Built for War (Hardcover)

By (author): Jay Underwood

Anyone who has had occasion to travel on VIA Rail’s oldest trans-continental train ‘The Ocean’ between Halifax and Montreal might wonder why the original route of the Intercolonial Railway took such a round-about course through northern New Brunswick.

The answer lies in the fear nineteenth century Canadian and British politicians had that the Americans might attempt to seize control of British North America in a winter attack. With the St. Lawrence river frozen solid, reinforcements from Britain could not reach the fortress at Quebec. Hence, the building of the defensive rail line, following ‘Major Robinson’s Path’, a much overlooked facet of the railway’s history.

Built for War: Canada’s Intercolonial Railway tells the story of Canada’s first attempt to assert its sovereignty, and how the railway, built with military and economic objectives in mind, served its purpose so well.

ìBuilt for War is Underwoodís third work of railway history and his largest to date.î ó The Weekly Press, Oct. 2005

ìConventional history suggests that the railway was something ëgivení to the Maritime provinces as a condition of Confederation to improve the regionís economy. Instead, Underwood argues that the rasilway was a military necessity for defending central Canada from any invasion by the United States during the winter months.î

ó The Charlottetown Guardian, Nov. 2005


Jay Underwood

Jay Underwood is a graduate of the journalism program of Holland College of Applied Arts and Technology in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Jay began his career in newspapers as a nightshift proof reader and obituary writer with the Charlottetown Guardian-Patriot. He then moved to the New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Evening News, as a reporter-photographer, and to the Truro, Nova Scotia Daily News as city editor. Briefly serving as city editor at the Timmins, Ontario Daily Press, he returned to Nova Scotia as editor and publisher of the Springhill-Parrsboro Record, and the Enfield Weekly Press, before joining the staff of the Halifax Daily News as senior copy editor and a member of the editorial board.


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



256 Pages
6in * 9in * 0.74in


August 30, 2005


DC Books



Featured In:

All Books



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.

Other books by Jay Underwood