The Canadian National 5562 locomotive near Lake Chevreuils on its way to Montreal.
Source: Canadian Rail, No. 135, 1962
The Laurentian landscape, with its uneven terrain and natural obstacles, presented ignificant challenges for the constructionof the railway. The company therefore chose a 36-inch (914.4 mm) narrow gauge track, which was used in the mountains for its tighter curves, better suited to the terrain. According to a newspaper of the time, the rails were imported from Belgium because they were cheaper than elsewhere, and the cars were built by the company itself.
'... the 'Montfort Colonization Railway' [is a] veritable serpentine of steel clinging to the sides of superb mountains, dashing through the middle of clear lakes, such as Chevreuils Lake, which it cuts in half, and also the great Lake Saint-François-Xavier, over a good third of which the alert and solid little convoy seems to swim without a care...' Le Monde Illustré, Saturday August 8, 1896.
In 1897, the track was converted to the standard 56.5 inches (1,435 mm) to facilitate branching out to the wider network. Around 1926, the railroad, now owned by the Canadian National Railway, reached what would be its last station nine miles (14.5 km) from Saint-Rémi-d'Amherst, where there were kaolin and silica mines.