Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief1
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- 1846-1969, predominant 1846-1936
- R231-41-3-E, RG30M 81203/55, RG30M 80103/69, RG30M 934002, RG30M 90131, RG30-I-A, RG36M35 80103/24, RG30M 1996-02369-1, RG30M 1996-02663-1, RG30M 1997-00257-4
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Maps and cartographic material, Architectural and technical drawings
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Sous-fonds includes:
74 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- 1846-1969, predominant 1846-1936
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Click here
- Place of creation:
- Added country of publication:
- United States
110.0 m of textual records
ca. 547 maps
1 v. (7 leaves, unbound) : blueprint on linen, ill., col. map ; 62 x 141 cm.
ca. 1007 technical drawings
ca. 362 architectural drawings
1 v. (251 p., bound) ; 37 cm.
1 v. (100 leaves, bound) ; 34 cm.
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
Sous-Fonds consists of records created and maintained by the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada and includes minutes, reports, agreements, correspondence and records concerning stocks and bonds, property, finances, personnel, operations, litigation and the acquisition of the Railway by the Canadian Government. There are currently 79 series attached to this sous-fonds and numerous sub-series.
Researchers are however directed to the following primary series:
Board of Directors Records
Financial records relating to the Grand Trunk Railway
Miscellaneous Reports of the Grand Trunk Railway
GTR Letter books
Subsidiary and predecessor companies
A very large amount of interesting material created or compiled by the Grand Trunk Railway can be found in Engineering Department records (MIKAN 164789). Please see lower level series and sub-series descriptions for further details.
Note that most photographs relating to the Grand Trunk Railway can be found in the Canadian National Railways photographs collection, or the Museum Train Collection.
190732 : Grand Trunk properties in Quebec and New England
190752 : Grand Trunk Properties in Ontario
190755 : Grand Trunk properties in the United States
190759 : Grand Trunk Pacific Railway System
190769 : Great Western Railway System
- Biography/Administrative history:
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada : The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada was incorporated under Province of Canada Act, 16 Vic., Cap. 37 of 10 November 1852 to construct and operate a railway line from Montreal to Toronto. The intentions of the organizers of the company were to eventually construct or acquire a railway running from Portland, Maine, through Montreal, Toronto and Sarnia to Detroit and eventually to Chicago. The Portland/Montreal/Sarnia line was legally completed in 1853 when five other companies, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway Company, the Quebec and Richmond Railway Company, the Toronto and Guelph Railway Company, the Grand Junction Railway Company, and the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada East amalgamated with and took the name of the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada (hereafter referred to as The Grand Trunk) and, in the same year, the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad Company was leased. The physical completion of the main line was not until 1859, though sections had been open from 1853. An essential link was the Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence, construction of which was commenced in 1854 and completed on 19 December 1859. While the basic concept was sound, the enterprise speedily ran into financial difficulties. The financial obligations of some of the components that had been accepted by the amalgamated company were excessive. The contractors had little experience in working under Canadian conditions, while the traffic at that stage of Canadian economic development proved to have been overestimated. By 1861 the company was in serious financial trouble. The government of the Province of Canada had already extended assistance to the Grand Trunk and, under the Grand Trunk Arrangements Act (Province of Canada, 25 Vic., Cap. 56, July 1862), it acquiesced in the reorganization and refinancing of the company. This reorganization not only alleviated some of the Grand Trunk's more pressing financial difficulties but transferred control entirely to the board of directors in London, thus eliminating much of the political and financial pressures that had been applied during construction and early operation. With this reorganization the Grand Trunk entered an era marked by efficient management with the emphasis on operational and technical improvement rather than expansion. Under Grand Trunk presidents Edward Watkin (1862-1869) and Richard Potter (1869-1876) the railway was converted from broad (5'6") gauge to standard gauge (4'8 ") and from iron to steel rails, coal replaced wood as fuel for locomotives, and accommodation and plant were improved and expanded by such construction as the Motive Power Shops erected at Stratford, Ontario, the Car Shops at Brantford, Ontario, and the Union Station built at Toronto. There was some expansion during this period, however. The Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway and the Montreal and Champlain Railroad were acquired, and a small amount of additional main line trackage was laid. The Chicago, Detroit and Canada Grand Trunk Junction Railroad was the first incursion into the United Stated outside of New England and was the precursor of the drive to Chicago. The presidency of Sir Henry Tyler (1876-1895) was significant because of the great expansion of the Grand Trunk. The main elements of this expansion were the through line to Chicago and the acquisition of three large railway systems in Ontario, the Great Western Railway, the Northern Railway and the Midland Railway. Smaller lines were built or acquired in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. Much of this expansion (at least in Canada) was motivated by the fear that these lines or systems would fall into the hands of major competitors, particularly the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. During this period the Grand Trunk increased its control of the Central Vermont Railroad System and the St. Clair Tunnel was completed. Economic conditions in North America prevented the Grand Trunk attaining prosperity and a new Board of Directors under the Presidency of Sir Charles Rivers Wilson assumed control in 1895. Emphasis was once again placed on operating efficiency and the company profits increased. The only major acquisition during this period was the Canada Atlantic Railway system in 1904. Rivers Wilson resigned in 1910 and the General Manager, Charles M. Hays, was given the title of President, while the former office of President became that of Chairman of the Board. The most important event of this period was the decision in 1903 to construct the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway with its associated enterprises and to agree to