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Prince Edward Island Railway

Prince Edward Island Railway

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The Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR) was a historic Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 railway
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

.

Construction


Located wholly within the province of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, construction of the PEIR started in 1871, financed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The line was initially built to Cape gauge
Cape gauge
Cape gauge is a track gauge of between the inside of the rail heads and is classified as narrow gauge. It has installations of around .The gauge was first used by Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl and the first line was opened in 1862.- Nomenclature :...

, under the supervision of Chief Engineer John Edward Boyd a native of Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick
City of Saint John , or commonly Saint John, is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the first incorporated city in Canada. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. In 2006 the city proper had a population of 74,043...

 who first advocated the use of narrow gauge for the New Brunswick Railway
New Brunswick Railway
The New Brunswick Railway was a historic Canadian railway operating in western New Brunswick. Its headquarters were in Woodstock.The original NBR lines were built to the narrow gauge of...

 in the 1860s, and was responsible for the first surveys of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway and the Toronto and Nipissing Railway
Toronto and Nipissing Railway
The Toronto and Nipissing Railway was chartered in 1868 to build a narrow gauge railway in Ontario, Canada from Toronto to Lake Nipissing, via York, Ontario, and Victoria Counties. It opened in 1871, with service between Scarborough and Uxbridge. By December 1872 it was extended to Coboconk...

 in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

. The PEIR was frequently criticized for its meandering path, reputedly caused by construction contractors who were paid by the mile; this may also be accounted for in economies taken by reducing the amount of grading and trenching required by going around hills and obstacles. At one point there was on average one railway station for every 2.5 miles (4 km) of track. The main line connected the northwestern port of Alberton
Alberton, Prince Edward Island
Alberton is a Canadian town located in the western part of Prince County, Prince Edward Island. It is situated in the township of Lot 5....

 (later extended to Tignish) with the Northumberland Strait
Northumberland Strait
The Northumberland Strait is a strait in the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in eastern Canada...

 ports of Summerside
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Summerside is a Canadian city in Prince County, Prince Edward Island. It is the second largest city in the province and the principal municipality for the western part of the island.- History :...

, Charlottetown, Georgetown
Georgetown, Prince Edward Island
Georgetown is a Canadian town and the county seat of Kings County, Prince Edward Island. As of 2011, the population was 693.-Geography:Georgetown, Capital of Kings County, sits on an 8 kilometre long peninsula formed by the Cardigan and Brudenell Rivers, Along with Georgetown Harbour...

, and Souris
Souris, Prince Edward Island
Souris is a Canadian port town in northeastern Kings County, Prince Edward Island. It is located in an area famous for its beaches and potatoes, containing the majority of Prince Edward Island's potato manufacturers.-History:...

. By 1872, construction debts threatened to bankrupt the colony.

Confederation


The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 had consistently encouraged the small colony to enter into Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

, something which it had been avoiding since playing host to the Charlottetown Conference
Charlottetown Conference
The Charlottetown Conference was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation...

 a decade earlier. The railway construction debts pushed the colony into reconsidering Confederation, and following further negotiations, Prince Edward Island became a province of Canada on July 1, 1873.

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

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

Canadian Government Railways


Thus the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

 came to inherit the PEIR in 1874 at the same time as construction was progressing on the Intercolonial Railway (IRC), which would link the strategic winter ports of the Canadian Maritimes with Central Canada
Central Canada
Central Canada is a region consisting of Canada's two largest and most populous provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Due to their high populations, Ontario and Quebec have traditionally held a significant amount of political power in Canada, leading to some amount of resentment from other regions of the...

. New locomotives were purchased from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and from Canadian manufacturers along with new rail cars.

