The building of a narrow-gauge trans-island railway in 19th century Newfoundland was a reckless and even desperate experiment. The island was poor, the population small, and the local politics rife with bitter sectarian conflict. Against these unpromising odds, the Newfoundland Railway came into existence on June 29, 1898 and operated relatively successfully for well over half a century. This book offers a comprehensive history of the Newfoundland Railway, focusing especially on the railroad's early years and the important early contributions of railway engineer R.G. Reid.