Anyone who has had occasion to travel on VIA Rail's oldest trans-continental train 'The Ocean' between Halifax and Montreal might wonder why the original route of the Intercolonial Railway
Anyone who has had occasion to travel on VIA Rail's oldest trans-continental train 'The Ocean' between Halifax and Montreal might wonder why the original route of the Intercolonial Railway took such a round-about course through northern New Brunswick.
The answer lies in the fear nineteenth century Canadian and British politicians had that the Americans might attempt to seize control of British North America in a winter attack. With the St. Lawrence river frozen solid, reinforcements from Britain could not reach the fortress at Quebec. Hence, the building of the defensive rail line, following "Major Robinson's Path," a much overlooked facet of the railway's history.
Built for War: Canada's Intercolonial Railway tells the story of Canada's first attempt to assert its sovereignty, and how the railway, built with military and economic objectives in mind, served its purpose so well.
Jay Underwood is a graduate of the journalism program of Holland College of Applied Arts and Technology in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Jay began his career in newspapers as a nightshift proof reader and obituary writer with the Charlottetown Guardian-Patriot. He then moved to the New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Evening News, as a reporter-photographer, and to the Truro, Nova Scotia Daily News as city editor. Briefly serving as city editor at the Timmins, Ontario Daily Press, he returned to Nova Scotia as editor and publisher of the Springhill-Parrsboro Record, and the Enfield Weekly Press, before joining the staff of the Halifax Daily News as senior copy editor and a member of the editorial board.
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