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Armoured train equipped with artillery of the Union Army during the American Civil War

Caption: Armoured train equipped with artillery of the Union Army during the American Civil War

Railroads became widespread in Canada during the 1850s and 1860s, most being operated by the Grand Trunk Railway (now CN Rail). Rising concerns over the security of rail links while the Civil War raged in the United States led to the raising, in 1862, of the Grand Trunk Railway Brigade. This unit of Canadian Volunteer Militia recruited amongst railway employees had infantry and artillery companies deployed along the railway lines in Quebec and Ontario.