In 1885, a new line was built connecting the Charlottetown-Summerside main line at Emerald Junction
Emerald Junction, Prince Edward Island
Emerald Junction is a settlement in Prince Edward Island....

 with another Northumberland Strait
Northumberland Strait
The Northumberland Strait is a strait in the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in eastern Canada...

 port at Cape Traverse. From Cape Traverse, iceboats
Northumberland Strait iceboat
A Northumberland Strait iceboat is a rowing boat, typically 5 metres in length, 2 metres in beam, with runners fastened to the hull for dragging over sea ice....

 would cross the Abegweit Passage
Abegweit Passage
Abegweit Passage is the narrowest part of the Northumberland Strait, comprising the 13-kilometre wide portion between Cape Tryon, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick. Tidal currents in this area can reach up to 4 knots...

 to Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick
Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick
Cape Tormentine is a Canadian rural community in Westmorland County, New Brunswick.The community derives its name from a headland of the same name which extends into the Northumberland Strait, forming the easternmost point in the province.-Railway:...

 during the winter months.

Another new line was built east from Charlottetown to Murray Harbour
Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island
Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island is a Canadian fishing community in southeastern Kings County, Prince Edward Island.Located in the township of Lot 64, the community is named after General the Honourable James Murray, , Governor of Quebec .With an area of 4.1 km2 and an extensive...

, part of which included building the Hillsborough River Bridge
Hillsborough River Bridge
The Hillsborough River Bridge refers to two separate Canadian bridges which crossed the Hillsborough River estuary between Charlottetown and Stratford in Queens County, Prince Edward Island.-First bridge, 1905-1962:...

, using a former IRC bridge over the Miramichi River
Miramichi River
The Miramichi River is a Canadian river located in the east-central part of New Brunswick. The river drains into Miramichi Bay in the Gulf of St. Lawrence...

 at Newcastle, New Brunswick
Newcastle, New Brunswick
Newcastle is a Canadian urban neighbourhood in the city of Miramichi, New Brunswick.Prior to municipal amalgamation in 1995, it was an incorporated town and the shire town of Northumberland County....

. Branches were also constructed at this time off PEIR lines to Vernon Bridge
Vernon Bridge, Prince Edward Island
Vernon Bridge is a settlement in Prince Edward Island....

, Montague
Montague, Prince Edward Island
Montague is a Canadian town and the largest population centre in Kings County, Prince Edward Island.The town straddles the Montague River which is the dividing line between the townships of Lot 52 and Lot 59. The town functions as a regional service centre for a rural population of 20,000...

, and Elmira
Elmira, Prince Edward Island
Elmira is a community in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, located in Lot 47 of Kings County, northeast of Souris.CBC Television's CBCT and CBC Radio One's CBCT-FM maintain rebroadcasters at Elmira to serve the portion of eastern Prince Edward Island which lies outside the broadcast...

.

From 1915-1918, the PEIR and the IRC would come to be known collectively as the Canadian Government Railways
Canadian Government Railways
Canadian Government Railways was the legal name used between 1915–1918 for all federal government-owned railways in Canada.The principal component companies were: the Intercolonial Railway of Canada , the National Transcontinental Railway , the Prince Edward Island Railway , and the Hudson...

 (CGR), although each company would maintain its separate corporate identity and management.

The most revolutionary change to the PEIR occurred in 1915 when a new icebreaking
Icebreaker
An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. Although the term usually refers to ice-breaking ships, it may also refer to smaller vessels .For a ship to be considered an icebreaker, it requires three traits most...

 railcar ferry
Train ferry
A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as...

 called Prince Edward Island was ordered by the federal government, arriving from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 with a capacity of 12 rail cars, however it would not be until 1917 that the port facilities at Port Borden
Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island
Borden-Carleton is a Canadian village located on the south shore of Prince Edward Island, fronting on the Northumberland Strait.The village was created through a merger on April 12, 1995 of the original port town of Borden and the farming community of Carleton...

 and Cape Tormentine would be ready to handle the vessel. In the meantime, the Prince Edward Island continued to operate the service to the port of Pictou, Nova Scotia
Pictou, Nova Scotia
Pictou is a town in Pictou County, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Located on the north shore of Pictou Harbour, the town is approximately 10 km north of the larger town of New Glasgow....

 from Georgetown and Charlottetown for the next two years.

