Canadian Pacific Railway Facts

Canadian Pacific Railway Facts
The Canadian Pacific Railway was Canada's first transcontinental railroad, founded in 1881, originally connecting Eastern Canada and B.C. Construction began in 1881 following B.C.'s entrance into Confederation in 1871, which promised the railway would be built. The Canadian Pacific Railway was founded because of political promises to connect B.C. to Eastern Canada under the Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald who wanted to unify the country. A bribery scandal removed the Prime Minister from power and Alexander Mackenzie replaced him. Construction of the railway began in 1881 and it took four years to reach its completion, in 1885.
Interesting Canadian Pacific Railway Facts:
The first spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven into the ground at Bonfield, Ontario. This spot also makred the end of the Canada Central Railway extension.
The Canadian Central Railway owner Duncan McIntyre joined his railway with the Canadian Pacific Railway by amalgamating with the new railway.
In order to find a route through the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia, the Canadian Pacific Railway paid a surveyor names Major Albert Bowman Rogers $5000 to find a pass. He found it in 1881 and it was named Rogers Pass in his honor. He didn't want to cash the check at first and framed it on his wall. The railway gave him an engraved watch instead so that he could cash the check.
One section of the railway at the border of Alberta and B.C. was especially difficult. Kicking Horse Pass had such a drop that runaway trains occurred frequently until 25 years later when the Spiral Tunnels were completed. Even the first locomotive became a runaway train at Kicking Horse Pass on its first descent.
Surveyors and construction workers had to push through many hardships to Build the railway, including the dense bush, extremely rugged land, forest fires, mosquitos, and wildlife such a grizzly bears, moose, wolves, and coyotes.
The last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven into the ground on November 7th, 1885, at Craigellachie, B.C. This was six years ahead of the planned schedule that would have taken a full ten years.
The first transcontinental passenger train to make the trip along the Canadian Pacific Railway left Montreal, Quebec, at Dalhousie Station on June 28th, 1886 at 8 pm. It arrived in Port Moody, B.C. on July 4th, 1886 at noon.
The first transcontinental passenger train consisted of a mail car, a second-class coach, two first-class coaches, two sleeping cars, a diner, two immigrant sleepers, and two baggage cars.
Canadian Pacific Railway was paid $25 million to build the railway, and they were also granted 25 million acres along the route.
Canadian pacific Railway packaged a transportation and land package and brought many immigrants from overseas to settle in Canada, selling land at $2.50 an acre.
Canadian Pacific Railway was mostly used for the war effort during the World War II, helping to transport equipment, supplies, and personnel. It also provided 22 ships for the war effort and transported bombers across the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1986 CPR was the second most profitable company in Canada with $15 billion in revenue.


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