Train Travel – A Technological Leap
“Ocean Limited”, Matapedia Valley
Painted photograph by J. D. Kelly about 1915
Wm. Notman & Son
Railways changed everything. Train travel was a technological leap, moving goods and people quickly, safely and efficiently. The Intercolonial Railway began regular service from Lévis to Halifax in 1876. Tourists to the region could get off at Petit Metis or Campbellton or one of the stations later built along the line.
Needing traffic and passengers, the Intercolonial began to promote the region as a destination in a series of guidebooks. The first was printed in 1877. The Intercolonial was the most active advertiser of the region for decades.
Promoters dreamed of a rail line along the coast of the Baie-des-Chaleurs to Gaspé, but it took decades to materialize. The track was completed to Paspédiac in 1902 and finally reached Gaspé in 1911. Today, Via Rail provides rail service along the original Intercolonial Railway line, but the trains no longer reach Gaspé. Service has been reduced to just three days a week in each direction and the trains carry a handful of residents and very few tourists.