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Canadian Rail 400 1987

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Canadian Rail 400 1987

An association such as ours has, as one of its primary functions, the task of recording history and of marking
historica,l occasions. Sometimes these occasions have to do wilh the association itself, and such is the ca,~e now as
we mark
the: 400th issue of our publication since it was started, as the C. R. H. A. news report. in October 1949 .
Much history has been recorded in these pages since that long-ago date. some recorded soon after it was made,
other items in retrospect of a cenluryor morc. The majority of this issue is devoted to a single article. the longest we
have ever printed, on the first years of the C. P. R. after the driving of the last spike in 1885 . This is a period often
neglected by historians and, for that reason, this issue should become an important contribution to Canadian
railway history. However, I am sure that our members want to start reading the feature and not just this
so without further ado we present CANADIAN RAIL ISSUE NUMBER 400 .

Published bi -monthly by the Canadian Railroad
Historical Association P.O. Box 148 St. Constant P.O.
JO L 1 XO. Subscription rates $ 25.00
($ 22.00 US funds if outside Canada)
EDITOR: Fred F. Angus
CO-EDITOR: Douglas N. W. Smith
PRODUCTION: M. Peter Murphy
LAYOUT: Michel Paulet
Even before it
was completed, the C. P. R. line was the
of artistic views showing how it would look when
trains were running. This magnificant lithograph shows a
double-header passenger train ascending the Kicking Horse
pass towards the continental divide. The drawing
is one of
a series which appeared in the December 1885 issue of
.. West Shore magazine, published in Portland Oregon.
The other lithographs reproduced in this issue are from the
same source, allfirst appeared in December
ISSN 0008-4875
P.O. Box
Saint John,
New Brunswick E2L 4G7
P.O. Box 22 StationB
Montreal, Que. H3B 3J5
P.O. Box 5849, Terminal A,
Toronto, Ontario M5W 1 P3
300 Cabana Road East,
Windsor, Ontario N9G 1 A2
P.O. Box 593
SI. Catharines, Ontario L2 R 6 W 8
P.O. Box
Smiths Falls, Ontario K 7 A 5 A 5
P.O. Box 6102, Station C,
Edmonton, Alberta T5 B 2 N 0
60 -6100, 4th Ave. NE.
Alberta T2A 5 Z 8
P.O. Box 400
Cranbrook, British Columbia V1 C 4 H 9
P.O. Box 1006, Station A,
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 2 P1
Reynolds Bay
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3K OM4
P.O. Box 103
Kingston, Ontario K 7 M 6 P 9
Laying The Foundation
By: Douglas N. W. Smith
100th anniversaries of the driving of the last spike of the
Canadian Pacific Railway and the commencement
of its
transcontinental passenger service have been commemorated.
But to the
CP officials of one hundred years ago, these events
were but way points
in a much larger picture. In February 1881 ,
the syndicate
of investors headed by George Stephen had taken over the faltering Pacific Railway project from the Macdonald
government. They recognized that a transcontinental line built
between the hamlets
of Callendar, Ontario and Port Moody,
British Columbia would be a singularly unremunerative invest­
ment, traversing as it did the largely unpopulated areas
of the
Canadian northwest.
Today, with a well developed export economy, it is difficult
to realize the tremendous risk associated with the building
of the
Pacific railway.
In 1886 , the prairies were sparsely populated
__ .. , ,.. _ I A l, .–.A ~ I~II rt It … , , I
and the western agricultural, cattle, mmmg and lumbering
industries had yet to become established.
The facilities for
handling such shipments from the
Northwest Territories were
non -existant.
After having expended large sums to construct
the transcontinental line,
CP found it necessary to provide
facilities to accommodate the flood
of shipments pouring into its
major terminals at
Montreal, Port Arthur, Fort William and
CPs corporate success was not due to happenstance, but to
the abilities
of the companys managers during its early years.
of the key years were 1886 and 1887, which saw the
of year-round operations on the Main Line.
CP adopted three policies which would serve to create the traffic
necessary to generate sufficient earnings
to meet the heavy
financing charges of the transcontinental line. These policies
1 . diversification into non -rail activities such as shipping,
hotels, telegraph, and grain elevators;
2. construction of a network of rail lines in the settled
industrialized eastern region
of the country; and
3. development of rail links to New England and the
American midwest which ex tended CP s traffic base into
These early policies laid the ground work for the continuing
of the company. Unlike the sorry financial history of
most North American railways, which are marred with bankruptcies and manipulation,
CP never defaulted on its
payments to security holders
and, except for seven years during
great depression
of the 1930 s, has continuously paid dividends
to its preferred shareholders.
On November 7, 1885, officials of the Canadian Pacific
Railway paused to mark the symbolic union
of its rails linking
east and west coasts by driving the last spike. The Main
Line , as CP called the transcontinental line , however, was far
from complete.
The Pacific Division, extending from the
Rockies to the Pacific, lacked station buildings, work -shops
and other fixed facilities necessary for the commencement
regular operations.
After the passage of the special train bearing CP officials on
their first
all-rail journey to the west coast and a special freight
train run later that month carrying the first transcontinental
freight shipment,
CP closed the mountain section of its line for
the winter.
The special freight train carried a shipment from the
Halifax to the Esquimalt naval
dockyard consisting of a 5 ton
of oil drums and materials including a cylinder to repair
H. M. S. Triumph then laid up at Esquimalt. The New
Westminister Guardian commented that the materials for
H. M .
S. Triumph arrived in Port Moody on November 22 nd,
requiring but 14 days for the transit from England to Port
Snowshed No. 20
was the last snowshed to the east of the Glacier House stop. It was the third longest shed,
extending 2,688 feet. The outside track was used during those periods
of the year when avalanches did not
threaten the
line. This permitted passengers to view the spectacular mountain scenary rather than the dark
of the sheds. The primary purpose of the outside track was safety. Its use minimized the dangers of
locomotive sparks causing setting the structure aflame during the dry summer months and the vision of the train
crew would not be obscured by the locomotive smoke which took time to disperse from the interior of the sheds. To
the lej1 in this circa 1888 photo may be seen the portal of snowshed No. 19.
Photo Credit: A.B. Thom, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
Moody. CP maintained regular scheduled operations between
Montreal and
Donald, B. C .
The following spring saw the completion of all the work
necessary to render the line suitable for regularly scheduled
On June28 , 1886 , the first through transcontinental
passenger train steamed out from
CP s Montreal terminus at
Dalhousie Square reaching Port Moody, the first Pacific
terminal, on July
4th. According to The New Westminister
Guardian , the first passenger train carrying transcontinental
travellers reached the Pacific on June
27th. While these
passengers had to break their journey due to a lack
connections between trains, the paper recorded that Mrs.
Webster of Maryland and Mrs. Abbott were the first white
women to cross the Rockies
by railway. Mrs. Abbott was
journeying west from Brockville, Ontario with her children
join her husband who was the CP s Superintendant at
Vancouver. Through freight service commenced a month
later. When completed,
CP operated the longest rail line in the
world under one management and
North Americas first true
transcontinental railway. In the United States. three railroads
spanned the west: the Union Pacific. the Northern Pacific and
Southern Pacific. Unlike
CP , these lines only reached part way
across the continent and depended upon time-consuming
connections to reach population and oceanic shipping centres on
the east coast.
CP used this advantage to develop a large
overhead traffic
in shipments between the American east coast
and Pacific coast as well as
in trade links between the American
east coast and the Orient.
Completing the Main Line
During 1886 and 1887, CP spent $10.8 million to make
operations on the transcontinental line both safe and reliable.
Over $ 7.8 million or
70% of the total was invested on the
Canmore, Alberta * -Port Moody and Callendar-Port Arthur
sections of the line. Details of the expenditures by category for
each segment
of the transcontinental line between Quebec City
and Vancouver for these two years are shown in Table 1 .
The Mountain Section consumed the bulk of the expenditures.
In all, during 1886 and
1887, over$5.6 million was spent on
this section
ofthe transcontinental line . Some $ 3.6 million was
expended in 1886 to bring the line up to a standard to permit the
of year -round operation.
The. major expenditure in 1886 was for 35 snowsheds to
protect the line from avalanches which cost
almost$I.5 million.
To withstand the force of the avalanches, massive 12 inch by 12
inch cedar timbers were used for the crib work. Even larger 12
inch by 15 inch Douglas Fir timbers were used in areas subject to
severe traverse strains and for the bents which were placed on
five foot centres. In all, some 17 -2 million board feet of sawn
timber and 1.1 million lineal feet
oftimber and pilings were used
to construct the 4 miles
of sheds.
The first winter of operation confirmed the need for increased
avalanche protection.
Due to slides in the Selkirks and Rockies,
service was disrupted for several weeks during March and May
1887. Over$0.7 million was spent in 1887 to build additional
snowsheds, lengthen and /
or strengthen existing sheds, construct
parapets over portals, and place glance work on mountain sides
which would direct the snow over the sheds rather than
fill up the
space between them.
The 18 additional snowsheds built that
year brought the total length
of these up t05. 7 miles. Forty three
of the snowsheds were located within the 25 miles of the crossing
of the summit of the Selkirk Mountain range at Rogers Pass.
The other ten snowsheds were located within five miles of Clan
just to the west of Revelstoke.
The need for additional snowsheds in 1887 was due in part to
fires which occurred during the sununer
of 1886 . These fires,
caused in
part by sparks from steam locomotives, denuded
many mountain slopes leaving little support for the heavy
snowfall during the winter.
To provide protection in these
areas, some sheds were ex tended to lengths of up to
3,000 feet. Operation through sheds
of this length was risky as
smoke obscured the engineers vision and sparks could easily set
the entire structure ablaze.
To minimize these hazards, Vice President William Van
Home adopted a number of special measures. Special tracks
were constructed outside
of the snowsheds for use duri~g more
salubrious weather. Tourists appreciated this as they were able
to see the splendid scenery
CP was promoting rather than the
uninspiring walls
of the snowsheds. In isolated areas, gravity
fed flumes brought water from mountain streams into flumes
built on the roofs
of the sheds. Where sheds were close together,
a water tank was built between the sheds from which pipelines
lead to each shed. Stop valves were located at each portal so
that damage to the pipe in one shed would not affect the
flow of
water to the other. The same system was used to protect long
trestles. Mobile fire-fighting capabilities were also provided
the locomotives. Fire -fighting hoses could be connected with
the engine injector through their globe valve to draw water from
either the
engines tender or the special water tank cars. These
tank cars were equipped with 6,000 gallon water tanks and were
kept at strategically located sidings.
The 212 mile section of line between Port Moody and
Savona, which was built by Andrew Onderdonk under contract
with the Dominion government, was completed in
Onderdonk operated scheduled service between these points
CP took over the section July 1, 1886 from the
government. George Stephen had been persuaded by
Pope, the Minister of Railways and Canals, and Charles
Tupper, ajunior member of the Macdonald cabinet and
the son
of Sir Charles Tupper, that the Onderdonk section was
built to an acceptable standard. After his first trip west in July
1886, Stephen realized that complaints by Van Home that the
line was not up to the standard
of the rest of the line which was
built by
CP were true.
The cause of the disagreement lay in interpreting to what
standard the line should have been built. Onderdonk had a
reputation as being a good contractor.
The government, faced
with the increased financial demands by
CP , sought to minimize
on the line it was building. Bence, the standard to
meet the contract was not up to that required on the portions
the line built by CP. Ultimately CP would spend between $ 6
and $
10 million to upgrade this portion of the transcontinental
CP sought redress from the government. An arbitration
panel was set up to consider the matter but did not even begin
hearings until
February 1888. Not until 1891 did the panel
render its decision and award
CP a token $0.6 million.
of the grading, ballasting and surfacing on the
Pacific Division absorbed
$2.1 million in 1886 and 1887. In
as a reflection of CP s particular concern with the truss
bridges built by Onderdonk on the government section, over
$0.5 million was spent on bridges and trestles on this section in
1886 and 1887 . This represented
over70% of the entire amount
CP spent on bridges and culverts on the transcontinental line in
these two
Scheduled Montreal-Winnipeg service started after the line
between Callendar and
Port Arthur opened in November 1885 .
$1.8 million was spent in 1886 to upgrade this portion
and settle outstanding accounts
of contractors for the years prior
1886. Similar to the Mountain Section, large expenditures
were necessary to bring the roadway infrastructure up to the
standards for required year-round service and to construct
stations, roundhouses and other necessary facilities.
Operations in northern Ontario were plagued by
creep , caused by the muskeg over which much of the line was
laid. Between
Fort William and Winnipeg, one section
¥.i of a mile east and -2 a mile west of a small bridge,
proved especially vexing. In warm weather, the rails crept up to
12 inches under a regular train. Three trains running in the same
direction were sufficient to open aJl the joints on one side of the
bridge and close them on the other. Constant attention was
• In the 1886 Annual Report. the Mountain section is reported as extendingfrom
10 Pori Moody and in 1887 from Donald to Vancouver.
required to maintain safe operation as track bolts broke on a
daily basis. Lining and surfacing were necessary at a minimum
on a weekly basis. Because
of the tie plate flanges, spikes could
only be inserted on one side
of the rail at each tie plate.
Otherwise, the creeping rail would move the ties with them and
put the line out
of gauge. To cure the problem, it is recorded that
Whyte, the General Superintendent of the Western
Division, proposed cutting a slot
in alternate sides of the rail at
tie, replacing regular ties with 12 foot ones, and installing
40 inch angle bars. Whether this solved the difficulty is not
During these two years, the company started to replace the
temporary facilities and expand its facilities to keep up with
in business. In 1887, iron bridges replaced earlier
structures between Quebec City and Callendar. West
Callendar, to reduce the danger of fire, wooden trestles were
in a variety of ways : by the insertion of metal sections;
by the use of fill on approaches; or by complete replacement
with fill.
At Montreal, over $ 110,000 was spent to expand and
upgrade the rail line and fixed facilities during 1886 and
Maio Lioes io the East
Even while struggling to complete the transcontinental line ,
CPR financiers were laying the ground work in the early
1880s for an extensive system in central and eastern Canada
where the bulk of the Canadian population and economic
activity lay. As well, these lines would serve
as convenient
springboards into the neighbouring populous American states.
The Grand Trunk( GTR) which excercised a monopoly in many
of the communities
in the east did not welcome the competition.
