THE C.P.R.'S CAPACITY AND INVESTMENT STRATEGY IN ROGERS PASS, B.C., 1882-1916. y^-yGary G. Backler, B. A., Oxon., 1976. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE (BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION) THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA By i n May 1981 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or pub l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of cv^r-ieg-c^e; A r o D S u S i ^ E S ^ A O H i ^ i S T i c p n o r v i The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date n p - f i 17/19) i i ABSTRACT CP R a i l i s currently confronted by a capacity problem on i t s main l i n e in Rogers Pass, at the summit of the Selkirk Mountains. The single-track, steeply graded f a c i l i t y i s inadequate for the forecasted demand for t r a f f i c flows in the westbound d i r e c t i o n . The Company must decide whether to continue to operate over the present l i n e , incurring high operating costs and escalating congestion costs, or whether to invest in an 8.9-mile tunnel which, by reducing the gradient against westbound t r a f f i c , w i l l stem congestion and reduce the l e v e l of operating costs in future years. CP R a i l must make a trade-off between construction costs and operating costs. The Company has made such a trade-off in Rogers Pass on at least two previous occasions. The f i r s t occasion was that prior to completion of the i n i t i a l transcontinental r a i l l i n k , when the decision was taken to breach the Selkirk Mountains by a surface crossing through Rogers Pass. The second occasion was that prior to the decision, taken in 1913, to abandon the surface alignment through Rogers Pass in favour of a five-mile tunnel beneath the summit of the Se l k i r k s . This thesis i d e n t i f i e s the factors which impelled the taking of trade-off decisions in each s i t u a t i o n , allocates an appropriate weighting to the factors, and examines the c r i t e r i a upon which the investment decisions were based. Previous historians of the C.P.R.'s operations in Rogers Pass emphasise the influence of avalanches upon the investment decisions taken. Many of these historians interpret the C.P.R.'s surface operations as an unremitting campaign to protect i t s t r a f f i c against snowslides, and they interpret the Company's decision to construct the Connaught Tunnel as an acknowledgement of defeat in the campaign. This thesis emphasises th°e economic and commercial aspects of the C.P.R.'s operations in Rogers Pass, and a quantitative approach towards the analysis is adopted. Part One of the thesis is concerned with the i n i t i a l decision to construct the C.P.R. main l i n e across the surface of the Selkirks through Rogers Pass. Part Two i s concerned with the decision to abandon the surface alignment. Part One begins with an explanation of the engineering and economic problems of locating railway lines through mountainous t e r r a i n , and examines how these problems were handled by the C.P.R. in the s p e c i f i c circumstances of Rogers Pass. The expectations of the railway builders for construction and operation through the Pass are compared with the r e a l i t i e s which were encountered. Analysis reveals that the gap between expectations and r e a l i t i e s was not wide, and that the surface alignment adopted by the C.P.R. provided an adequate, economical solution to the problem of breaching the Selkirk Mountains by r a i l , at least u n t i l the turn of the 20th Century. Part Two begins with an analysis of the influence of avalanches in Rogers Pass upon the decision to relocate the main l i n e underground. The analysis strongly suggests that neither the 1910 avalanche disaster in p a r t i c u l a r , nor the cost of protecting t r a f f i c from snowslides in general, were s u f f i c i e n t to j u s t i f y investment in the Connaught Tunnel. An examination of the operating conditions, t r a f f i c growth iv and t r a f f i c forecasts through the Selkirk Mountains in the early years of the 20th Century reveals that the C.P.R. faced high operating costs and escalating congestion costs on the surface route by 1913. The Company had already invested in system improvements elsewhere in the mountains in order to reduce these costs. Confronted by the inadequacy of i t s existing f a c i l i t y for forecasted demand in Rogers Pass, the C.P.R. decided in 1913 to drive a double-track tunnel beneath the summit of the Selkirks, and to abandon the surface route. Analysis of the C.P.R.'s evaluations of alternative proposed tunnels confirms that the p r i n c i p a l economic benefit of the project was the savings in train-haulage costs, and not the savings in the cost of avalanche defence. CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v i i i LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xi Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Objectives 4 Scope of the Thesis 6 Outline . .' 7 Data Sources and Limitations 9 PART ONE UP AND OVER 13 2 RAILWAYS AND MOUNTAINS 15 2.1 The Two Solutions 15 (a) "Low Capital Cost, High Operating Cost" Solution 17 (i) Gradients 20 ( i i ) Curvature 24 (b) "High Capital Cost, Low Operating Cost" Solution 27 2.2 The Trade-Off 28 3 RAILWAYS AND ROGERS PASS 3 5 3.1 Rogers Pass 35 (a) Location 37 (b) Topography 37 (c) Climate 39 3.2 The Selection of Rogers Pass for the F i r s t Transcontinental R a i l Link 42 3.3 The Expectations of the Builders 50 (a) The Character of Construction Work ... 51 (b) The Cost of Construction 52 (c) Time Required for Construction 53 (d) Operating Methods and T r a f f i c Forecasts 54 (e) Snowslide Protection 56 4 REALITIES 68 (a) The Character of Construction Work 69 (b) The Cost of Construction 75 (c) Time Required for Construction 78 (d) Operating Methods and T r a f f i c Flows 81 (e) Snowslide Protection 88 v i PART TWO THE BIG BORE I l l . 5 AVALANCHE PROBLEMS 114 5.1 The 1910 Disaster 115 5.2 The Snow Problem In General 123 (a) The Direct Costs of Maintaining the Avalanche Defence System 123 (b) The Indirect Cost of Disruptions to T r a f f i c 129 (i) The Nature of Disruption Costs 130 ( i i ) The Incidence of Disruption .. 133 ( i i i ) Diversionary Arrangements .... 156 (iv) Was Disruption Increasing? ... 158 (v) Disruption Costs and the Abandonment Decision 161 6 CAPACITY PROBLEMS 173 6.1 The Capacity of the Main Line 173 (a) Train Weight 174 (b) Train Paths 182 6.2 T r a f f i c Flows 185 (a) Total T r a f f i c Levels 185 (b) Changes in Specific T r a f f i c Flows .... 191 (i) Passenger 191 ( i i ) Lumber 195 ( i i i ) Grain 198 (iv) Fish 202 (v) Other Transcontinental T r a f f i c 205 (vi) Local T r a f f i c 206 6.3 Competitive Pressures 207 (a) C.P.R. Rates in the Mountains 207 (b) The Sources of Competitive Pressure .. 210 (c) The C.P.R.'s Perception of the Pressures 214 6.4 "System" Improvements to the C.P.R 220 (a) Large-Scale Improvements Beyond the Selkirks 221 (i) The O t t e r t a i l Diversion 221 ( i i ) The P a l l i s e r Tunnel 222 ( i i i ) The S p i r a l Tunnels 223 (iv) C.P.R. Investment Strategy in the Rockies 230 (b) Smaller-Scale Improvements Within the Selkirks 235 (i) Improvements to Rolling Stock. 235 ( i i ) Improvements to Infrastructure 242 ( i i i ) C.P.R. Investment Strategy in the Selkirks 249 v i i 6.5 The Financial Resources of the C.P.R 258 6.6 T r a f f i c Forecasts and their Implications ... 259 7 ALTERNATIVES AND THEIR EVALUATION 285 7.1 Alternatives Beyond the Selkirk Mountains .. 285 (a) Alternatives south of Rogers Pass .... 286 (b) The Yellowhead Pass 288 7.2 Alternatives Within the Selkirk Mountains .. 289 7.3 Alternative Tunnels 301 (a) The K i l p a t r i c k Tunnel 302 (b) The Busteed Tunnel 317 (c) The Sullivan Tunnel 324 7.4 C r i t e r i a and Objectives 325 8 THE CONNAUGHT TUNNEL 338 8.1 The Alignment as Contracted 339 8.2 A "Social Cost-Benefit Analysis" of the Contracted Alignment 353 8.3 The Alignment as Constructed 364 9 CONCLUSIONS 394 Suggestions for Further Research 407 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 414 I v i i i LIST OF TABLES 1. Siding Accommodation in the Selkirk Mountains, c. 1896 87 2. Passenger Train Record, Mountain Subdivision, 1908. 137 3. Average Number of Trains Per Day, Mountain and Shuswap Sections, 1906-1908 140 4. Average Weight of Trains, Mountain and Shuswap Sections, 1906-1908 143 5. Total Equivalent Gross Tonnage Per Month, Mountain and Shuswap Sections, 1906-1908 146 6. Comparison of T r a f f i c on Mountain, and Shuswap Sections, Slide Seasons (January-April), 1906-1908 149 7. Total Equivalent Gross Ton Mileage Per Month, Mountain Subdivision, 1910 and 1911 152 8. Comparison of Equivalent Gross Ton Mileages, Mountain Subdivision, 1910 and 1911 153 9. Tonnage Ratings for single 210% locomotive between stations on Mountain Subdivision, prior to June 1913 175 10. Average Train Weights, Mountain Subdivision, 1906-1913 179 11. Gross Tonnage of Passenger and Freight T r a f f i c over each mile of road, Mountain and Shuswap Subdivisions, 1904-1913 186 12. Annual Rates of Change in Gross Tonnage per mile, Mountain and Shuswap Subdivisions, 1904-1913 187 13. Balance of T r a f f i c Flows through Rogers Pass, 1889-1913 189 14. Passenger Volume through Rogers Pass, various months, 1893-1908 192 15. Lumber T r a f f i c through Rogers Pass, various years, 1900-1918 196 16. Grain T r a f f i c through Rogers Pass, various years, 1903-1917 200 17. B.C. Salmon Production and Tra-de, 1887-1918 203 18. The Al l o c a t i o n of Infrastructure Investment on the C.P.R., 1901-1913 232 19. Bridge Improvements in the Selkirk Mountains, 1893-1909 245 20. Proportion of Total C.P.R. Freight T r a f f i c handled over Selkirk Mountains, 1904-1913 252 21. Annual Rates of.Change in Regional D i s t r i b u t i o n of Freight T r a f f i c , 1904-1913 253 22. Cost Comparison of Double-Tracking Alternatives through the Selkirk Mountains, October 1912 .... 294 ix 23. Results of Cost Analyses of Alternative Investments in Rogers Pass, 1912-13 299 24. Cost-Benefit Analysis of K i l p a t r i c k ' s Proposed Tunnel Alignment of May 1912 312 25. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Busteed's Proposed Tunnel Alignment of October 1912 320 26. Comparison of Percentage Tenders of Cost Per Foot of Rock Section, Rogers Pass Tunnel 346 27. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Connaught Tunnel Alignment, as Contracted for, June 1913 348 28. Revised Estimate of Benefits of Contracted Tunnel Alignment 363 29. Grain Exports from Vancouver, 1910-1935 378 30. Costs and Benefits of the Cancellation of the East-Slope Revision 381 31. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Connaught Tunnel Alignment, as Completed, December 1916 383 x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Map I. C.P.R. Main Line from Revelstoke to Laggan I I . Location of Alternative Alignments Proposed at Construction Time on the C.P.R. Main Line in Rogers Pass II I . Location of Alternative Alignments and Tunnels on the C.P.R. Main Line in Rogers Pass Figure 1. P r o f i l e of C.P.R. Main Line between Revelstoke and Beavermouth, showing Tonnage Ratings for single 210% locomotive before and after Dynamometer Tests, May 1913 2. P r o f i l e s of Alternative Alignments and Tunnels on the C.P.R. Main Line in Rogers Pass 36 71 304 180 305 l xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express at the outset my deepest gratitude to Dr. T. D. Heaver, Chairman of the Transportation Division at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, for his motivation of t h i s project, and for his sustained interest in i t s progress. I would also l i k e to thank the members of my thesis committee for their ready guidance of my research e f f o r t s . For their assistance in making available indispensable archival material, I wish to extend thanks to each and a l l of the following:- 0. S. A. Lavallee, James Shields, and the staff of the Canadian P a c i f i c Corporate Archives in Montreal; Dr. Carl Vincent, and the staff of the Public Archives of Canada; John Woods, and the staff of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks; Dave Lightheart, and CP R a i l , Vancouver; the staff of the Glenbow Alberta I n s t i t u t e ; the staff of the Public Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia and the L e g i s l a t i v e Library; the staff of the Vancouver City Archives; and the staff of the Special Collections d i v i s i o n at U.B.C. In addition, I would l i k e to offer especial thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Donald K i l p a t r i c k , here in Vancouver, for their generosity in providing me with access to the private papers of Thomas K i l p a t r i c k , and for their generosity in providing me, on more than one occasion, with an excellent supper. x i i To ANDREA, " 0 how I long to t r a v e l l back And tread again that ancient track..." Henry Vaughan, "The Retreate" 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Rail access to the west coast of Canada i s rendered expensive by the topography of B r i t i s h Columbia, where four major mountain ranges intrude between the western seaboard and the eastern boundary of the province. In constructing railways through B.C., the builders have always had to face the dilemma of either investing large sums of c a p i t a l per mile of l i n e in order to obtain an easy alignment over which t r a f f i c may flow smoothly, or building to i n f e r i o r standards and subsequently incurring high operating costs in the movement of t r a i n s . Clearly, these trade-offs between construction costs and operating costs, and between immediate costs and delayed costs, must be made in a l l railway construction, and indeed in the provision of any transportation infrastructure. Nevertheless, the trade-offs are p a r t i c u l a r l y c r u c i a l , and the dilemma i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute, in regions of rugged t e r r a i n , where constructional and operating c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and therefore costs, often d i f f e r markedly between alternative routes. CP R a i l i s presently confronted by such a dilemma as i t seeks a solution to i t s next major main-line capacity problem. This problem i s posed by the 8.16-mile ascent from Rogers to Stoney Creek, on the eastern approach to Rogers Pass, B.C., at the summit of the Selkirk Mountains. The ascent i s over single track, and at a maximum gradient of 2.2 per cent, against westbound t r a f f i c for most of the distance. The elevation gained 2 i n the 8.16 m i l e s i s 899.9 f e e t . The h e a v i e s t westbound t r a i n s , a l r e a d y powered by e i g h t locomotives from Golden, r e q u i r e the a s s i s t a n c e of an a d d i t i o n a l f i v e pusher locomotives between Rogers and Stoney Creek. Each t r a i n must be brought to a complete stand when the pushers are i n s e r t e d , and again when the pushers are switched out a f t e r the ascent. T h i s n e c e s s i t y to stop the t r a i n s twice w i t h i n ten m i l e s , together with the n e c e s s i t y of r e t u r n i n g the pusher locomotives l i g h t down the s i n g l e t r a c k a g a i n s t the p r e v a i l i n g flow of t r a f f i c , r e s t r i c t s the c a p a c i t y of the main l i n e . Moreover, the s i n g l e - t r a c k c o n f i g u r a t i o n of the e x i s t i n g main l i n e between Beavermouth, east of the S e l k i r k summit, and G l a c i e r , to the west, c o n t r i b u t e s to delays i n the meeting and passin g of t r a i n s , f u r t h e r r e s t r i c t i n g m a i n - l i n e c a p a c i t y . CP R a i l i s t h e r e f o r e contemplating the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a second main t r a c k across the summit of the S e l k i r k s , between Rogers and a point 3.1 mi l e s west of G l a c i e r . The maximum gr a d i e n t of t h i s t r a c k would be one per cent, a g a i n s t westbound t r a f f i c , and the maximum angle of cu r v a t u r e would be s i x degrees. Such an alignment would dispense with the n e c e s s i t y f o r pusher locomotives, and would r e s o l v e the c o n f l i c t between eastbound and westbound flows, s i n c e eastbound t r a f f i c would continue to t r a v e l over the present l i n e . However, i n order to maintain the s t i p u l a t e d g r a d i e n t and c u r v a t u r e , c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e route would r e q u i r e the d r i v i n g of an 8.9-mile tunnel beneath Rogers Pass. The co s t of the realignment p r o j e c t i s estimated at $300 m i l l i o n i n 1980 d o l l a r s . 1 Moreover, the f i n a n c i a l v i a b i l i t y of the p r o j e c t i s rendered q u e s t i o n a b l e by 3 the uncertainty of future t r a f f i c volumes and by the unremunerative nature of the grain t r a f f i c , which constitutes some f i f t e e n per cent, of CP Rail's westbound flow by weight. CP R a i l , then, i s confronted by a dilemma at the summit of the Selkirk Mountains. It must decide whether to continue to operate over the present l i n e , incurring high operating costs and escalating congestion costs, or whether to undertake a massive, i n d i v i s i b l e c a p i t a l investment intended in future years to stem congestion and to reduce permanently the l e v e l of operating costs. This decision situation has two d i s t i n c t facets, and these may be framed in interrogative form. F i r s t , what i s the alignment which is appropriate to the t r a f f i c flows through the mountains? Then, second, what is the appropriate le v e l of investment which should be undertaken in order to secure t h i s alignment? Only aft e r these two fundamental questions have been answered can a decision be reached concerning the adoption of the project. This i s not the f i r s t occasion upon which Canadian P a c i f i c Railway management have sought answers to these questions. Indeed, they have been forced to address the questions on at least two previous occasions. The f i r s t occasion was that p r i o r to completion of the i n i t i a l transcontinental r a i l l i n k , when the decision was taken to breach the Selkirk Mountains by a surface crossing over the summit through Rogers Pass. The second occasion, some t h i r t y years l a t e r , in 1913, was that prior to the decision to abandon the surface alignment through Rogers Pass in favour of a five-mile tunnel beneath the Pass. This was the Connaught Tunnel, and i t i s by means of thi s 4 tunnel that a l l of CP's main-line t r a f f i c s t i l l crosses the Selkirk Divide. Objectives Prompted by the resurgence of interest in these questions today, the f i r s t objective of t h i s thesis is to undertake a study of these previous comparable decision s i t u a t i o n s . Such a study w i l l i d e n t i f y the factors which impelled the taking of decisions in each si t u a t i o n , the forces and influences which made the taking of decisions necessary. From the study of these h i s t o r i c a l situations, the reader w i l l be able to draw his own comparisons with the present decision s i t u a t i o n , and w i l l be free to infer his own "lessons to be learned" for the current realignment proposal. The second objective of t h i s thesis, springing d i r e c t l y from the f i r s t , i s to allocate an appropriate weighting to the factors which influenced the decisions in each of the h i s t o r i c a l s ituations. Historians of CP R a i l ' s operations in Rogers Pass have hitherto always emphasised the influence of avalanches upon the decisions taken, and e s p e c i a l l y upon the decision taken in 1913 to abandon the Pass in favour of an underground route. 2 The economics of CP Rail's operations in the Pass, and s p e c i f i c a l l y the economics of the decision to construct the Connaught Tunnel, have been consistently neglected. This neglect i s especially serious because reference to the primary documentation which surrounded the decision suggests that the occurrence of avalanches over the surface alignment in Rogers Pass is not alone s u f f i c i e n t explanation for the decision to relocate the main l i n e underground. The economics of the r a i l operation, and in p a r t i c u l a r the emergence of a major capacity problem in the Pass, appear then, as now, to have been factors of considerable significance in shaping the decision. This thesis w i l l therefore seek to remedy the neglect of those factors. Fresh evidence w i l l be analysed, and appropriate conclusions drawn. The results w i l l be of interest to anyone who has a concern for h i s t o r i c a l accuracy. The t h i r d and f i n a l objective of t h i s thesis is to examine c r i t i c a l l y the contemporary techniques of appraisal which the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company employed in their investment decisions in Rogers Pass during the f i r s t t h i r t y - f i v e years of the route's history, and the c r i t e r i a upon which those decisions were based. The emphasis in t h i s examination w i l l be placed primarily upon the decision to invest in construction of the Connaught Tunnel. Throughout the analysis, however, stress w i l l be placed upon the central and recurring importance of the trade-offs between construction costs and operating costs and between immediate costs and delayed costs, as they applied to r a i l operations in Rogers Pass. Attention w i l l also be drawn to the manner in which these trade-offs were handled during the course of the study period. The results of t h i s examination of the C.P.R.'s approach to previous investment decisions in Rogers Pass w i l l be of interest to the business h i s t o r i a n , and of relevance in a consideration of the evaluation procedures employed by CP R a i l today. 6 Scope Of The Thesis Previous studies of the history of the C.P.R. in the Selkirk Mountains may be grouped into two general categories, biographical and descri p t i v e . The biographical studies have concentrated upon the personalities involved in the decisions to locate, construct and operate the railway through Rogers Pass. 3 The descriptive studies have tended either to concentrate upon the construction phase of the l i n e , 4 or to treat the l i n e , once b u i l t , as an incidental factor in the discussion of regional development. 5 The present study i s e s s e n t i a l l y a n a l y t i c a l in character. It i s an h i s t o r i c a l study of railway economics and their investment implications for a pa r t i c u l a r operating si t u a t i o n , that of the C.P.R. in Rogers Pass. Therefore, i t d i f f e r s from previous studies in both emphasis and focus. The emphasis in thi s study i s upon the economic and commercial aspects of railway operation in Rogers Pass, and a quantitative approach is therefore adopted. Such an approach permits integration into the analysis of quantitative data, data which has hitherto received l i t t l e consideration from historians and analysts, and yet which, as has been indicated above, suggests an alternative interpretation of the C.P.R.'s investment decisions in Rogers Pass to that which i s common currency. The focus of thi s study is int e n t i o n a l l y narrow and highly l o c a l i s e d . This is a detailed study of railway economics on a fo r t y - f i v e mile stretch of the Canadian P a c i f i c main l i n e , a li n e nearly three thousand miles long. The study opens in 1882, I 7 the year in which Rogers Pass was selected as part of the route for the transcontinental railway, and i t closes in 1916, the year in which the Connaught Tunnel was opened to t r a f f i c , marking the abandonment of surface r a i l operations through the Pass. Throughout that period, railway investment decisions and the economics of railway operations w i l l be analysed and evaluated. Wider h i s t o r i c a l developments contemporaneous with the study period, such as the economic advance of B r i t i s h Columbia, the opening up of the p r a i r i e s , and the construction of additional transcontinental routes, by both r a i l and water, w i l l be considered only insofar as they impinged upon the economics of C.P.R.'s operations in Rogers Pass. Outline The thesis i s divided into two parts. The f i r s t part (Chapters 2 - 4 ) i s primarily concerned with the inception and re a l i s a t i o n of a r a i l l i n k across the Selkirk Mountains, accomplished by means of a surface alignment over Rogers Pass. This section embraces the construction of the o r i g i n a l l i n e and the measures taken to consolidate the link as a feasible route for trans-mountain t r a f f i c . The second part (Chapters 5 - 9 ) analyses the forces of change, economic and non-economic, which led to questioning of the appropriateness of the surface alignment, and ultimately to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a decision problem. The analysis proceeds to examine the generation and evaluation of alternative solutions to the problem, and concludes with an appraisal of the achievement of the alternative which was implemented, that of relocating the 8 li n e underground through the Connaught Tunnel. Part One begins with a "layman's guide" to the engineering problems of locating railway lines through mountainous t e r r a i n , and to the implications of those problems for the economics of railway operations. Pertinent engineering concepts are elucidated. The nature of the c r i t i c a l trade-off between construction costs and operating costs i s explained. Chapter 3 describes the physical and climatic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Selkirk Mountains, and the implications of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for railway location and operation. The reasons for the selection of Rogers Pass as the route by which the C.P.R. would cross the Selkirk Mountains are explained. The expectations of the railway builders for both construction and operation through the Pass, expectations which led to the adoption of the route, are made e x p l i c i t . In Chapter 4, the r e a l i t i e s of construction and operation over the surface alignment are described, and the gaps between expectations and r e a l i t i e s are highlighted. Measures intended to close these gaps are reviewed, and their success evaluated. Part Two commences, in Chapter 5, with an analysis of the influence of avalanches in Rogers Pass upon the decision to relocate the main l i n e underground. The widely accepted interpretations of the 1910 avalanche disaster in pa r t i c u l a r and of the snowslide problem in general are presented. These interpretations are then challenged, and as a result of thi s challenge an alternative interpretation i s offered of the influence of avalanches upon the decision to abandon the surface alignment. 9 Chapter 6 contains an analysis of t r a f f i c developments through the mountains of B.C. The analysis includes consideration of changes in t r a f f i c volume and composition, competitive pressures, and the cumulative results of improvements undertaken elsewhere on the C.P.R. system. The analysis suggests the increasing inadequacy of the surface alignment over Rogers Pass to cope with these developments: a decision problem i s i d e n t i f i e d and sp e c i f i e d . Chapter 7 reviews the alternative solutions which were generated for thi s decision problem, and presents the results of the screening of these al t e r n a t i v e s . In Chapter 8, a detailed evaluation of the preferred alternative i s carried out. This alternative was a realignment which included the boring of the Connaught Tunnel. The project was modified during implementation: the scheme as conceived and the scheme as completed are both appraised. In the f i n a l chapter, the conclusions of the thesis are presented, and suggestions are offered for further research. Data Sources And Limitations This thesis is based upon three primary sources of unpublished data. The f i r s t i s the Letterbooks and inward correspondence of the C.P.R. Presidents. The Letterbooks have been microfilmed, but the inward correspondence i s available only at the Canadian P a c i f i c Corporate Archives in Windsor Station, Montreal. Although these Archives were only recently established, and although the task of indexing the vaults of corporate records is not far advanced, two complete f i l e s on 10 "The Rogers Pass Tunnel" have been assembled. Whilst weak in quantitative content, the f i l e s provide invaluable insight into the objectives of the project and the stages of i t s implementat ion. The second source i s the c o l l e c t i o n of C.P.R. records and correspondence which i s held at the Revelstoke City Museum, B.C. This miscellaneous c o l l e c t i o n , withheld from the Canadian P a c i f i c Corporate Archives, was comprehensively indexed in 1976. It includes complete monthly records of t r a f f i c volumes on the F i r s t D i s t r i c t of the B r i t i s h Columbia Subdivision, of which Rogers Pass was a part, for the years 1910 and 1911, and sporadic records of expenditures on snow sheds and snow clearance for certain months between 1912 and 1914. The t h i r d source i s the personal notebooks and d i a r i e s of Thomas K i l p a t r i c k , "The Snow King," who ended a thirty-year career with the C.P.R. in the mountains of B.C. as Superintendent of the Mountain and Shuswap Sections from 1901 to 1912. His papers are now held by his son, Mr. Donald K i l p a t r i c k , as part of a private c o l l e c t i o n preserved in Vancouver, B.C. The documents contain many fascinating d e t a i l s of railway maintenance and operations in the mountains throughout the study period. Of pa r t i c u l a r value in the preparation of this thesis was a monthly record, maintained uninterrupted throughout the years 1906 to 1908, of the number of main-line trains per day, their weights and tr a n s i t times. In comparison with the inter-war period, the years prior to the F i r s t World War are r i c h in documentary sources concerning the management of the C.P.R. Nevertheless, i t i s a sad fact 11 that much information has been destroyed. The loss i s p a r t i c u l a r l y serious for a sharply focussed project such as the present thesis which attempts to apply quantitative techniques to the analysis of an investment decision which was undertaken some seventy years ago. Detailed information on the costs of operating trains over Rogers Pass may never have existed. If i t did, i t has ce r t a i n l y not survived, and neither has d e t a i l of the anticipated costs and benefits of the several realignment schemes which were proposed in 1912. Si m i l a r l y , very l i t t l e data exists concerning t r a f f i c flows through the mountains either by volume, commodity or di r e c t i o n of movement. Assembly of the extant data was a piecemeal and painful process, drawing from many diverse sources. Many gaps remain. Where possible, the gaps have been f i l l e d by inference and assumption; where not, they have simply been i d e n t i f i e d and recorded. It i s to be hoped that t h i s thesis w i l l at least prevent the gaps from widening any further. 12 FOOTNOTES 1 "Midweek Report," Vancouver Province, A p r i l 16, 1980, p. D 1. 2 See chapter 5. 3 See, for example, W. Vaughan, The L i f e And Work Of Sir William Van Home, New York: The Century Co., 1920; H. Gi l b e r t , Awakening Continent, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1965, and, The End Of The Road, Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1977; C. A. Shaw, Tales Of A Pioneer Surveyor, Toronto: Longman, 1970. 4 See, for example, 0. S. A. Lavallee, Van Home' s Road, Montreal: Rail f a r e Enterprises, 1975; P. Berton, The Last Spike: The Great Railway 1881-1885, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971. 5 See for example, J. S. Marsh, "Man, Landscape And Recreation In Glacier National Park, B r i t i s h Columbia, 1880 to present," PhD thesis, University of Calgary, 1971; W. W. Bi l s l a n d , "A History Of Revelstoke And The Big Bend, " MA thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1955. 