Atlantic, Quebec and Western Railway Co. - $100 BondInv# FB5001 Bond
100 Pound. Train vignette. Very elaborate title and borders. Printed by F W Potter, London.
In relation to the Atlantic, Quebec and Western Railway Company, the Canadian National Railways (CNR) was incorporated on June 6, 1919, comprising several railways that had become bankrupt and fallen into Government of Canada hands, along with some railways already owned by the government. 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 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). The Newfoundland mixed trains lasted until 1988, while the Montreal commuter trains are now operated by Montreal's EXO.
On November 17, 1995, the Government of Canada privatized CN. Over the next decade, the company expanded significantly into the United States, purchasing Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central Transportation, among others.
The excessive construction of railway lines in Canada led to significant financial difficulties striking many of them, in the years leading up to 1920:
- In response to public concerns, the Government of Canada assumed majority ownership of the near bankrupt Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) on September 6, 1918, and appointed a "Board of Management" to oversee the company. At the same time, CNoR was also directed to assume management of Canadian Government Railways (CGR), a system mainly comprising the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (IRC), National Transcontinental Railway (NTR), Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR), and the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR).
- On December 20, 1918, the Government of Canada created the Canadian National Railways (CNR) – a body with no corporate powers – through Order in Council as a means to simplify the funding and operation of the various railway companies. The absorption of the Intercolonial Railway would see CNR adopt that system's slogan, The People's Railway.
- Another Canadian railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR), encountered financial difficulty on March 7, 1919, when its parent company Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) defaulted on repayment of construction loans to the Government of Canada.
The Canadian National Railway Company then evolved through the following steps:
- the "railways, works and undertakings of the Companies comprised in the Canadian Northern System" were vested in the newly incorporated Company in June 1919, with provision for the later inclusion of any of the Government Railways
- vesting of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway System in the Minister of Railways and Canals, acting as Government Receiver, in March 1919
- acquisition of the Grand Trunk Railway System in November 1919, implemented in May 1920
GTR management and shareholders opposed to nationalization took legal action, but after several years of arbitration, the GTR was finally absorbed into the CNR on January 30, 1923. Although several smaller independent railways would be added to the CNR in subsequent years as they went bankrupt or it became politically expedient to do so, the system was more or less finalized at that point. However, certain related lawsuits were not resolved until as late as 1936.
Canadian National Railways was born out of both wartime and domestic urgency. Until the rise of the personal automobile and creation of taxpayer-funded all-weather highways, railways were the only viable long-distance land transportation available in Canada. As such, their operation consumed a great deal of public and political attention. Canada was one of many nations to engage in railway nationalization in order to safeguard critical transportation infrastructure during the First World War.
In the early 20th century, many governments were taking a more interventionist role in the economy, foreshadowing the influence of economists like John Maynard Keynes. This political trend, combined with broader geo-political events, made nationalization an appealing choice for Canada. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 and allied involvement in the Russian Revolution seemed to validate the continuing process. The need for a viable rail system was paramount in a time of civil unrest and foreign military action.
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. In 1915, facing bankruptcy, GNWTC was acquired by the Canadian Northern Railway's telegraph company. When Canadian Northern was nationalized in 1918 and amalgamated into Canadian National Railways in 1921, its telegraph arm was renamed the Canadian National Telegraph Company. CN Telegraphs began co-operating with its Canadian Pacific-owned rival CPR Telegraphs in the 1930s, sharing telegraph networks and co-founding a teleprinter system in 1957. In 1967 the two services were amalgamated into a joint venture CNCP Telecommunications which evolved into a telecoms company. CN sold its stake of the company to CP in 1984.
A bond is a document of title for a loan. Bonds are issued, not only by businesses, but also by national, state or city governments, or other public bodies, or sometimes by individuals. Bonds are a loan to the company or other body. They are normally repayable within a stated period of time. Bonds earn interest at a fixed rate, which must usually be paid by the undertaking regardless of its financial results. A bondholder is a creditor of the undertaking.