In steps calculated to frustrate
CP s development, the GTR
rapidly took over many of the independant lines in Ontario and
Quebec which could have been
of use to CP. The three most
noteable acquisitions during this period were:
I) the Midland Railway whose lines extended northwards
through central Ontario from Toronto to Peterborough via
Lindsay came under
GTR control in 1882 and was taken
in 1884;
2) the Great Western Railway whose main lines extended
from Toronto to Windsor via London, Hamilton to
Niagara Falls and Glencoe to
Fort Erie was taken over in
1882; and
The disappearance of the large wooden trestles constructed during the mid 1880 s took many years to effect In
1897, CP started to fill in the Iv!0untain Creek trestle using sluices and flumes to bnng down gravel from a source
t~e trestle. The cost of thiS method was reported as one half that of using conventional method of bringing
the fill
In by tra~nloads. Fi~ling ~n the trestle took four work seasons and some 300,000 cubic yards of gravel.
Photo Credit: T.D. Kilpatrlck Collection, CP Corporate Archives.
3 ) the Vermont Central system whose lines reached from the
Eastern Townships
of Quebec to Connecticut and at that
time across northern New York State to Ogdensburg
came under
GTR control in 1883 .
Unlike its lines in the western portion
of the Dominion,
CPs expansion into the east came largely through subsidiary
companies building needed lines
or arranging the takeover of
existing lines through lease or purchase. This expedient kept
separate the cost
of fulfilling the agreement with the government
to build the transcontinental line while
CP developed the
necessary network in the east to make the entire proposition
The four most significant lines acquired by CP were the
Canada Central Railway (CC), the Quebec, Montreal,
Ottawa & Occidental Railway (QMO & 0), the Ontario &
Quebec Railway (0 & Q) and the Atlantic & North Western
(A & NW).
The Canada Central
The CC operated lines in eastern Ontario from Brockville to
Mattawa, Carleton Place to Ottawa, and Smiths Falls to Perth
when it was acquired by CP on June9, 1881 . In 1878, the CC
had received a subsidy to extend its line from Pembroke to
CP s designated eastern terminus. CP completed
the line from Mattawa
to Callendar in 1883 . Through the use of
a railway car ferry between Brockville and Morristown, New
CP was able to effect an interchange with the Rome,
Watertown & Ogdensburgh Railroad.
The Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental
The QMO & 0 ran along the north shores of the Ottawa and
St. Lawrence Rivers, linking Quebec to Montreal and Ottawa.
Failure of the contractors on the Quebec-Montreal and
Montreal-Ottawa legs saw the project taken over and completed
by the Quebec government
in the late 1870 s. Operated at a
loss, the government sold the western division, consisting
of the
Montreal-Ottawa main line and branch lines to Aylmer, St.
Jerome, St. Lin and St. Eustache, to CP in 1882 .
In an attempt to block CP acquiring a line to Quebec City,
the GTR acquired the North Shore Railway between Montreal
and Quebec in
February 1883 . This line had formerly been the
eastern division
of the QMO & O. A political storm broke out in
the provincial capital over this blatant attempt by the GTR to
control all the rail routes
to the city. While the Prime Minister,
John Macdonald, and the Manager of the GTR had been on
friendly terms, the failure
of the GTR to deliver the vote to the
party in the 1882 elections made the Prime
Minister ready to listen to pressure from
Quebec political and
business interests to have the
North Shore Railway transferred
CP ownership. This was accomplished in 1885, but only
after the Dominion Parliament voted a
$ 1.5 million subsidy for
CP to build a parallel line should the GTR not surrender the
North Shore.
The Ontario & Quebec
The 0 & Q was built by a group of financiers, including George Stephen and
Duncan McIntyre, who were involved in
the construction
of CP s transcontinental line. Construction
started in 1882
on the line between Perth and Toronto. This line
was completed in
1884, thereby providing CP with a line from
Montreal to Toronto via
Ottawa, albeit rather circuitous when
compared to the line
of the Grand Trunk.
The lease of the Credit Valley Railway by the 0 & Q on
30, 1883 extended CPs reach to St. Thomas,
Ontario. In 1880, George Stephen had acquired financial
control over the Credit Valley when he arranged the necessary
loans for his friend George Laidlaw
to complete the line to St.
In 1882, the 0 & Q assumed certain financial
of the Credit Valley. At St. Thomas, connections
were made with the Vanderbilt controlled Michigan Central
Railway for Windsor and Chicago. By the middle
of March
1884, the CP and the Michigan Central initiated through
Toronto -Chicago passenger service.
The Vanderbilts initially welcomed the link with CP. The
GTR, which had completed its line from Port Huron, Michigan
to Chicago
in 1880, was taking traffic away from the Vanderbilt
lines. By 1883 , the
GTR had captured 31 % of the total traffic
between Chicago and
New England. Prior to the takeover of the
Great Western by the GTR in 1882, the Michigan Central had
split its traffic moving from the Midwest to the east coast
between the
GTR, Great Western and Canada Southern all of
which had lines between Detroit and the Niagara Frontier.
GTR s takeover of the Great Western in 1882, the
Michigan Central leased the
Canada Southern and built its own
at Niagara Falls to expedite service. As the CP lines
parallelJed the
GTR to Toronto and Montreal, the CP­
Michigan Central connection would allow the VanderbiIts to
compete directly with the GTR for Canadian business.
The 0 & Q snatched control of the Toronto Grey & Bruce
from the
GTR in 1883 when the GTR found itself financially
over-extended following its takeover spree. The July
26, 1883
of the Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway by the 0 & Q
provided lines from Toronto to Owen Sound and Teeswater.
leased the 0 & Q on January 4, 1884.
In 1887 , the 0 & Q built an extension from Woodstock to
London. Subsequently,
CP and William Vanderbilt had a
falling out over rate divisions and the extensive traffic between
New England and the Orient that
CP had taken away from
another Vanderbilt affilia
te, the Boston & Albany. Due to CP s
rocky relationship with the Michigan Central, the London line
was extended
to Windsor where connections were effected with
a number
of independent midwestern railways. Following
of the Windsor extension, the Wabash replaced the
Michigan Central as
CP s partner in through train operation
between Toronto and Chicago
in March 1890.
The 0 & Q completed a direct line from Smiths Falls to
Montreal on September 1 , 1887, thereby eliminating the need
to operate Montreal-Toronto trains via Ottawa.
Up to this
time, the transcontinental trains and the overnight Montreal­
Toronto trains had operated
in one combined consist between
Montreal and Carleton Place. The separation
of the two trains
and the operation
of the Montreal-Toronto trains over the direct
line reduced the running time from
12 hours 18 minutes to I I
Canadian Pacific Ry St. Lawrence River bridge, viewed from the south-east. November 7, 1901.
The Lachine Bridge was completed in the summer of 1887. This bridge was the first mqior undertaking of the
Dominion Bridge Company which located its new plant
in Lachine, Quebec to be near the site of this mqior
Photo Credit:
J. W. Heckman, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
hours 10 minutes. As CP expected this to be a heavily used line,
it was laid with 72 pound rails and constructed to very high
CP had hoped to complete a direct entry from the east side of
Toronto down the Don Valley to the harbour front in the 1880 s .
Civic concern over the development plans for the lake frontage
and the animosity
of the Grand Trunk prevented the completion
of the Don Branch until1892 . During the intervening years, CP
ran its trains from Montreal around Toronto in a ten mile loop to
what is now West Toronto and then
in a southeast direction the
city centre v
ia Parkdale.
The Atlantic & Northwestern
The A & NW was chartered to build from a point on the
Atlantic Ocean or Bay
ofFunday to a point on the eastern side of
Lake Superior by way of Megan tic , Sherbrooke, Montreal, and
and was empowered to locate part
of its line across the
of Maine. This charter was bought by the 0 & Q on
December 3 , 1883 . The construction
of this line was necessary
to secure
CP access to a year-round ice free harbour on the
Atlantic. A major component
of the undertaking was the
construction of a bridge over the St. Lawrence River at
Lachine, Quebec. This bridge would break the dominance the
GTR had on traffic destined to the east coast as the GTRs
Victoria Bridge was the only span across the St. Lawrence
The contract for the bridge was awarded to the Dominion
Bridge Company
in 1885 . The firm had been formed in 1882 as
an outgrowth of the Toronto Bridge Company. The imposition
of a protective tariff on iron and steel in 1879 which was
confirmed in the general election
ofl882 as well as the formation
of the syndicate to build the CPR sparked major demand for
bridges. The opening
of the new plant in Lachine was done in the
expectation that the firm would capture much
of CP s business
as well
as put the company in an ideal position to bid on the
rumoured Lachine Bridge project.
The Lachine Bridge represented the largest project undertaken
by the Dominion Bridge Company
up to that time, having an
aggregate length
of3,457 feet. Built on stone piers, it had two
408 foot spans, two 269 foot spans and eight
242 foot spans.
The two cantilevered spans over the main channel had a
of60 feet from the normal summer water level. The
first train, carrying officials
of CP, Dominion Bridge and the
contractors, crossed the bridge and operated to
St. Johns,
Quebec on August 1 , 1887.
The completion of the Montreal-Farnham line of the A &
NW established a direct link between CP and the South Eastern
Railway, most
of whose securities CP had acquired in 1883.
The South Eastern was a valuable addition to the lines under
CP control as it possessed an ex tensive network of branch lines
in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. A branch line to
Newport, Vermont permited connections with the Boston &
Lowell Railroad which served New Englands tex tile mills and
year-round ports on the Atlantic.
Starting in 1877 , the South
Eastern operated its through
trains on trackage rights over the
Montreal, Portland & Boston
Railway line which ex tended from
Farnham to St. Lambert and
over the
GTR line across the Victoria Bridge to Montreal. To
herald the completion of the Lachine Bridge, CP shifted the
South Eastern. s through
Montreal-Boston and Montreal­
Portland passenger trains to the A & NW line and tQ its
Dalhousie Square Station on August
8, 1887.
For a time, CP considered making Portland, Maine or
Boston, Massachusetts their east coast port. The government
of Sir John A. Macdonald, however, took adim view of such an
Great sums had been expended to keep the CP line
around Lake Superior inside
Canadian territory. Locating the
eastern terminal
in the United States would compromise the
of the government. One Canadian line, the Grand
Trunk, already had its Atlantic terminal in American territory.
Finally, the Maritime provinces were lobbying hard to have the
eastern ocean terminal
of CP in their region.
The deciding factor was a financial crisis in funding the
of the transcontinental line. This forced CP to
request additional funding from the
Dominion government. The
only way Sir John could secure the necessary votes of
government members from the Maritimes and Quebec as well as
the support
of powerful political figures, such as Sir Charles
Tupper, was to have CP agree to build its eastern extension to a
port in the Maritimes and to take over the North Shore Railway
Quebec City.
The line to the Maritimes came to be known as the Short
Line as it was built on the most direct alignment between
Montreal and Saint
John. CP s line ex tended from Montreal to
Maine. Connections to Saint John were made
by trackage rights over the Maine Central to Vanceboro, Maine
and from that point over the
New Brunswick Railway. Halifax
was to
be reached by the construction of a Short Line to be built
by the goverrunent from
Harvey, New Brunswick to a point near
Moncton and through running rights granted by the government
over the Intercolonial.
Having reached
Farnham in 1887 , the A& NW continued to
push eastward. Using the existing South
Eastern trackage to
reach Brookport, it then commenced construction
of its own line
to South Stuckley where it connected with the Waterloo &
Railway(W & M) in January 1888. In 1887, the A&
NW had acquired the bonds of the W & M which extended from
Waterloo to Sherbrooke,
Quebec. While most of the W & M
was poorly located and would not be used by the
A& NW, it did
possess valuable rights
of way through Magog and Sherbrooke.
An injunction by the City
of Sherbrooke held up the transfer of
the W & M to the A & NW until May 1888. The A & NW
completed its line between South Stuckley and Sherbrooke on a
largely new alignment
in 1888 .
Continuing its eastward
push, the A & NW acquired the
International Railway
in 1887. This line stretched from
Lennoxville through Megantic to the
Quebec/Maine border. A
four mile line was built by the A &
NW in 1887 between
Sherbrooke and Lennoxville to link the W & M with the
While the A &
NW was advancing towards the east coast, it
also had
started construction on an important project on the
of Montreal. The need for a station in the western end of
Montreal had become pressing with the construction of the A &
NW and the 0& Q direct line to Smiths Falls and Toronto. The
Dalhousie Square terminal in the eastern end of the city was well
located for trains operating over the former
QMO & 0 lines to
Ottawa and
Quebec. The access line was, however, too
circuitous for
CP s trains to be competitive with those of the
Grand Trunk to New England and southern Ontario points.
Accordingly, the company elected to build a new station to be
known as Windsor Station
in the west end of the city.
To reach the new station, the A& NW constructed a new rail
line from Bridge
Junction, near what is now known as Montreal
West. Plans for a new building, which included space for
corporate offices, were drawn up and revised several times
1886-1887 to reduce its cost. Difficulties with land
acquisition prevented the completion
of Windsor Station until
February 1889. An interesting side note is that the City of
Montreal decided not to hold its annual winter carnival in 1888
pending the completion
of the new CP and GTR passenger
In the Annual Report for 1885 , the value of the eastern lines
to the financial well being
of the company was clearly
Net revenues from these lines exceeded their
fixed charges by
25% and the fixed charges and interest upon
their entire
cost by more than 10% .
Prairie Extensions
The company leased the Manitoba South Western Coloni­
zation Railway (MSWC) on June 1, 1884. At that time, the
MSWC had completed51 miles of line from Winnipeg to a point
known simply as End of Track . Two factors attracted CP to
the Manitoba shortline.
First, the road possessed a substantial
grant in what was considered the finest agricultural
area of
the province, the completion of the line would earn land grants
of 6,400 acres per mile. Second, its location would block the
of any American railways into this rapidly developing
As the MSWC land grants were due to expire in 1886 , CP
proceeded to extend the MSWC, even though it was struggling
to find the funds to complete the transcontinental line .
As well,
it was hoped that the construction of such branch lines would
help to calm agitation
in the province which advocated the
of independent lines to connect with the American
in 1885, CP extended the original MSWC
line 40 miles to HoJJ and. The nex t year, CP pushed the line
from Holland to Glenboro and built a spur from
Elm Creek to
the site
of the present day community of Carmen. As well, CP
ex tended the existing Winnipeg -Manitou branch line from
Manitou to Deloraine under the charter of the MSWC in 1886 .
