The first sod of the European and North American Railway (E&NA) was turned by Lady Anna Maria Head, the wife of New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor Edmund Head (he later served as governor general of Canada from 1854 to 1861).The railway, was conceived at a railway conference in Portland, Maine in 1850 by railroad entrepreneur John A. Poor, intended to link Portland (the eastern terminus of the US rail network) with an ice free Atlantic port in Nova Scotia at Halifax. By 1860, the E&NA line had only made it to Moncton.