Canadian National Railway Company fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief
Canadian National Railway Company fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- 1825-ca. 1990s.
- R231-0-0-E, RG30
- Type of material:
- Photographs, Textual material, Architectural and technical drawings, Art, Maps and cartographic material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Link to this page:
This link identifies the web page describing this particular record. Unlike the temporary link in your browser, this link will allow you to access, and reference, this page in the future. To link to this descriptive record, copy and paste the URL where ever needed (wiki, blog, document).http://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.redirect?app=fonandcol&id=95&lang=eng
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
35 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- 1825-ca. 1990s.
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
ca. 2091.4 m of textual records
ca. 700 leaves of textual records
5 v. of textual records
ca. 15745 maps and other cartographic material
ca. 3577 technical drawings
ca. 4508 architectural drawings and other architectural drawing
0.9 m of architectural drawings
ca. 108,875 photographs : various formats, b&w and col.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, French
- Scope and content:
Fonds consists of a vast amount of records (textual, photographs, art, audio-visual, cartographic etc) created and/or maintained by the Canadian National Railway Company and its predecessors. Records generally cover the period ca. 1836 to ca. 1999, with ca. 1920 to 1989 being predominant. For further information, please see lower level descriptions. The fonds is broken down into into 2 sous-fonds: Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada (with 141 series) Predecessor Companies Within the Predecessor Companies sous-fonds, there are roughly 18 series (with numerous attached sub-series and sub-sub-series). The series are as follows: Grand Trunk properties in Quebec and New England Grand Trunk Properties in Ontario Grand Trunk properties in the United States Grand Trunk Pacific Railway System Great Western Railway System Canada Atlantic system Northern Railway group Midland Railway system Central Vermont system Canadian Northern system Government-acquired railways in Quebec Government-acquired railways in New Brunswick Newfoundland Railway Northern Alberta Railways Company Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway Company Alberta and Great Waterways Railway Company Inverness Railway and Coal Company Central Canada Railway Company Central Canada Express Company Pembina Valley Railway Canadian Government Railways National Transcontinental Railway London and Port Stanley Railway Manitoba Northern Railway Company There are approximately 42 series (with numerous attached sub-series and sub-sub-series) within the Canadian National Railways Fonds proper, including: Office of the President Board of Trustees Personnel and Labour Relations Office Linguistic Services Accounting and Finance function Office of the General Manager of Real Estate Commissioners of the Transcontinental Railway Public Relations Department Canadian National Railways Operations Headquarters files Office of the Secretary, Montreal Headquarters Office of Chief Engineer, Office of Chief Architect Department of Research and Development Regional office records Office of the Director of Colonization and Agriculture Saskatoon Office of Colonization and Agriculture Radio Department Stocks and bonds - Black Book series Reports Trustees files Commission, committee, and conference records Reference material from the CNR Library Memorabilia Litigation records Rate and tariff records Records of individual officers Canadian National Railways photographs Films and Sound Recordings from the Canadian National Railway Company Miscellaneous cartographic and architectural material There is also an important series relating to Canadian National subsidiary companies (although there are 18 sub-series, it should be noted that at one time, there have been ca. 100 subsidiary companies). Researchers are cautioned that unprocessed textual records are not reflected in this description.
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Canadian National Railways : The Canadian National Railway Company is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, and serves Canada and the Midwestern and Southern United States. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad". CN was government-owned - as a Canadian Crown corporation - from its founding in the early 1920s - to its privatization in 1995. CN is currently Canada's largest railway, in terms of both revenue and the physical size of its rail network. It spans Canada from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia. Its range once reached across the island of Newfoundland until 1988, when the Newfoundland Railway was abandoned. The railway was referred to as the Canadian National Railways (CNR) between 1918 and 1960, and as Canadian National/Canadien National (CN) from 1960 to the present. Detailed information about the structure and changes to the company over the past century are described in lower level records, particularly in the series for CN Headquarters. The Canadian National Railway Company was created between 1918-1923. Following the acquisition of control of the Canadian Northern Railway system by the Canadian Government in 1917 the Canadian Government Railway system was placed under the Board of Directors of the Canadian Northern for operation and management. On 20 December 1918, the name Canadian National Railways was authorized to be used as a descriptive, but not corporate, designation for the combined system. On 6 June 1919, the Canadian National Railway Company was incorporated for the purpose of consolidating the railways, works and activities of the Canadian Northern and Canadian Government systems and operating them as one system. However, it wasn't until three years later that the company was fully created, when the first Board of Directors was nominated. Sir Henry Thornton was President and Chairman. Prior to this, D.B. Hanna, as President of the Canadian Northern Railway had acted as President of the Canadian National Railways. Another major component of the new company was the Grand Trunk System. In 1920, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which had gone into receivership to the Government on 10 March 1919, was entrusted to the Canadian Northern Board of Directors for operations as part of the System. From 1918 to early 1920, negotiations between the parent Grand Trunk Railway Company and the Government occurred to