The Prince Edward Island Railway was constructed using “narrow-gauge” tracks. Building the tracks three feet 6 inches wide, instead of the standard four feet 8 inch width used in the rest of Canada, was seen as a cost saving measure. Because in the beginning Island trains did not leave the Province, this worked. However, in 1917, the first ice-breaking ferry came to Port Borden, and it could carry railway cars.
To accommodate the wider cars, a third rail had to be installed throughout the Island. Before 1930, when the tracks were converted to the standard gauge, there were some interesting looking trains with both narrow and wide cars following the same engine.