Having completed these lines, the
MSWC earned a land
of over 1.3 million acres. In 1888, these lands were
selling for
$ 4.54 an acre and CP calculated that at this price it
would recoup most
of the money spent to build the MSWC
Construction on the Pacific Coast
In April 1886, CP began the construction of a branch from
Port Coquitlam to New Westminister. New Westminister
ratepayers approved payment
of a $ 75,000 bonus to CP in
November 1885 to serve as an inducment for the building of the
The Guardian of New Westminister reported that
the first freight shipment consisting
of the wire and plant to build
the telegraph line from
New Westminister to San Francisco
moved over the new
CP branch on August 27, 1886.
of the line along the waterfront to the centre of the
city and ballasting operations delayed the start up
of regular
passenger service until November
1, 1886. This 8.5 mile
which cost $131,000, allowed CP to directly serve
what was the largest city on the BC mainland, though
Vancouver would surpass New Westministers population
shortly after
CP completed its line to the final Pacific
. ,
,.; .
• >~
On May 23 , 1887 , the first transcontinental passenger train
from Montreal steamed into Vancouver. Locomotive
which pulled the train into Vancouver, was gaily bedecked with
pine boughs, banners and a portrait
of Victoria on the head
light; for the next day the Queen would celebrate her birthday,
and, a month later, the fiftieth anniversary of her assention to
the throne.
The locomotive would eventually be presented to the
of Vancouver by CP as a token of the momentous day.
At Vancouver, a plain one storey utilitarian station, which
was built on stilts
in the harbour, marked the end of the nation­
building adventure. While expected to be a temporary facility,
the station which was split into separate passenger and baggage­
express buildings connected
by a wide canopy, lasted for most
of the remaining years of the nineteenth century.
Extending the line
12 miles westwards from Port Moody had
been under review from
1881 . In that year, CP dispatched
surveyor John Ross to the west coast to report on the best site for
the Pacific terminus. Ross deemed Port Moody an unsatisfactory
tenninal site due to the lack
of sufficient land to build large
yards. A penny-pinching Dominion government had made
Moody the site for the western tenninus , not due to any superior
advantage, but to minimize costs.
Port Moody was the first
point where rail and water transport could interface. Its
selection reduced the distance that the government had to build
its section of the transcontinental line .
An artists conception of what the harbour of Vancouver (then called Coal Harbour) would look like when the
C. P. R. arrived. Within a very few years this came to pass.
U The West Shore. December 1885 .
As speculators had acquired much of the available land at
Port Moody, large expenditures would be necessary to
assemble the necessary land to accommodate the western
terminal. The other alternative to create a site for the yards
be to fill in the mud flats at a cost of between $ 2 to $ 4
million. The young company had many pressing projects and
could ill-afford to make an expenditure
of this magnitude at its
Pacific terminus, especially when sites which could be more
economically developed were located nearby.
1884, the provincial government agreed to grant CP nine
square miles ofland at Granville for the Pacific terminus. While
the reasons for this action by the provincial government remain
elusive, it
is suspected that land spectulation on the part of
supporters of the government played a role in this offer.
Granville was subsequently renamed Vancouver
in 1886 at the
of VanHorne. To keep land speculators off-guard,
CP maintained that it would develop its terminal at Kitsilano on
English Bay.
CP started construction of the extension from Port
Moody in 1886. While a line was built to Kitsilano, the main
line was built to Coal Harbour on Burrard Inlet. A letter dated
February 1887 from the local superintendent to Van
shown in Appendix A relates the progress on the construction of
the necessary facilities for the railway. The completed line,
which cost
$0.4 million, was turned over from the construction
department on May
21, 1887.
In accordance with company policy, the income generated
by land sales was used to pay for the cost
of the extension. To
finance the cost of building the necessary railway facilities at
divisional points,
CP had adopted a policy of using the income
from land at the sites. In already settled
areas, the company
sought a municipal bonus
in exchange for its divisional facilities
or shops. By the end of 1887,
CP had practically recouped the
entire cost
of the Vancouver extension and, by the end of1888 ,
reported that Vancouver land sales had yielded almost$ 870,000 .
In 1887, the City of Vancouver granted CP a 30 year
exemption on property tax on 75 acres
of land if they would
construct their yards and shops
in Vancouver. This was to
forestall the possibility of
CP locating these in Kitsilano which
lay to the south of the young city. A fire at Yale had destroyed
the first shops. Pursuant to this
otTer from Vancouver, CP built
its new yard and shops on False Creek
in 1888 at a cost of
$ 31,000. These facilities lasted until the advent of Expo
Ontario Construction
During 1887 , the extension of the dormant Algoma branch
to Sault Ste Marie (the Soo) was vigourously advanced to
connect with new railways being built to Sault Ste Marie,
Michigan. A railway
to the Soo had been proposed for some
time to etTect connections with American lines reaching the
Upper Midwest. In
1883, the GTR proposed to extend the
former Midland Railway to the Soo and on to a connection with
Northern Pacific at Ashland, Wisconsin. A crisis
in the
financial atTairs of the
GTR prevented the extension. Learning
ofCPs plans, in 1887 the GTR offered to extend CP running
rights over its Woodstock-Windsor line
in exchange for similar privileges over
CP between North Bay and the Soo. In 1888 ,
GTR renewed its request for running rights to the Soo
otTering CP running rights over its line to the Niagara Frontier.
CP declined both offers.
In 1884, CP had completed the 96 mile branch from
Sudbury to Algoma Mills. Algoma Mills was to have become
the eastern terminus for the
Great Lakes steamship service.
However, following the lease
of the 0& Q in January 1884, the
company decided to make Owen Sound the terminal due to its
already functional harbour and its direct rail connection to both
Toronto and Montreal.
No longer required, the Algoma Mills
branch was mothballed pending future requirements.
By the end of 1887 , over$I.2 million had been spent and the
rails had reached the Soo. Passenger train service to the Soo
commenced on December
23, 1887.
By constructing the line to the Soo, CP planned to make
connections with the Sault Ste
Marie, Minneapolis & Atlantic
Railway (
SSMM& A) and the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic
Railway(DSS& A) . These lines were building towards the Soo
from Minneapolis and Duluth respectively. These two cities
were transhipment points for a large portion of the American
grain crop. In 1887 , Minneapolis handled 25.6 million bushels
and Duluth 1 1.5 million bushels
of spring wheat whereas
Chicago attracted only 7.6 million bushels.
The SSMM & A was being built by the leading milling
in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including the Pillsbury
and Washburn families, to control their own outlet to the eastern
seaboard. This was necessary to circumvent the high freight
rates incurred by shipping through Chicago which, at that time,
was the break bulk point for setting rates. The link with
would provide them with the shortest route from Minneapolis to
the Atlantic
coast, connections with an independent line, and
most importantly cheaper shipping rates. However, financial
troubles impeded the progress
of construction.
The completion of the two lines to the Soo was due to George
Stephen –
CP s President, and Donald Smith – a member of
CPs Board of Directors. It could be said that today s SOO
Line owes its existance to these two men. Stephen and Smith
held over half the stock
in the company, giving them effective
control. In return for their financial support, Stephen and Smith
required the
SSMM& A to amalgamate with three other smaller
lines to
form a system known as the Minneapolis, St. Paul and
Sault Ste Marie Railway. This was done on June 1, 1888,
creating a new company whose lines extended from the Soo into
the Dakota Territory. In 1890 these holdings,
as well as those
in the DSS & A, were turned over to the CPR.
Stephen and Smith foresaw that
CP would accrue significant
benefits through the control of these two lines. They would
CP with a strategic entry into the large grain and milling
of the upper American midwest. These lines, in
conjunction with
CP s line to the Soo, would have the shortest
rail route from Minneapolis to Boston which would give
CP an
in pricing.
As well, the purchase would help to keep in check the plans
of Northern Pacific Railway (NP). The NP, which had
completed its transcontinental line between
Wisconsin and
Tacoma, Washington in 1883, recognized that
CP would be a competitor for the transcontinental and Pacific
trade. The
NP hoped to weaken CP through establishing
connections with the
GTR and by builcling rail lines into the
grain producing areas
of Manitoba.
Hampered by its
out of the way terminus at Ashland, which
lacked direct access to the trunk lines to the east
coast, the NP
completed an ex tension to Minneapolis -St. Paul in 1886 . In
the Twin Cities, a connection was made with a group
of small
lines which
in 1886 completed a through line between the Twin
Cities and Chicago. These companies were reorganized as the
Wisconsin Central Lines
(WC) in 1887. Even before the
reorganization was completed, three members
of the Board of
Directors of the WC received seats on the NP Board. In 1889
NP President Henry ViIJard completed a traffic agreement with
WC and on April 1, 1890 leased the WC outright for 99
years. The
NP, however, was hampered in its efforts to best
CP by its weak financial condition and the Interstate Commerce
Act which limited the level to which it could reduce rates.
collapse of the NP in the financial panic of 1893 saw the WC
leave the NP fold. Ironically, in the twentieth century the WC
would come under the control of the SOO Line.
The NP fed agitation in Manitoba to allow new rail lines to be
built to the American border. Entry into Manitoba would allow
NP to increase the grain traffic moving over its lines to the
of Duluth and remove much needed traffic from the CPR.
Given these moves by the NP, it is certain Stephen and Smith
could not overlook the fact that possession
of the SSMM & A
would allow
CP to flex its muscle in an area dominated by the
During 1887, CP, the SSMM & A and the DSS & A
established the
St. Marys Bridge Company to build a $ 1
million bridge over the St.
Marys River at the Soo which would
link their lines.
To span the St. Marys River and the American
and Canadian canals required a bridge 3,144 feet long. The
structure was constructed by the Dominion Bridge Company.
Rails were laid across the bridge linking the three railways on
31,1887. A newspaper article from the Winnipeg
Press reproduced in Appenclix B chronicles the events of
that day.
The DSS & A was the first railway to arrive in Sault Ste
Marie, Michigan. Its track reached the community in mid
August 1887 . On October
15 , 1887, passenger service was
inaugurated. The
DSS & A reached its western terminal,
Duluth only
in September 1888 . The SSMM & A reached the
in December 1887 . To herald the inauguration of its freight
service, the
SSMM & A dispatched six trains hauling a total of
more than 100 cars of flour from Minneapolis to Boston on
January 5 , 1888 .
Under the terms of the October 18, 1880 agreement with the
CPR syndicate, the Dominion government agreed not to allow the construction
of any line not owned by CP which would cross
the border west
of Lake Superior for a period of twenty years.
This step would effectively block American railroads from
building branch lines up to the border to tap the most lucrative
of traffic in western Canada. This stipulation was in
exchange for the commitment by CP to build the 1,000 mile line
of Lake Superior, which would have limited revenue
earning potential.
If American railroads could build branches
into the west, through traffic between the west and Central
Canada could be routed via Chicago and the Grand Trunk.
Grain traffic could be diverted to the Lake Superior port
Duluth in lieu of Fort William and Port Arthur. With their
greater traffic base, the U .
S. lines could undercut CP s rates
and siphon off much
of the grain traffic which was necessary if
CP were to operate profitably.
While the Province
of Manitoba did not like the limitation on
its power to charter rail lines , the situation remained stable until
March 23, 1883 when
CP introduced a new tariff which
substantially boosted rates
in the west. The tariff was consider­
ably higher than that
in effect on lines in eastern Canada. CP
cited the higher cost of operation in the west and sparse
population as factors making the higher rates necessary.
Examples used by
CP were fuel and labour which were 110%
45% more expensive than in the east.
The Winnipeg Board
of Trade expressed strong dislike for the
average 59% increase in local rates and for the fact that the new
rates, being based upon distance, made it much cheaper for
in outlying centres to import their goods directly
rather than purchase them through Winnipeg wholesalers. As
an example,
CP would charge 80 cents per hundredweight on a
first class freight shipment hauled from the connection with the
Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway at St. Vincent,
Minnesota directly to Brandon, Manitoba.
If the goods were
brought to Winnipeg by a wholesaler, stored
in his warehouse
and then shipped to Brandon, the combined rail rate for the
Vincent-Brandon shipment would be $1.08 per hundred
weight. In one missive, the Winnipeg Board
of Trade , a bastion
of private enterprise, went so far as to state that rates should not
be made to cover the costs
of operating the railway. How CP
was to survive as a private company was not addressed.
Fuelled by dissatisfaction over freight rates, the provincial
government granted local interests charters to build independent
lines to the border, where they would connect with American
lines. These charters were consistently disallowed by the
Dominion Government.
In June 1887, the province passed
legislation chartering the Red River Valley Railway. This was
disallowed by the Dominion Government on July 6, 1887.
While the two levels
of government entered into an acrimonious
debate centring on the alleged crippling effects the
CP rates were
having on western development and how the use
of the federal
veto was
in violation of the spirit of the British North America
Act, the provincial government proceeded with the construction
of the railway. Financial problems, however, stopped
construction activity in the fall
of 1887 .
CP felt that the government should be held to their
agreement with the company, the government of Sir John sought
a compromise early in
1888. In exchange for CP agreeing to the
cancellation of the monopoly clause, the government offered to
guarantee the
payment ofthe interest, at the rate of3 Yz percent,
on a $15 million bond issue whose term was not to exceed 50
years. The security was to be a mortgage on the unsold 14.9
million acres
of land held by CP. Under the agreement, CP
would use $5.5 million for improvements to the Main Line,
$5.25 million for new rail equipment and $4.25 million for
shops, docks, steamers, grain elevators, new bridges, and
related improvements. As
CP owned two lines between
Winnipeg and the Manitoba -Minnesota
border, it was granted
permission to lease
or sell the line on the east side of the Red
or, if Parliament authorized a competing line, to operate
only one
of the two lines. CP acceded to the agreement on April
18, 1888. The Manitoba government, subsequently, turned
CP offers to lease them the line via Dominion City.
In October 1888, the Red River Valley Railway line was
completed from the border to Winnipeg.