The new ferry port at Borden required the Cape Traverse-Emerald Junction line be modified, and a line was constructed to Borden, along with marshalling yards
Classification yard
A classification yard or marshalling yard is a railroad yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railroad cars on to one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill...

 and other facilities. The Cape Traverse line would only last a few more years before being abandoned following the move to Borden. Up until this point, the PEIR was a completely captive system, having no need for interchange with mainland North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n railways. Following the start of railcar service in 1917, the lines to Charlottetown and Summerside from Borden were dual-gauged
Dual gauge
A dual-gauge or mixed-gauge railway has railway track that allows trains of different gauges to use the same track. Generally, a dual-gauge railway consists of three rails, rather than the standard two rails. The two outer rails give the wider gauge, while one of the outer rails and the inner rail...

, capable of handling mainland cars with the standard gauge of and the PEIR's narrow gauge of .

Canadian National Railways


In September 1918, management of the CGR (including the PEIR) was transferred to the newly nationalized Canadian Northern Railway
Canadian Northern Railway
The Canadian Northern Railway is a historic Canadian transcontinental railway. At its demise in 1923, when it was merged into the Canadian National Railway , the CNoR owned a main line between Quebec City and Vancouver via Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.-Manitoba beginnings:CNoR had its start in...

 (CNoR). These companies were assumed by a new Crown corporation established by the federal government in December 1918, called Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway
The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....

s (CNR). By 1923 all corporate entities ceased to exist under CNR.

Soon after CNR took over, it was decided to standard gauge all narrow gauge trackage on Prince Edward Island. This was completed from Tignish to Charlottetown by 1924, and remaining lines in the east end of the province were completed by 1926 except for the Murray Harbour line which was standard gauged
Gauge conversion
In rail transport, gauge conversion is the process of converting a railway from one rail gauge to another, through the alteration of the railway tracks...

 by September, 1930.

The last significant railway construction on Prince Edward Island occurred during the early 1930s when the Hillsborough River Bridge
Hillsborough River Bridge
The Hillsborough River Bridge refers to two separate Canadian bridges which crossed the Hillsborough River estuary between Charlottetown and Stratford in Queens County, Prince Edward Island.-First bridge, 1905-1962:...

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

CNR was extremely busy on Prince Edward Island during the Second World War when a 2 miles (3.2 km) spur line was built from St. Eleanors
St. Eleanors, Prince Edward Island
St. Eleanors is a neighbourhood in the city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada.Located in the northwest part of the township of Lot 17 fronting Malpeque Bay, St. Eleanors was named after Eleanor Sanksey, a housekeeper for a Colonel Harry Compton....

, west of Summerside, to service a new air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 base (CFB Summerside
CFB Summerside
Canadian Forces Base Summerside was an air force base located in St. Eleanors, Prince Edward Island, Canada, now part of the city of Summerside.-RCAF Station Summerside:...

), and the railway was pressed into service to supply a radar base in Tignish, as well as a flight training school in Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant, Prince Edward Island
Mount Pleasant is a Canadian rural community located in Prince County, Prince Edward Island.The name "Mount Pleasant" was selected at a public meeting on November 1, 1862 and was formally recognized in Place Names of Prince Edward Island in 1925....

, mid-way between Summerside and Tignish.

Increased use of diesel locomotives in North America during and after the Second World War saw CNR completely dieselize its operations on Prince Edward Island by the late 1940s as a means to save money on hauling bulk coal to the province. This meant that Prince Edward Island rail lines had diesel locomotive
Diesel locomotive
A diesel locomotive is a type of railroad locomotive in which the prime mover is a diesel engine, a reciprocating engine operating on the Diesel cycle as invented by Dr. Rudolf Diesel...

s fully one decade before the rest of Canada saw the last of steam
Steam locomotive
A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine...

, giving the province a prominent place in Canadian railway history as one of the first regional dieselization projects.

