The National Transcontinental Railway (NTR) was envisioned as a nationwide railway to compete with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Portions of this transcontinental railway would be built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad, and the NTR would be built by the Canadian government from Moncton to Winnipeg. The NTR would be owned by the government but leased by the GTP. In 1906 work began on the NTR.
By 1913 it was apparent that the Grand Trunk would not pay any lease payments due to its own financial difficulties, so the NTR came under the management of the Intercolonial Railway.
In the Report of the National Transcontinental Railway Investigating Commission it was clear that the NTR was built to far higher standards than the GTP would need.
In 1915, the National Transcontinental joined the Canadian Government Railways.
In the end, the NTR provided a very good line through New Brunswick. It was built to high standards and provides a quick connection between Edmundston and Moncton. The NTR through New Brunswick is the CN main line, currently known as the Napadogan subdivision.