13 PART ONE UP AND OVER This part of the thesis i s concerned exclusively with the surface alignment of the C.P.R. main l i n e through Rogers Pass. A brief introduction i s provided to the engineering and commercial problems of locating and operating railways in mountains. Then, the s p e c i f i c engineering and commercial problems of locating and operating the C.P.R. main l i n e over the summit of the Selkirk Mountains are analysed. The analysis compares the expectations and the r e a l i t i e s of the C.P.R. for s p e c i f i c areas of concern along the surface alignment, and evaluates measures undertaken in order to promote correspondence between those expectations and r e a l i t i e s . Part One concludes with a consideration of the extent to which such correspondence was achieved. The analysis in Part One spans the selection, construction and operation of the Rogers Pass route u n t i l the turn of the century, that i s , prior to the occurrence of the 1910 avalanche disa s t e r . Consideration of thi s disaster i n i t i a t e s the analysis in Part Two. A d i v i s i o n of the thesis prior to the 1910 disaster is maintained in deference to previous historians of the C.P.R.'s operations in Rogers Pass. Most of these historians i d e n t i f y the 1910 disaster as a turning point in C.P.R. management's perception of the v i a b i l i t y of the surface alignment. The v a l i d i t y of t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s challenged d i r e c t l y in Part Two. However, the foundation for t h i s challenge is provided by the results of the analysis in Part One. There are three advantages of structuring the analysis in 14 this way. F i r s t , i t permits establishment in Part One of the extent of the gaps between the expectations and r e a l i t i e s of the C.P.R.'s concerns with the surface alignment, before proceeding in Part Two to consider changes in operating conditions which may have widened these gaps. Second, i t permits both the avalanche problems and the other operating problems of the l i n e to be considered each as a continuum, stretching from the opening of the surface alignment to the opening of the Connaught Tunnel. Both the avalanche and the operating problems are shown to have changed in severity but not in nature throughout the years of the summit route. Third, i t permits the remedial measures undertaken in response to the avalanche problems and the other operating problems to be considered as continua also. Thus, i t highlights the extent of substantive changes in the responses of the C.P.R. to the changes in operating conditions over time. It i s therefore possible, as a result of adopting t h i s structure, to determine whether or not the 1910 avalanche disaster was indeed a turning point, and whether or not i t i s at a l l even meaningful to talk of "turning points" in the context of the C.P.R.'s investments in improving the surface alignment over Rogers Pass. 15 CHAPTER 2 RAILWAYS AND MOUNTAINS This chapter provides a t h e o r e t i c a l underpinning to the character of the investment decisions which are analysed in the remainder of the thesis. The chapter begins with an explanation of the two generic types of investment solution to the problem of penetrating mountainous ter r a i n with railway tracks. The fundamental engineering p r i n c i p l e s involved in each type of solution are described, and the implications of these p r i n c i p l e s for the economics of railway construction and operation are considered. The inverse relationship between construction costs and operating costs is explained, and c r i t e r i a are suggested for the trade-off decision between the two types of cos t s . 1 2.1 The Two Solutions The physical barrier which mountains pose to a l l forms of human communication translates into an economic b a r r i e r , as the cost of providing and maintaining communication across mountainous t e r r a i n . For r a i l , the essence of the physical barrier i s that the low le v e l of f r i c t i o n between wheel and r a i l , which affords economic advantage in t r a f f i c movement over an even alignment, manifests i t s e l f as a low l e v e l of adhesion on an adverse gradient, and is therefore turned to economic disadvantage since the payload which can be hauled by a single locomotive i s reduced in proportion to the increase in the adversity of the gradient. The following table, adapted from A. M. Wellington's authoritative "The Economic Theory Of The 16 Location Of Railways," demonstrates the reduction in payload which i s caused by increasingly adverse gradients. The payloads are those which were capable of being hauled by a single "Standard Heavy Consolidation" steam locomotive, as recorded in 1915 2: Gradient Payload (per cent. ) (tons) Level • 2,920 0.2 1,920 0.4 1,420 0.6 1,120 0.8 920 1.0 777 1.2 670 1.4 587 1.6 520 1.8 465 2.0 420 2.2 382 4.5 165 Conceptually, there are two ways in which the physical barrier of mountains may be overcome by railway operation. On the one hand, the r a t i o of motive power to payload may be adjusted, in order to ensure that t r a f f i c can be hauled over the ex i s t i n g adverse gradient. Such an adjustment i s effected, either by increasing the number and power of the locomotives 17 which haul the t r a i n , or by reducing the weight of the t r a i n , or by a combination of these approaches. On the other hand, the existing adverse gradient may be eliminated, in order to ensure that no reduction in the l e v e l of adhesion between wheel and r a i l occurs, and therefore, that no adjustment in the ratio between motive power and payload i s necessary. An elimination of adverse gradient is effected, either by reducing the absolute height over which the t r a f f i c must be l i f t e d (through tunnelling, cutting, or curvature around the summit) or by reducing the rate at which that height is attained (through "development" of the l i n e , that i s , the insertion of length, and usually of curvature, over the summit) or, again, by a combination of these approaches. In order to explore the implications of these engineering solutions for the economics of the railway operation, i t i s appropriate to c l a s s i f y the solutions according to economic concepts. The f i r s t solution, of adjusting the r a t i o between motive power and payload, may be characterised as a "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" solution, and the second solution, that of eliminating the adverse gradient, may be characterised as a "High c a p i t a l cost, low operating cost" solution. 2.1 (a) "Low Capital Cost, High Operating Cost" Solution. The c a p i t a l requirement for construction of a l i n e of railway may be decreased by locating the tracks over the natural alignment of the terrain in a route which minimises the necessity for man-made structures. In mountainous regions, location in accordance with t h i s p r i n c i p l e may involve either 18 steep gradients or protracted curvature or both. Nevertheless, once the location has been decided, the construction period, over which c a p i t a l disbursements are spread, w i l l be short r e l a t i v e to the period over which interest on the c a p i t a l w i l l be repaid, or r e l a t i v e to the period over which railway operations w i l l be c a r r i e d out upon the l i n e . The c a p i t a l cost of constructing the l i n e may therefore be regarded as an "immediate" cost: i t i s the cost which i s "immediately" incurred in providing the r a i l f a c i l i t y . When construction of the f a c i l i t y has been completed, and railway operations have commenced, every t r a i n which traverses the route i s required to negotiate the steep gradients and protracted curvature, and thereby incurs higher operating costs than would have been incurred with lesser gradients and curvature. Hence, the operating costs of the f a c i l i t y may be regarded as being inversely related to i t s construction costs. The higher operating costs w i l l be spread over the entire period during which r a i l operations are ca r r i e d out over the low-capital-cost alignment. These operating costs may be regarded as "delayed," not only u n t i l construction i s completed, but u n t i l i t i s necessary to run a t r a i n over the l i n e . In the extreme case, i f no trains are run over the l i n e , the higher operating costs are "delayed" for perpetuity. It is important to note that although the operating costs of the f a c i l i t y are inversely related to i t s construction costs, the l e v e l of operating costs which is associated with a p a r t i c u l a r l e v e l of investment in construction i s not necessarily uniform. The l e v e l of operating costs i s also 19 related by a more complex function to the volume of t r a f f i c which uses the f a c i l i t y . It i s helpful to portray the costs of the f a c i l i t y as a U-shaped curve, the locus of which is determined by variations in t r a f f i c volume. For even the most cheaply b u i l t railway, the l e v e l of operating costs may at f i r s t decline with increasing t r a f f i c , as surplus l i n e capacity i s absorbed, equipment better u t i l i s e d , and the costs of providing motive power and manpower and of maintaining l i n e s i d e structures are spread over a greater volume of business. However, as t r a f f i c continues to increase, and as the surplus capacity provided by the opening of the f a c i l i t y is absorbed, operating costs may begin to r i s e with the expansion of business, and the marginal rate of increase of the operating costs may exceed the marginal rate of increase of the t r a f f i c volume. This behaviour of the operating-cost curve may result from three factors, which may obtrude singly or simultaneously. F i r s t , existing resources of locomotives and traincrews may not be s u f f i c i e n t to handle an increase in t r a f f i c . Therefore, the marginal increase in t r a f f i c e n t a i l s increases in motive power and manpower which may be p a r t i c u l a r l y severe on a low-c a p i t a l - c o s t , steeply graded alignment where the r a t i o of motive power to payload is i n i t i a l l y low. 3 Second, the increase in t r a f f i c may cause congestion of the f a c i l i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y in the case of a low-capital-cost, single-track railway where through speeds are low and where limited passing accommodation i s provided. This congestion w i l l increase fuel consumption and power requirements, and l i m i t the absolute volume of t r a f f i c handled by the f a c i l i t y . As congestion increases further, the 20 operating-cost curve may bend back upon i t s e l f , with the cost of operations continuing to escalate while the volume of business conducted declines below that which i t would have been on an uncongested f a c i l i t y . Third, the cost of maintaining l i n e s i d e structures such as t r e s t l e bridges and snowsheds may increase as the structures are subjected to greater weights and frequencies of t r a i n s . There may be many such structures on a low-capital-cost, rapidly constructed alignment, and the wear upon them due to pounding from locomotives may be p a r t i c u l a r l y great where the ra t i o of motive power to payload i s low. 4 Regardless of these fluctuations in the volume of t r a f f i c , the r e l a t i v e l e v e l of operating costs which i s associated with a low-capital-cost alignment i s generally higher than the l e v e l of operating costs associated with a c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i v e alignment. There are two reasons for t h i s , which are related to the gradients and the curvature of the alignment, i) Gradients In order to appreciate the impact of gradients upon the costs of operation over a p a r t i c u l a r f a c i l i t y , the concept of "gradient systems" must f i r s t be understood. Trains are assembled, and motive power allocated, according to the length and steepness of p a r t i c u l a r gradients along the l i n e . The l i n e i s therefore divided into segments, or " d i v i s i o n s , " which embrace gradients of a p a r t i c u l a r length or steepness. In order to ensure optimal u t i l i s a t i o n of motive power over a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i s i o n , the d i v i s i o n a l boundaries must be drawn in such a manner as to concentrate a l l gradients of similar severity into a single d i v i s i o n . The assembly of trains and a l l o c a t i o n of 21 motive power takes place at the commencement and termination of each d i v i s i o n , that i s , at " d i v i s i o n a l points." The amount of adjustment of t r a i n weight and motive power which i s required at each d i v i s i o n a l point i s determined by the relationship between the severity of the gradients on the d i v i s i o n s adjacent to the d i v i s i o n a l point. Minimum adjustment of t r a i n weight and motive power is commensurate with minimum cost for the operation over the contiguous d i v i s i o n s . Thus, "The grades of a d i v i s i o n are very d e f i n i t e l y related to each other in their effect on operation, and when considered in t h i s connection may be termed the grade system of the d i v i s i o n . " 5 The e f f i c a c y of the gradient system on the entire l i n e i s c l e a r l y dependent upon the e f f i c a c y of the gradient systems within the constituent d i v i s i o n s . The present analysis distinguishes between three types of gradient, the maximum gradient, the ruling gradient, and the pusher, or helper, gradient. The maximum gradient i s simply the steepest gradient on the l i n e . Operations over the maximum gradient may be conducted either by momentum, or by means of pusher locomotives, or by balancing t r a f f i c in such a manner that the heavier flow always descends the maximum gradient. 6 The rul i n g gradient i s that gradient which, "...by i t s length or steepness, l i m i t s the weight of t r a i n that can be hauled by_ one locomotive over the d i v i s i o n on which i t occurs." 7 It should be noted that, The r u l i n g gradient may or may not be the maximum gradient on a d i v i s i o n . In the event that helper engines are used over the maximum grades, or momentum grades are employed...the next steepest grade becomes the ruling grade. 8 22 The importance of the ruling gradient in the economics of railway operation i s twofold. It determines not only the maximum tr a i n load which a single locomotive can haul over a par t i c u l a r d i v i s i o n , but also the amount of motive power which i s in effect "wasted" on those sections of the d i v i s i o n which are not ruling gradients. Thus, . . . i t i s not so much the dire c t cost of power that makes heavy ruling grades so objectionable, but rather the fact that t h i s power which must be available wherever the ruling grade occurs cannot be used to advantage over other portions of the l i n e . ' Therefore, i t i s the ruli n g gradient rather than the maximum gradient which is the c r u c i a l determinant of operating expenses over a par t i c u l a r d i v i s i o n . For i t is the ruling gradient, i t s angle, length and frequency of incidence on the d i v i s i o n , which together determine the amount of motive power which i s provided over the entire d i v i s i o n in excess of that required to move the t r a i n between the portions of ru l i n g gradient. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , i t is the ru l i n g gradient which determines the amount of payload which must be l e f t off the t r a i n over the entire d i v i s i o n in order to ensure that a single locomotive can continue to haul the t r a i n whenever the ruli n g gradient occurs. The excess of motive power, or the loss of payload, may be minimised by the concentration of ru l i n g gradients of similar severity within a pa r t i c u l a r d i v i s i o n . Such concentration ensures that when a t r a i n is assembled to match the ruling gradient of the d i v i s i o n , the motive power provided i s f u l l y u t i l i s e d for as long as possible in crossing the d i v i s i o n . A pusher or helper gradient i s any gradient where an a s s i s t i n g locomotive i s attached to the t r a i n in order to "help" 23 the t r a i n ascend the gradient. Pusher locomotives are required wherever the gradient of a section of the l i n e exceeds the ru l i n g gradient of the d i v i s i o n . 1 0 The a s s i s t i n g locomotives may be inserted into the t r a i n at any point along i t s length. However, the number of pushers which may be attached at any single point is limited by the strength of the drawbar of the car immediately before and the car immediately behind the pusher units, since i t i s upon these two drawbars alone that the f u l l forces of buffing and p u l l i n g respectively are exerted. (The drawbar i s that part of the locomotive or car which couples the vehicle to adjacent vehicles.) Moreover, with steam t r a c t i o n , as was operated over the Selkirk Mountains u n t i l the 1950's, co-ordination of locomotives in multiple i s more d i f f i c u l t to achieve than with die s e l and e l e c t r i c t r a c t i o n . Also, with steam t r a c t i o n , each additional locomotive requires i t s own t r a i n crew of at least two personnel, whilst d i e s e l and e l e c t r i c locomotives may be operated in multiple by a single t r a i n crew. Pusher gradients, l i k e r u l i n g gradients, are expensive to operate, not simply because of the d i r e c t cost of supplying the additional power where i t i s needed, but because of the opportunity cost of being unable to u t i l i s e t h i s additional power on portions of the l i n e where i t i s not needed. 1 1 Like r u l i n g gradients, therefore, pusher gradients must be concentrated as much as possible. The steepness of the pusher gradient must also approximate as clo s e l y as possible the steepness of the maximum gradient negotiable by the number of locomotives in the t r a i n . In t h i s manner, the maximum benefit i s 24 derived from the "push," for i f the pusher gradient i s only s l i g h t l y steeper than the rulin g gradient, then much of the work of the pusher locomotives i s not required in order to move the t r a i n . 1 2 , 1 3 F i n a l l y , the pusher gradient must be s u f f i c i e n t l y l o n g , 1 4 and the t r a f f i c s u f f i c i e n t l y dense, 1 5 to ensure f u l l u t i l i s a t i o n of the pusher locomotive or the pusher f l e e t , i i) Curvature Curvature may be inserted into a l i n e either in order to avoid a summit completely, or in order to moderate the gradient by which a summit is attained, or in order to avoid investment in a tunnel or cutting through the summit. In each case, the implications of the insertion of curvature for both construction and operation are i d e n t i c a l . This analysis i d e n t i f i e s two implications, those of resistance and distance, which are, however, inte r r e l a t e d in their impact upon constructional and operating costs. The resistance with which a t r a i n meets when t r a v e l l i n g over straight track i s increased when a curve is encountered, since the natural motion of the t r a i n i s in a straight l i n e . The increase in resistance due to curvature is i d e n t i c a l in effect to the increase in resistance which results from an increase in gradient. Therefore, i f curvature is inserted on the rulin g gradient of a d i v i s i o n , without reducing the gradient, the increase in resistance which th i s curvature e n t a i l s i s i d e n t i c a l in e f f e c t to an increase in the rulin g gradient: i t necessitates either the attachment of additional motive power to each t r a i n which negotiates the curve, or the reduction of the payload of each t r a i n . 25 These expedients of additional motive power and payload reduction can only be obviated i f the curvature i s "compensated," that i s , i f the increase in resistance which the curvature e n t a i l s is compensated by a decrease in the gradient, in order to ensure a constant l e v e l of resistance over both tangent and curvature. 1' Thus, a gradient of "2.2 per cent, compensated" i s a gradient on which the resistance encountered by a t r a i n i s equivalent in amount to the resistance which the t r a i n would have encountered in ascending a 2.2 per cent, gradient on straight track. However, the actual angle of ascent w i l l be less than 2.2 per cent., because some of the resistance encountered on the ascent w i l l be due not to the gradient, but to the incidence of curvature. The angle of ascent is usually reduced, or "compensated," by 0.04 per cent, per degree of curvature. 1 7 Thus, when a ten-degree curve is located on a gradient of 2.2 per cent., the actual angle of ascent over the curve must not exceed 1.8 per cent., for i f i t does, the tr a i n w i l l s t a l l , as the resistance due to the ascent, compounded by the resistance due to the curvature, w i l l exceed the resistance of the rulin g gradient of the d i v i s i o n . The necessity to compensate gradients in order to avoid the s t a l l i n g of trains implies increased distance, for either the angle of curvature must be reduced, or the angle of ascent must be decreased. The increase in distance which the insertion of curvature e n t a i l s w i l l increase either the immediate cost of construction or the delayed cost of operation. Each of these cost increases is p a r t i c u l a r l y severe in mountainous t e r r a i n , where 26 construction costs per mile are i n i t i a l l y high, and where very l i t t l e l o c a l t r a f f i c can be generated by the lengthening of the l i n e . 1 8 Since the insertion of curvature may e n t a i l either increased distance at construction time or increased operating costs afterwards, i t i s not clear that curvature can always be regarded as a "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" solution rather than a "High c a p i t a l cost, low operating cost" solution to the problem of breaching mountainous ter r a i n with r a i l . Its appropriate c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w i l l always be determined by the s p e c i f i c circumstances in which i t i s adopted. The inference must be drawn that where curvature i s adopted in practice, i t represents the l e a s t - t o t a l - c o s t solution in comparison with either constructing a tunnel or operating over steep i n c l i n e s . This analysis of "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" solutions has demonstrated that the construction costs of overcoming mountains by r a i l , that i s , the immediate cost of providing a railway f a c i l i t y through mountains, can only be reduced at the expense of incurring r e l a t i v e l y higher operating costs once the f a c i l i t y has opened. These higher operating costs are incurred only when t r a f f i c i s required to be transported over the f a c i l i t y . The costs are either dir e c t costs consequent upon the deployment of more motive power, or opportunity costs consequent upon the foregoing of payload. It is appropriate to contrast the results of this analysis with an analysis of the obverse solution, that of "High c a p i t a l cost, low operating cost." 27 I 2.1 (b) "High Capital Cost, Low Operating Cost" Solution. In the period of construction of a railway l i n e through mountains, large sums of c a p i t a l may be invested in order to eliminate an adverse gradient from the alignment by either tunnelling or cutting. The outlay is incurred "immediately," i that i s , before any t r a f f i c can flow through the f a c i l i t y . ! However, once the f a c i l i t y has been completed, and the gradient eliminated, the cost of operating t r a f f i c over the l i n e i s less for every t r a i n than i t would have been had the t r a f f i c been obliged to negotiate the steeper gradient, since the need to deploy more motive power or forego payload i s averted. The high c a p i t a l cost of gradient reduction represents a "lumpy" investment. Not only must the entire cost be borne "immediately," during the period of construction, but the investment project must be e n t i r e l y completed before any savings in operating costs can be r e a l i s e d . Moreover, the rate of return on the investment i s determined s t r i c t l y by the volume of t r a f f i c which uses the f a c i l i t y . In the extreme case, i f no I trains are run over the l i n e , the fact that t r a f f i c can be moved at a low operating cost w i l l be of no benefit in securing a return on the investment. Thus, the investment of large sums of c a p i t a l per mile is not alone s u f f i c i e n t to ensure operating savings: t r a f f i c must be available in order to take advantage of the low operating costs. 28 2.2 The Trade-off The engineering and economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of alternative solutions to the problem of locating and operating railways in mountainous t e r r a i n require a trade-off between "construction costs" and "operating costs," and between "immediate costs" and "delayed costs." In order to determine the appropriate trade-off , that i s , in order to choose between alternative engineering schemes, the two questions posed in the Introduction have to be answered. 1 9 F i r s t , what i s the alignment which i s appropriate to the t r a f f i c flows through the mountains? Where t r a f f i c flows are uncertain, or where there is an expectation that flows w i l l be l i g h t , an alignment which ent a i l s high construction costs in order to obtain low operating costs w i l l not be appropriate, for the benefit of the low operating costs w i l l not accrue with s u f f i c i e n t frequency to offset the high interest charges on the c a p i t a l invested in construction. The early North American transcontinental railways, b u i l t under uncertainty, or with the expectation of i n i t i a l l y l i g h t t r a f f i c , therefore adhered to the "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" solution: the f i r s t l i n e s were b u i l t quickly and cheaply, in order to minimise interest charges for the future, and in order the sooner to generate revenues with which to upgrade the l i n e and reduce operating costs as t r a f f i c developed. Immediate construction costs were diminished, and higher operating costs accepted in the short r u n . 2 0 As long as the t r a f f i c volume remains low, the "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" alignment continues to be appropriate. However, as the t r a f f i c volume increases, and as 29 operating costs escalate as a proportion of t o t a l costs, such an alignment becomes less appropriate, and the trade-off decision between c a p i t a l costs and operating costs becomes less c l e a r -cut. Ultimately, when the t r a f f i c volume increases to such an extent that the expected cost of operating trains over the alignment in the future exceeds the cost of constructing an a l t e r n a t i v e , less severe alignment, then i t may be concluded that the "Low c a p i t a l cost, high operating cost" alignment has become inappropriate for the volume of business which i t i s required to support. Capital must be invested in order to obtain a more appropriate alignment. In answering the second question, that i s , what i s the appropriate l e v e l of investment which should be undertaken in order to secure the appropriate alignment, i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e to consider the p r i n c i p l e advanced in 1906 by the C.P.R. engineer who would l a t e r be charged with the task of locating a double track for the C.P.R. main l i n e from Calgary to the West Coast: "The question of reducing grades over a certain section should be considered advantageous or economical when the saving effected in operating per annum over the section, due to grade reduction, more than represents the interest on the c a p i t a l outlay necessary to make the reduction. . . "Figuring on the t r a f f i c being the same before and after the r e v i s i o n , the most economical location to make is the one which w i l l require the least outlay for construction, and which w i l l reduce operating expenses by an amount more than s u f f i c i e n t to pay interest on t h i s o u t l a y . " 2 1 This p r i n c i p l e , which may be regarded as indicative of the C.P.R.'s own c r i t e r i a for making the trade-off decision between construction and operating costs, and between immediate and delayed costs, i s deceptively simple, especially when applied to the problem of investing in railways through mountainous 30 t e r r a i n , where the trade-off decision i s rendered p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t in practice by three factors. F i r s t , constructional and operating c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s d i f f e r markedly between alternative alignments through mountains. This phenomenon in turn has two ramifications. F i r s t , the absolute l e v e l of investment required in order to obtain gradient reductions of any significance i s l i k e l y to be high. Concomitant interest charges w i l l also be high, therefore, and in order to o f f s e t these high interest charges, the p o s s i b i l i t y must exist of making large savings in operating costs. This p o s s i b i l i t y w i l l exist only i f the proposed gradient reduction project is d r a s t i c , or i f the volume of t r a f f i c , forecast to benefit from the reduction in operating costs i s considerable. Second, the range of alternative projects from which to choose i s not l i k e l y to be "continuous." Thus, i f the railway company i s just unable to afford the investment in i t s "most preferred" a l t e r n a t i v e , the "next most preferred" alternative may offer s i g n i f i c a n t l y fewer benefits than the "most preferred" alternative in terms of construction costs and operating savings. The second factor which renders the trade-off decision d i f f i c u l t to make in practice is the necessity for the accurate estimation of construction costs, since the alignment should be adopted only i f the operating savings r e l a t i v e to alternative investments w i l l outweigh the cost of the i n i t i a l investment. Clearly, the d i f f i c u l t y of accurately forecasting costs is a problem which pervades a l l project evaluations. However, the d i f f i c u l t y i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute in the f i e l d of mountain railway location, where contingencies are 31 often d i f f i c u l t to foresee, and cost overruns easy to incur. The f i n a l factor which renders the trade-off decision d i f f i c u l t to make in practice i s the necessity for the accurate estimation of operating savings. This in turn requires the accurate forecasting of future t r a f f i c volumes over the proposed alignment. Again, this i s a d i f f i c u l t y common to a l l project appraisal. Again, too, however, the d i f f i c u l t y i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute in the f i e l d of mountain railway location, where the scale of investment costs which must be recovered is usually large, and where f l e x i b i l i t y to cope economically with extremes of t r a f f i c l e v e l s i s d i f f i c u l t to incorporate into the proposed f a c i l i t y . The role of these three factors in shaping the trade-off decisions which were made by the C.P.R. through the Selkirk Mountains w i l l be described and discussed in the remainder of this thesis. This analysis w i l l discern and appraise the answers which the C.P.R., as revealed by their investment decisions, appear to have reached on the two questions posed above. The issue of "appropriateness," as e l i c i t e d in response to each question, c l e a r l y involves more than simply engineering p r i n c i p l e s and economic costs and benefits. It involves the c r u c i a l matter of timing. When, and for how long, i s an alignment to be considered "appropriate"? When should the investment be undertaken which i s intended to secure a "more appropriate" alignment, and for how long is i t intended that t h i s alignment should be "more appropriate"? In analysing the nature and rationale of the trade-off decisions made in Rogers Pass, th i s thesis must perforce examine the manner in which the 32 C.P.R. addressed this c r u c i a l issue of timing. 