The provincial
government turned the line over to the
Northern Pacific &
Manitoba Railway, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific
Railway; and incorporated into the terms
of the agreement the
requirement for the
NP to build branches from Winnipeg to
Portage la Prairie and from Morris to
Brandon. During the
remaining years
ofthe nineteenth century, the Northern Pacific found that traffic did not live up to its expectations and
westerners found that freight rates changed very little with the
of the newcomer. In 1901 , these lines were transferred to
the provincial government who in
tum assigned them to the
The commencement of regular WJerations between Toronto
North Bay by the Northern & Pacific Junction Railway late
in November 1886 provided
CP with a direct connection to the
west from southern
Ontario. Passengers and freight no longer
had to make a circuitous detour between Toronto and Carleton
Place to connect with the transcontinental line. Passenger trip
times over the new route were 4 hours less than via Carleton
On February 24, 1888, however, the GTR tookover the
Northern & Western Railway which had leased the Northern &
Pacific Junction. As the old animosity between the GTR and
CP flared up, CP threatened for a time to build its own line from
Sudbury to Toronto if the
GTR would not negotiate reasonable
CP shelved its plans for the $1.25 million line as the
Dominion government announced it would be restricting the
Except for the street car, this view could date to the mid 1880 s. This circa 1900 view of the Winnipeg station
shows the brick building which replaced the one which was destroyed by fire
in May 1886. When built, this was
the most substantial station on the western lines of the CPR, all other stations being smaller and of wooden
construction. The lineup
of six horse powered hotel omnibuses are awaiting the arrival of the transcontinental train.
Photo Credit:
O. Lavallee Collection, CP Corporate Archives.
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,
Halifax, Boston, Quebec,
2.80pm lO.OOpm 0 Lv ………….. QUEBEC .•………… Ar-6.SOam ~~
8.00pm 2.00pm 17~ Lv ………… MONTREAL ……….. Ar I2.85pm:::-:~
S.OOam 6.87 pm 292 r;v:-:-::~ OTTAWA …. -:-:-:-:-~Ar 7.46am 7:20pm
S.OOam 4:00pm 865 ~~ROCKVTLLE.==Tr-UOpm 8.liOpm
800pm 9.2iam 8;9 Lv …………. TORONTO ………….. Ar 2.liOpm 8:25am
9:35am 6.5iipm 390 Lv …….. CARLETON JUNC~.Ar -S:OO .. m 5:20pm
1.84 pm 9.fS pm 396 ………….. PEMBROKE …. ………. B.SS am 1.84 pm
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:::::::::: un::: ffi ::::::::::::::::.Sft,~~I~~j.:::·::::::::::.:: g:~~::: .::::: .. ..
………. 1.00 pm 1167 ………….. PORT ARTHUR ………… 2.80pm …….. .
………. ………. 11;8 ………… FORT WILLIAM ………………………… ..
………………. 1464 …………… RatPorrage ………………………….. ..
………. 7.80am 1697 Ar …….. … WINNIPEG ………… Lv 8.00pm …….. ..
::::.::::: U~a~ i995 ~.~::::::::· …. :.:%~~~Ha~~::::::::::::~~ l:ru::: ::::::::::
I2.t6nbt2257 …………. MEDICINE HAT ………… 2.SOam …….. ..
B.80arn 2857 ……………. Crowfoot. ………. 7.85pm …. .. ..
12.3U nn 2400 ………….. LANGDON… ……. …. 8.~ pm …….. ..
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An example of the eye-catching advertising used by
C.P.R. in the 1880 s. Much of this was devised by
Van Horne himself. Note the partial timetable, dated
March 1886, showing the terminus at Coal Harbor
(with an estimated mileage)
beJore the name Vancouver
was official. A t that time actual service only went as Jar
as Donald.
subsidies available for new railway construction starting in
1889 . British investors
in Canadian railway securities expressed
concern over the conflict between the two companies which
could well have made it difficult to raise the funds, and the
completed its thrust into Manitoba which could have eroded
CPs earnings. As well, the GTR recognized the importance of
the CP traffic to the viability of this line. While there were
strained relations between the two lines
in subsequent years, the
two companies came to an arrangement which lasted until
opened its direct line between Toronto and Sudbury in
Out on the prairies, the Manitoba & North Western Railway
(M & NW) continued to expand westward. Construction had
in 188] under the name of the Portage, Westbourne and
North Western Railway. By
1885, the M & NW had
completed 130 miles
of line from Portage -la -Prairie to
Solsgirth, Manitoba. In 1886 , the main line was extended
miles to Longenburg, in the Northwest Territories (now
Saskatchewan), and an
11 mile branch line was built from
Binscarth to Russell, Manitoba. During the same year, its
subsidiary, the Saskatchewan & Western Railway, built the
line from Minnedosa to Rapid
City, Manitoba.
1885, Sir Alexander Galts Northwestern Coal &
Navigation Company completed its narrow guage rail line from
Dunmore (near Medicine
Hat) to his coal mines at Lethbridge,
Alberta. Earlier attempts to ship the coal via steamships had
been frustrated due to low water levels along the Oldman and
South Saskatchewan Rivers during the summer months and the
slow transit times.
In July
1886, Sir John A. Macdonald started on his long
of trip on the CPR to western Canada. One of his
functions on the trip was the driving
of the last spike on the
Esquirnalt& Nanairno
Railway(E& N) on Vancouver Island.
The location
of the Pacific terminus of the CPR had been a
particularly vexatious problem. Victoria,
as the capital of the
province, had been one
of the contenders. The high cost and
of bridging the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the
mainland the Vancouver Island finally saw their hopes crushed.
The Dominion government did contribute a
$ 750,000 subsidy
towards the construction
of the E & N .
On August
13 , 1886, Sir John drove the last spike of the 69
mile line connecting Esquirnalt and N anairno at Cliffside. On
September 24 ,
1886, a three mile extension from Esquimalt to
Russells was completed bringing the trains to within a mile
downtown Victoria. A further five mile ex tension was inaugurated
from Nanaimo to the mines at Wellington on June I, 1887.
Freight cars were not transferred between the E & N and the
mainland until a railway car ferry service was inaugurated
On May 11, 1884, CP inaugurated its first waterborne
shipping service. Three steamers had been ordered from
Scottish builders
in 1883 for service on the Great Lakes between
Owen Sound and Port Arthur. They were named the Alberta,
and Athabasca . The veSSels were designed with
special bulkheads amid -ships so they could be halved
Montreal for transit on the small locks on the St. Lawrence.
After being reassembled
in Buffalo, the vessels spent the winter
in Port Colborne having their interiors outfitted. In the Spring of
1884, they arrived at Owen Sound and commenced regular
in the month of May.
Sailing from Owen Sound, the vessels provided a tri -weekly
link between
CP s rail lines in eastern Canada and the
completed line from
Fort William westwards. The 1773 ton
vessels accommodated 130 first class passengers, 200 steerage
class passengers and 2000 tons of freight. Disaster struck on
7, 1885 when the Algoma was driven ashore
during a gale on Lake Superior. As the line between Sudbury
Fort William had been opened five days earlier, CP decided
to make do with only two vessels and twice-weekly sailings on
the lakes during the navigation season. With the expansion in
grain shipments
in 1887 , the decision was taken to purchase a
third vessel,
the Manitoba , which was launched in 1888.
CP recognized early the value of steamship links to the Orient
to stimulate shipments over the transcontinental line . As early
as 1884 , discussions were held with the Imperial Government
London to solicit mail subsidies for a fleet of CP owned ships
which would link London to the Orient via Vancouver. This
route would save several days over the traditional one using
Peninsular & Orient steamships operating
via the Suez Canal
and could be used
in times of crisis to move troops to the Pacific.
While it would take
an additional three years before the
Imperial Government approved the subsidy, CP entered the
trans -Pacific freight business as soon
as the transcontinental
line was open. Between July 27 , 1886 and January
10 , 1887 ,
seven sailing vessels operating under charter to Oriental
shipping houses brought cargoes totalling 4,000 tons
of tea and
other items from Pacific points to Port Moody. Special time
freights operating with rights over all trains forwarded these
shipments to Montreal and New York
in seven to eight days,
which was a most favourable showing for the new line. CP was
able to capture a substantial portion
of the American imports
due to its
low freight rates, superior Pacific harbour at
Vancouver and favourable schedules. The importance
of the
American business to the success
of the Pacific shipping is
illustrated by the fact that a least half of the 14 carloads of tea
which left Vancouver on November
30, 1886 were for US
destinations. The manifest as reported
in the Port Moody
Gazette was as follows: 2 for Emerson (point of entry to the
American midwest) , 5
to Brockville (point of entry for New
York), 1 to Toronto, 6 to Montreal (while not specified,
undoubtably a number of these were destined
to Boston) .
The venture was such a success that three second hand
former Cunard Line trans -Atlantic steamships, the Abyssinia,
Batavia and
Parthia, were chartered from William
Pearce for the 1887 season.
CP elected to use steam -powered
ships to reduce the time
of the Pacific crossing and to make
possible better adherence to schedules than was possible with
sailing vessels. The sailing ships had required 29 to 49 days to
complete the Pacific crossing. The steamers reduced the time to
less than
15 days. Mr. George B. Dodwell, shipping manager
of Adamson Bell
& Company, a merchant house with large
in the Orient, was engaged by Pearce to act as
manager for the ships and as agent
for CP in the Orient. These
vessels, which frequently had to be supplemented
by adclitional
chartered ships, operated on the Pacific route until 1891 . Collingwood Schrieber, Chief Engineer
for the Department
of Railways and Canals, in a report dated December 26 ,1887,
stated: As a through route between Europe and China and
Japan and the east,
its [CP s 1 merits, though amply established,
must become more and more apparent. Already notes
of alarm
have been sounded
in the American press at the manner in which
CPR is cutting into the business of the transcontinental roads
of the United States.
Negotiations continued with the Imperial government
London and the Dominion government for a subsidy and a mail
contract to justify
CP establishing its own trans -Pacific service.
1887, CP secured a mail contract and subsidies from both
governments. In exchange for the 60,000 pound sterling
subsidy, to which Canada agreed to contribute 15,000 pounds
CP undertook to provide liners capable of 16.5 knots
making one sailing per month from Vancouver to Yokohama and
Hong Kong. In the event
of war, the vessels would be turned
over to the admiralty
for use as armed cruisers. The Imperial
Government, however, deferred granting contracts until the
slow speed
of the North Atlantic mail service was improved. In
1889, when CP let the contract for what would be the first of the
long line
of Empresses which would operate on the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans, improvements on the Atlantic were
sight. The three Empresses were placed in trans -Pacific service
in 1891 .
Casting about
for additional sources of traffic , CP established
friendJy connections with steamship companies on the west
coast. As early
as June 20, 1886, the CP concluded an
agreement with the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company
(CPNC) relating to the exchange of traffic . The CPNC, which
had been created
in 1883 , was the largest steamship company in
British Columbia. At the time of the completion of the
transcontinental lines , it operated vessels from
Port Moody and
New Westminister to points on Vancouver Island and
up the BC
CPNC remained independent until 1901 when CP
purchased a controlling interest in the company. In 1903 , CP
took over the company and used it as the basis for their own
Pacific coastal service.
Looking farther afield,
CP placed its sights on the large
of freight traffic moving across the United States. The
News reported as early as March 1886 that CP
officials had invited former California Governor Perkins to
Montreal to discuss
how CP could receive California traffic.
Agreements were reached with steamship companies to provide
direct links to Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and down the coast to
San Francisco, then the major entry port for the State
The Daily Colonist
in Victoria announced on May 10 ,
1887 that
CP had completed arrangements with the Washington
Transportation Company
to have the steamer Eliza Anderson
employed between Tacoma and Vancouver. The vessel was to
make tri-weekly sailings connecting with the transcontinental
passengers trains. CP,
in concert with the Pacific Coast
Steamship Company, inaugerated joint service between San
and the Midwest, and between San Francisco and east
coast points.
An application to the U. S. Treasury Department
to move goods in bond between San Francisco and eastern
American points was approved
in May 1887. The Pacific Coast
Steamship Company acted as the bonding agent.
During the mid
1880 s, the transcontinental lines in the
United States became engaged
in one of their periodic price
Not suprisingly, the impact was felt by CP, which not
only regretted the depressing effect the situation had on freight
revenues, but the fact that its freight traffic was being poached.
In this rate
war, CP possessed a distinct advantage as it could
set rates at levels below those permitted
its American competitors
under the Interstate Commerce Act.
The value
of the steamship connections rapidly proved their
in this battle as well as generating long haul traffic on the
transcontinental line . On May
21 , 1887 , The Daily Colonist
announced that
CP had secured contracts to carry 8 million
of sugar from San Francisco to points in Minnesota and
Michigan. As well,
CP moved in on the cotton export market
Canadian Pacific Ry steamer

Alberta at Fort William, Ont.
and soon was handling most of the traffic between New England
and the Orient. Thus the Canadian upstart showed it could
compete with the more established American railways.
In order to generate passenger traffic, VanHorne homed in
on the increasing penchant for travel of the middle class. The
in the west were considered to be special areas for
tourism development. In November 1885 , under the prodding
of VanHorne, the federal government set aside a reservation of
ten square miles around the hot springs at Banff. To popularize
its case,
in 1885 and 1886 the railway issued free passes to
enable Parliamentarians to travel west. A letter to Van
written in November 1886, chronicling the methods used by
passengers, including Members of Parliament, to save on
sleeping car fare appears in Appendix
C. The efforts by CP

The steamship Alberta had a long career. While this view was taken in the 1880 s, the vessel, which was built
in 1883, remained in CPR service on the Great Lakes until 1946 . After 1916, it was primarily operated in Jreight
service. Sold
to Florida interests, the vessel operated Jar two more years ojIer it lefl CP beJore being broken up.
Photo Credit: Bailey
& Neelands, photographers, CP Corporate Archives.
