History of Transportation on PEI
From Past to Present
An iceboat crossing that started in 1827 from Cape Traverse to Cape Tormentine was approximately 12 km (7.2 miles). The full cost to cross for men was $5.00, if men and boys were willing to help row and pull the boat over ice the cost was $2.00. Women and the elderly were not allowed to pull the boats so they had to pay $4.00. When it was time to pull the boat over the ice, men were secured with leather straps across their chests and required to pull the iceboat to the next open water area.
Prince Edward Island joined Confederation in July, 1873 due to a large debt brought on by the building of the railway. The Steam Engine functioned on a coal burning furnace that would heat up a large water boiler that created the steam. It was replaced by the diesel engine in 1950. The last train left PEI on a car ferry on December 31, 1989, after 114 years of service.
The SS Prince Edward Island crossed between Borden and Cape Tormentine from 1917 until 1968. She was a twin screw steamer cast in heavy steel and capable of 7000 horsepower. SSPEI was 300 feet long and 52 feet wide. During the Second World War in 1942 the SSPEI was almost torpedoed by a German U-boat on a trip back from a Quebec refit, but made it home saftely.
The MV Abegweit went into service between Borden and Cape Tormentine in December, 1982. She was 122.38 metres long and had a passenger capacity of 900. The MV Abegweit was named after her predecessor which was officially renamed Abby. She took her last officially sail May 31, 1997, the same day the Confederation Bridge opened.
The Confederation Bridge offically opened May 31, 1997. The 12.9 km (8.01 miles) bridge joins Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island and Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick and is the longest bridge over ice covered waters in the world. The Confederation Bridge is 11 m wide and carries two lanes of traffic each 3.75 m wide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The normal travelling speed is 80 km/h and it takes approximately 10 minutes to cross the Bridge.