A Railway Tale

A Railway Tale A Railway Tale

In the beginning, the railway was a vital artery for the development of rural areas in Manitoba. It was the only certain means of transportation of goods and people to and from Winnipeg.

The first railway through Cartier was the Northern Pacific and it offered the first passenger service September 1, 1889. The stop was a flag stop where a water tank was built on the east bank of the LaSalle River. The stop was nicknamed "de Tank”, but became known as Patenaude, and eventually the community of Elie grew around it.

By 1901 the government took over the rail line of the Northern Pacific Railway and transferred these lines to the Canadian Northern Railway. The Grand Trunk Pacific rail line was opened for service through Cartier in 1909 and ran a ½ mile north of the Northern Pacific line. The increased competition and number of rail lines caused numerous failures of rail companies and so around 1918 the government took over the many lines and in 1919 an Act was passed creating a new railway company owned by the people of Canada, thus creating the Canadian National (CN) Railway.

The CN Rail service continues to operate through the Cartier area today. The Grand Trunk Pacific line was abandoned after WW II and part of this line eventually became the base section of the Trans-Canada Highway when it became a divided highway.

Very recently, CN presented the village of Elie a grant in their Ecoconnexions program. With this money, the municipality was able to plant new, healthy trees that will help with noise abatement and beautify the area close to the rail lines in the future. Thanks CN!

Right Side: First Railway Station in Elie on south side of track