C002-A_7-225.1 | North and South Through Line, Including all the railroad and Steamboat Interests Between Montreal and New York
North and South Through Line, Including all the railroad and Steamboat Interests Between Montreal and New York
1856, 19th century
Ink on paper
17.5 x 34.2 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Ticket (7)
Keys to History
Railways and the demand for a stable and united Canada were at the centre of the demand for a federal union. Immigrants, mail, troops and passengers were among the staple goods carried by railways. Government contracts were always important. This 1856 timetable shows the linking of steamships and railways to facilitate travel between Montreal and New York. The timetable reproduced here notes that it was a summer arrangement. Waterways were closed during periods of ice break-up. Railway bridges, such as the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, would facilitate year-round rail transportation.
Source : Confederation: The Creation of Canada [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)
Trains were even more oriented to timetables and to schedules that, whenever possible, did not change with the seasons or day and night. Whereas, earlier, long-distance travel had been calculated in days, trains schedules were calculated in terms of minutes.
This 1856 schedule was in use just four years before the opening of the Victoria Bridge. Passengers in 1856 crossed the St. Lawrence by steamer and then travelled by rail to Lake Champlain, where they boarded another steamer.
This schedule emphasizes the use of both steamers and trains for travel between Montreal and New York. While air travel between Montreal and New York takes just over an hour today, in 1856 travel between the two cities took over 24 hours.
Immigrants, mail, troops and passengers were among the staple goods carried by railways.