33 FOOTNOTES 1 This discussion has no pretensions to be a comprehensive review of the engineering p r i n c i p l e s of mountain railway construction and operation, nor i s i t intended as such. For a thorough and contemporaneous treatment of the f i e l d of railway engineering, see, for example, A. M. Wellington, The Economic Theory Of The Location Of Railways , New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 6th edition, 1915; C. C. Williams, The Design Of Railway Location, New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1st ed., 1917; W. L. Webb, Railroad Construction, Theory And Practice, New York, John Wiley & Sons, inc., 8th edition, 1926. 2 Wellington, op. c i t . , Table 170, pp. 544-551. 3 See below, pp. 21-23. 4 "Considerably over half of the deterioration of track comes from the passage of engines over i t , and the remainder only from the passage of cars, which may weigh ten or twenty times as much." Wellington, op. c i t . , p. 701. 5 Williams, op. c i t . , p. 219. 6 Ibid., p. 265. 7 Ibid., p. 219. My i t a l i c s . 8 Ibid. ' Ibid., p. 220. 1 0 Unless the gradient is operated either by momentum or by balancing t r a f f i c . See note (6) above. 1 1 "It i s a truth of the f i r s t importance, that the objection to high gradients i s not the work which engines have to do on them, but i t i s the work which they do NOT do when they are thundering over the track with a l i g h t t r a i n behind them, from end to end of a d i v i s i o n , in order that the needed power may be at hand at a few scattered points where alone i t i s needed." Wellington, op. c i t . , pp. 589-590. 1 2 Williams, op. c i t . , pp. 266-7. 1 3 "The rate of grade should be such as to require the f u l l power of the pusher engine in addition to that of the regular engine to handle the maximum load over the balance of the section, as t h i s w i l l reduce the length of the pusher grade and consequently the pusher engine mileage." F. F. Busteed, "The Saving Effected By Grade Reductions," in, C.P.R. Co., "Proceedings Of The Meeting Of Western Lines O f f i c i a l s Held At F i e l d , B.C., February twelfth and thirteenth nineteen hundred and s i x . " Public Archives of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , B.C. 34 (henceforth "PABC,") NWp 971B C225pr. p. 62. 1 4 "The maximum e f f i c i e n c y in operating pusher engines i s obtained when the pusher engine i s kept constantly at work, and this i s f a c i l i t a t e d when the pusher grade i s as long as possible, that i s , when the heavy grades and the great bulk of the difference of elevation to be surmounted i s at one place. For example, a pusher grade of three miles followed by a comparatively l e v e l stretch of three miles and then by another pusher grade of two miles cannot a l l be operated as cheaply as a continuous pusher grade of fi v e miles." Webb, op. c i t . , pp. 580-81. 1 5 "...the condition that the pushers must be kept busy and be always on hand to have them economical must be remembered. The larger the t r a f f i c of the road the more e a s i l y can t h i s be assured, and consequently the more frequently can pushers be used." Wellington, op. c i t . , p. 606. 1 6 Williams, op. c i t . , p. 296. 1 7 Webb, op. c i t . , p. 563. 1 8 It should be noted that compensation i s also required in railway tunnels which are located on gradients. Here, the increase in resistance i s due to damp r a i l s and increased a i r resistance within the tunnel. 1 9 See above, p. 3. 2 0 "Whereas European engineers i n c l i n e d to a permanent type of construction, American railroads were often best b u i l t when most cheaply b u i l t , with l i g h t r a i l s , sharp curves and steep grades. Only such roads could expect to earn interest on their investment, in view of the scant population of the country and the pioneer character of many of the early enterprises." S. Daggett, P r i n c i p l e s Of Inland Transportation, New York, Harper, 4th edi t i o n , 1928, pp. 63-64. 2 1 F. F. Busteed, op. c i t . , p. 62. 35 CHAPTER 3 RAILWAYS AND ROGERS PASS The purpose of thi s chapter i s to relate the engineering and economic concepts of the previous chapter to the s p e c i f i c circumstances of railway construction and operation in Rogers Pass, B.C. The chapter is divided into three sections. The f i r s t section describes the physical and climatic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Selkirk Mountains, and considers the implications of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for railway location and operation. The second section explains why Rogers Pass was selected from the alternative routes available for the location of the transcontinental main l i n e through the mountains of B.C. The t h i r d section examines the s p e c i f i c expectations which the C.P.R. harboured for the impact of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s upon prospective constructional and operating conditions in the Pass. 3.1 Rogers Pass The dir e c t route west from the foot of the Kicking Horse Pass crosses the northerly flowing Columbia River, and i s then faced by the great mass of the Selkirk Mountains (See Map I ) . These mountains pose a number of problems for the construction and operation of railways. These problems are related to the location, the topography and the clim a t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Selkirk Mountains. 37 a) Location The Selkirk Mountains form a chain lying to the west of the Rocky Mountains. They are divided from them by the Columbia Valley, running approximately north and south, and through which the rive r of the same name flows. This rive r sweeps round the northern extremity of the Selkirk chain, forming what i s c a l l e d the 'Big Bend,' and then flows southerly into Oregon T e r r i t o r y , scooping out a deep valley, which divides the Selkirks from the Gold Range, lying further to the west. The Selkirks are thus bounded on either side, and enclosed at their northern end, by the Columbia Valley. Their length i s about 250 miles in Canadian T e r r i t o r y , and width from 50 to 80 miles. 1 Situated just inside, and p a r a l l e l with, the eastern border of B.C., the Selkirks are the second of four great mountain ranges, the Rockies, the Selkirks, the Gold Range and the Coast Range, which stand astride southern Canadian routes from the p r a i r i e s to the west coast. b) Topography In general character (the Selkirks) are l o f t y , rugged, and steep; intersected and d i v e r s i f i e d by narrow passes, and precipitous, rocky canons [ s i c ] . The height of the highest peaks is ten or eleven thousand feet above the sea; long p a r a l l e l ridges of not much i n f e r i o r elevation may be frequently observed in close proximity, forming between them a narrow V shaped v a l l e y , whose sides extend upwards, at an even and very steep slope, for f i v e or six thousand feet, and along the bottom of which there flows a turbulent mountain stream. 2 A "low c a p i t a l cost" railway location, intending to follow the natural alignment of the t e r r a i n , 3 would necessarily seek these narrow passes as corridors through the mountains. However, the valley f l o o r s in the Selkirks are poorly drained, marshy, and densely overgrown.* Even today, the Trans - Canada Highway is compelled to s k i r t these areas by taking to the valley sides. Thus, even where le v e l valley f l o o r s e x i s t , and where they are wide enough to accommodate even a single l i n e of railway, no 38 track can be l a i d without massive investment in ground clearance and drainage. Instead, track must be thrown up the valley sides, clear of the area prone to flooding. Moreover, where the valley f l o o r s are drained, the streams descend very steeply towards the major r i v e r s , too steeply to be followed by railway l i n e s . In seeking less precipitous descents, tracks necessarily diverge from the rive r valleys and are thrown high up the valley s i d e s . 5 They must then be "developed" in order to reach the valley floors by practicable gradients, thereby incurring increased distance and curvature. The necessity of abandoning the valley f l o o r s and seeking the mountain sides, whether induced by the narrowness of the va l l e y , poor drainage or steeply flowing r i v e r s , has six consequences adverse to railway construction and operation. F i r s t , i t e n t a i l s steep gradients, in order to reach the refuge of the valley sides and then return to the valley floor where possible. Second, i t involves construction through the densely forested valley sides, which would be scarcely less expensive to clear than the dense undergrowth of the marshy valley f l o o r s . Third, i t e n t a i l s extensive cutting into the side of the mountain above the valley f l o o r , in order to carve out a "bench" upon which to lay the r a i l s . The extent of t h i s cutting i s increased by "development" of the l i n e . Fourth, i t involves increased expenditure upon the securing of a stable foundation for the l i n e over these "benches," since in the Selkirks, "the rock being for the most part...clay and slate shales...crumbles and degrades e a s i l y under the action of the weather, and large masses of debris are thus constantly gathering in the valley 39 bottoms, while the mountain sides are deeply scarred by g u l l i e s and f i s s u r e s . " 6 F i f t h , i t involves bridging these g u l l i e s and the many mountain streams, a l l of which are avoided in an alignment along the valley f l o o r . 7 The bridges may be short, but the crossings w i l l be high above the g u l l i e s and streams, and the bridging w i l l therefore be expensive and complex. Moreover, allowance must be made, in both the length and the strength of the bridges, for the violent flooding of these many streams. This flooding, the result of warm weather melting "the snow-f i e l d s and ice masses..., may occur at any period of the summer months, and may last for days, or perhaps weeks."8 F i n a l l y , location along the mountain side leads the tracks perpendicularly across the paths of avalanches descending from the peaks above to the valley floor beneath. This problem of avalanches w i l l be examined further in the consideration of climatic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s below. c) Climate The Selkirk chain forms, as i t were, a l o f t y wall running north and south. Being very much higher than the mountains to the west, i t i s the f i r s t and chief barrier that the moisture laden currents of a i r from the P a c i f i c Ocean encounter on their eastward passage. This warm a i r is intercepted and the moisture condensed by contact with the cold Selkirks, e n t a i l i n g heavy rain in summer and deep snow in winter...' The average annual snowfall ranges from t h i r t y to f i f t y f e e t , 1 0 f a l l i n g mostly between October and A p r i l , 1 1 and f a l l i n g much more heavily upon the western slope than upon the eastern s l o p e . 1 2 The heavy snowfall, coupled with high winds and the steep, fissured p r o f i l e of the mountains, creates a severe avalanche danger. The severity of the danger l i e s in the 40 ve l o c i t y of the avalanches, the volume of snow which s l i d e s , and the weight of that snow. Hard-packed and frozen, the snow alone may weigh from 25 to 38 lbs. per cubic foot, and the force of the slides may tear down whole trees or rocks and carry them into the valleys with the avalanche. 1 3 The time of year when s l i d e s are largest and most frequent i s from the middle of January to the l a t t e r part of February. These are 'winter s l i d e s , ' formed of large masses of quite dry snow. In March and A p r i l there are numerous 'sun s l i d e s , ' caused by the melting of the snow and ice, but these are not of any importance as compared with the o t h e r s . 1 4 The incidence of these slides poses a considerable seasonal hazard to both the construction and the operation of transportation corridors through the Selkirks, and greatly increases the expense of keeping open those corridors. It has already been noted that in being compelled to abandon valley f l o o r s , railway l i n e s would be forced d i r e c t l y across the paths of avalanches on the mountain sides. However, even the valley f l o o r s do not necessarily provide a refuge from the avalanches. Many of the valleys are too narrow to permit the s l i d e s to "run o f f " harmlessly, and the larger avalanches acquire s u f f i c i e n t momentum to cross the valley f l o o r s and travel considerable distance up the sides of the mountains opposite. Structures intended to defend railway l i n e s from the s l i d e s must be strong enough to withstand not merely the weight of the cumulative snowfall, nor even the strength of the avalanches themselves, but also the weight of the f a l l i n g rocks and trees which accompany the s l i d e s . Clearance of the snow sl i d e s alone would be arduous and expensive enough: many of them would cover several hundred feet of l i n e , sometimes to a depth of over 41 t h i r t y f e e t . 1 5 The presence of rocks and trees in the debris exacerbates the clearance problem, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f mechanical ploughs are used in the clearing operation. This introduction to the geography of the Selkirk Mountains has highlighted the physical constraints upon railway location and operation in those mountains. The constraints are imposed by the topography and the climate of the Selkirks. It should be noted that these constraints are to a considerable extent peculiar to the Selkirk Mountains. In the Rockies, the valley f l o o r s are generally wider, better drained and less overgrown, and are thus eminently suitable to accommodate transportation corr i d o r s . Moreover, being situated further east than the Selkirks, they receive a far lesser snowfall, mitigating the problems of avalanches and snow clearance. Even in the Sierra Nevada, which experiences considerable snowfall and avalanches, the problems are far less severe than in the Selkirks, for the snow i t s e l f i s much l i g h t e r , and the snow s l i d e s do not generally displace rocks and t r e e s . 1 6 Moreover, the constraints are to a considerable extent peculiar to the location and operation of railways. Due to the superior adhesion, acceleration and cornering c a p a b i l i t i e s of road vehicles, highways may follow the severe gradients of the mountain streams, or may a l t e r n a t i v e l y choose both severe gradients and curvature as means of avoiding avalanche paths, g u l l i e s or flooded v a l l e y s . These alternatives are available to r a i l in only limited measure. This analysis of the implications of the physical and clima t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Selkirk Mountains for railway 42 construction and operation has revealed that the nature of the terr a i n would pose a formidable challenge to the location of a r a i l corridor from the p r a i r i e s to the west coast. One may legitimately wonder why and how a transcontinental r a i l l i n k could be expected to penetrate this awesome natural barrier against communication. The next two sections of this chapter w i l l endeavour to answer these questions. 3.2 The Select ion Of Rogers Pass For The F i r s t Transcontinental R a i l Link The purpose of thi s section i s to explain why Rogers Pass was selected as one segment of the route by which the C.P.R. would cross the mountains which stood between the p r a i r i e s and the west coast. As a result of this decision, the C.P.R. would be for ever implicated in the struggle with the adverse physical and clim a t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s outlined above. It should be noted that the selection of Rogers Pass for the transcontinental link was the consequence of two separate but int e r r e l a t e d decisions. The f i r s t decision addressed the question of the general alignment which should be adopted in crossing the western Canadian mountains. The second decision addressed the question of the s p e c i f i c location which should be adopted in crossing the Selkirk Mountains of B.C. This analysis w i l l concentrate upon the second of these questions, partly because the f i r s t question has been discussed thoroughly elsewhere, 1 1 and partly because the second question reveals more than the f i r s t question about the manner in which the trade-offs elaborated in Chapter 2 were handled in the p a r t i c u l a r environment of the Selkirk Mountains. 43 The need to cross the Selkirk Mountains could have been avoided e n t i r e l y had the C.P.R. adhered to their o r i g i n a l contract and constructed the main l i n e through the Yellowhead Pass via Jasper House. Such a route would have had maximum gradients of one per cent., and would have been free from snow s l i d e s . 1 8 However, shortly after the C.P.R. had been awarded the contract to build the transcontinental main l i n e , in 1881, a search was i n i t i a t e d for a more southerly route across the p r a i r i e s and through the mountains. By 1883, the Yellowhead Pass alternative had been abandoned. It i s not proposed to reopen the controversy which surrounds the rationale for t h i s abandonment decision. The objective of the C.P.R. in seeking a more southerly route was ostensibly to obtain a shorter l i n e . 1 5 This saving in distance was equated by the C.P.R. with a reduction in future operating c o s t s , 2 0 and with an improvement in their c a p a b i l i t y to compete with American r i v a l s for transcontinental t r a f f i c . 2 1 In order to secure these savings, i t appears that the C.P.R. was prepared to sanction higher construction costs on a shorter l i n e through the mountains. 2 2 However, the decision to abandon the Yellowhead Pass may also have been motivated by p o l i t i c a l considerations, since a route further south would more readily f o r e s t a l l the economic encroachment of the United States into both the Canadian p r a i r i e s and southern B.C. 2 3 Certainly, the decision to reject an extreme southern crossing of the mountains appears to have been dominated by p o l i t i c a l considerations. S i r Thomas Shaughnessy, t h i r d President of the C.P.R., would later assert that the Company 44 "would have preferred to build via the Crow's Nest, but the Government of the day did not approve t h i s , as the l i n e would be too close to the International Boundary. As a consequence the present route was adopted." 2 4 That "present route" would penetrate the Rockies through the Kicking Horse Pass and the Selkirks through Rogers Pass. It was the decision to follow the Kicking Horse Pass which made necessary a decision concerning the appropriate crossing of the Selkirk Mountains. Two alternatives were ava i l a b l e . An alignment could be followed around the Big Bend of the Columbia Valley, s k i r t i n g the northern extremity of the range, or, a l t e r n a t i v e l y , a direct crossing could be sought through the Selk i r k s . The C.P.R.'s evaluation of these alternatives w i l l now be assessed. From th i s assessment, i t w i l l be possible to analyse the manner in which the C.P.R. handled the trade-offs explained in Chapter 2. The analysis w i l l be instructive for the appraisal of later trade-off decisions made by the C.P.R., because the trade-offs made in the Selkirks appear not to have been coloured by p o l i t i c a l considerations, but to have been based purely upon p r i n c i p l e s of transportation economics. The length of the Big Bend route was estimated at 140 miles, and i t seemed "quite certain that gradients of 80 or 90 feet per mile would have to be used in p l a c e s . " 2 5 Since the rul i n g gradient elsewhere on the C.P.R. system was to be 52.8 feet per m i l e , 2 6 these sections of the Big Bend route would have to be operated as pusher gradients. Moreover, since the gradients would be short and dispersed, the pusher operation would be d i f f i c u l t to conduct economically. F i n a l l y , the 45 adoption of the lengthy alignment around the Big Bend would not necessarily preclude the need for tunnelling, although no estimate has survived of the actual length of tunnelling which might have been r e q u i r e d . 2 7 When the C.P.R. applied for statutory authority to abandon the Yellowhead Pass, the Big Bend represented a " f a i l - s a f e " a l ternative on the southern route: i t could be adopted as a last resort i f no di r e c t crossing of the Selkirks could be found. 2 8 However, i f the C.P.R. had been driven to adopt the Big Bend, the potential saving in distance on the southern route, which had induced them to abandon the Yellowhead Pass, would have been eroded to between t h i r t y - f i v e and f o r t y - f i v e m i l e s . 2 5 It is doubtful that the savings in the cost of operating this distance, p a r t i c u l a r l y over the p o t e n t i a l l y uneconomical pusher gradients, would have offset the increased construction costs which were anticipated in the Kicking Horse Pass. 3 0 If adoption of the southern route were to be j u s t i f i e d on economic grounds, therefore, the C.P.R. had to be prepared to invest even more heavily at construction time in order to ensure that the distance and cost of operating around the Big Bend would be saved. As the C.P.R.'s General Manager, Van Home, freely admitted, "'to save th i s distance work w i l l be undertaken that would o r d i n a r i l y be considered impracticable on account of expense.'" 3 1 It was therefore understood and expected that a dire c t crossing of the Selkirks would necessitate a heavy "immediate" investment. The exact amount which the C.P.R. was prepared to invest in order to secure the saving in distance i s not known, 46 but an interesting revealed-preference function may be deduced, which offers at least a general indication of the extent of that preparedness. The engineer Walter Moberly, 'having discovered Eagle Pass through the Gold Range in the 1860's, sought to link i t with a pass through the Selkirks, but in 1871 he had abandoned his surveys with the conclusion that such a pass "would be impracticable for a railway unless a long tunnel, probably 14 to 15 miles in length, should be excavated through the Selkirk range." 3 2 The report of the necessity for thi s length of tunnelling probably expedited the Federal Government's decision in favour of the Yellowhead Pass, announced while Moberly was in V i c t o r i a , having returned from his 1871 e x p l o r a t i o n s . 3 3 Ten years l a t e r , when the C.P.R. requested permission to adopt a southern route, the expectation was s t i l l that "some long tunnels" would be required in order to secure a direc t crossing of the S e l k i r k s . 3 4 Although, as has been noted above, the C.P.R. was prepared to undertake "work... which would o r d i n a r i l y be considered impracticable on account of expense," i t i s not clear that they regarded t h i s amount of tunnelling as acceptable, for they continued to reserve the option of building around the Big Bend. 3 5 The amount of tunnelling which the C.P.R. was prepared to accept appears to have been a maximum of 2 1/2 miles, for i t was only at the end of the 1882 surveying season, after Major A. B. Rogers had established that no more tunnelling than this would be required i f a route through Rogers Pass were to be adopted, that the C.P.R. applied s p e c i f i c a l l y for permission to locate 47 the l i n e d i r e c t l y across the S e l k i r k s . 3 6 When even th i s amount of tunnelling proved not to be necessary in order to secure acceptable gradients, the di r e c t crossing via Rogers Pass became c l e a r l y preferable to the ci r c u i t o u s passage around the Big Bend, saving some seventy-seven or eighty-seven miles of mountain railway c o n s t r u c t i o n . 3 7 The sketching of t h i s preference function has offered some insight into the extent to which the C.P.R. was prepared to undertake "immediate" investment in order to secure future operating savings. It is necessary now to esta b l i s h the extent of the operating savings which the C.P.R. would require in return for i t s willingness to accept higher construction costs. Again, no quantitative data i s avai l a b l e . Again, too, however, i t i s possible to obtain some insight into the trade-off from the evidence of preferences, both revealed and e x p l i c i t . Evidence of revealed preference is available in the C.P,R.'s preparedness to accept gradients steeper than i n i t i a l l y projected on the Rogers Pass route. Rogers, when surveying the Selkirks in 1881, had i n i t i a l l y reported "a grade not to exceed s i x t y - s i x feet to the mile between Kamloops and the North Fork of the I l l i - c i l l e - w a n t [ s i c ] , and from thence to the summit of the Selkirks not to exceed eighty feet to the m i l e . " 3 8 After the following year's surveys, he was compelled to revise these estimates upwards, locating "a l i n e ascending westerly for a distance of twenty miles to the summit of the Selkirks at the rate of 105 6/10 feet per mile, and descending the western slope at the same rate for the same distance..." 3' Nevertheless, the C.P.R. was c l e a r l y aware of t h i s gradient system when they 48 applied for permission to exploit Rogers Pass, and was c l e a r l y prepared to accept i t . 4 0 When Rogers later recommended that the gradients again be revised upwards, to 116 feet per m i l e , 4 1 i t was s t i l l not expected that the revision would negate the advantages of Rogers Pass over the Big Bend. "(I)nasmuch as assistant engines would be required on a grade of ninety feet as well as on one of 116 feet per m i l e . . . , " 4 2 better u t i l i s a t i o n could be anticipated from pushers over the Selkirk summit than from pushers on scattered gradients around the Big Bend. Therefore, the savings in distance would not be offset by the costs of having to operate over the steeper gradients. Evidence of e x p l i c i t preference i s available from Van Home's own retrospective explanation of the trade-off decision. In his evaluation, Van Home assumed that no pusher gradients at a l l would be required on the Big Bend. Therefore, the savings in distance over Rogers Pass would be offset by the f u l l cost of the pusher operation which would be required on the summit route. Even under this assumption, however, the Rogers Pass alternative was s t i l l preferred. E x p l i c i t l y , the anticipated savings in distance would offset the cost of operating over steeper g r a d i e n t s . 4 3 I m p l i c i t l y , from the above evidence of revealed preference concerning construction costs, i t may be inferred that the savings in distance were also expected to offset the po t e n t i a l l y higher cost of construction through Rogers Pass. From the evidence of both revealed and e x p l i c i t preference, i t i s clear that the prime factor in influencing the decision to 49 adopt Rogers Pass was the anticipated saving in operating costs, and in p a r t i c u l a r , in the operating cost of distance. Insofar as t h i s saving in the operating cost of distance was equated with an improved c a p a b i l i t y to compete for through t r a f f i c , the manner in which the trade-off decision was handled in the Selkirk Mountains was consistent with the stated objectives which had prompted the search for a more southerly l o c a t i o n . 4 4 This analysis explains why the main l i n e of the f i r s t Canadian transcontinental railway was located through Rogers Pass. The decision to dismiss the Yellowhead Pass and Crow's Nest Pass alternatives was based at least partly upon p o l i t i c a l grounds. Nevertheless, i t is by no means clear that t h i s decision was inconsistent with a decision which would have been based purely upon p r i n c i p l e s of railway economics. With the selection of Rogers Pass, i t appeared that the objectives which the more southerly location was intended to achieve had been f u l f i l l e d , and that the trade-off which the C.P.R. had been prepared to make, that of incurring higher construction costs immediately in order to save operating costs l a t e r , had been made. Indeed, when Rogers Pass was selected from the al t e r n a t i v e s , i t was not at a l l clear that construction costs would be higher in building through the Pass than they would have been in building around the Big Bend, for although the C.P.R. had been prepared to accept 2 1 / 2 miles of tunnelling i f i t had had to, in practice there were v i r t u a l l y "no tunnels necessary." 4 5 Moreover, although the C.P.R. had been prepared to accept that the cost of the pusher operation over Rogers Pass would o f f s e t some of the saving in distance, in practice i t i s 50 l i k e l y that the cost of the pusher operation over Rogers Pass was actually less than the cost would have been of the pusher operation which would c e r t a i n l y have been required around the Big Bend. The selection of Rogers Pass, therefore, was not merely a necessary expedient. It was not an alternative forced upon the C.P.R. by the Company's blind decision to enter the Rockies via the Kicking Horse Pass with no sure knowledge of i t s means of e x i t . * ' Rather, i t was a positive choice. It represented a sound solution to the problem of crossing the Selkirk Mountains by r a i l . The C.P.R. was well p l e a s e d , 4 7 and expectations were high. It. is appropriate now to consider the nature of these expectations, and the foundations for optimism. 3.3 The Expectations Of The Builders The purpose of this section i s to examine further the expectations which the C.P.R. harboured for construction and operating conditions over Rogers Pass, prior to the actual construction and inception of the transcontinental l i n k . The examination highlights the gap between the C.P.R.'s expectations of the route, and the r e a l i t i e s which w i l l be examined in the following chapter. The analysis of the C.P.R.'s s p e c i f i c expectations in Rogers Pass w i l l examine five d i s t i n c t areas of constructional and operational concern. These areas are the character of construction work, the cost of construction, the time required f o r ' construction, the methods of operation, including forecasts of t r a f f i c volumes, and the necessity for protection of the f a c i l i t y from snow s l i d e s . 51 a) The Character Of Construction Work On f i r s t traversing the Pass in 1882, Rogers himself had f e l t " e n t i r e l y safe in reporting a practicable l i n e through t h i s range," although he expected that the work would be "very heavy and expensive." 4 8 The following year, after further surveys, Rogers again reported o p t i m i s t i c a l l y : "Through the Selkirks the work i s more uniformly d i s t r i b u t e d than through the Rockies and presents no special engineering d i f f i c u l t i e s and for mountain work may be considered moderate, the percentage of rock being unusually s m a l l . " 4 5 Tunnelling was expected not to exceed 1,200 l i n e a l feet on the entire distance across the Selkirks, in comparison with 1,800 feet on the Upper Kicking Horse, 1,400 feet on the Lower Kicking Horse and 2,200 feet in the Columbia Canyon. 5 0 In a "Memorandum of the General Character of the Work," prepared in February 1884, the C.P.R.'s Chief Engineer observed that, From the east foot of Selkirks to mouth of Eagle Pass:-The work may be considered moderate for mountain work, being largely composed of g r a v e l . " 5 1 Again this contrasted with conditions in the Rockies, where, on the west slope, in the Chief Engineer's estimation, "The work may be classed as generally heavy, with some short distances very heavy." 