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Grand Trunk Railway

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The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada was a railway system based primarily in Ontario, with operations over much of Canada and neighboring parts of the U.S. Chartered in 1852, it quickly purchased five local railways to link Toronto with Sarnia on the west and Montreal on the east. London financiers funded its expansion into the world's longest road in 1869, when it provided some of the infrastructure for Canadian confederation. By the 1880s, it reached into Quebec, crossed into Maine to provide a links to the ice-free American port of Portland, stretched into the Detroit-Chicago corridor, and set up operations all the way to the Pacific. It was a private company headquartered in England that received heavy Canadian government subsidies and was never profitable. Its subsidiary the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company was built 4800 km long reaching Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia in 1914. Nearing bankruptcy in 1919, it was nationalized and merged into the Canadian National Railways in 1923, while keeping its distinctive name.


  • A. W. Currie. The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1957. 556pp
  • Frank Leonard. A Thousand Blunders: The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and Northern British Columbia 1996 - 344 pages

Primary sources

  • Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly. Special Committee on the Condition, Management and Prospects of the Grand Trunk. Report 1857, 263 pages online

External links