineer s Office. 

W. J. FORREST, Assistant, T. R. BUKPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 

Engineers in Charge. 


Assistant Etigineers. 


L. G. BELL, 




W. M. BUCK, 







A. J. HILL, 

J. L. P. O llANLY, 




J. J. McGEE, 





Chief Engineer s Office. 
"W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 



L. G. BELL, 





Engineers in Charge. 


W. M. BUCK, 
Assistant Engineers. 

H. P. BELL, 





J. J. McGEE, 




J. L. P. O HANLY, 

A. J. HILL. 






Chief Engineer s Office. 
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 

Engineers in Charge. 

L. G. BELL, 











W. M. BUCK, 

Assistant Engineers. 











J. J. McGEE, 





H. P. BELL, 

A. J. HILL. 








Chief Engineer s Office. 
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 



Engineers in Charge. 






W. M. BUCK, 





Assistant Engineers. 

J. J. McGEE, 





Chief Engineer s Office. 
W. J. FORREST, Assistant. T. R. BURPE, Secretary. 

District Engineers. 



Engineers in Charge. 







Assistant Engineers. 











District Engineers. 



Engineers in Charge. 






Assistant Engineers. 








Superintending Engineer. 


Resident Engineers. 







Superintending Engineer* 

Resident Engineers. 






Aberdeen, Earl of, 37. 

Aboideaux, 223, 225, 227. 

Abutments, Plan of, Adopted, 134. 

Acadia Iron Works, 87, 88. 

Allanshaw, Hon. Jas., 8. 

Albertite, 177. 

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 

Line, 43. 

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 

Scotia, 41. 

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. 
Bic, 148. 
Bogs, 184, 186. 

Boundary Question, 19, 234. 

Bordeau Quarry, 169. 

Boring, 190, 192, 200, 201. 

Boiestown, 40. 

Bridges, 98, 110. 

Bridges, Mr. William, 41, 43. 

Bridges and Viaducts, 133. 

Bridges on the Intercolonial, 

Amqui .... 155 

Barnaby ... 182 

Bartibogue . . . 179 

Belledune. ... 172 

Bic 149 

Campbelton . . . 168 
Christophers . . .168 

Elm Tree ... 172 

Eel 168 

Jacquet . . 170 
IsleVerte . . .143 

Metapedia . . . 159 

Millstream . . . 161 

Metis 153 

McKinnon s . . . 161 

Miramichi . . . 187 

Missiguash . . . 225 

North .... 186 
Nigadoo . . .172. 

Nipissiguit . . . 173 
Red Pine . . .178 

Restigouche . . 163 



River du Loup 
St. Fabien 
St. Pierre 
Trois Pistoles 


British North America Act, 75, 79, 


Broun, Sir Richard, 41, 42, 49. 
Brydges, C. J-, 94, 99, 100. 
Buckingham, Duke of, 86. 
Buctouche, 106. 
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 

Works, 108. 
Canada, New Brunswick and Nova 

Scotia Railway Loan, 63. 
Capital Account, 234. 
Carboniferous Basin of New Bruns 
wick, 176. 

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, 
130, 221. 

loffin, W. F., 94. 
lolonization Company, 41. 
Hearing, 110. 

Jombination Line, 93, 94. 
Commissioners of Treaty of 1794, 21, 

27, 29. 

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 
ernment, 62. 

Confederation of Provinces, 72. 
Conference, Toronto, 52. 
Connecticut River, 27. 
Contracts, Bulk Sum, 95, 96, 97. 
Contract No. 1, 143. 

2, 145. 

" 3, 168. 

" 4, 226. 

" 5, 148. 


" 7, 228. 

8, 150. 

" 9, 171. 

" 10, 178. 

11, 225. 

. "12, 230. 

13, 152. 

14, 154. 

" " 15, 172. 

" " 16, 177. 

" 17, 158. 

" 18, 160. 

19, 162. 

" 20, 180. 

" 21, 182. 

" . " 22, 185. 

" 23, 186. 




Division A, Geo. and Jas. Worth- 

ington, 143. 
Division B, Geo. and Jas. Worth- 

ington, 147. 

Division C, Edward Haycock, 150. 
Division D, Duncan McDonald, 

Division E, W. E. McDonald & 

Co., 153. 

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 & 

Co., 172. 

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 & 

Co., 186. 

Division W, Davis, Grant & Suth 
erland, 225. 
Division X, Elliott, Grant & 

Whitehead, 227. 
Division T, H. J. Sutton & Co., 


Division Z, Sumner & Somers, 231. 

Murphy, 167. 

Bridge, Martin 


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. 
Dartmouth, 46. 
Derby, Earl of, 53. 
Devil s Elbow, 157. 
Dickey, Hon. R. B., 92. 
Diverted Streams, 128. 
Division A, 143. 

B, 145. 

C, 148. 

D, 150. 

E, 152. 

F, 154. 

G, 158. 
H, 160. 
I, 162. 
K, 168. 



Division L, 170. 

M, 171. 

N, 172. 

O, 177. 

P, 178. 

Q, 180. 

R, 182. 

S, 185. 

T, 186. 

U, 222. 

V, 222. 

W, 225. 

X, 226. 

Y, 228. 

Z, 230. 

Divisions of Railway, 139, 140. 
Distances, 40, 78, 140. 
Districts, 140. 
District Engineers, 140. 
Ditches, 110, 119, 177. 
Dorchester, 101, 104. 
Drainage, 118. 
Dredges, 188, 195, 197. 
Dredge Pumps (Woodford s), 193, 195, 

198, 207. 

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 

83, 135. 

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, 

34, 39. 

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, 

35, 234. 

Jacquet River, 158. 
Ice, action of, 133, 165. 
Imperial Guarantee, 51, 60, 75. 
Jervois, Colonel, 85. 

Imperial Negotiations on Canadian 
Matters, 235. 

" 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, 

50, 80. 

Malfait Lake, 154. 
Mars Hill, 8, 77. 
Masonry, 133, 173, 217. 
Metapedia Lake, 141, 154. 

" River, 157, 158. 

Valley, 47, 85, 156, 158, 

160, 162. 

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, 

86, 94. 
Newcastle, Duke of, 66, 104. 

" Branch Railway, 181, 18.7. 
Newfoundland, 83. 

" 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. 

I, I9a. 
X, " 205. 

Pine Brook, 89. 
Pipon, Captain R. E., 45, 46. 
Point Levis, 47. 
Pohenagamook Lake, 37. 
Portland, 78. 

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, 


Valley, 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. 

plow, 119. 
SouthWest Bridge (Miramichi), 190, 


Spans of bridges, lengths of, 132. 
Springhill Coal Field, 78, 87, 90, 91, 

221, 228. 
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, 

220, 222. 

" 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, 

33, 36. 

Treaty of 1794. 21, 25, 37, 77. 
Treaty of Ghent, 1814. 27. 

" Ashburton, 37, 77, 78, 235. 
Reciprocity, 82. 



Trenches, 118. 

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. 
Viaducts, 132. 
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. 
Woodstock, 8. 
Wyer Thomas, 8. 
Yule, Captain, R. E., 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 

16, 19, 39, 77.