5 2 In September 1884, mere months before construction through the Selkirks commenced,53 S. B. Reed, the engineer who had located the mountain section of the Union P a c i f i c Railroad, reported that, The l i n e over the Selkirk Mountains, a distance of sixty-three miles, i s remarkably easy to construct, there being comparatively l i t t l e rock excavation, and but one short tunnel. The great bulk of the work w i l l be in earth and loose r o c k . 5 4 52 b) The Cost Of Construction Few s p e c i f i c forecasts of construction costs in the Selkirks s u r v i v e . 5 5 In February 1 8 8 4 , the House of Commons of Canada had been informed that the C.P.R.'s estimate for the entire distance from the summit of the Rockies to Kamloops was $ 1 2 m i l l i o n , 5 6 an average of $ 4 4 , 7 7 6 for each of the 2 6 8 miles. When Reed t r a v e l l e d the route in August 1 8 8 4 , he calculated that, "between the summit of the Gold Range and the summit of the Rocky Mountains... th i s section of the road can be constructed at an average cost not exceeding t h i r t y three thousand d o l l a r s ( $ 3 3 , 0 0 0 ) per m i l e . " 5 7 Reed's glowing conclusion was that, In view of the rugged mountain country, through which the l i n e passes, from Savonna [sic] Ferry to the summit on the main range of Rocky Mountains, a distance of two hundred and ninety miles...you have an exceedingly cheap l i n e to b u i l d , costing far less per mile than the mountain work of the Union and Central P a c i f i c roads." 5" The more conservative estimates which the C.P.R. formulated for submission to the Federal Government the next month forecast an average cost for t h i s same section of some $ 3 7 , 0 0 0 per mile, and the forecast cost of construction across the Selkirks was a c t u a l l y s l i g h t l y below this average. 5 9 Even i f i t i s assumed that the Big Bend could have been operated as cheaply as the d i r e c t crossing, construction costs around the Columbia River would have had to have been less than $ 2 0 , 0 0 0 per mile for the Big Bend route to have represented a cheaper o v e r a l l solution than the Rogers Pass route to the problem of crossing the Selkirk Mountains by r a i l . 6 0 53 c) Time Required For Construction In t h e i r o r i g i n a l contract with the Federal Government, the C.P.R. had been committed to complete the entire transcontinental f a c i l i t y within ten years, that i s , by May 1891. Rapid progress across the p r a i r i e s was doubtless a major factor in enabling t h i s deadline to be brought forwards, but the location of a direct route through the Selkirk s , and the optimistic projections of i t s engineering f e a s i b i l i t y , must also have contributed to the revision of the target. When the C.P.R.'s President, Sir George Stephen, reported the discovery of Rogers Pass to the Marquis of Lome in September 1882, he volunteered: "Expect to have the whole l i n e from Montreal to Pa c i f i c Ocean open by January f i r s t , 1887," 6 1 over four years sooner than the contracted deadline. By December 1882, even th i s expectation had been revised. Stephen stated that the C.P.R. expected "to complete their own work across the mountains" during 1885. 6 2 Up to t h i s time, the Lake Superior section was expected to be the last completed,, being scheduled to open during 1886. 6 3 These expectations were unchanged a year l a t e r , when the C.P.R. concluded a contract for f i n a n c i a l assistance from the North American Railway Contracting Company which stipulated completion of the mountain section by December 31, 1885, and completion of the Lake Superior section by December 31, 1886. 6 4 When t h i s contract lapsed, and the Federal Government again intervened with loans to the C.P.R., the expectations were revised. The C.P.R. undertook completion of the entire project by May 1886, thus buying time in the mountains at the expense of time on Lake S u p e r i o r . 4 5 In May 54 1884, Van Home confided to Major Rogers, "(W)e hope that the men on construction from the East w i l l reach the second crossing of the Columbia and possibly Eagle pass by the end of th i s year..." 6' Slow progress down the western slope of the Rockies 6 7 only s l i g h t l y tempered this confidence. In September 1884, Van Home assured the Directors, "I think there w i l l be no d i f f i c u l t y in completing the mountain section within a year from this date.. d) Operating Methods And T r a f f i c Forecasts As the above analysis demonstrated, 6 9 the C.P.R. was aware when Rogers Pass was discovered that whether the main l i n e followed the Big Bend or traversed the Pass, a pusher operation would be required for either a l t e r n a t i v e . Several arguments were advanced in favour of the pusher operation over Rogers Pass. The pusher gradients would be concentrated within twenty miles on either side of the Selkirk summit, 7 0 permitting intensive u t i l i s a t i o n of the pusher f l e e t . The summit i t s e l f was "represented as being admirably adapted for the location of a depot for marshalling t r a i n s , being p r a c t i c a l l y l e v e l for a distance of about three quarters of a m i l e . " 7 1 Moreover, "considering the fact that the heavy grades in the Selkirk Range are embraced within a comparatively short distance, their disadvantage i s very l i t t l e as compared with the great savings in through d i s t a n c e . " 7 2 Less pusher capacity would be wasted over Rogers Pass than on the l i g h t e r pusher gradients around the Big Bend. 7 3 F i n a l l y , since the only other pusher gradient was expected to be for twenty miles on the west slope of the 55 Rockies, 7 4 the pusher gradients in the Selkirks complemented the gradient system of the entire transcontinental railway, a system which compared favourably with those of the Central and Union P a c i f i c Railways, the standards of which had provided the model for the C.P.R.7 5 It i s l i k e l y that these arguments alone would have suf f i c e d to persuade both the C.P.R. Directors and the Federal Government that the pusher operation over Rogers Pass would not be detrimental to the movement of t r a f f i c through the mountains of B.C., but rather, in conjunction with the saving in distance, would be a strength of the southern route. Two further arguments in favour of the pusher operation were presented by the C.P.R. The f i r s t was that t r a f f i c requiring t r a n s i t through the mountains would be l i g h t "for a number of years to come."76 Therefore, a small f l e e t of pusher locomotives would s u f f i c e to handle the business. In the Rockies, Van Home forecast that "three, or at most four, trains each way per day w i l l carry a l l the business to be done...," 7 7 and expressed the be l i e f "that in the case of passenger trains double locomotive service w i l l seldom be required; o r d i n a r i l y the substitution of a heavy for a li g h t locomotive w i l l answer the purpose." 7 8 The forecasts of t r a f f i c volume appear i n t e r n a l l y inconsistent with the boasts of timber and mineral resources vaunted by both Stephen 7 9 and Van Home. 8 0 Nevertheless, Van Home was confident that such t r a f f i c as was carried through the mountains would be ca r r i e d p r o f i t a b l y . 8 1 The second argument was "that the preponderance of through t r a f f i c across the continent (would be) largely west bound, and I 56 that the two heavy gradients r i s i n g eastward might therefore be s t i l l heavier without material disadvantage." 8 2 This forecast f l a t l y contradicted those generated by members of the B.C. Board of Trade, which emphasised eastbound flows from B.C. 8 3 However, the argument does highlight the "system" implications of the pusher gradients over the Sel k i r k s . On the entire C.P.R. transcontinental "system," a westbound preponderance of t r a f f i c was preferable, since t h i s was revenue t r a f f i c , and the trains conveying revenue t r a f f i c would have to be t a i l o r e d to only one r e s t r i c t i v e ruling gradient, while longer t r a i n s of empties, generating zero direct revenue, could be hauled against the two adverse eastbound ruli n g g r a d i e n t s . 8 4 Thus, t h e . t r a f f i c imbalance would actually reduce the t o t a l joint cost of the operation. Within the Selkirk Mountains themselves, however, since the pusher gradients were expected to be of approximately equal length, a perfect balance of flows would be optimal, in order to ensure even u t i l i s a t i o n of motive power on either side of the summit. An imbalance in favour of either d i r e c t i o n would be equally costly, but the actual d i r e c t i o n of the imbalance would be irrelevant to the economics of the pusher operation. e) Snowslide Protection The C.P.R. had long been aware of potential avalanche problems in crossing the Selkirks d i r e c t l y . 8 5 They had accepted Rogers' recommendation that gradients through Rogers Pass be increased from 105.6 feet per mile to 116 feet per mile, "in order to avoid some points where dangerous snow s l i d e s are to be feared." 8' This recommendation had been r e l a t i v e l y "cheap" to 57 implement, 8 7 but further gradient increases in order to avoid s l i d e s were impracticable, since they would e n t a i l a costly increase in the ruling gradient of the system, and breach of their o r i g i n a l contract, which had stipulated maximum gradients of 2.2 per cent, compensated. Tunnelling in order to avoid avalanches does not appear to have been considered at construction time. 8 8 Instead, where avalanche paths could not be avoided, the C.P.R. intended to protect the main l i n e with snow sheds. When Rogers had f i r s t traversed the Pass, he had f e l t "assured that the distance in which d i f f i c u l t i e s may be expected in crossing the Selkirk Range w i l l be reduced to ten or twelve m i l e s . " 8 5 As late as August 1884, Reed, making the same crossing, would report that "evidences of snow s l i d e s were seen at and near Roger's [ s i c ] Pass, in the Selkirk Range, also near the summit of the main range of the Rocky Mountains, but the aggregate distance on which these occur does not exceed f i f t e e n m i l e s . " 5 0 He admitted that, "A number of snowsheds w i l l probably be required for the protection of the track," but pointed out that "nearly f i f t y miles of these are in successful use on the Central P a c i f i c road." 5 1 Thirty-two miles of these sheds had cost $1,731,000 in the 1860's. 5 2 In March 1885, the C.P.R. estimated that $450,000 would be required for the construction of snowsheds in the mountains 5 3: i f they were expecting to be able to construct their sheds for the same cost as the Central P a c i f i c had incurred, they could expect to completely cover with snowsheds at least eight miles of those f i f t e e n troublesome miles i d e n t i f i e d in the mountains. This detailed investigation of the s p e c i f i c expectations 58 which the C.P.R. harboured for construction and operating conditions over Rogers Pass prior to the actual commencement of work in the Selkirks reveals the p a r t i c u l a r grounds upon which rested the Company's s a t i s f a c t i o n in securing a location through Rogers Pass and their confidence in contemplating future operations over the Selkirks. Construction was expected to be r e l a t i v e l y easy and s i g n i f i c a n t l y less costly than alternative routes. Adoption of the Rogers Pass route would enable early completion of the entire transcontinental f a c i l i t y , and the rapid generation of revenues from through t r a f f i c with which to support subsequent improvements to the l i n e . The pusher operation over the Selkirk summit would complement the gradient system of the entire transcontinental f a c i l i t y , and i t was expected that the avalanche problem, which did not appear unduly burdensome when set against conditions experienced by r i v a l railways, would be e f f e c t i v e l y eliminated by a modest c a p i t a l outlay at construction time. The results of this investigation reinforce the conclusion reached in the second section of th i s chapter, that the Rogers Pass route appeared to offer a p o s i t i v e l y sound rather than a merely expedient solution to the problem of breaching the Selkirk Mountains by r a i l . The C.P.R. had been prepared to undertake heavy "immediate" investment in order to obtain operating savings in the future. Yet not only did the operating costs over Rogers Pass appear l i k e l y to be far less than operating costs around the Big Bend, but i t seemed that a heavy "immediate" investment of c a p i t a l would not be necessary in order to obtain the savings in operating costs. Thus, although 59 the C.P.R. had been prepared to make a trade-off between construction costs and operating costs, i t seemed that they would not in practice have to make such a trade-off, for the Rogers Pass route represented the l e a s t - c a p i t a l - c o s t and l e a s t -operating-cost solution. Moreover, the decision to adopt Rogers Pass in preference to the Big Bend was much less controversial than the decision to adopt the Kicking Horse Pass in favour of the Howse Pass through the Rockies. The engineers Fleming, Hogg, Rogers and James Ross were each independently dispatched through the Howse Pass in various attempts to est a b l i s h the f e a s i b i l i t y of that a l t e r n a t i v e . It was not u n t i l November 1883, after the railhead had already advanced far to the west of Calgary, and after even more surveys through Howse Pass had been undertaken, that Ross, the manager of construction in the mountains, would admit to fee l i n g "quite s a t i s f i e d that we have secured beyond doubt the best l i n e through the Mountains."' 4 The wrangling with the Ministry of Railways and Canals which accompanied the submission of the C.P.R.'s location plans for the western slope of the Rockies' 5 and the Kamloops Lake sections' 6 was completely absent from the submission of the p r o f i l e s of the alignment over Rogers Pass. These l a t t e r plans were approved and returned qu i e t l y , quickly and without question during the autumn of 1884, 5 7 in ample time for the commencement of construction through the Selkirks the following spring. 60 FOOTNOTES 1 G. C. Cunningham, "Snow Slides in the Selkirk Mountains," Transactions of the Canadian Society of C i v i l Engineers, Vol. I, Part II, October-December 1887, p. 18. 2 Ibid., pp. 18-19. 3 See above, pp. 17-18. * For a graphic description of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of penetrating the Selkirks on foot, see, S. Fleming, England and Canada. A Summer Tour between Old and New Westminster, with H i s t o r i c a l Notes, Montreal, Dawson Brothers, 1884, pp. 271-94. In three f u l l days of marching, Fleming's party managed barely ten miles through the Sel k i r k s . 5 Cunningham, op. c i t . , p. 19. * Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 W. S. Vaux, J r . , "The Canadian P a c i f i c Railway from Laggan to Revelstoke, B.C.," Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, Vol. XVII, No. 2, May 1900, p. 72. 5 Cunningham, op. c i t . , pp. 19-20. 1 0 A. C. Dennis, "Construction Methods for Rogers Pass Tunnel," Proceedings of the American Society of C i v i l Engineers, Vol. XLIII, No. 1, January 1917, p. 6. 1 1 T. C. Keefer, "The Canadian P a c i f i c Railway," Transact ions of the American Soc iety of C i v i l Engineers, Vol. XIX, No. 394, June 1888, pp. 83-84. 1 2 Cunningham, op. c i t . , p. 20. 1 3 Ibid., pp. 20-24. 1 4 Ibid., p. 24. 1 5 For an analysis of the frequency and mass of avalanches on major avalanche paths in the Selkirk Mountains from 1909 to 1979, see, B. B. F i t z h a r r i s and P. A. Schaerer, The Frequency of Major Avalanche Winters, Ottawa, National Research Council Of Canada, Divi s i o n of Building Research, June 1979. Cunningham himself recorded one snow s l i d e standing forty feet deep on the roof of a C.P.R. snow shed. Cunningham, op. c i t . , p. 30. 1 6 F o r an account of snow problems in the Sierra Nevada, see, G. M. Best, Snowplow: Clearing Mountain Ra i1s, Berkeley, 61 C a l i f o r n i a , Howell-North Books, 1966. See also Cunningham, o p . c i t . , p . 2 5 . 1 7 See, for example, W. Kaye Lamb, The History of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, Toronto, Macmillan, 1977, pp. 79-81; J. H. E. Secretan, Canada's Great Highway: From the F i r s t Stake to the Last Spike, London, John Lane, 1924, pp. 247-8; C. A. Shaw, op. c i t . , pp. 10-11; R. G. MacBeth, The Romance of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, Toronto, The Ryerson Press, 1924, p. 85; N. Thompson and J. H. Edgar, Canadian Railroad Development from the E a r l i e s t Times, Toronto, The Macmillan Company of Canada, 1933, p. 138; M. Sprague, The Great Gates; the story of the Rocky Mountain passes, Boston, L i t t l e , Brown, 1964, p. 293; G. P. de T. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation in Canada, Toronto, The Ryerson Press, 1938, p. 275; A. J. Johnson, "The Canadian P a c i f i c Railway and B r i t i s h Columbia, 1871-1886," MA Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1936, pp. 151-155. 1 8 E. E. Pugsley, The Great Kicking Horse Blunder, Vancouver, 1973, pp. v - v i . 1 5 A C.P.R. engineer in the west would r e c a l l the day that, "Van Home sent for me, and announced in a most autocratic manner that he wanted "The shortest possible commercial l i n e " between Winnipeg and Vancouver..." Secretan, op. c i t . , p. 99. 2 0 "...the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway company propose to carry their railway far to the South of Edmonton i f a practicable l i n e can be found by the Kicking Horse Pass that w i l l shorten the distance very considerably and thereby reduce the cost of operating i t . " Marcus Smith to Collingwood Schreiber, Chief Engineer of the C.P.R., A p r i l 10, 1882, Department of Railways and Canals, Railway Branch, Central Registry F i l e s , Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, (henceforth "PAC"). RG 43 A 2 (a) 6710 Vol. 223. 2 1 "The importance of the great saving in distance by th i s l i n e cannot be overestimated. It affords a l i n e across the continent materially shorter than that from New York to San Francisco by way of the Union and Central P a c i f i c Railways, and places beyond a doubt the a b i l i t y of t h i s Company to compete successfully for the trans-continental freight and passenger t r a f f i c . " Charles Drinkwater, C.P.R. Co.' Secretary, to S i r Charles Tupper, Minister of Railways and Canals, February 21, 1883, Dominion Sessional Papers, Ottawa, (henceforth "DSP,") Vol. XVI, 1883, 27e p. 173. 2 2 "'Major Rogers reports that there is no question about f e a s i b i l i t y of good l i n e with easy grades through Kicking Horse Pass although work w i l l be very expensive.'" Van Home, Telegram to Drinkwater, c i t e d by Tupper, O f f i c i a l Report of the Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, Ottawa, Thenceforth "HoC Debates, " T~April 17, 1882, p. 953. 2 3 W. Vaughan, op. c i t . , p. 80. 62 2 4 S i r Thomas Shaughnessy to R. Douglas, Secretary, Geographic Board, Ottawa, March 23, 1921, Department of Railways and Canals, Railway Branch, Central Registry F i l e s , PAC. RG 43 A 2 (a) 6710 Vol. 223. In the same l e t t e r , Shaughnessy averred that "the f i r s t Directors and the Executive of the Canadian P a c i f i c considered the route via the Yellowhead Pass too far to the North and involving undesirable length of l i n e . " See also, J. L. McDougall, Canadian P a c i f i c : A Brief History, Montreal, McGill University Press, 1968, p. 69; Shaw, op. c i t . , p. 11; Sprague, op. c i t . , p. 296. 2 5 Van Home to Tupper, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27 1 p. 7. 2 6 Ibid. 2 ? "The ri v e r has i t s canons [ s i c ] , and in places washes the base of the mountains, so that heavy work and possibly some tunnelling would have been encountered on the longer route." Keefer, op. c i t . , p. 75. Vaux, op. c i t . , p. 73, goes so far as to claim that i t was "the cost of tunnelling and bridging" alone which persuaded the C.P.R. to seek a direct route across the Selkirks. Published evidence does not support t h i s view. See, Van Home to Tupper, op. c i t . 2 8 "'The worst that can happen in case of f a i l u r e to cross Selkirk i s , that the li n e may be forced round the great bend of the Columbia, which would considerably increase distance..." Van Home, Telegram to Drinkwater, op. c i t . 2 9 Van Home estimated the distance around the Big Bend at 140 miles, and the distance by the di r e c t crossing over Rogers Pass at 63 miles, y i e l d i n g a saving in distance via the l a t t e r of 77 miles. Van Home to Tupper, op. c i t . , p. 7. Howard Palmer estimated the distance around the Big Bend at 150 miles, and, using the estimate of 63 miles over Rogers Pass, obtained an estimate for the savings via the direct route of 87 miles. Palmer also estimated that the distance from Winnipeg to Kamloops via Edmonton, the Yellowhead Pass and the Albreda Pass was 1,346 miles, against an estimate of 1,224 miles via Calgary, the Kicking Horse Pass, Rogers Pass and Revelstoke, y i e l d i n g a saving for the southerly route of 122 miles i f Rogers Pass were adopted, and of 35 miles i f the Big Bend were followed. H. Palmer, "Early Explorations for the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway," B u l l e t i n of the Geographical Soc iety of Philadelphia, Vol. XVI, No. 3, July 1918, p. 78. 3 0 See note (22) . 3 1 Van Home, Telegram to Drinkwater, op. c i t . 3 2 W. Moberly, "The Introductory Chapter in the History of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway," Moberly Papers, Vancouver City Archives, (henceforth "VCA,") p. D915. 3 3 Ibid. Moberly himself proposed for the following year, "A t r i a l survey across the Selkirk Range by the valleys of the Gold 63 River and Gold Creek, to ascertain what length of tunnelling would be required to connect those valleys."' N. Robinson, Blazing the T r a i l Through the Rockies: The Story of Walter Moberly, Vancouver, News - Advertiser, p r i n t e r s , 1913, p. 75. 3 4 '"The crossing of the Selkirk Range i s the only thing in doubt, but explorations have progressed s u f f i c i e n t l y to j u s t i f y b e l i e f that they can be crossed by use of some long tunnels.'" Van Home, Telegram to Drinkwater, op. c i t . 3 5 Ibid. See note (28) . 3 6 Drinkwater to Tupper, September 15, 1882, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27, p. 25. 3 7 Ibid. 3 8 Stephen to J. H. Pope, Acting Minister of Railways and Canals, September 29, 1882, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27e, p. 168. 3 9 Ibid. 4 0 Drinkwater to Tupper, September 15, 1882, op. c i t . 4 1 Rogers, Engineer, Mountain D i v i s i o n , to Van Home, January 10, 1883, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27e, p. 171. 4 2 Van Home to Tupper, A p r i l 18, 1883, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27 1, p. 6. The C.P.R. would use thi s reasoning to defend an even more drastic upward revision on the western slope of the Rockies, from ninety feet per mile to 116 feet. Ibid., pp. 6-7. 4 3 Ibid., p. 7. 4 4 See notes (20) and (21). 4 5 Stephen, Telegram to Marquis of Lome, September 1882, quoted in Pugsley, op. c i t . , p. v i . 4 4 As Howay, and p a r t i c u l a r l y Pugsley, maintain that i t was. See F. W. Howay, B r i t i s h Columbia From the E a r l i e s t Times to the Present, Vol. II, Vancouver, S. J. Clarke Co., 1914, p. 424; Pugsley, op. c i t . , p. 11. 4 7 See, for example, Drinkwater to Tupper, February 21, 1883, op. c i t . 4 8 Rogers to Van Home, op. c i t . 4 9 Rogers to Van Home, November 20, 1883, DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31f, p. 40. 5 0 Ibid. 5 1 "Memorandum of the General Character of the Work, Prepared from the Last Information at Command," Schreiber, February 1, 64 1884, DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31f, p. 43. 5 2 Ibid. 5 3 The railhead crossed the Columbia in October 1884, and reached Beavermouth in November. Lamb, op. c i t . , p. 119. 5 4 Reed to Van Home, September 9, 1884, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25n, p. 5. 5 5 As late as February 1884, one member of the House of Commons would complain that no cost estimates had been submitted for any of the work west of the summit of the Rockies. HoC Debates, February 18, 1884, p. 359. 5 6 Ibid., p. 458. 5 7 Reed to Van Home, op. c i t . , p. 5. 5 8 Ibid. 5 9 $36,927.08 per mile for the entire section, compared with $36,557.38 per mile across the Selkirks. The former average is calculated from an estimate of $10,635,000 for the 288 miles from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to Savona's Ferry. This estimate i s contained in "Schreiber's Estimate, Summit of Rocky Mountains to Middle of Eagle Pass," enclosed with, Ross to Van Home, October 7, 1884, "Van Home Letterbooks," Vol. 7, p. 928. The l a t t e r average, from the same source, i s based on an estimate for the t o t a l cost of construction between Miles 1,039 and 1,100, west of Winnipeg, of $2,230,000. Ross presumed that these estimates were "intended to be e n t i r e l y safe." Ibid., p. 927. The estimates per mile for each section may be calculated from Schreiber, op. c i t . , as follows:- Mile 963 (summit of Rockies) - 966, $26,250; 967 - 975, $155,555.56; 976 - 1,024, $37,755; 1,025 - 1,038 (the crossing of the Beaver River, the point at which the r a i l l i n e diverged from the Columbia River), $60,714.28; 1,039 - 1,057 (summit of Rogers Pass at 1,054), $35,789.47; 1,058 - 1,072, $36,666.66; . 1,073 - 1,100 (Revelstoke, the point at which the Columbia River was rejoined), $35,714.24. Ibid. These estimates correspond exactly with those contained in "Progress Estimate No. 56, Central Section, Eastern D i v i s i o n , " November 4, 1884, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25a, p. 90, except for the estimate of the cost of the section between Miles 967 and 975. In the Dominion Sessional Papers, the estimate for the t o t a l cost is given as $400,000, yi e l d i n g an average cost per mile of $44,444.44. Schreiber's estimate for the t o t a l cost of the nine-mile section i s quite d i s t i n c t l y stated as $1,400,000, y i e l d i n g an average cost per mile of $155,555.56. 6 0 This c a p i t a l cost includes an estimate of $450,000 for snowsheds on the direc t crossing. See note 93. The c a p i t a l invested on the Big Bend route would have had to have been less 65 than $2,680,000 ( i . e. $2,230,000 + $450,000). If the distance around the Big Bend were 140 miles, the cost per mile would have had to have been less than $19,142.86. If the distance were 150 miles, the cost would, have had to have been less than $17,866.67. These rates would have been unprecedented for mountain railway construction .to main-line standards. 6 1 Stephen to Lome, op. c i t . 6 2 " O f f i c i a l Memorandum Respecting the Position and Prospects of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway," Sir George Stephen, December 12, 1882, DSP, Vol. XVI, 1883, 27n, p. 5. 6 3 Ibid. 6 4 DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31g, pp. 52-53. 6 5 DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31z, pp. 250-54. 6 6 Van Home to Rogers, May 23, 1884, "Van Home Letterbooks," Vol. 6, p. 251. 6 7 0. S. A. Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 174. 6 8 Van Home to C.P.R. Directors, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25n, p. 2. 6' See above, p. 44. T O n — a distance which, as everyone familiar with railway management knows, i s extremely convenient for the application of a p i l o t engine." Tupper, HoC Debates, May 4, 1883, p. 960. See also, Drinkwater to Tupper, September 15, 1882, op. c i t . , and, Rogers to Van Home, January 10, 1883, op. c i t . 7 1 Drinkwater to Tupper, September 15, 1882, op. c i t . 7 2 Stephen to Pope, op. c i t . See note (42). 7 4 Van Home to Tupper, op. c i t . , p. 8. T S "<rhe heavier gradients, which w i l l in no case exceed those of the Central P a c i f i c Railway, w i l l be confined to the mountain section, and within a space of 150 miles. "It i s also to be noted that the entire mountain section i s embraced within a distance of less than 550 miles from the P a c i f i c coast, while that of the Central and Union P a c i f i c Railways covers about 1,250 miles and l i e s at a much greater elevation." " O f f i c i a l Memorandum," by Stephen, op. c i t . 7 6 The phrase i s Van Home's, used in describing the adequacy for t r a f f i c purposes of the "temporary" 4.5 per cent, gradient on the western slope of the Rockies. Van Home to Minister of 66 Railways and Canals, May 19, 1884, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25a, p. 10. 7 7 Ibid., p. 11. 7 8 Van Hofne to Tupper, op. c i t . , p. 7. 7 5 " O f f i c i a l Memorandum," by Stephen, op. c i t . , p. 9. 8 0 Van Home to C.P.R. Directors, op. c i t . , p. 2. 8 1 "I do not hesitate to say...that every part of the l i n e , from Montreal to the P a c i f i c , w i l l pay." Ibid., p. 3. 8 2 Van Home to Tupper, op. c i t . , p. 8. 8 3 "I have shown that a large amount of ore or base metal w i l l be shipped from the Kootenay mines over the C.P.R....It w i l l be a valuable trade for that railway, as the transportation w i l l be westwardly, while the bulk of their other freight w i l l be in a contrary d i r e c t i o n . " G. B. Wright to J. H. Pope, June 11, 1883, B r i t i s h Columbia Board of Trade, Annual Reports, V i c t o r i a , 1882-83, p. 31. "With the fast-approaching completion of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, whereby dire c t and speedy transport eastward w i l l be secured, the food-fish trade of thi s Province must receive a notable impulse. . .A large demand w i l l necessarily ar i s e throughout the l i n e of the railway, where settlement has been established, and in Manitoba; and eastward again of the la s t named l o c a l i t y , in.Ontario and elsewhere, i t i s probable that, during the winter season, some of our sea-fishes may prove abundantly a t t r a c t i v e , and find a ready and luc r a t i v e market." op. c i t . , 1883-84, pp. 96-97. 8 4 Van Home to Tupper, op. c i t . , pp. 7-8. 8 5 Moberly c i t e d "avalanches of snow and rock" as a p r i n c i p a l reason for eschewing dire c t crossing of the Selkirks. Moberly Papers, op. c i t . , p. D910. He himself recalled running for his l i f e , clad in snowshoes, to avoid interment in a snow s l i d e . Ibid., p. D916. See also Fleming, op. c i t . , pp. 264-65. 8 * Rogers to Van Home, January 10, 1883, op. c i t . 8 7 See note (42) . See below, pp. 70-72. "Memorandum by Mr. Smellie, Engineer in Chief at Company headquarters, Montreal, dated A p r i l 15, 1882," c i t e d by Tupper, HoC Debates, A p r i l 17, 1882, p. 954. 9 0 Reed to Van Home, op. c i t . , p. 6. 9 1 Ibid. 67 5 2 Report of Commission f o r examination of Union and C e n t r a l P a c i f i c R a i l r o a d s , October 30, 1869, DSP, V o l . XIV, 1880-81, 23o, p. 119. 9 3 Stephen to M i n i s t e r of Railways and Canals, March 18, 1885, DSP, V o l . XVIII, 1885, 25cc, p. 6. 9 4 Ross to Van Home, November 23, 1883, DSP, V o l . XVII, 1884, 31f, p. 41. 9 5 See, f o r example, DSP, V o l . XVIII, 1885, 25a, pp. 10-16. 9 6 See, f o r example, S c h r e i b e r to Bradley, November 13, 1884, DSP, V o l . XVIII, 1885, 25a, p. 32. 9 7 DSP, V o l . XVIII, 1885, 25a, pp. 18-22. 68 CHAPTER 4 REALITIES The C.P.R. Management: "This i s the climax of mountain scenery." 