lease and operate the National Transcontinental Railway following its construction by the Government. This decision and its results was to dominate the affairs of the parent Grand Trunk company and eventually to doom it. From 1916 the increasing demands of the Grand Truck Pacific and the larger costs of operation due to increased wage rates and prices forced the Grand Trunk to appeal to the Dominion Government for assistance. As the Canadian Northern Railway was also in difficulties the Government appointed a Royal Commission to investigate the Canadian railway situation (P.C. 1680, 14 June 1916 - Royal Commission to Enquire Into Railways and Transportation in Canada). The majority report (Drayton-Acworth Report) tabled on 2 May 1917 recommended that the Government acquire complete control of the troubled railways and operate them as one system. The financial difficulties of the Grand Trunk system continued and the Grand Trunk Pacific passed into Government receivership in March 1919 while negotiations towards the acquisition of the Grand Trunk Railway by the Government continued between January 1918 and March 1920. An Agreement dated 8 March 1920 between the Grand Trunk and the Government provided among other things, for the acquisition by the Government of the entire capital stock and the guarantee by the Government of dividends and interest on outstanding perpetual Guaranteed Stock and perpetual Debenture Stock. The value of the capital stock was to be determined by a board of three arbitrators. A majority award of this board submitted on 7 September 1921 ruled that the capital stock was valueless. A government appointed Board of Directors took office on 18 May 1921 and operated the line as part of the Canadian National System. On 31 January 1923, the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada amalgamated with and took the name of Canadian National Railways. RG30 General Inventory
- Finding aid:
Cartographic material, technical drawing (Paper) Finding aid consists of an item list. RG30M 81203/55 Finding aid available in main reference room. (90: Open)Technical drawing, architectural drawing, cartographic material (Paper) Finding aid for RG30M 90131 is indexed according to the Building type index (railway stations and bridges). Finding aid for RG30M 934002 consists of an itemized list, sorted by series; the items remain unorganized. Finding aid for RG30M 80103/69 consists of an item listing. RG30M 90131; RG30M 934002; RG30M 80103/69. Finding aids are available in main reference room. (90: Open)Technical drawing, architectural drawing, cartographic material (Electronic) RG30M 90131; RG30M 934002 (Restrictions not set)Technical drawing, architectural drawing, textual record, cartographic material (Other) RG30M 1996-02663-1: The finding aid consists of an alphabetical title index to some of the drawings. This index is written in ink on tracing linen, and is in a separate file folder within this accession's acquisition documentation file. RG30M 1996-02663-1. Consult archivist for finding aid. (99: Closed pending processing)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
RG30M 80103/69: Accession lacks item #25.
RG30M 81203/55: All of the items are rolled. Accession lacks items #1, 2, and 3, which are now in RG30M 77803/21 as items #31, 32 and 33.
- Source of title:
- Title is based on the contents of the series.
- Physical description note:
- RG30M 81203/55: Cartographic material - Some items are stamped: Engineers Office G.T.R.
- Note on the state of conservation:
RG30M 80103/69: Architectural, technical - drawings: All of the items have tears along the edges; most of the drawings are dirty. Item #10 is mounted on muslin.
RG30M 81203/55: Cartographic material, technical drawings: Some items are torn and dirty.
RG30M 1996-02369-1: Both items have loose covers, and are rusting.
RG30M 1996-02663-1: Some drawings and lists have holes punched along one side.
- Custodial history:
RG30M 80103/69 was transferred in Feb. 1981 from the Federal Archives Division, RG30, direct transfer #36, vols. 2988 to 3054.
RG30M 81203/55 was transferred from the CNR Toronto office. The date of transfer is uncertain.
Provenance of the drawings and plans of RG30M 90131 and RG30M 1996-02663-1 is unknown.
RG30M 934002 was transferred in May 1993 from the CN Servicentre in Montreal.
RG30M 1996-02369-1 was transferred from CN on 31 Oct. 1996, through the auspices of the Curator of Land Transportation, National Museum of Science and Technology.
- Accompanying material note:
RG30M 80103/69: Item #17 is accompanied by 31 pages of typewritten correspondence concerning specifications and costs for construction. The correspondence is dated 1897, and is signed by Edward Maxwell, architect, and Joseph Hobson, chief engineer.
RG30M 934002: Acquisition documentation file contains two 7-page alphabetical index lists, and 15 pages of preliminary annotated listings of unsorted material.
RG30M 1996-02369-1: Item #1 is accompanied by: a 7 page listing of railway branch profiles for the Grand Trunk Pacific, Canadian Northern, and Canadian Pacific railways; and a 1926 map showing the line in operation and under construction for the Canadian National, Grand Trunk, and Central Vermont railways.
- Arrangement note:
- RG30M 1996-02663-1: This material was previously arranged in three binders, but is now filed in H3 folders. There is no information about what happened to the binders.
- Location of originals note:
- RG30M 1996-02369-1: Located on S1471, box 2; there is no finding aid.
- Cartographic math data:
- Scales differ.
- Availability of other formats note:
RG30M 80103/69: Items #5-7, 13, 18, 24, 27, and 29 have been microfilmed. The NMC microfiche numbers are listed in the finding aid.
RG30M 81203/55: Items #34, 68-72, 107, 116, 142-145, and 287 are microfilmed. The microfiche numbers are listed in the finding aid.
RG30M 90131: All items in this accession have beem microfilmed; microfiche numbers are NMC 12191 to 121238.
RG30M 934002 (cartographic material): Items #28, 152a, 158, 211, 212, 213, 227, and 497 have been microfilmed.
- Further accruals are expected.
- Container note(s):
NMC23332 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23333 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23335 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23336 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23337 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23338 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23341 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23342 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC118536 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23331 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23334 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23339 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC23340 : RG30M 81203/55
NMC182368 : RG30M 80103/69
- Former archival reference no.:
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Cartographic material, architectural drawings, technical drawings: Copyright belongs to the Crown. Credit Library and Archives Canada.
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