Author Topic: BC mountains and the old CPR line  (Read 4921 times)

HeywoodFloyd

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 04:07:58 PM »
Quote from: jrootham
I would presume that Kamloops is where the CN and CP lines merged.  The CN lines still carry passengers, the CP lines do not.

You will note that Calgary and Banff are not on the stations list.

They don't merge but there is a transfer track point. However, I believe that the RMRailtour train still uses the CP tracks to Vancouver.

deBeauxOs

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2008, 05:02:14 PM »
Here's a link for the Rocky Mountaineer website.  It seems that accomodation must be booked for hotels, which makes it unlike VIA travel where one can still travel and sleep on the train as it moves across the country.

skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2008, 06:24:50 PM »
VIA will get us to Winnipeg, but then heads north to Saskatoon and Edmonton. The old CPR route stayed south and went to Regina, then Medicine Hat, Calgary, Banff, maybe had a stop somewhere else in the mountains, Kamloops, and then down the Fraser Canyon, where VIA now also goes.

Rich people can get to Banff from Vancouver by train, but that's it. It is a cryin' shame. Regina, Medicine Hat, and Calgary don't matter to Alberta Tories ...  :evil:

arborman

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2008, 03:26:00 AM »
Quote from: deBeauxOs
Here's a link for the Rocky Mountaineer website.  It seems that accomodation must be booked for hotels, which makes it unlike VIA travel where one can still travel and sleep on the train as it moves across the country.

They stay in the Coast in Kamloops.  I know this because I stayed there myself a lot last year and was always tripping over the suitcases and the Germans.  Many, many Germans.  Infinitely better than the alternative, which is swarms of teenagers there for some tourney or other.  Many, many teenagers, following the code of the teenager on the road - it didn't happen if it didn't happen loudly.
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Croghan27

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2008, 08:49:27 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
VIA will get us to Winnipeg, but then heads north to Saskatoon and Edmonton. The old CPR route stayed south and went to Regina, then Medicine Hat, Calgary, Banff, maybe had a stop somewhere else in the mountains, Kamloops, and then down the Fraser Canyon, where VIA now also goes.

Rich people can get to Banff from Vancouver by train, but that's it. It is a cryin' shame. Regina, Medicine Hat, and Calgary don't matter to Alberta Tories ...  :evil:

Was not the southern route chosen because it was closer to the American border and was a statement of sovereignty. The more northern route was easier to engineer (this is why the scenery is so spectacular) but Fleming was told to build it where it is (was) for political not functional reasons.

(Note: this is not backed by any 'footnotes' but I am fairly sure I can find some.)
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skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2008, 11:00:33 AM »
I can believe that keeping the tracks close to the border for some distance, anyway, was a political consideration, although if it had been the only consideration, the CPR would have gone straight from Medicine Hat to Lethbridge and thence through the Crowsnest (also spectacular), but it doesn't. At Medicine Hat it heads north to Calgary, and then west through Kicking Horse/Rogers.

It's also worth remembering that Regina was an important centre from both a political and a defence pov. Some of the impetus for the railway was the rebellions, and Regina had become the home base for the RNWMP/RCMP, which I believe it still is -- ??

All the passes through the Rockies are spectacular. For many years we used to drive to the Kootenays through the Crowsnest and then along the old highway through the Cascades ...  I think my dad did that on purpose because he wanted us to be just this side of scared and to appreciate what an amazing place this is. Nice memory.

deBeauxOs

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2008, 11:07:26 AM »
There are chunks of raillway line left in the southern part of BC I believe, but now only used for freight passage..

transplant

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2008, 12:13:03 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
I can believe that keeping the tracks close to the border for some distance, anyway, was a political consideration, although if it had been the only consideration, the CPR would have gone straight from Medicine Hat to Lethbridge and thence through the Crowsnest (also spectacular), but it doesn't.

But it did, although the Crowsnest line is long since gone and pulled up as a through route.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowsnest_Pass
http://railways-atlas.tapor.ualberta.ca/cocoon/atlas/

The Kicking Horse Pass line through Calgary and Banff is the original CPR main line. VIA deserted it for the CNR ex-Canadian Northern Yellowhead Pass line through Jasper, but at least the CPR has not been pulled up and still carries freight, so it's possible it could see passenger service again some day.
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skdadl

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2008, 12:28:06 PM »
Well, that line through the Crowsnest only went to Nelson -- mind you, going to Nelson is imho equivalent to going to heaven, so there's that. But it wasn't the transcontinental, yes/no?

The Crowsnest is indeed coal. It is a magical pass, but it is also a very very sad place. There were towns in there, between Coleman and Fernie, that used to just break my heart when I was a kid driving through in the fifties, houses with lace curtains that had turned black ... I look at Google Maps right now, and I can't even see the names of the towns I remember. They must be gone. I guess they're gone.

Amazing. I can't get Frank on Google Maps. Frank (still in Alberta, but in the pass) is the site of the famous Frank Slide of 1903, an absolutely terrifying and perfectly preserved disaster site.

Holly Stick

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2008, 01:35:57 PM »
I should know this stuff, but have to check references for details.  The Crowsnest line was a branch line built in 1896. According to William James Cousins' 1952 MA thesis, published in 1981, A History of the Crow's Nest Pass the main two reasons were to forestall American rail lines being built into interior BC and because of the coal.  At that time interior BC's mining development was oriented north-south to the US; and the BC coast was not benefitting from it.  And in the US, J.J. Hill's Great Northern Railway was going to be built.

As for the CPR main line, the CPR Company decided in 1881 to use the southern route. (J.J. Hill was with the CPR at this time)  They didn't know if they had a good southern pass, and had Major Rogers looking for one, which he found. (Pierre Berton wrote about Rogers' story)  

I don't think historians know for sure what all went into that decision; the main reason CPR gave was that it would be a shorter route to build.  It may be that the southern route in BC was also easier.  It's also likely that they wanted a southern route so American railways could not run branches into Canada and steal their business.  Also, maybe the CPR could get more land along the southern route and avoid enriching the land speculators gathered in Prince Albert, Edmonton, etc.

The CPR had to keep submitting plans for each section of its proposed route to the government for approval.  I don't know if the CPR was influenced by political considerations in choosing the southern route; but the government seems to have been happy enough to approve of the route, after being assured that the Kicking Horse Pass did not have too steep a gradient. I think the choice of route was a business decision, but worked well for political purposes as well.
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transplant

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Re: BC mountains and the old CPR line
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2008, 01:36:46 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Well, that line through the Crowsnest only went to Nelson...

Yes, the CPR Crowsnest route was originally built only to Nelson (and subsequently extended), but the CPR's Crowsnest  line + the Kettle Valley Rwy (completed 1916) = a through route.  The KVR became part of the CPR in 1931 and was severed as a through route in 1961.

http://www.hectorturner.com/kettlevalle ... e-map.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettle_Valley_Railway
http://www.thekvr.com/
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