Oan.adian. P aeiHo !~U; Lin.e
Will, dllring Season of Lake Navigation (from abollt 1st May to t5th Nov.), make Ill-weekly trips in either rliro;otion hetween OWEN SOUND, SAULT STE. MARIE and PORT ARTHUR.
rh(~r. ,strfill19llif}!I nli F:lfdrjf liJ;hkrl and filled III! Iith every nlOllcm ,appliance ~o~ !pr.~fl, r.olllfllrt aud safrty-Ihp), nr Illlrivnl1(t1 on thr. Inkr!l. Thtv ar{ 2;0 rrft (r01Il !It(111 to ~I(rn 2000 ton. In rl r,
,l;lnt(TOOIr. hnlll1 upper nllfllowtr Iwrlh, 10111 flllOra whu:b cnn bp. convertclllIlto an adrlllJOl1Id t>c:rth. lhr oilll IllllllhIH . ..r 1111 nit djn~rnJn rprC!lrl1t IIPrrr IUi-th!l,lh{ clnrk~llCII pnrt in Flatcrooll1 rep~8cnt~rl~~~(I(~~C
An 1888 map showing the railway lilies, both completed and under construction of the Canadian Pacijic system.

Canadian Pacific Ry hotel at Field, B. C.
Mount Stephen in the background. Circa 1888.
The Field House was built at the base of majestic Mount Stephen. In the dining room at
this point, passengers
on the Atlantic Express would stop for breakfast and on the
Pacific Express for dinner. Locomotive
* 314 was one of two engines built by
in June 1886 to tackle the Big Hill with its 4% grades which lay to the east of
the community. The locomotive was scrapped in 1917.
Photo Credit:
A.B. Thom, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
were successful as in 1887 the federal government established
the 260 square
mile Rocky Mountain Park , today known as
Banff National Park .
of three restaurant -hotels along the mountain-
0us section ofline
in British Columbia started during 1886 . The
Mount Stephen House at Field opened
in October 1886, while
the Glacier House at Glacier and the Fraser Canyon House
North Bend opened in January 1887. While the primary
of these establishments was to obviate the need to drag
dining cars up the heavy grades, the facilities rapidly became
popular stop-over points. They would be expanded during the
ensuing decades to keep with demand. In 1887 , construction
was undertaken on
CPs Hotel Vancouver and Banff Springs
Hotel. These would offer a superior level
of accommodation to
the traveller than was locally available. Both opened in
Unlike most railways, CP decided to operate its own
telegraph service. During
1884, the telegraph line was
completed from Montreal to beyond the summit
of the Rocky
Mountains. The Annual Report
for 1884 claimed that the
telegraph has been
of the greatest value in the connection with
the rapid construction
of the line. Initially, commercial
service was available only from Port Arthur to the Rockies. On September 1 ,
1885, commercial service was extended from
Montreal to the Pacific. Ancillary lines were built to the
principal cities
of Ontario and Quebec in 1885. Profits kept
pace with the expansion growing from
$ 36,273 in 1884 to
60,350 in 1885. As well, international connections were
secured to the United States through the lines
of the Postal
Telegraph Company and the Baltimore& Ohio Company and to
Europe through the Commercial and French Atlantic cables. In
1887 ,
CP and the Postal Telegraph Company jointly built a line
from Vancouver to San Francisco. The venture was immediately
During the 1880 s, rapid expansion in grain production
occurred as the construction
of the transcontinental and branch
in Manitoba stimulated additional farm settlement.
of grain increased from just over a million bushels in
1880 to more than 8 million in 1885 . In 1884 the first major
of grain to Britain occurred using an all-Canadian
route via Port Arthur.
It was only in 1876 that the first exports of grain from
Manitoba occurred using steamships on the Red River to Fisher
Landing, Minnesota where connections were made with the St.
Paul, Minnesota & Manitoba Railway. The ubiquitous prairie
sentinel, the grain elevator, made its first appearance in 1879
Niverville, Manitoba on the Pembina Valley Railway. Its
appearance followed the opening
of the railway in 1878 which
established a direct link to the American railway system and the
port city
of Duluth. The Pembina Valley was built by the
Dominion government to serve as a line to bring
in construction
supplies for the
To encourage the construction of grain facilities, CP offered
free sites to companies wishing to build elevators on the prairies
and guaranteed only to accept grain shipped from these
By 1888, there were 44 elevators on the prairies, a
total storage capacity of over 2 million bushels. These had been
built as far west as 300 miles from Winnipeg.
The quick expansion of the prairie grain industry caused what
seemed to many farmers a never -ending shortage
of equipment
to haul and facilities to store the crop. In 1883 ,
CP completed
their first grain elevator at the lakehead. Known as
King , the 320,000 bushel capacity ofthe Port Arthur elevator
was rapidly taxed to its limit. Consequently, a new elevator
of holding 1,200,000 bushels was completed at Fort
William late in 1884. The capacity of CP s grain elevators at
the lakehead were supplemented by flat warehouses. In 1888
the reported capacity
of these warehouses was 150,000 bushels
Port Arthur and 200,000 bushels at Fort William.
The move to develop rival harbour facilities in Fort William
was met with disapproval by
Port Arthur interests. They may
have caused the delay
in having the Kaministiquia River dredged
by the Department of Public Works to permit lake ships to reach
the new elevator.
CP chose to locate its second elevator at Fort
William as the necessary space for expansion of wharfage was
not readily and cheaply available
in Port Arthur and the new site
provided sheltered anchorage.
With the start
of CP steamship service a new elevator with a
of 350,000 bushels at Owen Sound was placed in
service in 1884 . CP built its first elevator which had a capacity
of 600,000 bushels at Montreal
in 1886 .
Poor weather
in central Canada in 1887 seriously reduced
the grain crop
in Ontario. This could have had major financial
repercussion for
CP as Ontario accounted for over half the
production of grain in the Dominion at this time. Luckily, the
in the prairies produced a bumper crop, though CP
.found itself hard pressed to handle this western bonanza. Grain
in 1884 had amounted t06.4 million bushels. Within two
years, crop production almost doubled as
CP carried 11 million
bushels of grain
in 1886 . The total ballooned to over 15 million
in 1887.
To cope with the bountiful harvest of the west, CP increased
the capacity of its facilities. During 1886 , the storage capacity
CP s grain elevator in Montreal was doubled to 1.2 million
bushels. Two additional grain elevators at
Fort William and an
additional elevator at Owen Sound were built in
Further west, following the opening of the transcontinental
line, mineral ex traction had started with the mining
anthracite coal near Banff and bituminous coal near Lethbridge.
Coal oil produced from the mines near Banff was exported via
Port Moody to San Francisco as early
as 1886 . The Lethbridge
mines remained a source
of fuel for CP locomotives in western
Canada until the opening
of the Crowsnest mines in the 1890s.
The Canadian Pacific Ry is the Best Equipped
Road on the Continent of America
$IBBping and DraWing ~OO!!l Gar~
These Cars are the property of the Company; and while
the accommodations are the best, the rates charged are so
low as to excite surprise. The construction of the Canadian
Pacific Is unsurpassable, its road bed thefic with steel rails, and its bridges built of solid masonry, with
Iron superstructure.
Are served 011 the Trains of the Canadian Pacific Railway
waiters from a Bill of Fare, the charges
being extremely moderate.
These Lunches are under the Immediate supervision of the
Company, and have been made a special and an attractive
feature of this road, and are now being served on night and
day trains In both directions between Toronto and Montreal.
In addition to these Train Lunches, Dining Halls are located
at convenient Stations, with tables equal to those of the best
hotels of the country, at which ample time Is allowed for meals.
The scenery along the line of the Canadian Pacific Is unex­
celled. Beautifully diversified by River, Lake and Mountain
of unusual attractiveness, It is universally acknowledged as
It Is the Only Line carrying Montreal Pasgengers throngh
Ottawa, the seat of the Canadian Government, and
the world· renowned beautifnl Ottawa Valley.
Will find excellent sport along this line between TORONTO
and OTTAWA, especially In the neighborhood of Sharbot
Lake Junction.
Lethbridge coal was successfully marketed for domestic use as
far east as Winnipeg. Silver mines
in the Kootenays commenced
shipping their ore by steamers up the Arrow Lakes to the main
line at Revelstoke.
In the arid areas
of southern Alberta, a thriving cattle
industry grew up around the rail line. A British embargo on
United States cattle exports
in 1879 stimulated British and
Canadian interest in developing such an industry in the
Northwest Territories. Reports by the Governor General, the
of Lome, following his tour of west in 188 I focused
interest on the lands of the Pa1aiser Triangle, which extended
across much ofthe southern region
of the Northwest Territories.
These lands, which were too arid for cultivation, were suitable
for cattle ranching. The Governor
Generals enthusiam for the
of this industry were summed up in his statement to the
press: if I were not the Governor General of
Canada, I would
be a cattle rancher.
The first major ranches were established
in the early 1880 s
when herds were brought in from Montana. The completion of
the CPR line to Calgary in 1883 opened up the territory to
further development. Speculation boomed and the 47 companies
which held leases on range land
in 1884 grew to 106 in 1886.
Large scale transcontinental movement
of cattle began in 1887
when shipments were made from Alberta ranches to Eastern
Canada and Great Britain.
The construction
of the railway made vast tracts of virgin
forest accessible to the lumbering industry and provided a means
of transporting the timber to new markets on the prairies.
Fort William, sawmills with a capacity ofover25 million board
feet opened
which depended upon timber cut along the CPR
lines. In the Lake of the Woods region of Ontario , new sawmills
with a cutting capacity
of60 million board feet were supplying
sawn timber as far west as Regina. Similarly, eight new
in the BC interior supplied sawn timber as far east as
The arrival
of the railway created a boom in the settlement of
the Canadian west. In 1871, the western region of the
Dominion, consisting of the Provinces
of Manitoba and British
Columbia and the vast Northwest Territories, which separated
to form two provinces, had a population numbering a little less
than 118,000 .
By 1881 , during which time a rail connection was
established with the United States, the population
of the region
increased by 50,000 with
74% of the new settlers going to
By 1891 , the population had increased by a further
180,400, which was more than the entire population of the
!egion in
1881 .
The number offarms on the prairies increased from 10,091
1881 to 31,252 in 1891 . Large numbers of these new settlers
came from eastern North America, particularly from Ontario,
where most
of the good agricultural land was already under
To promote the Canadian west, CP operated a
special car containing samples
of actual crops produced on the
A further indication of the growing attraction
of the west was
the increasing share it had
of the total popUlation ofthe country.
1871 and 1881 , less than 8% of the growth in the total
population was recorded
in the west. In the nex t decade, the
west accounted for over 33%
of the increase in the Dominions
population. An article
from The Toronto Mail, entitled
The Work of the
CPR , which is contained in Appendix D
provides an early view
of the impact of the CPR on the economy
and settlement.
IN 1886
AND 1887
Quebec 10 Callender
Grain Elevalor at Monlreal
Iron Bridges
New Sleel Rails
10 Easl End Station Monlreal
New Roundhouse
& Turntable Hochelaga
Yard Improvements
& Extension at
& Hochelaga
to Port Arthur
Grading, Bridges
& Culverts,
& Construction
Surfacing, Ballasting
Widening Cuttings
& Buildings
Permanent Bridges
Port Arlhur to Winnipeg
Grading, Widening Cutti
& Ballasting
Permanent Bridges
& Culverts
ions, Shops & Other Buildings
Rails, Ties and Track Laying
to Canmore/Donald·
Grading, Widening Cuttings
& Ballasting
& Culverts
Permanent Bridges
Stations, Shops
& Other Buildings
Water Works
Carunore/Donald* to Pacific Coast
Grading, Surfacing
& Ballasting
Rails, Ties,
Fastening & Laying
& Culverts
Snow Shed
& Other Buildings
& Shops
Extension Port Moody
10 Vancouver
Branch Lines
1886 1887
6,073,422 105,356
Note: * Trackage split al Canmore
in 1886 and at Donald in 1887.
The opening of the west and the expansion of the system in
the east produced heavy increases in freight and passenger
traffic. In 1884 , the year prior to the opening
of the Montreal­
Winnipeg line, the
CPR handled 235 million ton miles of freight
traffic and generated 76 million passenger miles. As shown
the Table 2, by 1887 which was the first full year of
transcontinental operations, both categories of traffic had more
than doubled over 1884 levels.
Ton Miles of Freight
(In Millions)
Passenger Miles
(In Millions)
1885 1886
407 555
116 150
The major increases in freight business were due to the
in grain shipments from the prairies and in the increasing
movement of manufactured goods as the system
in the east
reached into the industrial heartland
of Ontario and began to
carry merchandise to the settlers on the prairie. The increase
freight carried by commodity between 1882 and 1887 is shown
in Table 3.
TO 1887
1882 1883 1884 1885 1886
Flour 4 21 71 92 87
Grain 36 61 108 203 284
Livestock 21 28 25 50 52
Lumber 140 372 416 356 413
Firewood 16 93 70 119 124
104 229 268 393 481
Miscellaneous 314 261 287 443 480
TOTAL 635 1,065 1,245 1,656 1,921
Source: Annual Report to Department of Railways and Canals.
The rapid expansion of the railway necessitated large scale
equipment acquisition. Unsatisfied with the price charged by
locomotive builders,
CP completed its own locomotive erection
shops on Delorimier Street
in the east end of Montreal in March
1883 . Called
the New Shops to differentiate them from the
Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental locomotive
at Hochelaga which they replaced, this facility was also
known as
the Delorimier Shops after the street upon which
they were located. The first locomotive to be built
in the
Shops was4-4-0 #285 which was completed in
November 1883. The Annual Report for 1883 stated that
locomotives were built in the shops at a price considerably less
than previously paid by the company. As evidence, the report
noted that
15 heavy freight engines had just been completed at a
of a little over $ 7,000 each.
Canadian Pacific Ry grain elevator at Port Arthur,
Ont. built in 1883. As it appeared about 1885 .
CPs first grain elevator at the lakehead was known as
King being the largest elevator in the west at the time
it was built. At the end of the wharf is coal unloading
machinery. The coal
was brought from Pennsylvania to Port
Arthur by steamship.
As no local supply was available, CP
used Pennsylvania coal from a point a short distance
west of
Ottawa to Brandon.
Photo Credit: Henry
& Norman, photographers, O.
Lavallee Collection, CP Corporate Archives.
In 1886, CP acquired 36 new locomotives. Five were
(2-8-0) types, three being built by CPs
Delorimier Shops and the remainder by Baldwin. The Baldwins
were sent west
for use on the 4.4% grades on CP s Big Hill east
of Field, British Columbia, where they joined two similar
engines which Baldwin had built
in 1884 . The remainder were
(4-4-0) types: 21 were built by CP and 10 by the
Canadian Locomotive Company at Kingston, Ontario.
