The Houlton Branch Railway Company built the line in 1871 from Debec Junction to the United States border, a distance of 5 miles. It was leased to the New Brunswick Railway Company in 1882. Under the terms of the lease, the NBR was obliged to operate the railway for 999 years.
In July 1890, the NBR leased the railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway for 999 years.
Service declined on the line to the point that there was no service on the line from 1984 to 1988.
On June 3, 1988, Canadian Pacific applied to the National Transportation Agency for authority to abandon the operation of the Houlton Subdivision from Debec Junction (M. 0.00) to the International Boundary (M. 5.0). It was ordered to be abandoned by Order No. 1989-R-42 on March 3, 1989.