facilitate the acquisition of the company by the Government. The negotiations were concluded by an agreement dated 8 March 1920 which provided, among other things, for a joint Committee of Management to operate the Grand Trunk system in harmony with the Canadian National Railways. On 4 October 1922, the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Railway Company appointed the Board of Directors of the Grand Trunk. Amalgamation was effective 31 January 1923. The Head Office of the Canadian National Railway Company was declared to be in Montreal, Quebec. While the two former privately-owned main components of the Canadian National Railway Company and a number of their subsidiaries maintained a statutory corporate existence for some years after the creation of the new system, they were to all intents and purposes part of the Canadian National Railway Company and there was no external evidence of their continued existence. Canadian National Railway Company had a sprawling component network from the 1920s onwards. Some of these included: CN Telegraphs 1923-1967: CN Radio 1923-1933; CN Hotels 1923-1988; Canadian National Steamships Company ca. 1920s-1970s, then CN Marine 1977-1997; CN Police 1923-current; CN Tower 1975-1995 Between 1923-1995, there have been some major changes to the company. In short, the first major changes occurred in in 1937 and 1952, when revisions to the capital structure were made. Another change occurred in 1960, when there was the launch of a long-term program to modernize Canadian National's external appearance. As a first step, a new corporate trademark was introduced. The stylized CN symbolized the movement of people, materials and messages across the country. Later, on 12 January 1977, VIA Rail Canada Incorporated was formed. In April, 1978, VIA became a Crown corporation and assumed responsibility for the management of all CN and CP Rail passenger services, excluding commuter services. In the 1980s, the shape and size of Canadian National underwent further radical transformation. Businesses in which it had an important presence for many years were divested. In 1986, CN Route (the former CN Express and CN Trucking Limited) and in 1988, CN Hotels. Northwestel Inc. and Terra Nova Tel were sold. CN also divested its 50 per cent share in CNCP Telecommunications and terminated railway service in Newfoundland in 1988. On 27 February 1995, the Minister of Finance announced in his budget statement the Government's intention to sell the Canadian National. The CN Commercialization Act, authorizing the continuance of the company under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) and the sale of its common shares owned by the Government of Canada, came into effect 13 July 1995. The company was continued under the CBCA on 24 August 1995. On 28 November 1995, the Government completed the sale of its shares to the public. At that time the company ceased to be owned by the Government. The former Crown corporation was privatized and now operates as a private-sector freight railway with no other significant line of business. In 1995, the company sold the oil and gas assets of its CN Exploration business unit and certain real estate assets of the discontinued CN Real Estate unit to third parties. The company's remaining non-rail real estate business, including the CN Tower in Toronto, was transferred to the Government of Canada. After 78 years as a Crown corporation, CN was privatized on November 28, 1995. This was the largest privatization in Canadian history. Key post-privatization events included the 1999 acquisition of Illinois Central Corporation (including Chicago, Central and Pacific, the acquisitions of Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation (2001), the rail and marine holdings of Great Lakes Transportation LLC (2004), BC Rail Ltd. (2004), RailAmerica/Northern Alberta (2006), Savage Alberta (2006), Athabasca Northern (2007), Quebec Railway Corporation (2008), and U.S. Steel (2009). Following these purchases, the company now also has extensive trackage in the central United States along the Mississippi River valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, CN owns about 32,831 km of track in eight provinces (the only two not served by CN are Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island), as well as an 113 km stretch of track (see Mackenzie Northern Railway) into the Northwest Territories to Hay River on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake.
- Finding aid:
(Other) Most finding aids are available in electronic format. See lower level descriptions and accession records. Please note that some findings are only on paper, and have not been converted to electronic format. Work is in progress to make all finding aids available electronically. (99: Closed pending processing)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- Further details about the history of Canadian National Railways can be found online at CNR's corporate website, https://www.cn.ca/en/about-cn/who-we-are/history; the Canadian Encyclopedia http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-national-railways/; Reference For Business http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history/Ca-Ch/Canadian-National-Railway-Company.html; and also Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_National_Railway Please also note that further information about the company can be found at the Canadian National Railways Historical Association, http://cnrha.ca/.
- Source of title:
- Title based on the act creating the company
- Physical description note:
- Cartographic material: Includes ca. 14403 maps, ca. 1330 profiles, 9 atlases, and 1 microfiche of cartographic material. Architectural drawings: includes ca. 4459 architectural drawings and 50 microfiche of architectural drawings.
- On January 28th, 1963, Canadian National Railways and Public Archives of Canada signed an agreement in which it was agreed that CNR would "deposit all archival materials with the Public Archives of Canada". It was also agreed that both organizations would make accessible - where possible - the archival materials of the company. Regular transfers of archival material to the National Archives continued until the 1990s. After the company was privatized, there have been few transfers of archival material from Canadian National Railways to LAC. But since that time, LAC has occasionally acquired CN material from private individuals. Though not likely, further accruals are expected.
- Related material:
- Please also see more Canadian National Railway material, ca. 1850-2000, in the Paul Edward Collection, R13969.
- Subject heading:
- Former archival reference no.:
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