June 16, 2013

Jack Little discusses history of Canadian railways in light of Lac-Mégantic derailment


SFU Historian Jack Little spoke with the Montreal Gazette about the history of railway development in Quebec following the Lac-Mégantic derailment. Find an excerpt of the article below, and read the full story on the Gazette website.

  • The railway that runs though Lac-Mégantic played a role in the saga of Canadian Pacific's transcontinental railroad, said Jack Little, a professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., and an expert on the Eastern Townships.

    The line was the brainchild of Eastern Townships businessman and politician John Henry Pope (1819-1889), who served as minister of agriculture and later minister of railways under prime minister John A. Macdonald. Pope's St. Francis and Mégantic International Railway was chartered in 1870 but the project of connecting Montreal with Saint John, N.B., foundered and almost ruined Pope financially.

    The reason for building a railway to Saint John was to connect major cities like Montreal to a Canadian port on the Atlantic, Little explained. Before that, Central Canada's only connection to a winter port was via the Grand Trunk to Portland, Maine, he said.
No comments yet

Other recent news