The rise of automobiles and trucks


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

CN (name change to Canadian National Railway or acronym CN in 1960) was a major presence in Prince Edward Island's economy, from operating the freight and passenger railway (and later bus) services, to a large fleet of company owned and operated ferries. The ferry system was noteworthy by the fact that it was mandated by Prince Edward Island's "Terms of Union" under the British North America Act of Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

, to provide "efficient steamship service." This required the use of icebreaker
Icebreaker
An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. Although the term usually refers to ice-breaking ships, it may also refer to smaller vessels .For a ship to be considered an icebreaker, it requires three traits most...

s, some of which were the largest of their kind in the world at one time.

Ferry service


The following vessels were owned and operated by CNR/CN (1918–1977), CN Marine
CN Marine
CN Marine was a Canadian ferry company headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick.-History:CN Marine was created by parent Canadian National Railway in 1977 as a means to group the company's ferry operations in eastern Canada into a separate operating division...

 (CN subsidiary, 1977–1986) or by successor Marine Atlantic
Marine Atlantic
Marine Atlantic Inc. is an independent Canadian Crown corporation offering ferry services between the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.Marine Atlantic's corporate headquarters are in St...

 (post-1986) on the Northumberland Strait ferry service:
  • Prince Edward Island (1915–1968)*
  • Scotia I (various times 1901-1955)*
  • Charlottetown (1931–1941)*
  • Abegweit
    MV Abegweit
    The MV Abegweit was an icebreaking railway, vehicle, and passenger ferry which operated across the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, connecting Port Borden to Cape Tormentine between 1947-1982....

    (1947–1982)*
  • Scotia II (various times 1915-1968)*
  • Confederation (1962–1975)
  • John Hamilton Gray
    MV John Hamilton Gray
    MV John Hamilton Gray was an icebreaking railway, vehicle, and passenger ferry which operated across the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, connecting Port Borden to Cape Tormentine between 1968-1997....

    (1968–1997)*
  • Lucy Maude Montgomery (1969–1973)
  • Holiday Island
    MV Holiday Island
    The MV Holiday Island is a Canadian RORO ferry that operates across the Northumberland Strait between the ports of Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia...

    (1971–1997)
  • Vacationland
    MV Vacationland
    The MV Vacationland is a Canadian RORO ferry that operated across the Northumberland Strait between the ports of Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick and Port Borden, Prince Edward Island....

    (1971–1997)
  • Abegweit
    MV Abegweit
    The MV Abegweit was an icebreaking railway, vehicle, and passenger ferry which operated across the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, connecting Port Borden to Cape Tormentine between 1947-1982....

    (1982–1997)*


* denotes combination train ferry
Train ferry
A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as...

/ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...


The decline of rail on P.E.I.


Trucks
Semi-trailer truck
A semi-trailer truck, also known as a semi, tractor-trailer, or articulated truck or articulated lorry, is an articulated vehicle consisting of a towing engine , and a semi-trailer A semi-trailer truck, also known as a semi, tractor-trailer, or (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) articulated truck...

 soon began to take traffic away from freight operations on Prince Edward Island, particularly as CNR improved the ferry system to accept more road vehicles. By the 1970s, critical agricultural cargo such as the potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

 harvests were increasingly transferring to trucks with each successive season. As a result, CN increasingly began to avoid investing capital into improving railway infrastructure in the province. In a classic "demarketing" strategy, CN's deteriorating track conditions resulted in further loss of service to trucks.

By the early 1980s CN made it clear the days of its railway operations on Prince Edward Island were numbered, however Island politicians at the provincial and federal level managed to dissuade CN from abandoning. The renewed talk of a fixed link
Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the "Fixed Link" by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place...

 in 1985-1986, following aborted attempts at building a highway/railway causeway across Abegweit Passage
Abegweit Passage
Abegweit Passage is the narrowest part of the Northumberland Strait, comprising the 13-kilometre wide portion between Cape Tryon, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick. Tidal currents in this area can reach up to 4 knots...

 in 1957 and 1965–1969, saw CN accelerate its attempts to withdraw railway service on Prince Edward Island.