1 The C.P.R. Customer: "It i s not too much to say that the Canadian P a c i f i c passage through the mountains is the greatest sermon ever presented to man on the Divine Majesty. The a r t i s t i s inspired, the lover of nature s a t i a t e d . " 2 The C.P.R. Employee: "In the winter i t was snow and f r o s t . In the spring i t was snowslides, washouts and every other sort of trouble known to railroading, and in the summer i t was f i r e s . Just one continual round of pleasure — i f one li k e d that s o r t . " 3 The detailed expectations of the C.P.R. for the Rogers Pass route having been analysed in the previous chapter, the purpose of t h i s chapter i s to examine the r e a l i t i e s which were encountered in Rogers Pass, that i s , the actual conditions of both construction and operation which prevailed along the route. Such an examination i s necessary to ascertain the existence of gaps between expectations and r e a l i t i e s . Once the existence of any gaps has been established, the s p e c i f i c objectives of remedial measures undertaken by the C.P.R. to close these gaps may be more c l e a r l y understood, and the success of those measures may be more readily evaluated. Several compelling narrative accounts have been written of the r e a l i t i e s of construction through the S e l k i r k s . 4 Evidence of the methods by which railway operations were conducted through Rogers Pass i s , however, more fragmented. In order to preserve the a n a l y t i c a l character of the present study, and to f a c i l i t a t e the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of gaps between expectations and r e a l i t i e s , 6 9 the investigation of r e a l i t i e s in t h i s chapter w i l l be similar in structure to the investigation of expectations which was undertaken in the f i n a l section of the previous chapter. The same five areas of constructional and operational concern w i l l be explored. In the consideration of operating r e a l i t i e s , the analysis w i l l be extended to include examination of remedial measures adopted by the C.P.R., for i t i s recognized that, by their very nature, "operating r e a l i t i e s " are not s t a t i c but dynamic in character. They may change with each t r a f f i c movement, each technological or managerial innovation, and i t i s management's unremitting task to seek to narrow those gaps between operating expectations and operating r e a l i t i e s as far as they are able. It is therefore appropriate that Part I of t h i s thesis should conclude in t h i s chapter with some consideration of the extent to which those gaps were narrowed by C.P.R. management in Rogers Pass. a) The Character Of Construction Work Construction work in the Selkirks was dominated by three constraints, those imposed by snowslides, f i n a n c i a l pressure and time pressure. The nature of these constraints w i l l be more close l y examined below. 5 This section w i l l concentrate on the impact which these constraints had upon the alignment which was actually followed. In order to secure cheap and rapid completion of a route over the summit which could be made safe l a t e r , as t r a f f i c developed, the Construction Manager, James Ross, had intended to 7 0 undertake "temporary work in the way of building a l i n e that can be thrown further into the h i l l s i d e s afterwards." 6 On the east slope of the Selkirks, t h i s approach could be implemented s u c c e s s f u l l y . 7 However, Ross was quickly forced to concede that the avalanche problem had been seriously underestimated, 8 and that relocation would be required on the west slope in the interests of safety.' The alignment i n i t i a l l y proposed by Rogers had descended the west slope on the north bank of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t River, that i s , d i r e c t l y across the south-facing b l u f f s of Mount Cheops. (See map II.) From observations conducted during the winter of 1884-85, i t was discovered that these bluff's, exposed to the sun, "were l i t e r a l l y an almost continuous avalanche path." 1 0 The plan to undertake "temporary work (which) could be used to work into the permanent l i n e " proved untenable. 1 1 Ross estimated that " i t w i l l take 8,350 feet of shedding and about 1400 feet of tunnelling to operate the l i n e with any safety over these... s l i d e s . " 1 2 The previous year, in order to avoid the c a p i t a l cost and delay of building a 1,400-foot tunnel on the west slope of the Rockies, the C.P.R. had obtained the permission of the Federal Government to construct a temporary li n e with gradients of double the maximum permitted in i t s c o n t r a c t . 1 3 A year l a t e r , confronted with an even more drastic shortage of c a p i t a l and an even more pressing need to generate revenue from through t r a f f i c , 1 4 they lacked resources of both time and money to invest in a 1,400-foot tunnel and 8,350 feet of shedding beneath.snowslides. « 71 • MAP I I : L O C A T I O N OF A L T E R N A T I V E ALIGNMENTS PROPOSED AT CONSTRUCTION T I M E ON T H E C . P . R . MAIN L I N E IN ROGERS P A S S . 72 An alternative location was sought on the south bank of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t . However, in order to reach the valley floor and avoid crossing the highly active Ross Peak s l i d e path, a gradient much steeper than the contractual maximum of 2.2 per cent, compensated would have been r e q u i r e d . 1 5 Even i f the C.P.R. had been prepared to increase i t s r u l i n g gradient, i t i s doubtful whether the Federal Government, after having so recently acceded to the controversial request for a temporary l i n e in the Rockies, would have granted permission for a second deviation from the contract in the mountains. 1 6 Instead, Ross developed the l i n e up the val l e y of Five-Mile Creek, a tributary of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t , .and by inserting an elongated loop into the alignment, contrived to reach the valley floor within the contractual maximum g r a d i e n t . 1 7 The south bank of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t was less prone to avalanches than the north bank. 1 8 Moreover, the "Loop" i t s e l f c a r r i e d the l i n e into the centre of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t Valley by means of fi v e t r e s t l e s , which had an aggregate length of 4,108 f e e t . 1 9 Not only was the new alignment thus clear of sl i d e s from both sides of the val l e y , but construction of the t r e s t l e s represented a far more rapid and less c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i v e alternative than tunnelling and snowshedding. Ross estimated that his location would cost "some four to fi v e hundred thousand d o l l a r s less to make i t a safer l i n e , " 2 0 and that i t had "several hundred degrees less curvature upon i t " than upon the o r i g i n a l . 2 1 However, the sharpest of these curves was 10° 30' at i t s central a n g l e , 2 2 which was in excess of the contractual maximum 73 of 10°, and the remainder of the Loop was b u i l t at that maximum. The Federal Government had urged that curvature be reduced to eight degrees wherever gradients exceeded sixty feet per m i l e . 2 3 Whilst Van Home had complied on the Kamloops Lake s e c t i o n , 2 4 Ross warned that in the Selkirks the cost of compliance would be "very heavy." 2 5 Construction work on the new alignment was "very heavy" t o o , 2 6 contrary to the expectation of generally moderate work through the Selkirks. F i n a l l y , development of the l i n e had added over three miles to the length of 2.2 per cent, g r a d i e n t , 2 7 and a l l of the additional distance opposed eastbound t r a f f i c . Thus, the pusher gradient system within the Selkirks was d i s e g u i l i b r a t e d . Henceforth, the pusher gradient on the west slope would be 24.5 miles long, against 21.5 miles on the east s l o p e . 2 8 The disequilibrium favoured westbound t r a f f i c , the d i r e c t i o n forecast by the C.P.R. to preponderate. The extent of the imbalance would not seriously increase the operating cost of eastbound movements r e l a t i v e to westbound movements. Nevertheless, the existence of the imbalance between the pusher gradients meant that, i f the r e l a t i v e balance of t r a f f i c flows did accord with C.P.R. forecasts, the preponderance of the eastbound flow might eventually pose a capacity problem which would be more acute than i t would have been had the pusher gradients themselves been balanced. The influence of c a p i t a l and time constraints, which had dictated the relocation west of the summit, was also manifest in the character of.the bridge- and tunnel-work undertaken through the Selkirks. Bridging, with "good but uncreosoted timber," 2 5 represented, a rapid, low-capital-cost alternative to f i l l i n g or 74 diverting streams, although i t imposed high subsequent maintenance c o s t s . 3 0 In the 46.1 miles between Beavermouth on the east slope and Albert Canyon oh the west, there were no less than 207 bridges, with an aggregate length of 19,349 f e e t . 3 1 Five of these were each over one thousand feet l o n g . 3 2 However, perhaps more indicative of the margin at which the C.P.R. were prepared to trade off immediate construction costs against delayed operating costs i s the fact that eleven of these bridges were only six feet long, and 118 were sixteen feet long or l e s s . 3 3 The unforeseen necessity for tunnelling on the north bank of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t having been avoided by the location of the Loop, tunnelling requirements were largely as expected. No tunnels were necessary on the east slope of the S e l k i r k s . 3 4 On the west slope, where a maximum of 1,200 feet had been p r o j e c t e d , 3 5 two tunnels, the Laurie Tunnels, 3 6 aggregating 1,251 feet in length, were eventually constructed between Rogers Pass and Albert Canyon. 3 1 Due to the time and c a p i t a l constraints, the s i d e - d r i f t method of construction was adopted in order to secure more rapid completion of the f i r s t of these, 3 8 and the second may not have been completed u n t i l at least a year after the main l i n e opened. 3' Although, as w i l l be demonstrated below, construction work proved both more cap i t a l - i n t e n s i v e and more time-consuming than anticipated, in practice neither the work which was undertaken nor the alignment which was adopted appear to have d i f f e r e d greatly from expectations. The single exception was the unforeseen necessity to relocate the li n e over the Loop 75 immediately west of the summit. Ross, at least, would have preferred not to have been obliged to make the trade-off between construction costs and operating costs - in thi s way. 4 0 Nevertheless, the Loop alignment was less c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i v e than the o r i g i n a l location, and did, therefore, represent a solution to the trade-off decision which was consistent with the construction policy dictated to the C.P.R. by f i n a n c i a l circumstances. 4 1 Moreover, the Loop, unlike the "Big H i l l " on the west slope of the Rockies, was never perceived as being merely a "temporary" alignment, intended to be improved as soon as the flow of revenue t r a f f i c permitted. Rather, i t was seen as a s a t i s f a c t o r y solution in i t s e l f to the trade-off decision, and as permanent a solution as the remainder of the alignment across the S e l k i r k s . Thus, the C.P.R. would claim that, "the general alignment, outside the loop was much improved," 4 2 and that, "the l i n e as now located is as favourable as any that can be obtained crossing the S e l k i r k s . " 4 3 The l a t t e r statement can only be accepted in the context of the predominant c a p i t a l and time constraints which w i l l be examined below. For taken at face value, the statement implies that the trade-offs between construction costs and operating costs would have been handled in exactly the same manner had no such c a p i t a l and time constraints prevailed. b) The Cost Of Construction The C.P.R.'s entire mountain section, from the Rockies' westward, was constructed under conditions of severe c a p i t a l rationing. These conditions were already in e f f e c t when the 76 railhead reached the Rockies, 4 4 but they were at their most severe during the period of construction across the Selkirks. It was not primarily the c a p i t a l cost of the actual construction across the Selkirks which was responsible for i n t e n s i f y i n g these conditions. Three other factors were responsible. These were the c a p i t a l cost of construction across the Rockies, the inopportune timing of federal loans to a s s i s t the C.P.R., and the deliberate reallocation of c a p i t a l by the C.P.R. from the mountain section to the Lake Superior section in order to accelerate completion of the l a t t e r . In March 1884, with the railhead • at the summit of the Rockies, a $22.5 m i l l i o n federal loan had been granted to the C.P.R.4 s By November 1884, however, with the railhead at Beavermouth, the base of the east slope of the Selkirks, the C.P.R. were again "lamentably hard up for money."46 In March 1885, the Company was b r i e f l y unable to meet i t s wage o b l i g a t i o n s , 4 7 and r e l i e f , in the form of a further federal loan, was not secured u n t i l July 20th, 4 8 by which time the railhead had almost crossed the Selkirk summit. 4 5 Meanwhile, completion of the Lake Superior section was accorded p r i o r i t y as a means of obtaining further f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . 5 0 Capital savings of some four m i l l i o n d o l l a r s were effected on construction work in B.C., 5 1 and diverted from the mountain section to be "rapidly absorbed on the Lake Superior S e c t i o n . " 5 2 Only after completion of the l a t t e r , in May 1885, could the entire c a p i t a l resources of the C.P.R. be concentrated upon construction of the remaining sections in the Selkirks and the Gold Range. 77 The i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of c a p i t a l rationing across the Selkirks fostered the propensity to trade off construction costs against operating costs in a manner which would minimise the immediate requirement for c a p i t a l . Cuttings were reduced to widths less than those on the sections b u i l t d i r e c t l y by the Federal Government, 5 3 against the standards of which Van Home would r a i l in later years. B a l l a s t i n g was omitted, and bridges were b u i l t e n t i r e l y of timber, without masonry or iron support. 5 4 Despite the conditions of c a p i t a l rationing, however, and despite the deliberate management policy of minimising immediate construction costs, the estimate of c a p i t a l requirements for construction across the Selkirks was exceeded. The excess was incurred c h i e f l y upon the west slope. Between the Beaver River and the summit on the east slope, the actual cost corresponded clos e l y with the estimate of November 1884. From the summit to the f i r s t crossing of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t on the west slope, however, the November 1884 estimate of $550,000 was exceeded by some $200,000, or over one t h i r d . This increase was incurred not so much because of an increase in the c a p i t a l cost of the work per mile, but rather because three additional route miles had to be inserted into the section at the Loop. Thus, the per-mile cost of $41,666.66 exceeded the per-mile estimate of $36,666.66 by only fourteen per cent. A similar margin of error prevailed on the section between the f i r s t crossing of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t and the second crossing of the Columbia, where the length of railway constructed corresponded with the length estimated. Thus, the expected cost, one m i l l i o n d o l l a r s for the twenty-78 e i g h t m i l e s , was exceeded by $130,000, or t h i r t e e n per cent. The t o t a l c o s t of c o n s t r u c t i o n from the Beaver R i v e r to the Columbia R i v e r , as assessed a f t e r completion of the e n t i r e t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l main l i n e , was $2,560,000. T h i s was $330,000, or f i f t e e n per cent., more than the l a s t estimate submitted before c o n s t r u c t i o n across the S e l k i r k s b e g a n . 5 5 C e r t a i n l y , as James Ross admitted, " I t has cost more than i t s h o u l d . " 5 6 C e r t a i n l y too, Ross had had "to s t r a i n every p o i n t to so change the l o c a t i o n as to save every d o l l a r . " 5 7 N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t appeared that t h i s was s u c c e s s f u l l y accomplished. For example, had the l o c a t i o n of the Loop not ob v i a t e d the expenditure of a f u r t h e r $500,000, the a c t u a l cost would have exceeded the e x p e c t a t i o n by some $830,000, or over t h i r t y - s e v e n per cent. C.P.R. management's p o l i c y i n rai l w a y c o n s t r u c t i o n a c r o s s the S e l k i r k s had been o v e r t l y to " b u i l d the road, i n a l l r e s p e c t s , with the l e a s t immediate o u t l a y necessary to i n s u r e s a f e t y i n o p e r a t i o n , l e a v i n g as much as p o s s i b l e to be done i n the f u t u r e . " 5 8 T h i s p o l i c y had been d i c t a t e d by f i n a n c i a l expediency. Yet i t was the c o n s t r u c t i o n p o l i c y which was most a p p r o p r i a t e f o r the C.P.R. as i t sought to open up a l i n k between east and west acr o s s the mountains of B.C.; and the p o l i c y was s u c c e s s f u l l y implemented. c) Time Required For C o n s t r u c t i o n Van Home's hope to reach the second c r o s s i n g of the Columbia by the end of 1884 s' was f r u s t r a t e d by the nature of the c o n s t r u c t i o n work which was encountered on the west slope of the Rockies. The r a i l h e a d d i d not reach Beavermouth, ten mi l e s 79 west of the f i r s t c r o s s i n g of the Columbia, u n t i l November 1884 . 6 0 N e v e r t h e l e s s , Van Home's f o r e c a s t e d date f o r completion, September 1885, 6 1 was a c t u a l l y brought forwards by a month in October 1884, 6 2 perhaps i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of e a s i e r work in the S e l k i r k s , or perhaps in an attempt to spur Ross to even g r e a t e r e f f o r t s . C o n s i d e r a b l e pressure was e x e r t e d upon Ross i n order to a c c e l e r a t e c o m p l e t i o n . 6 3 However, work was delayed e a r l y i n 1885 by avalanches, the f i r s t to be experienced d i r e c t l y by Ross and the C.P.R., and as a r e s u l t of the experience, the C o n s t r u c t i o n Manager c o u n s e l l e d Van Home to " a n t i c i p a t e a delay i n c o n s t r u c t i o n . " 6 4 In June 1885, the f o r e c a s t e d date f o r completion was set back again by two months, to the end of September. 6 5 Heavy summer r a i n f a l l f u r t h e r delayed the work, and by l a t e September the r a i l h e a d had progressed only as f a r as A l b e r t Canyon, twenty-four m i l e s west of the S e l k i r k summit, having advanced s c a r c e l y f i f t y m i l e s i n s i x months. 6 6 The "Last Spike" was not d r i v e n u n t i l November 7th, i n Eagle Pass. Even then, however, the l i n e was not opened to through t r a f f i c f o r another e i g h t months. No snowsheds had been p r o v i d e d i n e i t h e r the S e l k i r k s or the Gold Range at the time of c o n s t r u c t i o n , and no r a i l o p e r a t i o n s were attempted u n t i l f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h had been undertaken i n t o the i n c i d e n c e of avalanches i n the mountains. Only when the s l i d e season was over, and a f t e r the damage to the permanent way had been r e p a i r e d , was the l i n e opened f o r revenue t r a f f i c , i n June 1886. T h i s delay i n opening the l i n e had been f u l l y a n t i c i p a t e d by the C.P.R., and both shareholders and the F e d e r a l Government had 80 been forewarned. 6 7 Although the erection of snowsheds to protect the permanent way would continue u n t i l 1890, the through l i n e i t s e l f had indeed been completed only two months behind the schedule anticipated when the railhead reached the Selkirks. The circumstances causing delay, the snowslides and inclement weather, might possibly have been foreseen. Nevertheless, the delay was t r i v i a l in comparison with the saving achieved over the deadline i n i t i a l l y contracted. Moreover, the date of actual completion was safely within the l i m i t s of the revised contract of 1884. No s p e c i f i c value for "construction-time saved" was adduced in the west. 6 8 However, the time savings were c l e a r l y accorded an i m p l i c i t value, for certain construction decisions, notably the location of the Loop and the building of bridges using timber only, were motivated by the desire to secure time savings as well as by the d e s i r e o t o secure c a p i t a l savings. Both types of savings had to be traded off against the increase in subsequent operating costs, and i t appears that in the Selkirks, trade-offs intended to secure time savings were successful. In order to save one year of construcion time in the Rockies, the C.P.R. were compelled to locate thirteen miles of e x p l i c i t l y "temporary" track, and to operate over i t s 4.4 per cent, gradients u n t i l a permanent l i n e was b u i l t . 6 ' In contrast, no part of the route across the summit of the Selkirks was ever regarded as "temporary" at construction time: when the C.P.R. secured time and c a p i t a l savings in the Selkirks, they did so without incurring any t a c i t obligation to undertake subsequent relocation. 81 d) Operating Methods And T r a f f i c Flows Gradients across the Selkirk summit nowhere exceeded the 116-feet-per-mile maximum which had been anticipated by the C.P.R. The 2.2 per cent, compensated ruling gradient commenced on the east slope at Beavermouth, 21.5 miles from the summit, and on the west slope at Albert Canyon, 24.5 miles from the summit. Trains were hauled by a single road locomotive westbound from F i e l d to Beavermouth and eastbound from Revelstoke to Albert Canyon. 7 0 When these trains were too heavy to be hauled over the 2.2 per cent, ruling gradients by the single road locomotive, pusher locomotives were attached in order to avoid the expense of cutting and remarshalling the t r a i n s . One pusher locomotive was attached to each ascending t r a i n , and provided assistance as far as the yard at Rogers Pass on the summit of the S e l k i r k s . 7 1 Here, while the road locomotive conducted the t r a i n on the descent of the opposite slope, the pusher locomotive was detached, turned in the Rogers Pass roundhouse and returned l i g h t down the gradient, to be turned again on a "Y" at Beavermouth or Albert Canyon and held to await the next ascending t r a i n . The l e v e l of the variable cost of hauling t r a f f i c over the pusher gradients was determined by the number of pusher locomotives required in the mountain locomotive f l e e t , and by the number of t r i p s obtained from each pusher locomotive. These l a t t e r variables were in turn functions of the volume of t r a f f i c requiring t r a n s i t over the pusher gradients, and the volume of t r a f f i c which the locomotives could haul per unit of time, as conditioned by their tonnage ratings and speeds, and by the 82 spacing of meeting and p a s s i n g s i d i n g s along the r o u t e . The C.P.R. had expected l i g h t t r a f f i c f o r s e v e r a l years a f t e r the opening of the t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l l i n e , and i t appears that they were able to provide s u f f i c i e n t pusher c a p a c i t y to move the a v a i l a b l e t r a f f i c u n t i l at l e a s t the t u r n of the century. Scheduled passenger s e r v i c e was provided by a s i n g l e passenger t r a i n d a i l y i n each d i r e c t i o n u n t i l 1902. 7 2 Passenger t r a i n s comprised f i v e or s i x c a r s , 7 3 and by 1891, o b s e r v a t i o n c a r s were being a t t a c h e d through the m o u n t a i n s . 7 4 However, the h e a v i e s t of a l l passenger v e h i c l e s , d i n i n g c a r s , were not attached u n t i l 1909. 7 5 The speed of passenger t r a i n s through the S e l k i r k s was not determined by the tonnage r a t i n g of the road locomotive, but was r e g u l a t e d to c o i n c i d e with a mealbreak at the G l a c i e r H o t e l , two m i l e s west of Rogers P a s s . 7 6 Pusher locomotives were t h e r e f o r e r a r e l y r e q u i r e d on passenger duty. Data l i m i t a t i o n s i n h i b i t a c c urate e s t i m a t i o n of the volume and d i r e c t i o n of f r e i g h t movements over the S e l k i r k s . However, an impression of low t r a f f i c volume and s u r p l u s r a i l c a p a c i t y may be gleaned. Throughout the summer of 1888, when seasonal f r e i g h t a c t i v i t y might have been expected to have been at i t s h i g h e s t f o r the year, there were no westbound f r e i g h t t r a i n s scheduled out of Donald at a l l , and only two per day e a s t b o u n d . 7 7 Admittedly, most f r e i g h t t r a i n s were run as s p e c i a l s , without s c h e d u l i n g . Yet i n 1889, the Superintendent of the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n observed that "there w i l l be some days without any t r a i n s whatsoever over the road, and o t h e r s , a f t e r the a r r i v a l of a steamship [ i . e . i n Vancouver], there w i l l be a constant quick s u c c e s s i o n of t r a i n s f o r s e v e r a l days 83 together." 7 8 During one such l o c a l peak, in a single week of July 1888, the Donald Truth boasted of "seventy car-loads of tea" destined eastbound through the mountains. 7 5 Even t h i s , however, would amount to scarcely one t r a i n per day. 8 0 Movements of the other p r i n c i p a l t r a f f i c from the Orient, s i l k , may not have been of s u f f i c i e n t volume to generate a demand for more tr a i n s : adequate surplus capacity existed on the passenger trains to permit attachment of cars of s i l k to their r e a r . 8 1 When avalanches in the Rockies disrupted transcontinental service for three days in December 1888, only one special freight and two tea trains were delayed. 8 2 As late as June 1896, t o t a l t r a i n movements between Donald and Kamloops, including summer passenger and freight specials as well as mixed t r a i n s , amounted to 268, an average of four and a half t r a i n s per day in each d i r e c t i o n . 8 3 The maximum length of trains over the Selkirks appears to have been at least thirteen cars when the l i n e f i r s t opened. 8* By 1898, the maximum length of a t r a i n with a single pusher locomotive was c e r t a i n l y eighteen c a r s , 8 5 and t h i s maximum continued u n t i l at least 1900. 8 6 Eighteen loaded cars were equivalent to 846 tons, the haulage capacity of a single "Consolidation" locomotive on a 1.6% compensated g r a d i e n t . 8 7 Over the Selkirks, therefore, where the gradients were 2.2% compensated, pusher locomotives may have been required for any t r a i n of greater weight than approximately 420 tons, or about nine loaded cars. It i s not known how frequently in practice trains were assisted to the summit. However, evidence suggests that by the 1890's, the operating cost of the pusher service was 84 d e c r e a s i n g , and that t h i s t r e n d continued u n t i l the turn of the cent u r y . By 1893, the average l e n g t h of f r e i g h t and mixed t r a i n s on the e n t i r e P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n chad r i s e n beyond nine c a r s , the approximate payload f o r which pusher s e r v i c e was r e q u i r e d , to 10.95 c a r s . One year l a t e r , t h i s had in c r e a s e d to 11.31 c a r s , 8 6 and i n September 1894 i t reached 12.13 c a r s . 8 ' Although these data are f o r average c o n d i t i o n s only, they i n d i c a t e that payloads per t r a i n were c o n t i n u i n g to inc r e a s e beyond the po i n t at which pusher s e r v i c e became necessary, and t h e r e f o r e that the cost of the pusher s e r v i c e on each t r a i n was being spread over more revenue t r a f f i c . 9 0 Moreover, the C.P.R. does not appear to have experienced any d i f f i c u l t y i n p r o v i d i n g the r e q u i s i t e pusher c a p a c i t y . When the l i n e had opened f o r t r a f f i c i n 1886, two locomotives had been appointed f o r pusher duty on e i t h e r slope of the S e l k i r k s . ' 1 By August 1898, i t had s t i l l not been found necessary to in c r e a s e the s i z e of t h i s pusher f l e e t . 9 2 T r a i n speeds over the S e l k i r k s were low. The f i r s t scheduled passenger t r a i n s averaged l e s s than twelve m i l e s per hour f o r the seventy-nine-mile journey between Revelstoke and D o n a l d . 9 3 By 1902, the eastbound "Imperial L i m i t e d , " the f a s t e s t C.P.R. t r a i n through the mountains, s t i l l r e q u i r e d almost four and a h a l f hours f o r the c r o s s i n g , averaging l e s s than eighteen m i l e s per h o u r . 9 4 The scheduled T h i r d C l a s s "Fast F r e i g h t " s e r v i c e s averaged j u s t over eleven miles per hour f o r the journey i n 1902. 9 5 I t i s unfortunate that l i t t l e i s known of the speeds at which the " e x t r a " f r e i g h t t r a i n s n e g o t i a t e d the S e l k i r k g r a d i e n t s , f o r i t was these s e r v i c e s which conveyed the m a j o r i t y of t r a f f i c through the mountains. The evidence of 85 p a s s e n g e r - t r a i n t i m e t a b l e s i s u n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t y p i c a l t r a i n speeds over the S e l k i r k s . These s e r v i c e s were r i g o r o u s l y scheduled, and r e c e i v e d p r i o r i t y over a l l other t r a f f i c . T h e i r meets were c a r e f u l l y synchronised, and t h e i r speeds through the e n t i r e mountain region were governed to ensure t i m e l y a r r i v a l f o r b r e a k f a s t , lunch and dinner at the C.P.R. h o t e l s i n North Bend, G l a c i e r and F i e l d . T h i s r e g u l a t i o n of t h e i r speed, and the f a c t . t h a t s e v e r a l minutes c o u l d g e n e r a l l y be found f o r a stop to admire the I l l e c i l l e w a e t R i v e r at A l b e r t Canyon,'' suggest that there was l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y i n pa t h i n g the " e x t r a " f r e i g h t t r a i n s among the scheduled s e r v i c e s between Beavermouth and A l b e r t Canyon. Van Home had f o r e c a s t that i n the e a r l y years, the flow of t r a f f i c would be predominantly westbound. Although at f i r s t more t r a i n s were scheduled to run eastbound than westbound, and although the tea and s i l k flows which have been so h i g h l y v i s i b l e to subsequent commentators' 7 were a l s o always eastbound through the mountains, i t appears that Van Home's f o r e c a s t was acc u r a t e f o r at l e a s t s e v e r a l years a f t e r the t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l f a c i l i t y opened. In J u l y 1888, the Donald Truth lamented that the C.P.R. c o u l d not be made to "see that i t would be b e t t e r f o r i t to haul loaded c a r s east to Winnipeg, r a t h e r than empty ones."' 8 The Vancouver Board of Trade recorded that i n 1889, 38,895 tons of f r e i g h t a r r i v e d i n Vancouver by r a i l from the Eas t , and 21,441 tons were shipped by r a i l to the Ea s t . In 1890, the r e s p e c t i v e volumes were 50,773 tons and 13,973.5 t o n s . 5 ' I t i s u n l i k e l y that t h i s westbound predominance was rev e r s e d u n t i l the " t a k e - o f f " of the lumber trade between B.C. and the p r a i r i e s 86 after the turn of the c e n t u r y . 1 0 0 With the volume of t r a f f i c , the length and speed of trains and the frequency of t r a i n movements detailed above, i t appears that siding capacity on the main l i n e over the Selkirks was quite adequate for the extent of operations which the C.P.R. was required to undertake. By August 1889, there were ce r t a i n l y crossing points for trains at Bear Creek and Glacier, five miles respectively on the east and west slopes from the yard at Rogers P a s s . 