The history of the St. Lawrence and Atlantic goes back as far as 1844, when a proposal was made to connect Portland, Maine with Montreal via a direct rail connection. The line would be built through western Maine, northern New Hampshire, northern Vermont, across the Canadian border and on to Montreal. Leased by the Grand Trunk Railway and then rolled into the Canadian National Railway in the early 1920s, the line operated under CN control until 1989, when the St. Lawrence and Atlantic took over operations from Island Pond, VT east to Portland, Maine. In 1998, the St-Laurent & Atlantique Railroad was formed as a Canadian company to operate former GT rails in Canada. The Genesee and Wyoming purchased the two companies in 2002.