Deregulation and abandonment


Deregulation
Deregulation
Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or...

 in the Canadian railway industry in 1987 was all that was required to encourage CN to successfully abandon its rail system. By September, 1988 it had abandoned the money-losing service (see Newfoundland Railway
Newfoundland Railway
The Newfoundland Railway was a railway which operated on the island of Newfoundland from 1898 to 1988. With a total track length of , it was the longest narrow gauge railway system in North America.-Early construction:...

) in Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

, and in July, 1989 abandonment was announced for Prince Edward Island. On December 31, 1989, the John Hamilton Gray carried the last operational rail cars and locomotives off Prince Edward Island. Cynics of CN's decision have noted that residents of Prince Edward Island voted completely in favour of the opposition Liberals
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 in the 1988 Canadian federal election, which may have possibly tipped the government's hand in not attempting to preserve federally-subsidized rail service in the province.

Salvage crews worked throughout 1990, 1991 and 1992 removing tracks, cross-ties, and other railway facilities. In return for agreeing to not oppose CN's abandonment, the provincial government was given compensation by the federal government in the form of a $200 million one-time highway subsidy for selected upgrades to major provincial roads to account for increased wear from trucks.

In 1994, the provincial government purchased the entire right-of-way for the former PEIR from CN. Throughout the late 1990s, the provincial government in cooperation with the Trans-Canada Trail foundation and various community volunteers, worked to complete the Confederation Trail
Confederation Trail
Confederation Trail is the name for a 470 kilometre recreational rail trail system in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.It was developed in the 1990s, following the December 31, 1989 abandonment of all railway lines in the province by Canadian National Railway .-Description and...

 system. Today 75% of total PEIR mileage is open as public recreation trails
Rail trail
A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway easement into a multi-use path, typically for walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding. The characteristics of former tracks—flat, long, frequently running through historical areas—are appealing for various development. The term sometimes also...

 with the remaining 25% estimated to be opened over the next decade.

Preservation


In 1975 the railway station in Elmira was re-opened to become the Island's first railway museum. The museum is housed in the actual Elmira railway station. The museum originally included two former Canadian National Railway passenger cars: one former wood sided baggage car and a steel railway post office (RPO) car. In the 1990s arson claimed the baggage car. Approximately a decade later, RPO was scrapped having succumbed to age and a lack of preservation activities. The trucks from the baggage car are still on the property. Several railway cars were on display at the provincially-operated railway museum at Elmira
Elmira, Prince Edward Island
Elmira is a community in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, located in Lot 47 of Kings County, northeast of Souris.CBC Television's CBCT and CBC Radio One's CBCT-FM maintain rebroadcasters at Elmira to serve the portion of eastern Prince Edward Island which lies outside the broadcast...

 until the mid-2000s but have since been scrapped due to neglect on the part of the PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation.

In 1990, a diesel locomotive (class RSC-14 number 1767) donated to Summerside
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Summerside is a Canadian city in Prince County, Prince Edward Island. It is the second largest city in the province and the principal municipality for the western part of the island.- History :...

 several years earlier, needed to be moved to nearby Kensington
Kensington, Prince Edward Island
Kensington is a town located 15 kilometres northeast of Summerside in Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada; As of 2001, the population was 1,385....

. Although now abandoned, the railway's tracks were still intact between both locations, except for several grade crossings at local roads where rails had been removed. The locomotive was towed by construction machinery across temporary tracks built over these roads to its new location, where it remains on display as part of a community-operated railway museum. The former PEIR railway station in Kensington was designated a National Historic of Canada.

Another railway car is currently undergoing preservation at Borden-Carleton
Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island
Borden-Carleton is a Canadian village located on the south shore of Prince Edward Island, fronting on the Northumberland Strait.The village was created through a merger on April 12, 1995 of the original port town of Borden and the farming community of Carleton...