1 0 1 Table 1, taken from the e a r l i e s t available comprehensive l i s t of sidings on the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n , compiled in 1896, indicates that, despite the nature of the t e r r a i n , the C.P.R. contrived to locate passing sidings at regular intervals on the main l i n e , and that each of the sidings could e a s i l y accommodate the longest trains operated through the mountains. The frequency of sidings and the r a t i o of siding length to length of running l i n e on the C.P.R. in 1896 compared favourably with those on the Canadian Northern main l i n e when the l a t t e r opened through the Yellowhead Pass in 1915. 1 0 2 87 TABLE 1 SIDING ACCOMMODATION IN THE SELKIRK MOUNTAINS, C. 1896 Section Length Main Line ^ M i l e s ! -Length Side Track (Feetl Car-lengths Of Storage (36' Per Car*) Revelstoke East Twin Butte West Twin Butte East Albert Canyon West Albert Canyon East I l l e c i l l e w a e t West Ross Peak West Ross Peak East Glac ier Rogers Pass Bear Creek Six-Mile Creek Beaver West Beaver East Donald 5 1/2 5 5 5 1/2 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 1/2 5 6 6 800 22 2,645 2,785 1,150 12,016** 3,850 2,000 1,000 1,000 7,171 17,012 73 77 31 333 106 55 27 27 199 472 * Standard length of C.P.R. box-car. See, "Hunting-Merritt Lumber Company versus Canadian P a c i f i c and B r i t i s h Columbia E l e c t r i c Ry. Companies, 20, Canadian Railway Cases, 181 at 184 ** Includes 9,500 feet of summer track Source:- Abbott to Shaughnessy, September 15, 1896, PIC, CPCA 88 The^C-P'R«'s expectations for operating conditions and t r a f f i c flows through the Selkirks proved accurate once the l i n e opened. The volume of t r a f f i c was low, and a small f l e e t of pusher locomotives was s u f f i c i e n t to provide assistance over the summit. Despite slow speeds and the necessity for returning pushers l i g h t against ascending t r a i n s , t r a f f i c l e v e l s were s u f f i c i e n t l y low, and siding accommodation s u f f i c i e n t l y spaced, to permit the pathing of trains through the Rogers Pass corridor with l i t t l e apparent d i f f i c u l t y . Although i t i s not known how intensively the available pusher capacity was u t i l i s e d , i t seems that paths for additional trains could have been found had increasing t r a f f i c made them necessary and had the pusher f l e e t been enlarged accordingly. It is therefore concluded that there was surplus l i n e capacity on the C.P.R. route over the Selkirk Mountains. It appears from this analysis that that surplus capacity endured u n t i l at least the turn of the century. e) Snowslide Protection In adopting the location through Rogers Pass, the C.P.R. had expected to encounter snowslides for some ten to twelve miles, and had expected to solve the problem by building snowsheds. During construction of the transcontinental l i n e , however, in the C.P.R.'s f i r s t winter in the Selkirks, Ross admitted candidly that he had underestimated the danger from the s l i d e s , 1 0 3 although he reassured Van Home that conditions in the Selkirks that winter were e x c e p t i o n a l . 1 0 4 The C.P.R.'s r e a l i s a t i o n of the magnitude of the threat may have been further postponed due to the fact that in the following winter, that of 89 1885-86, when they sent observers i n t o the S e l k i r k s to monitor s l i d e paths, the s l i d e s were " c e r t a i n l y l e s s i n bulk" than they had been the pre v i o u s w i n t e r . 1 0 5 In the winter of 1886-87, c o n d i t i o n s were f a r worse than they had been i n e i t h e r of the pre v i o u s two y e a r s , 1 0 ' and even these c o n d i t i o n s may have been surpassed i n a d v e r s i t y by those of 1887-88. 1 0 7 While Ross acknowledged the gap between the e x p e c t a t i o n s of snowslides and the r e a l i t i e s , he was c o n f i d e n t that the gap co u l d be c l o s e d with modest immediate c o s t , 1 0 8 and t h a t , "With some a d d i t i o n a l expense over estimate every p o i n t can be made p e r f e c t l y secure f o r o p e r a t i o n . " 1 0 9 He proposed to minimise the investment i n snowshedding, the immediate c o s t , by m a i n t a i n i n g an i n c r e a s e d s e c t i o n f o r c e who would d i g out the s l i d e s "as you would an o r d i n a r y d r i f t . " 1 1 0 However, not only was the gap between e x p e c t a t i o n s and r e a l i t i e s underestimated, but so was the cost of c l o s i n g t h at gap. Even a f t e r the experience of the f i r s t w inter's o b s e r v a t i o n s , Van Home informed the M i n i s t r y of Railways and Canals t h a t , "A comparatively small expenditure w i l l be r e q u i r e d to make the l i n e e n t i r e l y s a f e . " 1 1 1 When, as a r e s u l t of these o b s e r v a t i o n s , the General Superintendent of the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n submitted estimates f o r the co s t of snowshedding, Van Home was f o r c e d to admit t h a t , "Your estimate of c o s t . . . i s f a r beyond any pre v i o u s estimate and f a r beyond our e x p e c t a t i o n s , and f o r f i n a n c i a l reasons i t i s somewhat a p p a l l i n g . " 1 1 2 The General Manager, c o n s i s t e n t with h i s e x p e c t a t i o n that the l i n e would be l i g h t l y used f o r s e v e r a l years, intended to reduce the immediate cost of c l o s i n g the gap, and to postpone f u r t h e r investment i n 90 snowslide protection, u n t i l t r a f f i c volumes had increased. He was prepared to countenance risk in order to make the trade-off in this way. He informed his General Superintendent that, We can't afford to cover every place where a s l i d e may occur. If we provide now for such as have occurred within record years we w i l l probably be j u s t i f i e d in taking some chance of interruption by the o t h e r s . 1 1 3 The fact that this was the C.P.R.'s trade-off policy in providing protection from snowslides makes even more remarkable the magnitude of the sums of c a p i t a l which were invested in the construction of snowsheds during the years immediately following the completion of the through l i n e . After Ross's reports during the winter of track-laying, the C.P.R. had estimated that $450,000 would s u f f i c e for snowsheds in the mountains. 1 1 4 During 1886, the f i r s t summer after observation of the avalanches, the C.P.R. spent $1,477,510 on snowsheds in the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n . 1 1 5 The following year, having estimated that a further $504,565 would be r e q u i r e d , 1 1 6 the C.P.R. was in fact forced to invest $691,062, 1 1 7 and in 1888 the Company disbursed another $136,401. 1 1 6 Perhaps because of the magnitude of the costs, or perhaps because the C.P.R. might have argued that investment in snowsheds was a s o c i a l welfare measure, i t seems that by A p r i l 1888, the Company had applied for, or was at least hopeful of, a Federal Government grant for snowshedding work. 1 1' However, there i s no record of such a grant having been approved. Two factors may explain why the C.P.R. was unable to contain investment in snowshed construction within target l e v e l s , and why i t s trade-off policy broke down in the provision of avalanche protection. The f i r s t factor was the extent of snowshed construction. After the f i r s t winter's observations, 91 t h i r t y - f i v e sheds were c o n s t r u c t e d . 1 2 0 In 1887, a further 15,388 feet of shedding were proposed, 8,568 feet of which were to be located in the S e l k i r k s . 1 2 1 By June 1888, a t o t a l of 31,764 feet of sheds had been b u i l t on the entire P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n , of which 30,403 feet, or 5 3/4 miles, were situated between Beavermouth and Albert Canyon in some forty-three separate s h e d s . 1 2 2 The second factor was the q u a l i t y of construction which was required i f the sheds were to function s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . In order to withstand the force of avalanche material weighing from 25 -45 lbs. per cubic f o o t , 1 2 3 the protective structures, sheds and glance-cribs, had to be far more heavily b u i l t than those on the American transcontinental railways. Snowsheds on the Central P a c i f i c had cost an average of $10.25 per l i n e a l foot in the 1860's. 1 2 4 In 1918, the renewal cost of sheds on the Southern P a c i f i c would be between twelve and fourteen d o l l a r s per l i n e a l f o o t . 1 2 5 The average cost of the C.P.R. sheds and cribs by 1888 was around seventy d o l l a r s per l i n e a l foot. The need to upkeep this quantity of shedding imposed severe maintenance costs upon the C.P.R., which w i l l be considered in more d e t a i l in the following chapter. This extent of shedding also created operating problems of i t s own, however. Each shed had to be p a t r o l l e d constantly by section men, in winter on account of avalanche damage, and in summer on account of f i r e damage, to which the sheds were p e c u l i a r l y s u s c e p t i b l e . 1 2 ' The longer sheds were equipped with hydrants every four hundred f e e t . 1 2 7 Due to the steep main-line gradients, handcars could rarely be used in f i r e - f i g h t i n g , 1 2 8 and eventually a f l e e t of locomotives had to be adapted for t h i s purpose. 1 2 5 During 92 routine operations, the accumulation of smoke rendered the brakesmen's duties hazardous, 1 3 0 and in winter the r a i l s were prone to icing and the permanent way d e t e r i o r a t e d . 1 3 1 As the C.P.R. acquired experience of the s l i d e paths, they undertook bridge improvements and piecemeal diversions as alternative means of preventing the avalanches from obstructing the main l i n e through the mountains. The t r e s t l e bridge at Snow Bank was swept away in February 1886 , 1 3 2 and again in January 1887. 1 3 3 New bridges were i n s t a l l e d here and at Cut Bank, enabling avalanches to pass beneath the railway t r a c k s . 1 3 4 When the bridges were again removed by s l i d e s , Cut Bank in 1900 and Snow Bank in 1904, 1 3 5 the respective ravines were f i l l e d , and the main l i n e diverted in each case. Diversion at Williamson's Creek, some two hundred yards east of Cut Bank, as part of the Cut Bank project, cost $1,242.57 in 1900. 1 3 6 Two years previously, a diversion at I l l e c i llewaet had cost $9 , 429'. 91. 1 3 7 These cost data suggest that diversion was adopted where i t c l e a r l y represented a less costly means of avalanche defence than the snowsheds. However, these investments in bridge improvements and diversions must not be accounted e n t i r e l y as costs of snowslide protection. Rather, they may have been the result of a greater a v a i l a b i l i t y of c a p i t a l once transcontinental operations had commenced, and they may have formed part of the policy, c l e a r l y envisaged at the time of construction, of investing in the upgrading of the l i n e once t r a f f i c had begun to f l o w . 1 3 8 These investments in improvements, which had the effect of mitigating the avalanche problem, were therefore e n t i r e l y consistent with the manner in which the 93 C.P.R. had sought to handle the t r a d e - o f f between c o n s t r u c t i o n c o s t s and o p e r a t i n g c o s t s from the very outset of work i n the S e l k i r k s . Where d i v e r s i o n s were too c o s t l y , and where the snowsheds f a i l e d , the l i n e was c l e a r e d by snowploughs and the e f f o r t s of the s e c t i o n gangs. The f i r s t winter of o p e r a t i o n s proved that the c o n v e n t i o n a l wing ploughs were " e n t i r e l y i n s u f f i c i e n t and almost unworkable" i n the S e l k i r k s , 1 3 ' and the C.P.R. was compelled to i n v e s t i n the more expensive r o t a r y snowploughs. The f i r s t was d e l i v e r e d to the S e l k i r k s and t e s t e d i n November 1 8 8 8 . 1 4 0 I t was, however, r e q u i r e d to perform duty not only i n the S e l k i r k s , but i n Eagle Pass t o o . 1 4 1 The s i n g l e plough appears to have been inadequate for the burden of these snowclearing d u t i e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , C.P.R. management c l e a r l y accorded g r e a t e r p r i o r i t y to the c l e a r i n g of the Lake Superior s e c t i o n , and r e f u s e d requests fo r a second r o t a r y plough f o r the mountains " u n t i l i t i s known what d i f f i c u l t i e s are l i k e l y to be encountered t h i s winter on the North S h o r e . " 1 4 2 I t was not u n t i l February 1890 that a r o t a r y was t r a n s f e r r e d from the Lake Superior s e c t i o n to the Mountain D i v i s i o n , by which time, "Want of a second r o t a r y ha(d) s e r i o u s l y delayed o p e r a t i o n s i n c l e a r i n g snow s l i d e s . " 1 4 3 The r o t a r i e s a l l e v i a t e d the d i f f i c u l t y of f i n d i n g convenient dumping grounds f o r the c l e a r e d snow, 1 4 4 but the e a r l y models were n e v e r t h e l e s s u s e l e s s f o r c l e a r i n g avalanches c o n t a i n i n g timber and rocks, and these had s t i l l to be c l e a r e d manually. Assembling an adequate labour f o r c e i n the mountains c o u l d be a task i n i t s e l f . 1 4 5 C e r t a i n l y , the C.P.R. underestimated both the demand f o r 94 snowslide protection in the Selkirks and the cost of meeting that demand. Nevertheless, within f i v e years they had implemented a comprehensive avalanche defence system intended for the protection of their main l i n e . This - system had preventitive components, diversion of the l i n e , snowsheds and patrols, and curative components, snowploughs and section gangs. Moreover, the system was successful. The C.P.R. i t s e l f claimed that the sheds "answered their purpose admirably," and that during the winter of 1889-90, the f i r s t in which the defensive system was f u l l y operational, the C.P.R. "was the only one of the transcontinental l i n e s that enjoyed immunity from blockades." 1 4 6 Available evidence reinforces these claims. Daily records of the a r r i v a l time of the C.P.R. passenger service in Vancouver reveal that from November 1888 to January 1890, only two trains were cancelled "on account of obstructions in the mountains." 1 4 7 Two others were more than twelve hours late in reaching their d e s t i n a t i o n . 1 4 8 From January to December 1891, three trains were more than twelve hours l a t e , a l l in late A p r i l , and in December one t r a i n was cancelled, although i t i s not known whether this cancellation was due s p e c i f i c a l l y to avalanche problems in the S e l k i r k s . 1 4 5 The Minister of Railways and Canals assured the House of Commons in May 1888 that, ...the means adopted by the (C.P.R.) Company for dealing with the avalanches of snow in the Rocky Mountains [ s i c ] were found to be absolutely perfect, the snow-shedding, which i s upon a scale that would astonish hon. gentlemen i f they were to see in the s o l i d i t y of construction, allowing these avalanches to come down from the Rocky Mountains and the Selkirks and elsewhere to pass over them without the s l i g h t e s t d i f f i c u l t y or without the sl i g h t e s t d i s t u r b a n c e . " 1 5 0 Even Walter Moberly, who spent a l i f e t i m e deploring the adoption 95 of the Kicking Horse Pass and Rogers Pass in preference to the Howse Pass and the Big Bend, was forced to concede that, The most dire c t l i n e i s unquestionably the one taken by the C.P.R. along the I l l e c i l l e w a e t r i v e r . Its disadvantages are the heavy grades and l i a b i l i t y to snow and land s l i d e s . Substantial snowsheds are overcoming one of these d i f f i c u l t i e s . 1 5 1 , 1 5 2 Moreover, i t should be remembered that s l i d e problems at least equal in severity to those in the Selkirks were encountered elsewhere through the mountains. In January 1887, Abbott reported that, "the d i f f i c u l t i e s with the snow have occurred where we least expected them, v i z . at Eagle P a s s , " 1 5 3 and after the 1887 s l i d e season, he accompanied his estimate for snowshed requirements with a recommendation that, If the Company decide upon building a portion only of these sheds, I would suggest that those in Eagle Pass should be f i r s t provided, so as to confine the trouble to the l i n e between Revelstoke and Donald, and that the worst of the s l i d e s in the Selkirks should then be provided for, according to the amount that may be appropriated for t h i s purpose. 1 5 4 A l i s t of delays to passenger t r a i n s submitted in March 1889 indicates that rock s l i d e s between Vancouver and Kamloops were responsible for most of the lost time, whilst in the Selkirks, "the glance c r i b s , fences, sheds &c. have a l l stood the test and are doing the work, for which they were intended, admirably." 1 5 5 In November 1892, Abbott would report forty-eight mudslides in a single day on the Thompson and Cascade s e c t i o n s , 1 5 ' and when, in 1894, the year of the C.P.R.'s darkest fortunes, their main l i n e through B.C. was closed for forty-one days, i t was not avalanches in the Selkirks which were responsible, but flooding in the F r a s e r . 1 5 7 96 The preceding analysis of the areas of constructional and operational concern to the C.P.R. reveals a close correspondence between expectations and r e a l i t i e s . The gap between expectation and r e a l i t y in the nature of construction work west of Rogers Pass did not translate into a s i g n i f i c a n t gap in terms of either cost or time. Operations were conducted, and t r a f f i c conveyed, much as expected. The only serious gaps between expectations and r e a l i t i e s emerged over the incidence of avalanches and the cost of measures to protect against them. The analysis reveals that in undertaking these remedial measures, the C.P.R. endeavoured to handle the trade-off decision in providing snowslide protection exactly as they had handled i t in construction of the l i n e as a whole: that i s , they sought to minimise c a p i t a l investment at the outset, and to undertake measures of improvement as operations over the l i n e developed. To t h i s extent, the extremely high c a p i t a l cost of snowslide protection should be regarded as an indication, not that the route over the Selkirks was fundamentally unsafe, but simply that the C.P.R.'s trade-off policy was, in the s p e c i f i c context of avalanche defences, inappropriate. The policy broke down. There was no e f f e c t i v e solution to the snowslide problem which was not c a p i t a l intensive. Thus, It was deemed best to carry out these works in the most durable and substantial manner, in order that the safety of the l i n e might be placed beyond doubt. 1 5 8 Even though the C.P.R. had been forced to abandon their intended trade-off p o l i c y , they had made, as i t were, the minimum concession. Having once grasped the magnitude of the snowslide problem, and the cost of solving i t , the Company was 97 faced with four a l t e r n a t i v e s . They could abandon the Rogers Pass route e n t i r e l y , and build around the Big Bend; they could follow the Rogers Pass alignment, but undertake tunnelling beneath the snowslides, presumably to the extent of the 2 1/2 miles which they had been prepared to sanction in order to secure a dire c t crossing; they could p e r s i s t with the alignment as b u i l t , but abandon operations during the winter months; 1 5' or they could pers i s t with the alignment as b u i l t , and invest substantially in snowsheds for i t s protection. To have either abandoned the Rogers Pass route e n t i r e l y or to have undertaken tunnelling would have imposed demands upon the c a p i t a l resources of the Company, and indeed upon the c a p i t a l resources of the country, which quite simply could not have been met in 1885, nor in the years immediately afterwards. There i s no evidence that the Company ever considered these a l t e r n a t i v e s . There i s no evidence that the Federal Government ever asked them to consider the alt e r n a t i v e s . The Federal Government, indeed, would not even contribute to the cost of the snowsheds. To have closed the l i n e in winter would have meant foregoing the revenue from a l l t r a f f i c which might have traversed the l i n e during the months of closure. It would also have entailed investment in the spring in order to repair the damage i n f l i c t e d by the avalanches of the winter. After the closure of 1885-86, the damage to the unprotected l i n e had not been repaired u n t i l the following August. 1 6 0 Not only might the investment in repairs be high, therefore, but interruption to t r a f f i c as a result of leaving the l i n e unprotected might not 98 have been confined to the winter months alone. The fact that the C.P.R. rejected this alternative suggests that they believed that the d i r e c t cost of repairing the l i n e after closure, combined with the opportunity cost of interrupting the flow of t r a f f i c , together outweighed the cost of constructing and maintaining avalanche defences in order to keep the l i n e open throughout the winter months. Therefore, the Company proceeded to invest heavily in snowsheds. A gap between expectations and r e a l i t i e s had existed. Remedial measures were taken. These measures were successful. The gap was narrowed. Indeed, insofar as the l i n e was never disrupted for more than a month once the avalanche defence system was implemented, the gap must be regarded as having been almost e n t i r e l y closed, and the trade-off decision must be regarded as having been largely successful. There i s one f i n a l implication of the result of the C.P.R.'s selection from among the four alternatives outlined above. The decision to attempt to keep open the l i n e over the summit of the Selkirks on a perennial basis implicated the C.P.R. in a high fixed investment in snowsheds. The investment was p a r t i c u l a r l y high, and p a r t i c u l a r l y fixed, in comparison with other investments undertaken by the C.P.R. in construction through the Selkirks. Even discounted back to 1885, at four per c e n t . , 1 ' 1 the amount invested in snowsheds by 1888 s t i l l represented $2,180,869, almost as much again as the investment in the main l i n e i t s e l f between the Beaver and Columbia r i v e r s , and as much as the C.P.R. had expected to pay for construction through the Selkirks. This fixed investment had been undertaken, 99 and annual maintenance charges would accrue, regardless of the volume of t r a f f i c which a c t u a l l y took advantage of the l i n e ' s being open during those winter months on behalf of which the costs were incurred. The implication must be that, in the years immediately following completion of the transcontinental l i n k , the C.P.R. was in a decreasing-cost situation in the Selkirk Mountains. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the more t r a f f i c that could be carried through the Selkirk s , the wider the fixed cost of snowshed maintenance could be spread, and the lower the t o t a l cost of each individual t r a f f i c movement would be. Moreover, given the low i n i t i a l volume of t r a f f i c t r a v e l l i n g over the l i n e , additional t r a f f i c could be handled without incurring congestion costs. Therefore, the reduction of t o t a l costs effected by spreading the snowshed costs over an increased volume of t r a f f i c would not be offset by the addition of more t r a i n s . Thus, although the C.P.R. had handled trade-off decisions in a manner intended to ensure low c a p i t a l costs, i t commenced operations in a situation where i t could absorb additional t r a f f i c without incurring increased operating costs. 100 FOOTNOTES 1 Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company, "The Canadian P a c i f i c ; the new highway to the East, across the mountains, p r a i r i e s and riv e r s of Canada," Montreal, 1888, p. 25. 2 J. B. Ker, "The Progress of Vancouver," in, Vancouver Board of Trade, Annual Reports, Vancouver, 1892, p. 23. 3 Alex Forrest, quoted in E. E. Pugsley, "Pioneers of the Steel T r a i l . Four: Fighting the Snow Menace," Maclean's Magazine, August 15, 1930, p. 16. 4 Perhaps the most compelling i s that of 0. S. A. Lavallee, Van Home' s Road, op. c i t . , pp. 194-214. 5 See sections (e), (b) and (c) respectively. 6 Ross to Van Home, March 4, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 196. I Five years after the l i n e opened, one t r a v e l l e r would record ascending the east slope "along a track cut in the side of the mountain..." Francis Mollison Black, "Down the Selkirks on the Cowcatcher: A Story of Rogers Pass," MSS, VCA, July 1891, p. 1. 8 "I find that the snowslides on the Selkirks are much more serious than I anticipated, and I think are quite beyond your ideas of their magnitude and of the danger to the l i n e . " Ross to Van Home, February 19, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 194. ' "I can see quite p l a i n l y that the present location of the l i n e w i l l not be safe — more p a r t i c u l a r l y so on the west slope where the s l i d e s t h i s season already aggregate more than two miles in width." Ibid. 1 0 Proceedings of the Canadian Society of C i v i l Engineers, op. c i t . , p. 27. I I Ross to Van Home, February 19, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 196. ...to get any kind of li n e we have to go in for heavy work which would in no way serve our purpose in throwing the snow..." Ibid. 1 2 Ibid. 1 3 DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1 8 8 5 , 25a, pp. 10-14. 1 4 The C.P.R. was on the verge of bankruptcy by March 1885, and r e l i e f in the form of federal aid was not forthcoming u n t i l July. Lamb, op. c i t . , pp. 128-132, H. A. Innis, A History Of The Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1923, pp. 125-6. 101 1 5 Haldane estimated "the natural slope of the l i n e " on the south bank as one in 17 1/2, equivalent to an uncompensated gradient of 5.7 per cent., or approximately 300 feet per mile. J. W. C. Haldane, 3,800 Miles Across Canada, London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd., 1900, p. 216. 1 6 Vaux implies that the Federal Government did in fact refuse to sanction the steeper gradient. Vaux, op. c i t . , p. 84. 1 7 DSP, Vol. XIX, 1886, 35a, p. 11. 1 8 "On my way west, I noticed on the other side of the I l l e -Cille-Wait [ s i c ] that there were no large slides or any marks of very dangerous ones..." Ross to Van Home, March 4, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 199. 1 5 The length of the t r e s t l e s was as follows: F i r s t Crossing, Five-Mile Creek, 331 feet; Second Crossing, Five-mile Creek, 1,006 feet; F i r s t Crossing, I l l e c i l l e w a e t , 601 feet; Second Crossing, I l l e c i l l e w a e t , 1,061 feet; Third Crossing, I l l e c i l l e w a e t , 1,109 feet. " L i s t of Bridges," K i l p a t r i c k MSS, Vancouver, 1893. The map in "Snow War, A guide to the history of Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park," Ottawa: Dept. of Indian and Northern A f f a i r s , Parks Canada, 1978, p. 8, erroneously labels the F i r s t Crossing of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t east of Glacier House. According to the " L i s t of Bridges," this bridge was c a l l e d "Glacier Creek," and was 211 feet long. The " L i s t of Bridges" quite c l e a r l y records the F i r s t , Second and Third Crossings of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t as west of the two crossings of Five-Mile Creek. 2 0 Ross to Van Home, March 25, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 199. 2 1 Ibid. 2 2 Ross to Van Home, June 18, 1885, i b i d . , p. 205. 2 3 Schreiber to Bradley, February 8, 1883, Department of Railways and Canals, Railway Branch, Central Registry F i l e s , PAC. RG 43 A 2 (a) 6710 Vol. 223. 2 4 DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25a, p. 32. 2 s "The Government should be asked to accept ten degrees as the minimum to Station 1200 West of the Summit, otherwise the increased cost w i l l be very heavy." Ross to Van Home, February 19, 1885, Presidents' Inward Correspondence, Canadian P a c i f i c Corporate Archives, Montreal, (henceforth 'PIC CPCA,'). 2 6 Schreiber to Bradley, July 6, 1885, DSP, Vol. XIX, 1886, 35a, p. 7. 2 7 20,006 feet, according to Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 199. 2 8 C.P.R. Co., "P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n Time Table No. 1, to take 102 eff e c t One 0' Clock Saturday, July 3rd, 1 8 8 6 . " Calgary Tribune Pri n t . 2 5 Lavallee, op. c i t . , note to Plate 299, p. 183. 3 0 See below, p. 92; pp. 243-4. 3 1 " L i s t of Bridges," op. c i t . 3 2 Three were t r e s t l e s in the Loop. The others were Mountain Creek Bridge, 1,086 feet, and the F i f t h Crossing of the I l l e c i l l e w a e t , 1,091 feet. Ibid. 3 3 Ibid. 3 4 Rogers to Van Home, November 20, 1883, DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31f, p. 39. 3 5 Ibid. 3 6 Lavallee, op. c i t . , footnote to p. 205. 3 7 "Tunnels on P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n , " n..d., K i l p a t r i c k , Add Mss 323, PABC. 3 8 Ross to Van Home, June 18, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 205. 3 9 Ross employed the s i d e - d r i f t method on the 565-foot tunnel. Ibid. (This tunnel is shown on the l i s t of "Tunnels on the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n , op. c i t . , as 564 feet long.) He reported that he was "running a temporary l i n e around" the other. Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 205. On November 10, 1886, the General Superintendent of the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n reported a runaway incident, with three f a t a l i t i e s and six i n j u r i e s , "on the middle of the temporary steep grade west of the summit at Rogers Pass." Abbott to Van Home, November 10, 1886, PIC, CPCA. This "temporary steep grade" may have been Ross's "temporary l i n e " around the second Laurie Tunnel. 4 0 "For my own part I regret being obliged to submit this l i n e but there are so many objectionable features on the present location and the more you examine them, the less you l i k e them..." Ross to Van Home, March 25, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 199. 4 1 See below, pp. 75-78. 4 2 Schreiber to Bradley, October 10, 1885, DSP, Vol. XIX, 1886, 35a, p. 11. 4 3 Schreiber to Bradley, July 6, 1885, i b i d . , p. 7. 4 4 It appears that the rate of construction across the p r a i r i e s was faster than optimal. Lamb argues that austerity dictated changes in the proposed alignment west from Calgary as early as 103 mid-1883. Lamb, op. c i t . , p. 104. 4 5 DSP, Vol. XVII, 1884, 31z, pp. 250-254. 4 6 Van Home to John Ross, November 29, 1884, "Van Home Letterbooks," Vol. 8, p. 888. 4 7 Lavallee, op. c i t . , pp. 199-204. 4 8 Lamb, op. c i t . , pp. 129-132; McDougall, op. c i t . , pp. 61-63. 4 9 The railhead crossed the Selkirk summit on August 17, 1885. Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 209. 5 0 "...there i s s t i l l much lack of f a i t h on the part of the Government and in f i n a n c i a l c i r c l e s of our a b i l i t y to f i n i s h our work within the amount of the Government loan and we w i l l be ut t e r l y unable to get any f i n a n c i a l r e l i e f from outside u n t i l the l a s t spike is driven in the Lake Superior section, and the l i e i s given to a l l the slanderous reports that have been c i r c u l a t i n g . " Van Home to John Ross, op. c i t . , pp. 892-3. 5 1 5 2 Blake, HoC Debates, June 20, 1885, p. 2749. Van Home to John Ross, October 19, 1884, quoted in Lamb, op. c i t . , p. 127. See also Stephen to Minister of Railways and Canals, March 18, 1885, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25cc, p. 3. 5 3 Van Home to H. J. Cambie, July 14, 1885, "Letterbooks," op. c i t . , Vol. 6, pp. 919-920. 5 4 Van Home to Schreiber, December 1, 1884, "Letterbooks," op. c i t . , Vol. 8, pp. 951-2. 5 5 "Central Section, Western Di v i s i o n , Progress Estimate No. 87, November 28, 1885," DSP, Vol. XIX, 1886, 35a, p. 152. 