1887, CP acquired another 21 locomotives: 2 Consolidations
19 Americans. All were built in the Delorimier Shops.
A total
of9 locomotives were retired in 1887 . These were
second hand engines dating as far back as the
1850 s which CP
had acquired when it took over existing rail lines in Eastern
Canada. A list of these engines
is shown in Table4 . These were
the first locomotives to be retired from the roster.
Toronto, Grey & Bruce 1872 II 4-6-0 160
Canada Central 1870 24 2-6-0 224
Laurentian 1858
J . M. Pangman
4-4-0 284
St. Lawrence & Ottawa 3 4-4-0 325
St. Lawrence & Ottawa 1879 IO 4-4-0 326
St. Lawrence & Ottawa 1854 2 4-4-0 327
St. Lawrence & Ottawa 1866 7 4-4-0 329
St. Lawrence & Ottawa 1866 6 4-4-0 330
North Shore 1866 2 4-4-0 332
Ever expanding demands were placed upon the passenger car
fleet as
CP inaugurated twice daily passenger Montreal­
Toronto -Chicago through service
in 1884, six day per week
Montreal-Winnipeg service
in 1885, daily Winnipeg-Port
Moody service in 1886 , and the twice daily Montreal-Boston
in 1887 . The Montreal-Port Moody passenger service
alone required
10 complete train sets.
Rather than rent sleepers and diners from the Pullman
Company, which at the time was the common practice
American and Canadian railways, CP elected to own and
operate their own cars. Based upon his experience
in the United
States, Van Horne felt this would be the more profitable course.
From the time that sleeping car service was inaugurated
in 1882
on the trains between Winnipeg and Regina, company-owned
cars were used.
For the start of passenger service between Montreal and
in 1885, the company augmented its fleet with 6
sleeping and 3 dining cars. In
1886, 10 additional sleeping cars
and 7 diners were added for the
start of the transcontinental
service. Four more sleepers were bought the following year .
These tallies, which are by calendar
year, differ somewhat from
those given
in Table 5 as the passenger car ownership figures in
that table are by fiscal year which ended June 30th.
The growth in the passenger car fleet is particularly startling
when the total
of 14 passenger cars which operated over the
government built lines in Manitoba
of the CPR in 1880 are
compared to the 392 cars operated
by CP seven years later. The
growth in the passenger car inventory was due not only to the
of new cars, but also to the acquisition of established
in eastern Canada. By 1887, roughtJy one-third of the
passenger car fleet had been acquired through the takeover
these lines.
Canadian Pacific Ry class SD 2-8-0 steam locomotive no. 403, built in 1886 and
to the Pacific Division. Photo taken circa 1888 .
Locomotive # 403 was built at the CPR New Shops on Delorimier Street in Montreal in December 1886. Built for service in the
Selkirk Mountain range the locomotive had
51 inch diameter driving wheels and 19 x 22 inch cylinders. The engine was retired in
Photo Credit: A.B. Thom, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
Consolidation * 402 heads up the Atlantic Express as it traverses the Beaver Canyon near Beaver (some 30 miles west
oJGolden, British Columbia) in this circa 1887 view. Behind the locomotive is a baggage-mail-express car, ajirst
class coach, an immigrant sleeping car and a jirst class sleeper.
Photo Credit:
A.B. Thom, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
The Pacific Express on the Big Hill circa 1888. Above the locomotive and the mail-express-baggage car may be seen
one oJthe
run away tracks built as a saJety measure to stop any trains which may have lost their brakes on the hill.
Photo Credit:
A.B. Thom, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
1880 -1887 *
1880·· 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887
Baggage. Mail &
Express 4 25 44 48 61
First Class Coach 10 40 90 78 100
Second Class Coach
Immigrant··· 18 28 33 86
Sleepers. Parlour
Meal Service
•• ** 35 43
14 83 162 194 290
Source: Annual Report
to Department of Railways and Canals.
Notes: • Data for
1881 is not available.
•• Government owned cars as CPR was a government
project until May
1881 .
••• First immigrant cars received by CP in 1884 .
•••• Not reported separately.
93 100
110 120
364 392
The expansion in the freight car fleet paralleled that of the
passenger car fleet. In
1880, when it was under government
owns hip , the
CPR freight car fleet numbered 429 cars: 45 box
and cattle cars and 384 platform or flat cars. The platform
which were primarily used for construction purposes, peaked in
number at 4,400 in 1885. After the completion of the Main
Line, the number
of platform cars declined to 3,091 in 1887 .
Many were converted into box cars
in CP s shops to meet
expanding traffic demands. The total number
of freight cars
in 1887 was 9,296 .
Due to the rate war between the US transcontinental lines ,
the transcontinental freight service was largely operated at a loss
until November 1887 when
an agreement was reached to restore
rates to profitable levels. Quite unlike the situation one hundred
years later, the transcontinental passenger traffic operated at a
profit from its commencement. Parlour and sleeping
operations were particularly remunerative. Profits tripled from
$49,400 in 1885 to$124,400 in 1887. The railways operating
ratio remained in the mid 60
s during these years as net earnings
climbed from
$708,000 to $784,000.
In May 1881 , the CP syndicate took over 180 miles of
completed rail lines in Manitoba from the Dominion government.
Under the terms
of their agreement, the transcontinental line
was to have been completed from Callendar( near
North Bay) to
the Pacific within ten years. In less than 5 years, they had
out the terms of the agreement and created a system of
over 4,500 miles which stretched from Quebec City to the
Pacific. Its tentacles stretched into most
of Ontario and Quebec
to the great discomfort of the Grand Trunk. The American trunk
lines felt the pugnaciousness
of the new line which cut
increasingly into their share
of transcontinental and Oriental
CPs achievement caught the imagination of the highest
of the British Empire. While the construction of the
transcontinental line through the seemingly endless wilds
Canada stirred the hearts of the chroniclers ofCP, the new route
shortened communication time within the Empire and established
All Red Route completely within British possessions
which at the time were coloured
in red on world maps. Thus the
of Lome, Canadas Governor General, was to write
CP s officials:

The Queen has been most deeply interested in the account
I have given her of the building of your great railway,
the difficulties which it involved and which have been so
wonderfully surmounted.
Not one Englishman in a thousand
realizes what those difficulties were; but now that the great
Dominion has been penetrated by this indestructible artery
of steel, the thoughts and purposes of her people, as well as
her commerce will flow
in an increasing current to and for,
sending a healthful glow to all the members.
The Princess
I are looking forward to ajoumey one day to the far and
fair Pacific.
While looking ahead one
year, the concluding remarks in the
Annual Report for 1888 by Van Horne bear repeating:
In comparing the Canadian Pacific with the other railways
in Canada and the United States … should it be forgotten
that the profits from the telegraph, sleeping
cars, express,
grain elevators, Lake steamers, and other similar adjuncts
the railway service, which on nearly all other lines are given
over to private parties
or corporations are, in the case of the
Canadian Pacific, preserved to its shareholders; and their
value is shown
by the fact that the profits from them last year
(1887] amounted to about
one-third of the interest on the
First Mortgage bonds
of the Company, notwithstanding that
it was only the second year
of full operation.
In the summerof1887 , William Van Horne undertook a tour
of inspection of the transcontinental line. He prepared a
confidential report for the Board
of Directors on the progress of
the major work programme underway to bring the entire line up
to a post construction condition. To Van Home goes the last
word. His report, which follows
in its entirety, serves as a
conclusion to this assessment
of the initial years of the founding
CP Empire.
I should like to express my appreciation to Messrs
J. Shields
D. Jones of Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives for their
assistance and comments upon a draft
of this manuscript as well
as for making available many of the illustrations used in this
article. Thanks are due
to Mr. P. J ago for editorial assistance.
The Public Archives and National Library Book and Newspaper
in Ottawa and CRHA Archives in Delson, Quebec
yielded valuable material for the compilation of this article.
For the private information of the Directors.
Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
Montreal, 6th Sept. 1887.
To The Directors,
Donald Smith, I have, since the 12th ultimo, made a
careful inspection
of the railway from Montreal to
Vancouver and I am gratified at being able to report that the
entire main line is
in good working order and that nearly all of
it is in excellent condition.
The older portion
of the line from Montreal to Mattawa,
318 miles,
may be said to be fully completed.
Between Mattawa and Fort William,
682 miles, there
were, at the beginning
of this season, numberous low places in
the roadbed, resultingfrom the shrinking
of embankments and
settlement of material incident to all newly built lines. There
were, also, a number
of short sections where the final
ballasting had not been done, or where it had been found
insufficient; also numerous places where the earth slopes were
found to be exposed to the action of the water during certain
and these required more or less rock -facing. A
II these
and deficiencies are being made good and within afew
weeks the whole of this section will be in such permanent good
condition that
it may be kept up by a comparatively lightforce
and the work will, I think, be completed within
the appropriations already approved by the Board for the
purpose. A considerable number
of the lesser timber trestle
bridges have been filled with earth
in the removal of materials from adjacent cuttings where it was not requiredfor widening
embankments. A great many
of the smaller trestle bridges
be filled within a year or two, and the long trestles,
where practicable, should
be divided by prisms of earth to
reduce the risk of loss by fire and to prevent excessive delays
shouldfires occur.
All of the existing timber trestle bridges on
this section
were planned and built as permanent structures of
this class, andI regard all of them as entirely safe, with proper
precautions against fire; but all bridges, however substantial,
must be regarded as,
to some extent, danger points; and any
in their number will result in a saving in working
and at the same time improve the general character
and reputation of the line. An estimate of the cost offilling the
smaller trestle bridges will
be submitted to the Board at an
early date. Two iron spans with masonry piers are being added
to the Big Pic Bridge, in place of timber trestle work, and the
long trestle approach
to this bridge, which is the most
important on the
Lake Superior Section, will soon be divided
by earth prisms into three sections.
The Section between Fort William
and Winnipeg, 423
miles, which was built by the Government,
is now generally in
first class condition, but a large number
of the timber trestle
and several of the wooden truss bridges have required
renewal during the year. They
were inferior structures in the
first place, and those renewed had nearly reached the usual life
of such timber work. Where it could be done without materially
increasing the outlay, earth embankments have been substititued
for timber trestles. The wooden truss bridges are being renewed
in wood, because of the present high price ofiron work and the
crowded condition
of all the bridge works, and because iron
structures would require masonry piers and abutments, which
Temporary trestle on the Canadian Pacific Ry main line over the Columbia River at Farwell,
later Revelstoke, B. C. 1885.
The first CPR bridge spanning the Columbia River at Revelstoke was a rather spindly trestle which accommodated
construction trains on the top deck and a road crossing below. The replacement
of this bridge with a more substantial
structure was one
of the heavy expenditures CP had to incur to make the line between Donald and Port Moody
suitable for regular operation.
Photo Credit:
Prof D.B. Buell, photographer, CP Corporate Archives.
would excessively increase the outlay. The bridges so renewed
are, however,
of a very substantial description and will be
good for nine or ten years. Two or three somewhat costly
accidents have occurred on this Section by the sliding
embankments built on soft material and on sloping rock
bottoms. A n examination
of the places where such slips are
to occur, shows that little more difficulty of this kind is to
befeared, and that a small expenditure will make these places
perfectly secure.
The prairies section
of the lines, from Winnipeg to
Calgary, 840 miles, is in excellent condition throughout
except that from Regina westward the embankment is some­
what narrow
in places; but a small expenditure, probably less
$ 5, 000, will correct this, and the work is being gradually
done by the ordinary section force. The water supply between
Medicine Hat and Calgary is at times insufficient and some
expenditure may have
to be made next year in this direction.
With the exception
of the Montreal terminus, the entire
main line,
asfar west as Calgary, is well provided with all
necessary buildings and appurtenances.
From Calgary
to Donald, 183-1/2 miles, crossing the
Rocky Mountains, the track
is infirst-class condition, but in
some places
in the Bow River Valley the embankments require
rock protection against running water, and occasional slack
places in the embankment require raising. In the Lower
Kicking Horse canyon, where the roadway is exposed
sixteen miles to the action of an excessively rapid mountain
stream, a large amount
of rock facing has been done and more
is required. About $20,000 has been expended in this and in
removing impending earth-slides
in the same vicinity, and in raising the track
in the Lower Kicking Horsejlats above high
water level and probably an equal amount will have
to be
expended before the end
of the year to make the roadway
entirely secure.
In the original construction of the railway, it was thought
to use pile bridges at the fourth, fifth and sixth
of the Bow River, at the three crossings of the Devil s
Head Creek, and at the crossing
of the Blueberry, instead of
more expensive structures; but experience has shown that these
will not answer at the places
in question and that it will be
necessary to replace them before the coming spring with truss
bridges on piers. The necessary iron spans
for the fourth
of the Bow have been on hand for several years and
be erected immediately, but it is proposed to use timber
truss bridges at the otherplaces named, for the same reasons as
stated in connection with the truss bridges between Port Arthur
and Winnipeg. These bridges embrace twelve spans aggregating
in length 1652 feet and the outlay will be nearly $ 65, 000.
A slight movement having occuned
in the so -called mud­
tunnel , in the Kicking Horse Valley, an expenditure of a bout
$ 9, 000 has been incurred in building a line around it. This new
line is built on a very sharp curve, but
so little difficulty is
in working traffic over it that it may safely be used
in place of the tunnel, saving the large amount of
money that would be required to make the tunnel secure.
With the exception
of a suitable station building with
refreshment rooms, etc., at Banff,
in the National Park, this
of the line is sufficiently provided with buildings and
The second CPR bndge inspired much greater confidence concerning its capacity to handle heavily loaded trains,
#365 heads up the work train dropping rock at the base of the piers, Locomotive 365 was built in July 1886
by the Canadian Locomotive Company at Kingston, Ontario, Its career lasted more than 40 years as it was not taken
off the roster until October 1926,
Photo Credit: Public Archives o/Canada/PAC 25048,
From Donald to Revelstoke, 79-1/2 miles, crossing the
Selkirk Mountains, the track
is in good working order. The
final ballasting
is well advanced and will be completed very
soon. A large amount
of work has been done this season in
reducing earth slopes on the mountain sides, and in moving the
line outfrom such slopes as are likely
to slide and which cannot
be reduced to a proper angle without excessive cost. But the
most important work
in the Selkirks is the construction of sheds
and other works
for protecting the line against snowfall and
avalanches. The sheds provided last year werefound to answer
their purpose admirably, but
many of them were found to be
too short, and during the month
of March, when the heaviest
avalanches came down, their portals werefWed with snow,
and debris. To guard against this, all of the sheds where
difficulty occurred last winter are being extended
and in a
of cases the original sheds are being connected by
covering the intervening spaces.