. This car is a plywood sided, former CNR, caboose and is located adjacent to a replica railway station. Both can be seen from the Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the "Fixed Link" by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place...

.

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

Narrow-Gauge Locomotives

Number Builder Type Date Works number Notes
1st # 1 Hunslet Engine Company
Hunslet Engine Company
The Hunslet Engine Company is a British locomotive-building company founded in 1864 at Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England by John Towlerton Leather, a civil engineering contractor, who appointed James Campbell as his Works Manager.In 1871, James Campbell bought the company for...

4-4-0T 1872 84 Scrapped prior to 1880
2nd # 1 Mason Machine Works
Mason Machine Works
The Mason Machine Works was a machinery manufacturing company located in Taunton, Massachusetts between 1845 and 1944. The company became famous for an early invention by its creator, William Mason, the self-acting mule, first patented in 1840. The company also later produced locomotives, rifles...

0-4-4F 1873 531 Purchased from New Brunswick Railway
New Brunswick Railway
The New Brunswick Railway was a historic Canadian railway operating in western New Brunswick. Its headquarters were in Woodstock.The original NBR lines were built to the narrow gauge of...

 1880 - Scrapped 1901-04
3rd # 1 Canadian Locomotive Company
Canadian Locomotive Company
The Canadian Locomotive Company, commonly referred to as CLC, was a Canadian manufacturer of railway locomotives located in Kingston, Ontario. Its works were located on Ontario Street and Gore Street on Kingston's waterfront....

4-4-0 1904 616 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a #10 - Scrapped 12/1924
1st # 2 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 85 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 2 Mason Machine Works 0-4-4F 1873 532 Purchased from New Brunswick Railway 1880 - Scrapped after 1904
1st # 3 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 86 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 3 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 227 Scrapped 9/1920
1st # 4 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 87 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 4 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 228 Scrapped 9/1920
1st # 5 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 88 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 5 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 229 Scrapped 9/1920
1st # 6 Hunslet Engine Company 4-4-0T 1872 89 Sold to Harbour Grace Railway 1881
2nd # 6 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1882 230 Scrapped 9/1920
1st # 7 Hawthorn Leslie and Company
Hawthorn Leslie and Company
R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Limited, usually referred to as Hawthorn Leslie, was a shipbuilding and locomotive manufacturer. The Company was founded on Tyneside in 1886 and ceased building ships in 1982.-History:...

4-4-0T 1872 225 Scrapped prior to 1884
2nd # 7 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1884 294 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 15 - Scrapped 2/1921
1st # 8 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 226 Scrapped 1884-89
2nd # 8 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1899 470 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 16 - Scrapped 2/1923
9 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 227 Scrapped after 1904
1st # 10 Hawthorn Leslie and Company 4-4-0T 1872 228 Scrapped 1885-87
2nd # 10 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1887 326 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 17 - Scrapped 7/1923
1st # 11 Baldwin Locomotive Works
Baldwin Locomotive Works
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was an American builder of railroad locomotives. It was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, originally, and later in nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Although the company was very successful as a producer of steam locomotives, its transition to the production of...

4-4-0 1874 3535 Scrapped 1901-04
2nd # 11 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 617 Renumbered CNR class X-4-a 1st # 18 - Scrapped 12/1924
12 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3536 Scrapped after 1904
13 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3537 Scrapped after 1904
14 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-4-0 1874 3538 Scrapped after 1904
15 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
16 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
17 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
18 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1876 Scrapped after 1904
1st # 19 Canadian Locomotive Company 0-4-4F 1880 Scrapped 1899-1907
2nd # 19 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 625 Displayed at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
Louisiana Purchase Exposition
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the Saint Louis World's Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, United States in 1904.- Background :...

