In a country as vast as Canada, the railway provided unhoped-for possibilities for development. In fact, the country was literally built on rails: several Canadian provinces agreed to Confederation only because they were promised a railway link to the rest of the country.
As a surveyor and civil engineer, Sandford Fleming worked to expand the Canadian network – a project to which he was deeply committed. He quickly understood the crucial importance of communications and transportation in his adopted country.
His goal was to unite Canada from coast to coast through a rapid, efficient and modern transportation network. Trains ensured the circulation of goods and people, fostered trade and contributed to the development of cities located on the network.