Withfew exceptions, cheaper
works than those provided last
year arefound sufficient, being
of the tracks of the heavy slides. Sheds are being
provided at a number
of new places where the experience of the
past winter, which was exceptionally severe, indicated the
of them. All the timber in these works is of cedar and they
will require little repair
for many years. I am confident that the
protection works now building,
and which will be finished
before winter, will effectually prevent any serious blockades.
Succeeding winters may develop snow-slides at new points
may cause slight delays to trains, until protected, but all
points where serious difjiculties might occur will
be fully
covered by this seasons work.
All necessary buildings and other facilities have been
on this section, except at Revelstoke which is a
divisional point and where an engine house, a number
sidings and the other usual works incident to such a point are
being provided. Five or six
co ttagesfor employees must be built
at this place immediately.
From Revelstoke
to Sicamous Narrows, 44 miles, through
Eagle Pass, in the Gold Range, ballasting, buildings,
are practically completed
and aside from a small number of
snow-sheds now building, a very little remains to be done.
From Sicamous Narrows to Savonas Ferry,
miles, the line is fully completed in every respect, with the
of six or eight miles of ballasting and some widening
and rock-facing
of embankments for a short distance on
Kamloops Lake, all
of which will soon be done.
The line from Savonas Ferry to Port Moody,
213 miles,
was turned over to the Company by the Government last year,
in June, and was accepted under protest as in an unfinished
and generally unsatlfactory condition.
In order to keep it open
safefor traffic the Company has been obliged to expend a
considerable amount -above
$ 80, 000 -on this section, in
removing rock and earth slides,
in strengthening bridges,
and, generally,
in temporarily protecting the line. The
rectification and completion
of the work on this section has
been providedfor by an agreement with the Government,
all questions relating to it are to be determined by arbitration.
It is expected that the amount expended by the Company in
correcting defects and deficiences up
to this time will be
recovered, and that provision will be made for all of the work
to be done on this section to bring it up to the
of the contract between the Government and the
Company. The ballasting
on this section is completed and the
track itself has been put in very good condition. The extension
of the Companys line westward from Port
Moody is now fully completed
to Vancouverl2 -I /2 miles. The
Companys agreement with the Government of British
Columbia required this line to be carried to a point on English
Bay about two miles west of the present City of Vancouver. The
rails have been laid on this section
of two miles, but the
ballasting remains to be done. A
wharf I, 000 feet long has
been built by the Company,
on the Coal Harbour front of
Vancouver and three large freight sheds have been built
thereon. These docks
to a considerable extent rest on timber
and as these have already been attacked by the teredo,
which works most rapidly
on this part of the Pacific Coast, a
considerable expense, probably
$ 25,000, will have to be
incurred in the immediate future in the way
of earth filling and
rock-facing. Facilities for passenger and freight traffic,
for present purposes, have been provided at
Vancouver, and workshopsfor locomotive and car repairs are
building. Considerable additions
to the side track accommo­
dations at Vancouver will have soon
to be made to pro vide for
the rapidly growing traffic at the point.
The New Westminister branch,
9 miles, isfully completed
and in operation.
Of the main line of the railway generally, I may say that
when the work now going on, as already described, isfinished,
which will
be within ten weeksfrom this time, the line will be in
excellent condition throughout, meeting every requirement
of a
first -class railway, capable
of carrying a heavy traffic with the
greatest economy, and equal
to any need or emergency
requiring an especially fast train service; and I feel quite safe
in assuring the Board that no serious delays or interruptions of
traffic are to be feared from snow or any other causes.
The equipment
is infirst rate condition, but at least twenty
and three thousandfreight cars should be added as
soon as possible. The movement
of bountiful grain crop just
harvested in the North West will, during the nextfour months,
tax the rolling stock
of the Company to its utmost capacity,
and will, I fear, compel us
to decline elsewhere much traffic of
importance. The extension of the Algoma branch to Sault Ste
Marie will
be completed about the end ofnext month, and the
bridge across St.
Marys River and the two American lines
extending thence
to St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth are
expected to be ready
for traffic but afew weeks later. These new
connections will bring within easy reach, an immense freight
traffic already created,
and will afford constant employment
for a large number
of cars.
Five or six sleeping cars should
be added to the equipment in
timefor next
summers business; it will probably be necessary,
to providefor additional grain storage at Fort William to
the extent of 1,000, 000 bushels, bn·nging the storage capacity
at that point
and Port Arthur up to 2, 750,000 bushels.
beg to call the attention of the Directors to the very
unsatisfactory state
of our steamship connections at the Pacific
terminus. The service between Vancouver and Victoria
performed reasonably well, but the line to San Francisco is
most inferior in character, is shunned by passengers, and is
almost impracticable for freight. Our connection with Seattle,
and other Puget Sound points is made by means of
small local boats, not at all suited to the purpose. The Alaska
trade, the passenger business especially, is increasing rapidly
is already of much importance to the Canadian Pacific
Railway, but the steamships plying
in that direction do not
touch at Vancouver, and
we are not able to compete for the
business on anything like equal looting with rival lines.
Nothwithstanding its disadvantages
in the way 0/ steamship
connections, the past
years experience has demonstrated
clearly the ability
0/ the Canadian Pacific to compete
successfully with any and all
0/ the other trans-continental
lines/or San Francisco and Puget
Sound trade; and when the
present meagre population
0/ British Columbia is compared
with that
0/ the Pacific Coast States to the south 0/ us, and
within easy reach, the importance o/suitable connections will
at once be apparent.
To provide such, two handsomely
appointed and reasonabely
last steamships would be acquired
/01 the San Francisco trade, and two smaller but/ast and well
appointed vessels
,/01 the Puget Sound and Alaska trade. We
have already had sufficient experience in this business tojustify
the belie/ that three steamships would
be more than self­
sustaining, and the value
o/the traffic they would contribute to
the railway would be great. It should be remembered that on
account 0/ the American Customs regulations and laws
governing the coasting trade, American bottoms only could be
used. It would
be nearly as great/oily, alter building a railway
across the continent,
to stop short o/providing the connections
to bring to it all the traffic within reasonable reach,
to fail to provide sufficient rolling stock. I am unable to
furnish a close estimate 0/ the cost of/our suitable steamers,
but from the best information at hand, I think the total cost
would not be/ar from
$1, 200, 000. The steamers would have to
be specially built as there are no American boats available
which would answer the purpose.
(Sgd) W. C. VAN HORNE,
Appendix A
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Pacific Division
of the General Superintendent
Port Moody, B. C.
w. C. Van Horne, Esq
Vice President,
Dear Sir, February
26, 1887
I wired you wednesday afternoon last that the track had
reached Vancouver, and
we are now at work ballasting/rom a
pit about three miles from here, which
we have fortunately
on the line. It is at a point on the Edmonds property
where he wished the line thrown back, and it
so happened that
we were enabled to do so by making a deep cutting at that point,
we had previously ascertained to be ballast, and it
in very convenient.
I understandfrom Mr. Cambie that he had some con versa­
tion with you about the extension
o/the wharf at Vancouver,
and that your idea was
to extend it at an angle …
I also propose to let the/reight shed on the present wharf at
once, and my idea
is to put up a building 450 feet long by 80
feet wide, leaving a space at the/ront o/the wharf 0/20 feet,
and placing the building close along the back line o/the wharf,
in order that cars can be loaded/rom it without a platform, …
placing the doors at such a distance apart that they will be
opposite the doors
o/the cars standing on the siding. Thefloor
A meet between the PACIFIC EXPRESS and the ATLANTIC EXPRESS in Rogers Pass about 1890. The car in the siding is an
open -window mountain observation car which had just
been built when the photo was taken. It was now only four years since the
transcontinental service had started, but the trains had lengthened considerably since the days
of 1886.
Public Archives of Canada. Photo No. PA 25053.
of the freight shed to be the present floor of the wharf, with
slides within the building, reaching from the floor up
to the
of the car floor. I would propose to lower the track to bring
the floors
of the cars to the level of the whalffloor, were it not
that it has
to cross the road ways leading to the shore.
I consider it important that this work should all
be put in
hand at once, in order
to have it ready for the opening of the
spring traffic,
and if you concur in this, and in the proposed
plan, please let me hear from you by wire upon receipt
In regard to the station buildings, I have thought since
you before on this subject, that it might be a better plan
for us
to place our General Offices on the top of the bluff at the
east corner
of Corda va and Hastings Streets, which affords a
magnificent situation for the building,
and would not only be
an ornament to the town, but would increase the value
of the
adjoining corners, which all belong
to the Company at
present. You will recollect that there are no streets registered
between Cordova Street
and the track, the ground only being
laid out in lots
in case we might want to sell tham at somefuture
If the offices were built at this point, all that would be
in the low corner next to the track would be a
passenger station with accommodation for the Ticket Agent,
Telegraph Operator, &c .
.. It seems to me this would be a
better arrangement than placing a handsome building
in the
confined space alongside the track.
As regards openingfor traffic to Vancouver, I propose that
we shall arrange to do so on the 1st of April andI propose to put
up a temporary building for the accommodation of the
passenger business, and
to have the permanentfreight building
ready by that time.
of the destruction of the Yale shops, it is
necessary for us
to make temporary arrangements elsewhere,
and I am now proposing to put up a building at Vancouver for
this purpose,
35feet wide by 250feet long, which will beplaced
it can be utilised hereafter for a shedfor storing coaches.
This will enable us
to make a start with repairs at Vancouver,
and will give us accommodation sufficient to enable us to make
the necessary repairs during the time that the permanent
buildings are being erected.
Yours truly,
H. Abbott
General superintendent
Appendix B
Fun At The Soo
Sault Ste Marie, Mich. Jan. I, 1888 -The track layersfrom
the Canadian Pacific andfrom the Soo short line met yesterday
afternoon between the main spans
of the International bridge
and the draw at
4: 20 oclock. Both parties had engines
headed toward each other, and both
were bound to make the
first crossing. The Canadian Pacific had almost gained
American soil with engine
29 under direction of Roadmaster
Stinson, with Engineer Elliott and Conductor McCarty
charge. The Soo people had engine No. 26, which is one of the
and most powerful engines. The Sao people told the
Canucks they could not cross first
by any means, and unless
they retired, the big Sao engine would advance upon them
crowd them back to Canada. It was evident the Soo people meant business and the Canadians yielded. The Soo engine
with the cars started across. Aboard
were Division Engineer
Cox, General Agent
C. R. Crowley, of the Sao line, with a
large and enthusiastic crowd
of Sooites. The train was under
the direction
of Conductor Lemy and Engineer A. M.
Thompson presided at the throttle. The train pulled across at
about four miles an hour
and went tearing down into the
Canadian Soo, under a fUll head
of steam. The event is
causing great rejoicing here, and dozens of people are out
celebrating tonight
in honour of the important event. Through
freights will begin running
at once. One hundred cars of
Minneapolis flour are expected Tuesday [January 3 rd) on the
way to the seaboard. Things are progessing finely for thefinal
celebration, January
18 tho
[Thefirst trains alluded to in the article ran afoul ofa blizzard
which halted their progress
in Gladstone, Michigan. The
trains did not reach the Sao until January 9th).
The Winnipeg Free Press, January
2, 1888.
Appendix C
Canadian Pacific Railway
Western Division
of the General Superintendant
w. C. Van Horne, Esq
Vice President
At Regina, 2nd Nov. 1886
Dear Sir:
J find that a large number of th rough first class passengers in
order to save the expense of sleeping car accommodation are
using our first class coaches by turning down the seats and
laying rugs and blankets on them, thereby getting a conifortable
Some of the members of Parliament (French Canadians)
Travel by the
who are travelling on passes carried even a light mattress which
could be folded
up in the day time.
I am at a loss
to know whether to issue positive orders
against passengers turning over the seats infirst class coaches
for the purpose
of making a bed and give instructions to have
the locks on the seats repaired so that they could not
be turned
over without being unlocked
.. a good many of these locks are
so poor that giving the seat a bit of ajar will free the lock.
We are a new line and have certain difficulties to surmount
we can establish our route and on that account it might
be policy to allow first class passengers to use the coaches in the
manner described.
Yours truly,
W. Whyte
General Superintendant
Appendix D
The Work OJ The C.P.R.
A few weeks ago, the first tea ship from Japan reached
Vancouver and passed i
ts freight over to the CPR for
distribution. Other ships have since arrived, and it is
announced that within sixty days four more vessels with
100,000 packages
of tea and with rice and a general cargo will
unload at the Vancouver wharves.
It seems that certain New
Yorkfirms import their tea by the CP route,
in preference to the
Suez canal route.
Mr. Everett Frazar, a tea merchant,
explains why this
is. In the first place the Pacific route is
shorter. In the second place tea by way of the canal cannot be
distributed until
it has reached New York; whereas along the
CP portions
of the consignment can be dropped off for
customers. The CP route is preferable to the Northern Pacific
route, among other reasons, because the terminus
of the
is better. Early this season a tea ship had to lie off
Tacoma, W. T., an entire day waitingfora tide high enough to
float her into the harbour. Winnipeg, it is said, is to be the
Western distributing point for tea by the Canadian route
Brockville the Eastern distributing point.
The CP
is now reaching out for a share of the trade of the
Pacific coast.
It has established an agency in San Francisco,
and a line
of steamers is to be put on between that city and
Vancouver. The other day the CPR carried
365 packages of
canned and fresh fruit consigned from San Francisco to
Winnipeg. The company is also operating on Puget Sound.
Thefirst through ticket from Seattle,
W. T., to New York via
the CPR was sold last week. Important mining districts have
been opened up in British Columbia by the road. When the
Kootenay railway, which
is to be constructed within a year, is
completed, still richer mines will be made operative. Cattle
from the Kamloops grazing district are now shipped
to the
coastfor consumption, and a train load
of cattle a week has
been brought from the mountains to Calgary, where sales have
been made. Calgary, which now boasts a population of two
is becoming a cattle distributing centre for the
North-West. A gentleman writing from there says that
in a
short walk he counted two hundred houses
in course of erect ion
within the city. A trade in fresh salmon between British
Columbia and the
East is being opened. The company is
putting on six refrigerator cars to carry the./ish. Five thousand
of fresh salmon have already been despatched to
Toronto, and 1,200 cases of canned salmon are mentioned as
having been takenfrom one cannery
alonefor shipment East.