 - Delivered as # 28 and renumbered in 1907 - Became CNR class X-4-a # 19 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co. Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

1st # 20 Canadian Locomotive Company 0-4-4F 1880 Scrapped prior to 1899
2nd # 20 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1899 471 Became CNR class X-4-a # 20 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal
21 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1884 295 Became CNR class X-4-a # 21 - Scrapped 2/1921
22 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1900 496 Became CNR class X-4-a # 22 - Scrapped 2/1923
23 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1900 497 Became CNR class X-4-a # 23 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal
24 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1901 520 Became CNR class X-4-a # 24 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal
25 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1901 521 Became CNR class X-4-a # 25 - Scrapped 7/1923
26 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 618 Became CNR class X-4-a # 26 - Scrapped 12/1924
27 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-4-0 1904 619 Became CNR class X-4-a # 27 - Sold 11/1923 to Lamoreux-Kelly Co., Montreal
2nd # 28 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 781 Became CNR class X-5-a # 28 - Scrapped 5/1927
29 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 782 Became CNR class X-5-a # 29 - Scrapped 5/1927
30 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 783 Became CNR class X-5-a # 30 - Scrapped 5/1927
31 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1907 784 Became CNR class X-5-a # 31 - Scrapped 5/1927
32 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1521 Became CNR class X-5-b # 32 - Scrapped 12/1932
33 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1522 Became CNR class X-5-b # 33 - Scrapped 12/1932
34 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1523 Became CNR class X-5-b # 34 - Operated the last narrow-gauge train on Prince Edward Island 27 September 1930 - Scrapped 12/1932
35 Canadian Locomotive Company 4-6-0 1918 1524 Became CNR class X-5-b # 35 - Scrapped 12/1932
36 Davenport Locomotive Works
Davenport Locomotive Works
The Davenport Locomotive Works, of Davenport, Iowa, USA built locomotives from 1902 until 1956. The company acquired the locomotive business of H. K...

0-4-0T 1910 Purchased from G.A.Morrison 1918 - Renumbered CNR class X-1-a # 1 - Sold 4/1930 to H.N.Price Moncton

Diesel Locomotives

Numbers Builder Type Class Built Notes
7751, 7752 General Electric 44 Ton First diesels on PEI
7800-7817 General Electric 70 Ton Renumbered to 26-43
1615, 1616 and 1617 Canadian Locomotive Company
Canadian Locomotive Company
The Canadian Locomotive Company, commonly referred to as CLC, was a Canadian manufacturer of railway locomotives located in Kingston, Ontario. Its works were located on Ontario Street and Gore Street on Kingston's waterfront....

H12-44
1700–1734 Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works was a Canadian railway locomotive manufacturer which existed under several names from 1883–1985, producing both steam and diesel locomotives. For a number of years it was a subsidiary of the American Locomotive Company...

RSC-13 Scrapped. Trucks to RSC-14 fleet.
1750–1787 Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works
Montreal Locomotive Works was a Canadian railway locomotive manufacturer which existed under several names from 1883–1985, producing both steam and diesel locomotives. For a number of years it was a subsidiary of the American Locomotive Company...

RSC-14
MLW RSC-14
The MLW RSC-14 was a diesel-electric locomotive rebuilt by Canadian National Railway from locomotives originally supplied by Montreal Locomotive Works.These locomotives began life as MLW RS-18s for the Canadian National Railway...

MR-14b and MR-14c 1975–1976

Railcars


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

See also

  • Canadian Government Railways
    Canadian Government Railways
    Canadian Government Railways was the legal name used between 1915–1918 for all federal government-owned railways in Canada.The principal component companies were: the Intercolonial Railway of Canada , the National Transcontinental Railway , the Prince Edward Island Railway , and the Hudson...

  • Canadian National Railway
    Canadian National Railway
    The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....

  • Confederation Trail
    Confederation Trail
    Confederation Trail is the name for a 470 kilometre recreational rail trail system in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.It was developed in the 1990s, following the December 31, 1989 abandonment of all railway lines in the province by Canadian National Railway .-Description and...

  • Marine Atlantic
    Marine Atlantic
    Marine Atlantic Inc. is an independent Canadian Crown corporation offering ferry services between the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.Marine Atlantic's corporate headquarters are in St...


External links