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The first international railway built in North America was the Washington-Winnipeg Railway (WWR), more commonly known as the "Double W." Started in 1888 by incorporating already built railways in the US and all new track from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Winnipeg, it proved to be a huge boom to the economy of both nations: goods from Assiniboia were easier to ship to the US, while American manufactured goods were sent north. Fifteen prominent businessmen came together in 1893 and set up the "America-Assiniboia-Alyseka Railway Company" that would build a brand new line, connecting Chicago, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Juneau. Construction began in 1895 from both ends of the line, though the line from Juneau to Calgary proved to be much harder than anticipated, especially as government subsidies for the line dictated that it must not go into British Oregon Territory.
As the AAA was built, scandals and corruption slowed construction, leading to a suspension of construction in 1897 as the US Senate investigated the company. The entire company was nearly shut down and the project aborted when British born industrialist Henry Marc Brunel, son of the famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, came to North America and became the public face of the AAA. Using his engineering skills and charisma, he managed to get the funding needed to build the AAA, as well as incorporating smaller, less profitable companies in the US and Assiniboia to connect to the main AAA line. By 1900, although the line to Alyseka was still unfinished, the AAA was the most profitable railway in the world.