The earliest recorded rail road in Sydney Mines was laid in 1834. A length of 3 miles was constructed from the town to the pier at North Sydney. This section was used to transport coal.
There were many failed attempts to bring the railroad to Cape Breton. It was not until May 11th, 1886 that a Memorandum of agreement was signed by 90 conservative members. On May 18th 1886 the extension of the railroad to Cape Breton had been approved. After 35 years of debate and proposal Cape Breton was linked with the remainder of the colony by the railroad.