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02-Mar-2018 00:00

In subsequent years, several smaller independent railways would be added to the CNR as they went bankrupt, or it became politically expedient to do so, however the system was more or less finalized following the addition of the GTR.Canadian National Railways was born out of both wartime and domestic urgency.Now primarily a freight railway, CN also operated passenger services until 1978, when they were assumed by Via Rail.The only passenger services run by CN after 1978 were several mixed trains (freight and passenger) in Newfoundland, and a several commuter trains both on CN's electrified routes and towards the South Shore in the Montreal area (the latter lasted without any public subsidy until 1986).Following CN's purchase of Illinois Central (IC) in 1998, and a number of smaller US railways, it also has extensive trackage in the central United States along the Mississippi River valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.Today, CN owns about 20,400 route miles (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 a 70-mile (113 km) stretch of track (see Mackenzie Northern Railway) into the Northwest Territories to Hay River on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake; it is the northernmost rail line anywhere within the North American rail network outside of Alaska.On November 17, 1995, the federal government privatized CN.Over the next decade, the company expanded significantly into the United States, purchasing Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central Transportation, among others.

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The Canadian National Railway was organized on October 10, 1922.The need for a viable rail system was paramount in a time of civil unrest and foreign military intervention.CN Telegraph originated as the Great North West Telegraph Company in 1880 to connect Ontario and Manitoba and became a subsidiary of Western Union in 1881.Many countries regard railway networks as critical infrastructure (even to this day) and at the time of the creation of CNR during the continuing threat of the First World War, Canada was not the only country to engage in railway nationalization.

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