5 6 Ross to Van Home, A p r i l 16, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 204. 5 7 Ibid. 5 8 Van Home to H. J. Cambie, op. c i t . , p. 920. 5 9 See above, p. 54. 6 0 Lamb, op. c i t . , p. 119. 6 1 See above, p. 54. 6 2 "We ought to be able to complete a l l the grading by the f i r s t of July and to connect the track by the f i r s t of August." Van Home to John Ross, October 20, 1884, "Letterbooks," op. c i t . , Vol. 8, p. 229. 6 3 For example, before Ross had even completed work on the west 104 slope of the Rockies, and with only two months remaining of 1884, Van Home wrote to him, "I presume upon reaching the Columbia you w i l l be able to lay track, not alone to the mouth of the Beaver, but up as far as the f i r s t of the high t r e s t l e s . It i s important that every inch possible should be made this year." Van Home to Ross, i b i d . , p. 222. 6 4 Ross to Van Home, February 19, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 194. 4 5 Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company: Report of the Directors of the C.P.R. Co. submitted at the adjourned Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders, June 13, 1885. Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company, Annual Reports, Montreal, 1885, p. 18. 6 6 Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 209. 6 7 As early as March 18, 1885, Stephen had forecast to the Minister of Railways and Canals "the opening of the through l i n e in the spring of 1886." Stephen to Minister of Railways and Canals, March 18, 1885, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25cc, p. 1. C.P.R. shareholders were assured in January 1885 that, "by the early spring of next year the through l i n e from Montreal to the Pa c i f i c Ocean...will be finished and in perfect condition..." C.P.R. Co., Annual Report, op. c i t . , 1885, p. 18. In October 1885, with only t h i r t y - s i x miles of track remaining to be l a i d , Schreiber informed the Ministry, "I do not think i t i s the Company's intention to operate (the road) through the mountains thi s season; in fact I should not consider i t wise to attempt to do so u n t i l the road i s thoroughly completed, which w i l l scarcely be before spring." Schreiber to Bradley, October 10, 1885, DSP, Vol. XIX, 1886, 35a, p. 11. 6 8 Unlike on the Lake Superior section, where "Mr. Stephen estimates the f i n a n c i a l advantage of connecting the track in March instead of May at $500,000." Van Home to John Ross, op. c i t . , pp. 894-5. Van Home to Minister of Railways and Canals, May 19, 1885, DSP, Vol. XVIII, 1885, 25a, pp. 10-11. 7 0 Lavallee i s incorrect in stating that pusher locomotives were provided from Revelstoke to Rogers Pass. Lavallee, "Rogers' Pass: Railway to Roadway," Canadian Rai1, Canadian Railroad H i s t o r i c a l Association, No. 137, October 1962, p. 155. See Marpole to Shaughnessy, February 15, 1898. PIC, CPCA. 7 1 The pusher locomotive was generally attached at the rear u n t i l 1907. This arrangement of the motive power ensured even d i s t r i b u t i o n of the p u l l i n g and buffing forces throughout the t r a i n . It may also have permitted attachment of the pushers "on the f l y . " See T. H. Crump, "The Big H i l l and the Mountain Section," October 21, 1940, reprinted in Canadian R a i l , No. 275, December 1974, p. 356. The change to double-heading in 1907 was ordained by G. T. Bury as General Manager of Western Lines, ostensibly in the interests of safety and passenger comfort. The 105 rearrangement of motive power per se appears to have had a negligible impact upon the economics of the pusher operation. Sir George Bury, "The Making of a Railway Man I I . From Superintendent To Vice-President," Maclean's Magazine, January 15, 1926, p. 14. 7 2 Province, A p r i l 21, 1902, p. 1. 7 3 Crump, op. c i t . , p. 356. 7 4 F. M. Black, op. c i t . , p. 1. 7 5 "Diary, 1909," K i l p a t r i c k MSS, Vancouver, December 9, 1909. 7 6 C.P.R. Co., Time Table, July 3rd. 1886, op. c i t . 7 7 Donald Truth, July 7, 1888, p. 8, and November 3, 1888, p. 3. 7 8 Abbott to Van Home, January 5, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 7 9 Donald Truth, July 14, 1888, p. 5. 8 0 Six trains per week, assuming thirteen cars per t r a i n , and four trains per week, assuming eighteen cars per t r a i n . See below, notes (84) and (85). 8 1 "(The steamship Aberdeen) had several carloads of s i l k , one of which went through Donald on yesterday's express, another going through today." Donald Truth, July 28, 1888, p. 5. 8 2 Whyte, Telegrams to Van Home, December 18, 19 and 21, 1888, PIC, CPCA. 8 3 Tait to Shaughnessy, July 29, 1896, PIC, CPCA. 8 4 Donald Truth, October 6, 1888, p. 1. 8 5 Marpole to Shaughnessy, February 15, 1898, PIC, CPCA. 8 6 Tye to Shaughnessy, A p r i l 2, 1900, PIC, CPCA. 8 7 Ibid. 8 8 Memorandum by Thomas Tait to Shaughnessy, October 24, 1894, PIC, CPCA. 8 9 Shaughnessy to a l l General Superintendents, October 23, 1896, "Letterbooks," op. c i t . 9 0 The data do not necessarily imply the a v a i l a b i l i t y of surplus capacity, or underutilised "push," on each t r a i n . Although the data which i s based on averages indicate that pusher locomotives were required for the "average" t r a i n , and that the marginal payload for which the pusher was required was only, for example, 1.95 cars or 92 tons in 1893, i t i s possible that the payloads of the trains to which pushers were attached may have been far 106 greater than 10.95 cars, while the payloads of those trains which were conducted by a single locomotive may have been far less than nine cars. Under these conditions, the "push" would be more f u l l y u t i l i s e d where provided, even though the data for average payload appears to indicate otherwise. 9 1 Report of H. Abbott, quoted in Lavallee, Van Home's Road, op. c i t . , p. 244. 9 2 "Appropriations, Year 1898," K i l p a t r i c k MSS, p. 55. The t o t a l haulage capacity of the f l e e t may have been increased during th i s period i f stronger locomotives were introduced into mountain service. Unfortunately, this hypothesis cannot be tested u n t i l the appearance of a comprehensive work on C.P.R. motive power, currently in preparation by 0. S. A. Lavallee. However, since the numerical strength of the pusher f l e e t c e r t a i n l y did not increase during t h i s period, i t is l i k e l y that the increment in t o t a l pusher capacity obtained from the introduction of stronger locomotives would not have been dramatic. 9 3 C.P.R. Co., "Timetable No. 1, 1886," op. c i t . 9* Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company, "Timetable Number 1, Taking Effe c t at 24.01 O'clock, Sunday, June 15th, 1902," Montreal, n .p. 9 5 Ibid. 9 6 C.P.R. Co., "The Canadian P a c i f i c : the new highway to the East," op. c i t . , p. 27. 9 7 See, for example, Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 280; N. R. Hacking, Hi story of the Port of Vancouver, Vancouver, n. d., n. p. 9 8 Donald Truth, July 28, 1888, p. 4. 9 9 Vancouver Board of Trade, Annual Reports, op. c i t . , 1889, p. 31; 1890, p. 24. 1 0 0 See chapter 6. 1 0 1 Abbott to Shaughnessy, August 2, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 0 2 The average spacing on the C.P.R. between Albert Canyon and Beaver East was one siding every 5.8 miles in 1896, and the ra t i o , "length of siding: length of main l i n e " was 1: 8.17. Between Lucerne and Blue River, west of the Yellowhead Pass on the Canadian Northern main l i n e , the average spacing was one siding every 8.5 miles, and the r a t i o , "length of sidin g : length of main l i n e " was 1: 15.33. Sessional Papers of the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , 7 Geo. 5, 1917, Report of Department of Railways, p. D12. This does not of course indicate that the C.P.R. had "more capacity" than the C.N. The above comparisons take no account of such c r u c i a l variables as average t r a i n weight and average t r a i n speed. 107 1 0 3 Ross to Van Home, February 19, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 194. 1 0 4 "From a l l reports the snow is exceptionally deep this season." Ross to Van Home, March 4, 1885, PIC, CPCA. 1 0 5 Cunningham, op. c i t . , p. 21. 1 0 6 "Journal of Observations in camp three miles east of Selkirk Summit, Winter 1885-86, kept by Granville C. Cunningham, Engineer-in-Charge (and by J. S. Vindin after A p r i l 18th); Observations at Cascade Camp, Winter 1886-87, kept by J. E. G r i f f i t h . " PABC, pp. 46-57. On February 28, 1887, six C.P.R. employees were k i l l e d in an avalanche off Mount C a r r o l l , i b i d . , p. 54. The following day, the entire distance from snowshed No. 5 to Rogers Pass, some five miles, was "one continuous s l i d e . " i b i d . , p. 55. The l i n e was closed from February 26 to March 23. Ibid., p. 56. 1 0 7 Marpole, Telegram to Van Home, December 17, 1887, PIC, CPCA. 1 0 8 "In [ s i c ] the east slopes s l i d e s occur in two places, but very l i t t l e shedding w i l l be necessary as the increased section force w i l l dig out any of them quickly, the snow keeping soft w i l l do no damage. On the west slopes s l i d e s mostly come down in gulches, so i t w i l l be necessary to throw the l i n e more into the h i l l side so as to pass the snow over the track." Ross, Telegram to Van Home, March 4, 1885, PIC, CPCA. 1 0 5 Ibid. 1 1 0 Ross to Van Home, March 4, 1885, quoted in Lavallee, op. c i t . , p. 196. 1 1 1 Van Home to Bradley, May 6, 1886, Letterbooks, op. c i t . 1 X 2 Van Home to Abbott, July 4, 1886, i b i d . 1 1 3 Ibid. 1 1 4 See chapter 3, note (93). 1 1 5 C.P.R. Co., Annual Reports, 1886, p. 36. 1 1 6 "Statement of Proposed Snowshed work," enclosed in Abbott to Van Home, A p r i l 15, 1887, PIC, CPCA. Of this amount, $386,515 were earmarked for the section between Donald and Revelstoke. 1 1 7 C.P.R. Co., Annual Reports, 1887, p. 25. 1 1 8 C.P.R. Co., Annual Reports, 1888, p. 23. In 1889, a further $3,975.95 was invested, and in 1890, $159.25, bringing the t o t a l expenditure on snowshed construction on the P a c i f i c D i v i s i o n in the f i r s t f i v e years of the l i n e ' s history to $2,309,108.69. 108 1 1 9 Abbott submitted a cal c u l a t i o n of the amount of money necessary for snowshedding in the event of the Company's obtaining a grant from the Dominion Government. Abbott to Van Home, A p r i l 17, 1888, PIC, CPCA. Unfortunately, the cal c u l a t i o n has not been preserved, so there is no way of knowing how the Company proposed to allocate the grant. 1 2 0 Keefer, op. c i t . , p. 68. 1 2 1 "Statement of Proposed Snowshed work," op. c i t . 1 2 2 Keefer, op. c i t . , Plate V. 1 2 3 Engineering News, Vol. XIX, January 21, 1888, p. 38. 1 2 4 See chapter 3, note (92). 1 2 5 Engineering News-Record, Vol. LXXX, January 3, 1918, p. 45. 1 2 6 In the Selkirk Mountains, eleven watchmen were allocated exclusively to snowshed patrols: two each to Sheds 1-6, 7-11 and 16-20, and one each to Sheds 12-15, 21-26, 27-31, 35-38 and 39-42. "Timekeeper's Force Return, Donald - Revelstoke, w/e July 13, 1889." PIC, CPCA. 1 2 7 Engineering News, Vol. XIX, January 21, 1888, p. 39. 1 2 8 Abbott to Van Home, July 31, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 2 5 Keefer, op. c i t . , p. 70. 1 3 0 Ibid., p. 69. 1 3 1 Abbott to Van Home, January 5, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 3 2 "Journal of Observations," op. c i t . , p. 27. 1 3 3 Ibid., p. 49. 1 3 4 Abbott, Telegram to Van Home, January 28, 1888; Abbott to Van Home, January 29, 1890, PIC, CPCA. 1 3 5 Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company, "Old Bridge Record and Section Maps, Mountain Subdivision," Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, F i l e No. 1758, p. 14. 1 3 6 Ibid. 1 3 7 C.P.R. Co., Annual Reports, 1898, p. 19. 1 3 8 "I feel sure that in a number of places p a r t i c u l a r l y on the section from the Selkirk Summit eastwards f i v e or six miles and from the Summit westwards towards Glacier Creek — the track w i l l have to be thrown far into the face of the slope before i t can be f u l l y protected and these possible changes should be kept in view in building sheds." Van Home to Abbott, July 4, 1886, 109 op. c i t . 1 3 9 Abbott to Van Home, A p r i l 15, 1887, op. c i t . 1 4 0 Donald Truth, November 24, 1888, p. 1. 1 4 1 Abbott to Shaughnessy, November 29, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 4 2 Ibid. . Marpole, Telegram to Shaughnessy, February 13, 1890, PIC, 1 4 3 CPCA 1 4 4 Abbott to 0. W. P e t r i , A p r i l 24, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 4 5 During February 1890, Abbott reported that, "in order to get the necessary force we had to c a l l upon tie-makers, bridge gangs, Siwashes and every man we could fin d , as men were extremely scarce at that time on this D i v i s i o n . " Abbott to Shaughnessy, May 22, 1890, PIC, CPCA. 1 4 ' C.P.R. Co., Annual Report, 1889, p. 13. 1 4 7 Vancouver Board of Trade, Annual Reports, 1890, p. 21. 1 4 8 Ibid., pp. 22-23; 1889, p. 32. X 4 » Ibid., 1892, pp. 45-46. 1 5 0 Tupper, HoC Debates, May 11, 1888, p. 1337. It should be noted that there were no snowsheds, and very few avalanches, on the C.P.R. main l i n e through the Rocky Mountains. 1 5 1 Letter from Walter Moberly to the Editor of the "Winnipeg C a l l , " August 24, 1888. Reproduced in the -Donald Truth, September 1, 1888, p. 2. 1 5 2 See also, Engineering News, Vol. XXII, December 14, 1889, p. 570. 1 5 3 Abbott to Van Home, January 11, 1887, PIC, CPCA. 1 5 4 Abbott to Van Home, A p r i l 15, 1887, op. c i t . 1 5 5 Abbott to Van Home, March 2, 1889, PIC, CPCA. 1 5 6 Abbott to Van Home, November 29, 1892, PIC, CPCA. 1 5 7 C.P.R. Co., Annual Report, 1894, p. 10. 1 5 8 C.P.R. Co., Annual Report, 1886, p. 11. 1 5 9 There i s some evidence that t h i s alternative was considered. Perhaps aft e r the C.P.R.'s experience of i t s f i r s t winter in the Selkirk s , the Calgary Daily Herald may have considered that the Company had no other choice: "The town [ i . e. Rogers Pass] i s 110 b u i l t r i g h t i n the trac k of the avalanches and a f t e r November w i l l be s u b j e c t to the d i s t u r b a n c e of these mountain h o r r o r s . At the beginning of December a l l the i n h a b i t a n t s w i l l move out i n a body and Roger's [ s i c ] Pass w i l l be d e s o l a t e u n t i l another summer spreads her mantle on the scene, e t c . " Cal g a r y D a i l y H e r a l d , August 6, 1886. Van Home must have c o n s i d e r e d d i s c o n t i n u i n g passenger s e r v i c e s d u r i n g the winter of 1886, e i t h e r i n the immediate i n t e r e s t s of passenger s a f e t y , or because he was r e l u c t a n t i n the coming months to undertake the f u l l c o st of making the l i n e safe f o r passenger t r a v e l , or perhaps simply because of lack of patronage of the passemger s e r v i c e . On December 9, 1886, he informed Abbott, "We have decided on c o n t i n u i n g the d a i l y through passenger s e r v i c e f o r the Winter." Van Home to Abbott, December 9, 1886, Le t t e r b o o k s , op. c i t . 1 6 0 E n g i n e e r i n g News, V o l . XV, May '8, 1886, p. 303. 1 6 1 T h i s was the rate of d i s c o u n t adopted by the C.P.R. i n the e v a l u a t i o n of a l t e r n a t i v e t u n n e l l i n g p r o j e c t s through the S e l k i r k Mountains i n 1912. See Chapters 7 and 8. I t i s u n l i k e l y that the di s c o u n t rate would have been s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s i n 1885 than i t was i n 1912. I l l PART TWO THE BIG BORE The C.P.R. had made i t s decision. It had evaluated alternative routes through the mountains, and had opted for a short, di r e c t crossing. In the Selkirks, t h i s entailed construction and operation over Rogers Pass, with i t s steep gradients and exposure to snowslides. The decision to secure a direct route had been taken in 1881 and f u l l y implemented by 1885. It would commit the C.P.R. to surface operations in Rogers Pass for the next t h i r t y years. What were the consequences for the C.P.R. of being committed to thi s alignment? One of the p r i n c i p a l consequences was that the C.P.R. became engaged in a protracted and costly battle to protect i t s t r a f f i c against avalanches. This consequence has attracted the most scrutiny from previous historians of the C.P.R.'s operations in Rogers Pass. Many of these historians assert that the C.P.R. lo s t the ba t t l e . The 1910 avalanche disaster, in which 62 C.P.R. employees were buried a l i v e , i s regarded as a turning point in C.P.R. management's perception of the v i a b i l i t y of the surface route through Rogers Pass. The C.P.R.'s decision, taken in 1913, to abandon the surface route and construct the Connaught Tunnel beneath the summit of the Selkirks, i s regarded as an acknowledgement of defeat, a strategic withdrawal in reaction to the i n t r a c t a b i l i t y of the avalanche hazard. How tenable i s an explanation of the decision to construct the Connaught Tunnel which addresses only the snowslide 112 problems? For another p r i n c i p a l consequence of the C.P.R.'s commitment to a surface route through Rogers Pass was the necessity to haul a l l trains over 46 miles of 2.2% gradients and severe curvature. The variable cost of routine operations was therefore high. Moreover, the steep gradients, the single-track configuration of the main l i n e , and the scarcity of locations suitable for sidings, a l l imposed constraints upon the capacity of the f a c i l i t y to absorb increases in t r a f f i c . The Connaught Tunnel was double-tracked, and secured a large increment in main-line capacity. It was accompanied by gradient revisions which reduced the variable cost of operations and enhanced the increment in l i n e capacity provided by the tunnel. Analysis reveals that t r a f f i c forecasts generated by the C.P.R. in 1913 i d e n t i f i e d an urgent requirement for increased capacity through Rogers Pass, and that investment in the Connaught Tunnel was undertaken with a view towards expected future operating requirements, and not just in.response to past avalanche experiences. The second part of thi s thesis examines the question of why the surface route through Rogers Pass was abandoned in favour of the Connaught Tunnel. The answer i s sought by an analysis of operating conditions at the summit of the Selkirks throughout the t h i r t y years of surface r a i l r o a d i n g . This section begins with a re-examination of the nature of the avalanche hazard which has been accorded so much attention by previous railway hi s t o r i a n s . An attempt i s made to establish the actual extent and cost of snowslide problems on the surface route. Then, t r a f f i c developments through the B.C. mountains are examined, 113 with p a r t i c u l a r emphasis upon previous investments undertaken by the C.P.R. to improve operating conditions in Rogers Pass, and upon the implications of t r a f f i c growth and t r a f f i c forecasts for the future adequacy of the surface route. When the C.P.R. deemed that i t s surface alignment was no longer appropriate for i t s operating requirements, i t considered several a l t e r n a t i v e alignments, and ultimately decided to construct the Connaught Tunnel. The C.P.R.'s evaluation of these alternative alignments is described, and the reasons for the selection of the preferred a l t e r n a t i v e are discussed. F i n a l l y , the conclusions of the thesis are presented. 114 CHAPTER 5 AVALANCHE PROBLEMS The purpose of thi s chapter i s to analyse the role played by avalanche problems in the decision of the C.P.R. to abandon the surface alignment through Rogers Pass. Previous historians of C.P.R. operations in the Selkirks have maintained that the role played by snow problems was c r u c i a l , and they have made l i t t l e attempt to look beyond th i s aspect of operating conditions for an explanation of the decision to construct the Connaught Tunnel. This chapter w i l l attempt to determine whether or not the snow problem in Rogers Pass was indeed s u f f i c i e n t l y severe to j u s t i f y abandonment of the o r i g i n a l route over the Selkirks, and whether or not i t was indeed the desire to avoid the danger and expense of avalanches which spurred the C.P.R. to invest in an alignment underground. The analysis i s divided into two parts. The f i r s t part concentrates exclusively upon the role of the 1910 avalanche disaster in motivating the decision to relocate the main l i n e . This concentration i s j u s t i f i e d because cert a i n authorities a t t r i b u t e the decision e n t i r e l y to the influence of that p a r t i c u l a r d i s a s t e r . 1 In the second part of the analysis, the focus i s widened to include consideration of the snowslide problem in general, the extent of the problem and the impact which i t had upon the investment decisions taken by the C.P.R. in Rogers Pass. 115 5.1 The 1910 Disaster On the evening of March 4, 1910, a C.P.R. snow-clearing crew was working at the south end of Shed 17, one mile west of Rogers Pass station at the summit of the Selkirks. The crew was removing a s l i d e which had descended during the afternoon from Mount Cheops, to the west of the main l i n e . Half an hour before midnight, the crew was struck by a much larger avalanche descending from Mount Avalanche, east of the main l i n e . Sixty-two C.P.R. employees were k i l l e d , 2 of whom thirty-two were "Japs and Hindoos." 3 There were several alarming aspects of the disaster, besides the enormity of the de a t h - t o l l . The snow-clearing crew had -been working on a two-mile portion of the main l i n e which had been relocated less than three years before. The relocation, motivated by the desire to increase yard accommodation rather than by any necessity for avoiding snowslides over the o r i g i n a l l o c a t i o n , 4 had been undertaken in the beli e f that the new route was quite safe from snowslides. Indeed, the C.P.R. had undertaken additional investment in widening the cuttings on the di v e r s i o n , 5 in order to secure greater protection.' The incident might have been regarded as an indication that no surface alignment through the Pass could escape the avalanche danger, or that no expansion of capacity could be secured without increasing the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the operation to disruption by avalanches. Moreover, whilst no members of the public had suffered injury in the incident, the westbound passenger t r a i n No. 97 had been less than ten miles away when the f a t a l avalanche had struck, 7 and had fortunately been running s l i g h t l y 116 la t e , having been delayed by a smaller snowslide east of the Selkirk summit.8 The tra i n would be imprisoned in the mountains for two and a half days u n t i l the major avalanche could be cleared.' Less than a week before, over eighty passengers on the Great Northern's Spokane Express had been k i l l e d at Wellington, Washington, when an avalanche had swept the t r a i n into a 150-foot gorge. 1 0 If the 1910 disaster i s to be linked d i r e c t l y with the decision, taken more than three years l a t e r , to abandon Rogers Pass, then proponents of the direc t linkage must believe that the incident precipitated a change in G.P.R. management's perception of the v i a b i l i t y of the route through the Selkirk Mountains. For when the disaster occurred, the C.P.R. had been operating over the surface alignment for some twenty-four years, during which time they had made no serious attempt to seek an alternative route to that through Rogers Pass. In order to establish the extent of any linkage, t h i s analysis w i l l begin by considering the nature of the 1910 disaster i t s e l f . Then, the p o s s i b i l i t y w i l l be investigated that the disaster provoked pressure upon the C.P.R. to undertake investments in improving the safety of i t s surface alignment. F i n a l l y , the actual response of the C.P.R. to the disaster w i l l be examined, for evidence that the incident had indeed prompted a reappraisal of the v i a b i l i t y of the surface route. The 1910 avalanche disaster was in every sense a "freak." The s l i d e followed a path down which there had been no previous record of avalanches. 1 1.At an inquest into the deaths, i t was stated that, "There was timber in the path of this s l i d e which 117 in some places was f i f t y y e a r s • o l d . " 1 2 The s l i d e was also of exceptional magnitude. An employee of twenty years' seniority t e s t i f i e d that, The old track for considerable distance several hundred feet west of 17 Shed was covered by the s l i d e , as well as the new track. In my experience t h i s has not occurred b e f o r e . 1 3 F i n a l l y , the weather in the days preceding the s l i d e was exceptional, even for the Selkirks. "There had been a snowfall of 88 inches in nine days previous to the s l i d e . " 1 4 There is no evidence to suggest that the disaster provoked any pressure upon the C.P.R. either to undertake improvements to the e x i s t i n g route, or to abandon the route e n t i r e l y and invest in an a l t e r n a t i v e . Certainly, the f i r s t coroner's jury which was empanelled to investigate the disaster was dismissed on March 12 after f a i l i n g to reach a v e r d i c t . 1 5 However, the controversy appears to have centred upon the questions of whether or not the C.P.R. act u a l l y compelled i t s snow-clearing crews to work at nights, and whether or not the f a i l u r e to post look-outs at the s i t e of snow-clearing operations constituted an act of negligence on the part of the Company. At a second inquest, convened on March 14, i t was reaffirmed that, "It i s not compulsory for men to work at n i g h t s . " 1 ' Those who did were paid time-and-a-half. 1 7 It was moreover agreed that look-outs would be "not much use at nights" in any event. 1 8 The findings of the inquests placed no pressure upon C.P.R. management to make a major policy decision. The jury at the second inquest returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." It expressed no condemnation of the C.P.R. Neither did i t recommend drastic changes in methods of operating through the Pass, nor 118 expensive investments in improving t r a f f i c conditions. Rather, i t recommended simply that, "... the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway withdraw th e i r workmen from service, at a l l sl i d e s in future during stormy n i g h t s . " 1 ' There was nothing new in t h i s : the General Superintendent of the P a c i f i c Division himself had issued instructions to this effect as early as 1888 after a C.P.R. work-train had been struck by an avalanche in the S e l k i r k s . 2 0 Neither was any pressure from other i n s t i t u t i o n s exerted upon the C.P.R. to undertake investments in improving i t s surface alignment. The Federal and Provincial Governments made no a l l u s i o n to the i n c i d e n t , 2 1 and the Ministry of Railways and Canals merely noted, without comment, that the deaths were responsible for i n f l a t i n g the annual accident figure for 1910 to an unusually high l e v e l . 2 2 The Labour Gazette reported the incident matter-of-factly in i t s account of "Industrial A c c i d e n t s . " 2 3 Whilst a motion to investigate i n d u s t r i a l safety was car r i e d in the House of Commons within a year of the 1910 disaster, and whilst the frequent incidence of i n j u r i e s to railwaymen did spark the debate, neither the 1910 disaster in par t i c u l a r nor the character of the C.P.R.'s operations through Rogers Pass in general aroused comment from the p r o t a g o n i s t s . 2 4 Neither was the press c r i t i c a l of the C.P.R. Indeed, the Company emerged with c r e d i t , the Revelstoke Mail-Herald carrying a glowing account of the conduct of the C.P.R. o f f i c i a l s during the i n c i d e n t , 2 5 and the Calgary Daily Herald affirming that the C.P.R.'s snow-clearing organization "has been equal to the occasion." 2' Nor did the press recommend investment in the 119 pursuit of greater safety. Only the Revelstoke Mail-Herald suggested that the C.P.R. seek an alternative route and accelerate completion of the Arrowhead and Kootenay l i n e . 2 7 The C.P.R.'s own reaction to the disaster sets the incident in i t s appropriate context as part of the ongoing battle with the snow. The inquests established that there was no question of the C.P.R.'s having omitted to make investments which would have reduced the risk to l i f e and t r a f f i c . It had made such investments in the past, and would continue to do so after 1910, without the necessity for major diversions or tunnels: The Company have b u i l t sheds wherever they thought i t necessary, and have b u i l t several sheds over which a sl i d e has never passed... If a shed were thought necessary, expense would not stand in the way. 2 8 The C.P.R., of course, refused to acknowledge any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the incident, although granting compensation to the re l a t i v e s of the v i c t i m s . 2 5 Nevertheless, i t appears that the Company was not d i s s a t i s f i e d with i t s handling of the snow problem. President Shaughnessy wrote p r i v a t e l y in the aftermath of the disaster, While i t would appear that the danger i s not passed by any means, and there i s s t i l l occasion for much apprehension and anxiety, the record up to the present time i s most excellent, marred only by the sad catastrophe, that no human agency could prevent or control, in which so many poor workmen lost their l i v e s . 3 0 The C.P.R.'s investment response to the disaster confirms the view that the incident did not provoke a change in investment policy on the Selkirk route. The Company had not b u i l t a snowshed over the new alignment because i t had not considered i t necessary: no sl i d e had ever passed over Shed 17, 120 and i t was believed that there was s u f f i c i e n t f l a t land to the east of Shed 17 "to stop any ordinary s l i d e , " even considering that, "A s l i d e had never been known on the [east] side for many yea r s . " 3 1 It does not appear that the realignment had in any way entailed increased v u l n e r a b i l i t y to avalanches as the price of increased capacity. The Resident Engineer at Revelstoke affirmed that, A new track 300 or 400 feet to the north would have been reached by t h i s s l i d e . A shed over th i s portion of new track would not have withstood t h i s s l i d e . 3 2 Management's investment response to the 1910 s l i d e was the same as i t had been to previous s l i d e s . "The f i r s t thing we w i l l have to do i s to build a snow shed at Rogers Pass on the new l i n e , " the Vice-President of Western Lines, S i r George Bury, had written to the Chief Engineer on March 15, 1910. 3 3 The shed was erected during 1910, at a cost of $48,275.97, 3 4 and the next year some $700 was invested in a shed over the Rogers Pass t u r n t a b l e . 3 5 Two new rotary snowploughs were ordered, and the existing f l e e t modified. 3 6 A piecemeal diversion was undertaken at Bear Creek. 3 7 The old alignment through Rogers Pass which the C.P.R. had intended to abandon in 1907, and which i t had re-connected to the main l i n e two days after the 1910 disaster in order to pass the beleaguered t r a i n No. 97, 3 8 was retained "as emergency track in cases of blockades on the Diversion by snow." 39 However, there was never any question that the disaster would induce the Company to abandon i t s new alignment through the Pass. 4 0 The 1910 disaster may have provoked discussion of the p o s s i b i l i t y of driving a tunnel beneath Rogers Pass, for in 121 A p r i l 1910, the Revelstoke Mail-Herald reported that, . . . i t i s stated a tunnel would soon save i t s cost in the maintenance and construction of snowsheds, besides avoiding the danger of sl i d e s in the pass. A factor in the problem i s that the time i s at hand when a l l snowsheds and the extensive cribwork connected with some of them would have to be wholly renewed in any c a s e . 