British Columbia lumber
is now being taken out in large
quantities in places
where it was formerly, for marketable
purposes, valueless. While the Pacific coast
is shipping largely
to the East, the East is also shipping West. The town of
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, sends sugar to the foot of the
Rockies, and it has forwarded forty carloads
of Canadian­
made rope and binding twine
to Manitoba and the North­
West. Foremerly British Columbia imported Oregon flour
exclusively. Manitoba
is now becoming the source of supply . A
week ago
20, 000 pounds of butter were shippedfrom Winnipeg
to Vancouver. Linseed oil was last year sent from England via
San Francisco
to British Columbia. Last week 2, 441 gallons
were ordered from Montreal to pass west by CP to the Pacific
coast. Vancouver, the new Pacific city, has now, notwith­
standing the fire,
an assessed value of $2,700,000 and
buildings are going
up in all directions.
Coming east
we find that near Banff, where the National
Park and the hot springs are, anthracite coal has beenfound;
also that coal mining
in the Bow River district is to be
prosecuted more energetically than hitherto, and that there
to be a reduction 01$1.50 or $ 2 on last years prices. Besides
the cattle raising business carried on the ranches, sheep
is being entered upon. Last week four thousand
merino grades
were driven infrom Montana. Stock yards are
to be built at Winnipeg and a large cattle business, something
after the character
of that done by Chicago, is expected there.
Already Western cattle have passed through from the prairies
to England. Considerable progress has been made with the
branch lines
in Manitoba this year. Port Arthur has become a
wheat port and
IS developing into a./ine town. Sault Ste-Marie
will next year
be on a main line of railway running from
to Montreal. One hundred miles of the Minnea­
polis, Sault Ste Marie and Atlantic road from Minneapolis
east have been built and are
in operation, and the branchfrom
the CPR main line
to the Sault is being rapidly pushed
1 n the Nipissing district the railway has opened a new
lumbering region.
Two million feet of tim bel have been taken
out this year by the CPR. New settlements have also been
opened in this district. Seventeen hundred families,
example, have settled between the Mattawa and Cartier
depots. Elsewhere along the line
of the railway colonization
has progressed. East
of Winnipeg French-Canadians from
Quebec and New England have settled, and near the Turtle
Mountains people from Labrador and the north shore
of the
Gulf have been located. Thriving settlements of Germans,
Scandinavians and Hungarians have been planted on the
Qu Appelle River. The Calgary district has received a large
influx, and
asfar west as Golden City on the Columbia River,
the work
of colonization is proceeding.
These disconnected items
of information come from a
of the news regarding the CP published in various
quarters during the last week or ten days. They seem to reply to
some degree to the old objection that the railway would be a
useless undertaking, and that it would neverearngreasefor its
wheels, or repay the country the expense involved.
It really
looks from the record there given as
if the road were doing
something for the country
and for itself as well.
The Toronto Mail
31, 1886
GtNL EASTtAN AGeNT N~. rttljb •• Iu •. ~,·t;
lor.ll.1,d fl •• ·lolI ~lrII
337 BROADWAV, N.Y, Pl-fllAO[LPMIA. P,a,
The changing orientation oj Canadian Pacifics over-all aspect is clearly shown by these two timetables, little
more than two-and-a-
half years apart. In March 1886 it is shown as the most direct route between east and
west , while by November 1888 the lengthy shipping routes shown on the globe emphasized that it was becoming a
wide system. The globe moti/was used, with variations, on the timetables Jor many years, and
Joreshadowed the Spans the World insignia
oj later years as well as the proudly-proclaimed slogan Worlds
Greatest Travel
• •
Please find enclosed a photo of our Canadian Pacific S -3 ,
recently finished
in CPRs grey and maroon livery.
6591 was built by Montreal Locomotive Works
in June 1957
and was donated
in June 1985 .
Work continues on 6591. Since the photo was taken, the
numberboards have been replaced with newly fabricated
and various small details on the paint job have been
We are presently going over the wiring and instrumentation,
and cleaning up under the hood
in preparation for returning65 91
to service. Various 6 -SL air brake components, new batteries,
and various small parts are needed. 6591 was serviceable when
retired, so no real difficulties are anticipated.
We would be interested in hearing from any members in our
area who are diesel mechanics, air brake machanics, railway or
industrial electricians, or who are unskilled but would like to get
their hands
dirty bringing an old Alco back to life.
Many thanks for your continuing help
in publicizing our
efforts .
1987. Following the hosting of the CRHA National
Convention in
May, work began again on restoration. The
roof was repaired on the Fraser Mills station which opened again
during the summer, thanks to a government grant to hire a
student as museum guide. Restoration as well began on the
Divisions passenger car RESOLUTION ISLAND mentioned
previously in
« Communications» . The first job was to paint the
ex terior in the old CN colours.
The Divison
s newsletter « Sand house » has a new editorial
staff consisting
of John Picur as editor and Anna Mazur as
assistant editor.
The Great Cranbrook Caper (No.6) was held during the
Day weekend. Activities included a visit to the
Cranbrook roundhouse, a Vaudeville production
of « Kootenay
Hoot», a visit to the Fort Steele Historical Park Railway,
dinner at the station Restaurant in Kimberely
(ex -CP station)
and a
slide/film/talk night on the Sunday.
The Division has been providing assistance to the High River
(ALTA) Historic Railway which has had some difficulties
started. Besides moral support the C & SW has been
providing technical assistance and advice.
Gary B. Bonder,
1849 Millwood
Sudbury P3E 2S9
Telephone: 522-7708
The T & Y Division has obtained a new location for its
monthly meetings held
at 8: 00 p. m ., the second Thursday of
each month, except July and August. It is in the sixth floor
of the Toronto Board of Education Building at 155
College Avenue, at the corner of McCaul Street( one block west
of University Avenue). For visiting Association members,
transportation to the new location
is available by taking either
the subway to
Queens Park station and walking west on
College or by taking the Route 506 Carleton streetcar to
St. On -street parking is also available.
The 1987 Model Show last March was a great success with
paid attendance
of9,200 . Planning has begun for the 1988 show
on March
12 and 13,1988. The location is at the International
Centre, 6900 Airport Road in Mississauga.
Our thanks to Hollie Lowry, T & Y Secretary, for this
Richard Church has for sale over 2000 items
of Railroad
material most in
MINT condition: Back issues of Canadian
Rail, CN Keeping Track , CP Spanner, many British RR
books and pamphlets, back issues of TRAINS magazine in
publishers year volumes and in single issues, railroad maps,
and more. For list of Canadian and British items only send
return addressed and stamped envelope
(U. S. stamp) OR fifty
cents canadian.
For 20 page complete list send one dollar
L. Church
Southern Oaks
101 No. Grandview
Dora, FL 32757
I have been pleased to learn in the Canadian Rail no. 398
May-June 1987, that a lot of interest occurred concerning the
of the TITANIC as mentioned in previous articles such
as mine.
I would like to mention that some other recent informations
can be found concerning the
TITANIC catastrophe in La
revue maritime ESCALE May -June 1987 issue. There is in
particular an article ofM. Denis Pelletier and Armand Therrien
Le premier S. O. S which related the role of the radio
of the TITANIC, M. John George (Jack) Phillips.
Furthermore, in the library topic, is mentioned a recent book of
P. Masson entitled TITANIC, Ie dossier du nauffrage.
Ed. Paris, 1987, 299 pages, illustrated, 34.95 $ .
M. Masson is a teacher at the University of Paris, and is
specialised in navigation history.
I supposed that this review
is not available across the
country, but maybe a letter to the Editor
at 20 rue des
Navigateurs, Quebec,
Que. G lK 8E4 may help to find a
of the above mentioned article.
So thanks again for your friendships and attention. I hope
these details may be published
in Canadian Rail, if it may ever
be useful to members.
1iansport Decisions
On June29 , 1987, CNs application to abandon 82 miles of
the Taschereau Subdivision from La Sarre, Quebec to
Cochrane, Ontario was turned down.
CN s reported loss on
the line for 1985 was almost
This trackage originally formed part of the main line of the
National Transcontinental Railway line which stretched from
Moncton, New Brunswick
to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The line
was opened to regular scheduled service in 1915. While
freight traffic has been handled for the last x years, the CTC
ordered the retention as it is used by VIA Rails tri -weekly
passenger train between Montreal and Cochrane.
Bucking current trends, CN received permission to open a
new 3.2 mile line
in Windsor, Ontario. The new line links the
Canada Southern line to the Essex Terminal Railway.
CN and CP acquired the Canada Southern from the
Consolidated Rail Corporation
in 1985 . A major asset included
in the sale was the rail tunnel under the Detroit River at
Windsor. In order to access the tunnel,
CN has diverted its
freight trains from old main line between Windsor and
CN now operates between Chatham and Fargo on
trackage rights over the
CSX System and between Fargo and
Windsor over Canada Southern trackage.
In August 1984 , the RTC ordered the abandonment of the Fife Lake Subdivision between Coronach and Big Beaver,
Saskatchewan, a distance
of 20.0 miles. While train service
had ceased for several months, the
RTC reversed its decision
following the governments declaration
of a moratorium on
prairie rail line abandonments and revisions to grain rates which
made the line more economic.
The Saskatchewan
Whear Pool decided to close down their
elevator at Big Beaver due to its poor condition and the
volume of shipments at that point which made upgrading the
elevator uneconomic. This was the only elevator on the this
of the subdivision. This decision sealed the fate of the
Subdivision. The
RTC ordered the line abandoned for a second
time on August
31 , 1987.
CN has applied to the RTC for permission to abandon the
operation of the Lac St.
Jean Subdivision from Ha Ha Bay
Junction to Chicoutimi, a distance of5.3 miles. In 1986 only33
carloads were handled over this line. The trackage also sees
VIAs tri -weekly passenger service from Montreal. VIA has
indicated it
will not oppose the application if suitable terminal
facilities are provided
in J onquiere. The RTC solicited public
comments on the application by August 24 , 1987 to determine
whether public hearings
will be held.
The CN application to remove the agent/ operator and
station building at Tillsonburg, Ontario was approved on June
22, 1987. The city be served from the CN Servocentre in
J!1e. .
uuslness car
At its annual banquet on May 2 1981. the Railway ;lnd
ve Historical Society presented its Senior Achieve­
ment award to Mr. Orner Lavallee. former corporate historian
and archivist of Canadian Pacific, who retired last year. Mr.
Lavallee h
ad previously been made a director of the R. &
L.H .5. succeeding Com. James Plomer who died on May 4
long-lime members of the C. R. H.A. will recall the
tremendous contribution
of time and effort made to the
association by Mr. Lavallee over a twenty-year period starting
in 1945 . Serving in numerous rotes such as long -time editor and
co· founder of the C. R. H. A. news report (now Canadian
Rail) , chairman of the rolling stock conunittce, and even a term
as president, Mr. Lavallee was one of those few dedicated
members who broug
ht the C. R. H . A. back from the verge of
extinction in the period immediately following the dark days of
World War II. After the Museum project got started in thecarly
1960 s there was scarcely a weekend that Orner was not on hand
directing and
participating in the construction, as well as the
of equipment. The selection of what equipment to
preserve was in great measure due to the knowledge of Mr.
Lavallee, and the intervening years have proved that tbis
on was souod.
Other activities caused Orner Lavallee to relinquish his
in the Association in 1967, since thai date he has
devoted his efforts to research and to the publishing of books,
most of which are the rocognizcd authority on their subject.
tly he writes acolumn on historical matters for C. P. Rail
News. the publication for the employees of thaI company. Your
knows of no person more suited for this prestigious award
than Mr. Lavallee and offers congratulations and the hope
many more years of reading new works by this worthy
over Ihe CN station in their community following its
dcsignution as a Registered H
eritage Structure. Con~truct.ed
in 1918 by the Newfoundland Railway . the station hosted a tri·
Weekly mixed train until September 1984. The building will
as a base for the Heritage Society, a meeting space for
community goups and an exhibition centre.
The Compass, July 8, 1987
whH.:h will provide a substantial amount or new busine~s
over the CN main line across Cape Breton. During the lie.::!
five years, 1.5 million tons of coal will be moved from Sydney to
a new coal fired electric generating station at Point Tupper. As
the electric plant at Point Tupper does not have facilities for rail
unloading, these will h
ae to be installed before rail movements
can begin.
Cape Breton Post, July 12, J987
As th
is is wrinen a nationwide railway strike is just beginning
in Canada. By coincidence it is just two days past the 37th
ersary of the day. August 22 1950. when Canadians were
first treated to such an
event. Much has happened in the
i(ltcrvening years including t
he further development of other
nS of transport to the point where today only 30% of
Canadas freight goes by rail. However that 30% is vital and
includes material that can scarcely
be moved by other means,
and so a prolonged strike would have a serious effect on
Canadas economy.
Unforrunately since 1950 the auitude
of the general public
as tended more and more to lake the railway for granted and to
thill): of it as something old fashioned and out of date: a relic of
lIle nineteenth century. This is spite of the huge advances in
technology and innova
tiOIls made by the railway systems which,
ill fact, make the whole organization of 1987 as different from
of 1950 as the latter was different from 1850.
It has been said that it is an ill wind that blows no good. and it
hoped that one result of this strike ….. ill be an increased
ess of the railway and the part it plays in the life of most
Canadians. One onen does not realize the importance of
somtthing until it is no longer there, and perhaps this
interruption of rail service will cause the public to realize just
how much the country depends on its railways and how
important they are.
The PACIFIC EXPRESS, with perhaps exira cars/or a special mo~e, is ossisled up lite r.rode lowords
Rogen Pass aborll
/890. Here we see il crossing the original Slaney Creek bridge. The huge size o/this
all-wood structure is dramatically shown by companson with the dimensions O/llJe fro in!
Public Archh
(s a/Canada. Photo No. PA 15056.
Canadian Rail
P.o. Box 282 St. Eustache, Que., Canada
J7R 4K6
Postmaster: if undelivered within
10 days return to sender, postage guaranteed.
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