4 1 However, there i s no evidence to suggest that the C.P.R. regarded such a project as an appropriate alternative to i t s longstanding policy of avalanche defence. Moreover, analysis of the economics of such a project reveals that in fact the savings in snowshed construction and maintenance would not alone be s u f f i c i e n t to j u s t i f y investment in a tunnel on the scale which would be required in order to preclude the necessity for shedding through Rogers Pass. 4 2 It i s undeniable that the C.P.R. did examine the f e a s i b i l i t y of an alternative route through the Selkirks during the summer of 1910, undertaking a thorough survey of the Big Bend. Walter Moberly thought that the time for his favoured route was at hand, and believed that, "The Rogers Pass accident may make [the C.P.R.] change their minds." 4 3 However, the surveys through the Big Bend may have had far grander motives than simply the desire to avoid a repetition of the 1910 disaster. The V i c t o r i a Daily Times reported in July 1910, That the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway i s in earnest in i t s scheme to open up the Big Bend by railway transportation and b u i l d a connecting l i n e between Revelstoke and the Grand Trunk P a c i f i c at Tete Jaune Cache i s evident from the fact that a party of locating engineers numbering sixteen have arrived from the e a s t . 4 4 Moreover, i t was c h i e f l y for developmental reasons, and not because the alternatives offered a safer passage through the mountains, that the Revelstoke Mail-Herald welcomed the prospect 122 of r a i l s through the Big Bend, 4 5 just as i t had welcomed a report of the C.P.R.'s intention to complete the Arrowhead and Kootenay l i n e . 4 6 It does not appear, therefore, that t h i s survey of an alternative route through the Selkirks was d i r e c t l y linked with the 1910 disaster in Rogers Pass. Regardless of the normative issue, of whether or not the 1910 avalanche disaster should have precipitated a change in the C.P.R.'s perception of the v i a b i l i t y of the surface alignment through Rogers Pass, the positive conclusion of t h i s analysis i s that the incident in fact heralded no turning point. It was a serious incident in terms of the number of casualties involved, b.ut the s l i d e i t s e l f blocked the main l i n e for only two and a half days, a brief i n t e r v a l when compared with the disruptions of previous years, and when compared with the disruption which would follow later in the spring of 1910. The incident brought no condemnation of the C.P.R., and no pressure upon them to undertake investment in improving safety, either upon i t s e x i s t i n g alignment or by means of an alternative route. It is unlikely that a single incident of this magnitude would stimulate a change in investment policy as drastic as that which would be involved in abandonment of the surface alignment after a quarter-century of r a i l operations; and in fact no such change occurred. After the 1910 disaster, as before, the C.P.R.'s investment policy towards the avalanche problem continued to be e s s e n t i a l l y reactive in character. Snowsheds were repaired and extended, piecemeal diversions undertaken, and snowploughs engaged to clear the l i n e between. 123 5.2 The Snow Problem In General Having de c i s i v e l y rejected the hypothesis that i t was the 1910 avalanche disaster which induced the C.P.R. to abandon the surface alignment through Rogers Pass, i t i s necessary s t i l l to determine the extent to which the snow problem in general prompted the abandonment decision. Several authorities maintain that i t was the apparent worsening of avalanche d i f f i c u l t i e s during the early years of the 20th Century which persuaded the C.P.R. to undertake investment in a tunnel beneath the summit of the S e l k i r k s . 4 7 In assessing the accuracy of this interpretation, i t is useful to distinguish between two separate aspects of the snow problem before attempting to determine whether or not the avalanche d i f f i c u l t i e s were in fact worsening. These two aspects are the direct cost of maintaining the avalanche defence system, and the indire c t cost of disruptions to t r a f f i c consequent upon sl i d e s blocking the main l i n e . a) The Direct Costs Of Maintaining The Avalanche Defence System Authorities have tended to concentrate upon the direct costs of maintaining the avalanche defence system as the major stimulus to investment in a tunnel. However, quantitative data appertaining to these dir e c t costs do not support t h i s view. Detailed cost data are available for the later years of the surface operation, the c r u c i a l years, according to certain a u t h o r i t i e s , during which the C.P.R. was persuaded "that the savings in snowshed maintenance alone would t i p the scales in favour of a five-mile, double-tracked t u n n e l . " 4 8 124 It appears that as the C.P.R. acquired experience of the avalanche problems, and as the Company undertook piecemeal relocations of the l i n e in order to reduce i t s exposure to snowslides, i t was able to reduce the length of snowshedding which had to be provided and maintained. When f i r s t constructed across the Selkirks, the l i n e had been equipped with some 30,403 feet of snowsheds,*' and by August 1898 the length of shedding between Beavermouth and Albert Canyon, Sheds 1 to 43A incl u s i v e , had been increased to 31,558 f e e t . 5 0 It was envisaged in 1898, however, that only some 30,866 feet of this shedding would be renewed, in a programme extending u n t i l 1904. 5 1 By October 1904, the last year for which complete data are a v a i l a b l e , the length of shedding in the Selkirks had been reduced to 29,639 f e e t , 5 2 a saving of 1,919 feet since 1898. This reduction in the length of snowshedding may have represented a cost-saving of between $6,865 and $8,077 per y e a r . 5 3 Further reductions in the amount of snowshedding on the surface alignment may not have been possible. When the C.P.R. undertook diversion of the main l i n e through Rogers Pass in 1907, i t saved another 2,224 feet of sheds, 5 4 which may have afforded annual cost-savings of between $7,956 and $9,360. 5 5 However, afte r the 1910 disaster, the Company was forced to rebuild Shed 17. With the rebuilding of t h i s single shed, some three thousand feet long, the entire reduction in shedding obtained in 1907 was o f f s e t , and the new alignment actually required more avalanche protection than the old. The cost of maintaining and renewing the snowsheds may have escalated rapidly in the l a s t years before the surface route was 125 abandoned. In 1910, the t o t a l cost of maintenance and renewals to snowsheds through the Selkirks was $68,481.94.s6 In 1911, the t o t a l cost leaped by 75%, or $50,932.05, to $119,413.99.57 Much of th i s leap may be explained by the rebuilding of Shed 17, which cost $48,275.97. In turn, however, the reconstruction of Shed 17 might have ensured that maintenance costs would have remained at a high l e v e l had the surface route continued in operation: for nine months of 1912 the t o t a l maintenance cost was $114,878.66. 5 8 Even i f t h i s escalation in maintenance costs was e n t i r e l y due to the rebuilding of Shed 17, which was in turn a consequence of the 1910 disaster, and even i f maintenance costs were expected to remain at these high levels for perpetuity, the magnitude of the annual maintenance costs would s t i l l not alone have j u s t i f i e d investment in a tunnel. In 1912, when the C.P.R. evaluated various tunnelling projects which were intended to supersede the surface alignment, i t estimated that 23,760 feet of snowshedding would be rendered obsolete by a tunnel. 5' Savings in the maintenance and renewal costs of th i s shedding were estimated at between $85,000 and $100,000. 6 0 In order to obtain these savings, the C.P.R. would not have been j u s t i f i e d in investing more than between $2,125,000 and $2,500,000.61 The lowest estimate for the cost of a tunnel was $5,495,000. 6 2 Even when i t became clear that the main l i n e through the Selkirks would have to be doubled, 6 3 the magnitude of the savings which could be derived from avoiding the cost of doubling the existing sheds and maintaining these enlarged sheds would s t i l l not alone have j u s t i f i e d investment in a tunnel. The 126 C.P.R. estimated that the cost of doubling 23,760 feet of wooden sheds would be $475,200, 6 4 and that the maintenance cost of the enlarged sheds would be $125,000 per year. This increase in the maintenance cost of a doubled shed, from between $85,000 and $100,000 to $125,000, suggests that the C.P.R. believed in the existence of economies of scale in the provision of snowsheds. In order to avoid the c a p i t a l and maintenance costs of doubling the sheds, the Company would s t i l l only have been j u s t i f i e d in investing some $3,600,200 . ' 5 Had the C.P.R. merely desired to avoid the costs of maintaining the snowsheds, i t could have r e b u i l t the sheds in reinforced concrete. When this alternative was considered in 1912, however, the estimated cost of double-track sheds in reinforced concrete was $3,801,600.*' The expense of maintaining the wooden sheds was not s u f f i c i e n t l y great to warrant t h i s investment: the potential net benefit of such a project, $3,600,200, did not outweigh the cost. The cost of maintaining and renewing snowsheds was the largest single component of the t o t a l direct cost of maintaining the avalanche defence system. There were other components, for which quantitative data are not available. The cost of certain of these components, for example the cost of snowshed patrols and the cost of section-gangs clearing l i n e blockages, may have been subsumed within the maintenance and renewal costs discussed above. There i s l i t t l e evidence to suggest that these costs were either s i g n i f i c a n t or escalating. The system of patrols does not appear to have been fundamentally modified throughout the entire t h i r t y years of surface operations. In 1912, patrols were s t i l l 127 detailed to Sheds 1-6, 7-11, 12-14, 16-20, 21-27, 28-31 and 35-37, 6 7 much as they had been when the patrol system had been i n s t i t u t e d by Van Home." The hours of patrol duty were longer during the summer months than during the winter months, perhaps r e f l e c t i n g the fact that f i r e was perceived to be a greater enemy of the sheds than avalanches. 6 9 At i t s most expensive, manning of these patrols could cost up to $620 per month. 7 0 However, even i f th i s rate represented the average for the year, the d i r e c t cost of providing the patrol would s t i l l only have been $7,440. If th i s cost were not subsumed within the cost of snowshed maintenance and renewal, i t would s t i l l amount to less than ten per cent, of the t o t a l cost of maintenance and renewal. The cost of other components, for example the acqu i s i t i o n of snowploughs and the diversion of the main l i n e , should not be allocated e n t i r e l y to the dir e c t cost of avalanche protection. The snowplough f l e e t , comprising two wingploughs and two rotaries at Revelstoke and one of each at Rogers Pass in February 1904, 7 1 had been augmented by two more rotaries at the end of 1910. 7 2 The new rotaries boasted s i g n i f i c a n t technological advances over their predecessors. They were, therefore, more than simply reinforcements for the f l e e t : they represented an investment in modernisation too. Their duties were not confined to the Selkirks, but extended to the Eagle range and the Rockies also. Moreover, they performed not only avalanche clearance but routine snow removal in t h i s region of high winter p r e c i p i t a t i o n . They were acquired, not because the snowslides themselves were increasing in magnitude or frequency, but because, "The increasing t r a f f i c makes i t most necessary 128 that interruptions be at least cut down to the minimum..."73 The investments were thus motivated, at least in part, by an increase in the volume of t r a f f i c over the l i n e . A similar motivation also dictated certain relocations of the main l i n e and bridge improvements which, as has been noted, 1 4 often afforded other operating advantages besides merely the avoidance of snowslides. The role of t r a f f i c increases in motivating investments in the mountains w i l l be investigated more thoroughly in the next chapter. This analysis of the dir e c t costs of maintaining the avalanche defence system indicates that the anticipated savings in d i r e c t costs were not a major stimulus to the investment in the Connaught Tunnel. The quantifiable costs of maintaining the system c e r t a i n l y appear to have risen in the years immediately preceding the decision to abandon the surface alignment. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the C.P.R. expected these costs to continue to r i s e , and in 1912, the l e v e l of maintenance costs was s t i l l not s u f f i c i e n t l y high to warrant investment in a tunnel. If the decision to abandon Rogers Pass was motivated by the escalation of the dir e c t costs of maintaining the avalanche defence system aft e r 1910, . then construction of the Connaught Tunnel represented a very expensive solution to the problem. The conclusion that construction of the Connaught Tunnel was motivated by the desire to avoid the dir e c t cost of avalanche protection would only be j u s t i f i e d i f the sum of the expected savings in the quantified and non-quantified costs outweighed the expected cost of a tunnel beneath Rogers Pass. 129 The maximum q u a n t i f i e d saving was $3,600,200. In order to t i p the balance i n favour of a t u n n e l , the n o n - q u a n t i f i e d savings, i n both d i r e c t c o s t s of avalanche defence and i n d i r e c t c o s t s of t r a f f i c d i s r u p t i o n , would have had to have exceeded $1,894,800, or over h a l f as much a g a i n . 7 5 Given that r o t a r y snowploughs would s t i l l have been r e q u i r e d i n order to remove the r o u t i n e s n o w f a l l , and given the f a c t that improvements to the permanent way a f f o r d e d other o p e r a t i n g advantages which became i n c r e a s i n g l y v a l u a b l e as t r a f f i c volumes i n c r e a s e d through the S e l k i r k s , i t i s u n l i k e l y that the n o n - q u a n t i f i e d savings i n d i r e c t c o s t s alone d i d exceed t h i s l e v e l . The c o n c l u s i o n of t h i s a n a l y s i s , t h e r e f o r e , i s that investment i n the Connaught Tunnel was not motivated by the d i r e c t c o s t of m a i n t a i n i n g the avalanche defence system. I t remains to be proven i n the next s e c t i o n that the n o n - q u a n t i f i e d savings i n i n d i r e c t c o s t s of t r a f f i c d i s r u p t i o n would not t i p the balance i n favour of a tunnel e i t h e r . b) The I n d i r e c t Cost Of D i s r u p t i o n s To T r a f f i c P revious h i s t o r i a n s of. the C.P.R.'s op e r a t i o n s i n Rogers Pass have r a r e l y accorded e x p l i c i t credence to the view that investment i n a tunnel beneath Rogers Pass was motivated by the d e s i r e to save the i n d i r e c t c o s t of i n t e r r u p t i o n s to t r a f f i c flows consequent upon snowslides b l o c k i n g the main l i n e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the argument has i n t u i t i v e appeal. T h i s s e c t i o n i n v e s t i g a t e s the p o s s i b i l i t y that the c o s t s of d i s r u p t i o n to t r a f f i c provoked c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Connaught Tunnel. The nature of the d i s r u p t i o n c o s t s i s e x p l a i n e d , and the i n c i d e n c e 130 of disruption i s examined. The e f f i c a c y of diversionary arrangements i s assessed, and an attempt i s made to determine whether the extent of disruption to t r a f f i c was increasing in the f i n a l years of surface operations through Rogers Pass, as t r a f f i c volumes increased. The section ends with an analysis of the importance of disruption costs in the f i n a n c i a l evaluation of the Connaught Tunnel. (i) The Nature Of Disruption Costs If t r a f f i c flows through Rogers Pass were increasing in the early years of the 20th Century — and, as the following chapter demonstrates, they most c e r t a i n l y were, and at a dramatic rate -- then the indi r e c t cost of l i n e blockages must also have increased. This indirect cost may have had several components. It would c e r t a i n l y have included the cost of diverting t r a f f i c via a l ternative routes, and i t would c e r t a i n l y have included the opportunity cost of actually having to forego t r a f f i c because of the l i n e blockage. Moreover, i f t r a f f i c l e v e l s were s u f f i c i e n t l y high, the i n d i r e c t cost may also have included a congestion cost, as backlogs of t r a f f i c which accumulated during the period of the f a c i l i t y ' s closure would have been moved under congested conditions once the l i n e could be reopened. Each of these indirect costs would increase as t r a f f i c volumes increased. If i t i s to be argued that the indi r e c t cost of avalanches motivated abandonment of Rogers Pass, i t must be proven that the savings to be derived from the avoidance of these indirect costs, either in i s o l a t i o n or in conjunction with savings in the dir e c t cost of maintaining the avalanche defence system, 131 outweighed the anticipated cost of investing in a tunnel. Quantification of these indirect costs would be a d i f f i c u l t accounting problem under any circumstances., but i t i s rendered p a r t i c u l a r l y exacting in this instance by severe data constraints. There i s a paucity of evidence surrounding even the general nature and extent of t r a f f i c disruptions consequent upon avalanches, and cost data are v i r t u a l l y non-existent. This analysis, therefore, does not e x p l i c i t l y quantify the indirect cost of disruptions to t r a f f i c resulting from snowslides. However, i t i s at least possible to specify the relationship between disruption costs and investment in avalanche defence. The optimal l e v e l of investment in avalanche defence i s determined by two variables: the l e v e l of avalanche a c t i v i t y disrupting the l i n e , and the l e v e l of t r a f f i c requiring t r a n s i t over the l i n e . An increase in avalanche a c t i v i t y in Rogers Pass, or an increase in t r a f f i c during the avalanche season, would both increase the pr o b a b i l i t y of delays to t r a f f i c , and could both be expected, therefore, to c a l l forth increased investment in avalanche defence, u n t i l a new equilibrium between disruption costs and protection costs was reached. Once the optimal l e v e l of investment was attained, however, the marginal cost of securing an additional "degree" of protection would be greater than the economic benefits which could be anticipated from the incremental investment. As has been recounted above, the C.P.R. i n i t i a l l y provided some 30,000 feet of snowsheds on the main l i n e across the p r i n c i p a l avalanche paths. This length of snowshedding was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y extended throughout the t h i r t y years of surface operations, presumably because the 132 marginal cost of extension was not j u s t i f i e d by the marginal benefit of the additional degree of protection. Moreover, there was a marked discontinuity in the avalanche-defence investment-function, at the point where further investment in snowsheds was abjured in favour of the Connaught Tunnel. The analysis in section (a) of t h i s chapter determined that, at least in the very l a s t years before the decision was taken to abandon the surface operation, the C.P.R. did increase i t s investment in avalanche defence. It may therefore be assumed that the costs of t r a f f i c disruption also increased during t h i s period. The increase in disruption costs may have been s u f f i c i e n t to warrant the increased investment in snowsheds. However, the analysis in the remainder of t h i s thesis reveals that the increase in disruption costs was unlikely to have been s u f f i c i e n t to warrant investment in the Connaught Tunnel. Indeed., i t seems l i k e l y that avalanche defence exhibited decreasing-cost c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s throughout the t h i r t y years of surface operations in Rogers Pass. The decreasing-cost nature of avalanche defence is readily explained. If there are only two trains per day over a route, a snowslide may block the l i n e and be cleared again before either of the trains i s disrupted. In this case, the provision of a snowshed at the s i t e of the s l i d e averts no disruption, whilst the entire cost of providing the snowshed must be recouped from the revenues of those two trains alone. I f , however, there are twenty trains per day over the route, i t i s unlikely that a snowslide can be cleared before some disruption to t r a f f i c occurs. Investment in a snowshed 133 which can withstand the force of an avalanche therefore e n t i r e l y averts this disruption, whilst the cost of providing the snowshed i s spread over a l l of the twenty trains which travel the route, thus decreasing the t o t a l cost of each t r a f f i c movement. At the commencement of surface operations through Rogers Pass, the C.P.R. provided some 30,000 feet of snowsheds. Yet in the winter of 1888, only four trains per day were scheduled to cross the S e l k i r k s . 7 6 In the winter of 1912-13, the C.P.R. was s t i l l providing some 30,000 feet of snowsheds, yet there may have been as many as fourteen trains d a i l y over the l i n e throughout the avalanche season. 7 7 A greater volume of t r a f f i c was thus benefitting d i r e c t l y from avalanche defence, whilst contributing greater revenue towards o f f s e t t i n g the costs of the defence system. Between 1910 and 1912, t o t a l annual t r a f f i c through Rogers Pass v i r t u a l l y doubled. 7 8 Even i f expenditure on avalanche defence doubled in the same period — and i t i s known only that a discrete increase of 75% occurred between 1910 and 1911, 7 9 corresponding clo s e l y to the c a p i t a l cost of rebuilding Shed 17 — then the effect of the increased expenditure upon t o t a l costs must have been considerably cushioned by the spreading of the expense over the greater volume of revenue t r a f f ic . ( i i ) The Incidence Of Disruption Available evidence permits a non-quantitative analysis of both the actual extent of t r a f f i c disruptions due to avalanches, and of the manner in which t r a f f i c disruptions were perceived by. 134 the C.P.R. and by the public. The importance of the manner in which the disruption was perceived should not be underestimated. When C.P.R. management undertook an investment solution to a problem, i t was of course reacting to i t s perception of the problem. As the analysis in section (a) above revealed, the C.P.R. does not appear to have been d i s s a t i s f i e d with the perceived return which i t obtained from i t s investment solutions to the avalanche problem. Neither does the press, insofar as i t refle c t e d , through i t s e d i t o r i a l and correspondence columns, the public's perception of t r a f f i c disruptions due to avalanches, appear to have been d i s s a t i s f i e d with the effectiveness of the C.P.R.'s avalanche-defence investments in reducing the experience of disruption in the Selkirks. In the wake of the 1910 disaster, the Vancouver Province reported that, It had almost become a byword that although occasional s l i d e s occurred the existence of snowsheds and a perfect system of p a t r o l l i n g the tracks near unprotected spots had hitherto, with rare exceptions, prevented any serious accident. No passenger or freight trains were ever swept away and no passenger ever lost his l i f e . 8 0 Although the 1910 disaster was followed by a succession of slid e s which interrupted t r a f f i c for almost two weeks, 8 1 not a l l of these s l i d e s were in the S e l k i r k s . 8 2 Moreover, the C.P.R.'s handling of the disruption drew favourable press comment, for example from the Calgary Daily Herald: Now that the heaviest engagements of the trouble have been passed, the mountain st a f f are able to fin d in their achievement nothing but that which r e f l e c t s creditably upon themselves... 8 3 With passenger t r a f f i c forming a high proportion of t o t a l t r a i n movements through Rogers Pass, 8 4 the C.P.R. must have been 135 acutely sensitive to the manner in which the public perceived the extent of t r a f f i c disruption due to avalanches. Yet i t does not appear that the public was s u f f i c i e n t l y alarmed for the C.P.R. to have been pressured by public opinion. The actual extent of t r a f f i c disruption may be established s l i g h t l y more concretely than the perceived extent of disruption. The following analysis w i l l f i r s t assess the extent of direct disruption to both passenger and freight t r a f f i c which was consequent upon avalanches, as r e f l e c t e d in data concerning t r a i n movements through the mountains. The analysis w i l l then consider the ef f i c a c y of diversionary arrangements which were intended to p a l l i a t e the disruption caused by snowslides. F i n a l l y , the analysis w i l l attempt to determine whether the avalanche problem was increasing in severity in the years prior to the decision to abandon the surface alignment. In assessing the actual extent of disruption to passenger services, i t must be conceded that there are at least four recorded incidents of passenger t r a i n s having been struck by avalanches in Rogers Pass prior to construction of the Connaught Tunnel. Two of these incidents occurred in the mid-1890's, 8 5 one in January 1912, 8 6 and one in A p r i l 1913, 8 7 after the decision to abandon the surface alignment had been taken. No casualties were reported in any of the incidents. There were tales of miraculous escapes, 8 8 and as soon as the 1911 sl i d e season began, with the memory of the previous year's disaster presumably s t i l l fresh in the public's mind, the C.P.R. had to move rapidly to quash rumour of "a heavy snowslide at Rogers Pass." 8' 136 Nevertheless, disruption to passenger services was generally in the form of delay rather than of physical damage or diversion: the standard operating procedure was to "hold" trains u n t i l i t could be ascertained that the l i n e was c l e a r . Incidence of delays may have been quite frequent, but i t cannot be proven that those delays were any more serious than delays caused by other operating problems encountered in providing the transcontinental service. The only complete record of passenger t r a i n performance through the Selkirks which i s extant is that for 1908, and t h i s i s presented in table 2. The table records on a monthly basis the aggregate time gained and lost upon schedule of the d a i l y transcontinental service whilst crossing the Mountain Subdivision of the C.P.R. main l i n e . Train No. 96 was the eastbound service, or "Atlantic Express," which had a morning path across the Selkirks, departing from Revelstoke at 0830 and a r r i v i n g in Donald at 1433. Train No. 97 was the westbound service, or " P a c i f i c Express," which had an afternoon path, departing from Donald at 1405 and a r r i v i n g in Revelstoke at 1925.'0 TABLE 2 PASSENGER TRAIN RECORD,' MOUNTAIN SUBDIVISION, 1908. Time Gained Time Lost Per Train Per Month Per Train Per Month (Hrs.-MinsTl (Hrs.-MinsTl Month Train No. 96 97 96 97 Jan. 1 -39 27- 16 -40 -55 Feb. 7 -36 31- 30 4 -10 -45 March 7 -32 30-28 5 -05 6 -04 A p r i l 7 -07 17- 13 59 -07 54 -15 May 7 -25 11- 09 n i l 3 -13 June 7 -29 28-32 4 -15 -38 July 7 -45 26-26 4 -55 2 -32 Aug. 4 -37 33- 29 5 -48 4 -58 Sept. 7 -35 37- 46 1 -50 4 -58 Oct. 8 -35 11- 40 11 -40 4 -20 Nov. 12 -51 1-20 13 -55 2 -30 Dec. 4 -49 17- 12 2 -54 8 -51 Total 85 -00 280-01 124 -19 93 -54 Per Train Total Time Gained Per Year, A l l Trains: 365 hrs. 01 Total Time Lost Per Year, A l l Trains: 217 hrs. 13 mins. Source:- "Notebook," K i l p a t r i c k MSS, Vancouver, n.p., n.d. 138 The t a b l e demonstrates t h a t , i n 1908 at l e a s t , there was as much p o t e n t i a l f o r the s e r v i c e to recover time while c r o s s i n g the S e l k i r k s as there was f o r i t to l o s e time. Losses i n c u r r e d on the Mountain S u b d i v i s i o n averaged much l e s s than an hour per day throughout the year, except i n A p r i l , which appears to have been the peak month f o r s l i d e a c t i v i t y i n 1908. Even i n A p r i l , however, l o s s e s s t i l l averaged l e s s than two hours per day throughout the month. Except i n A p r i l , the d i s t r i b u t i o n of l o s s e s was not markedly skewed towards the winter months, but was g e n e r a l l y uniform throughout the year. The f a c t that net gains outweighed net l o s s e s by some f o r t y per cent, suggests that passenger t r a i n s were o f t e n a l r e a d y l a t e when r e c e i v e d onto the d i v i s i o n . Performance data are a v a i l a b l e f o r a l l t r a f f i c on a monthly b a s i s d u r i n g the years 1906-08. The data f o r the average number of t r a i n s per day on both the Mountain and Shuswap s e c t i o n s , eastbound and westbound, are reproduced as t a b l e 3. From t h i s t a b l e , i t can be seen t h a t , except i n 1907, more t r a i n s per day were put through the Mountain S e c t i o n than through the Shuswap S e c t i o n d u r i n g each p e r i o d of the year. The number of t r a i n s per day shows no sharp change from month to month, although i f snowslides had indeed imposed a c o n s t r a i n t upon t r a f f i c movements through Rogers Pass d u r i n g c e r t a i n months of the year, then some d i s c o n t i n u i t y between the monthly t o t a l s might be expected. I t may be i n f e r r e d that the number of t r a i n s operated over the Mountain S e c t i o n was determined by the a v a i l a b i l i t y of t r a f f i c r a t h e r than by the a v a i l a b i l i t y of paths between avalanches. When the demand f o r t r a i n movements was comparable 139 between the Mountain and Shuswap Sections, the Mountain Section could meet the demand at least as adequately as the Shuswap Section. The stochastic p r o b a b i l i t y of any p a r t i c u l a r t r a i n being delayed on the Mountain Section was not s u f f i c i e n t to induce the C.P.R.. to run trains with less frequency over the Mountain Section than over the Shuswap Section. 140 TABLE 3 AVERAGE NUMBER OF TRAINS PER DAY, MOUNTAIN AND SHUSWAP SECTIONS, 1906-1908. Mountain Section Westbound Eastbound Total 1906 1907 1908 1906 1907 1908 1906 1907 1908 J 2.66 1.93 1.8 2.78 2.07 1.6 5.44 4 3.5 F 3.21 2.15 2.7 3.14 2.18 2.2 6.35 4.33 4.9 M 4.03 3.77 2.29 4.29 3.77 2.29 8.32 7.54 4.58 A 4.63 3.27 2.26 4.73 3.5 2.1 9.36 6.77 4.36 M 4 4.5 2.4 4.5 4.6 2.6 8.5 9.1 5 J 5.6 3.8 2.3 5.6 4.4 2.4 11.2 8.2 4.7 J 5 3.9 2.8 5 4 3.5 10 7.9 6.3 A 5 3.9 3.3 5.2 4 3.5 10.2 7.9 6.8 S 4.1 3.4 3.15 4.7 3.79 3.36 8.8 7.19 6.51 0 4.3 3.2 3.16 4.4 3.5 3.3 8.7 6.7 6.46 N 3.8 3.3 2.8 4 3.1 2.7 7.8 6.4 5.5 D 2.89 2.58 2.8 3.06 2.6 2.7 5.95 5.18 5.5 Average number of trains d a i l y , . a l l year: 4.1 3.3 2.7 4.3 3.5 2.7 8.4 6.8 5.4 % +/- in all - y e a r average number of trains d a i l y , over previous year: -19.5 -18.2 -
UBC Theses and Dissertations
The C.P.R.’s capacity and investment strategy in Rogers Pass, B.C., 1882-1916 Backler, Gary G. 1981
Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
- 831-UBC_1981_A4_6 B33.pdf [ 21.01MB ]
- JSON: 831-1.0095109.json
- JSON-LD: 831-1.0095109-ld.json
- RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0095109-rdf.xml
- RDF/JSON: 831-1.0095109-rdf.json
- Turtle: 831-1.0095109-turtle.txt
- N-Triples: 831-1.0095109-rdf-ntriples.txt
- Original Record: 831-1.0095109-source.json
- Full Text