BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Our railway to the Pacific Argyll, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Duke of, 1845-1914 1886

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  ALL   Till-
Sights and Wonders
n Canadian National Highway,
The Canadian Pacific Railway
:: ■-     THE    TOURIST
Rocky Mountain Passes
H.R.H.   PRINCESS   LOUISE H      1 '   :^S|
1886 THE library
Provincial Archives of B.C. OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
T)EFORE we speak of the new railway, let us look at the views engraved
-L' here from sketches taken in that island to which the | Canadian
Pacific " leads, namely, Vancouver Island, that earthly paradise lying off the
western mainland coast, and shielding it from the storms of the outer ocean.
Along its southern shore the island is also protected, for the long range of
the mountains of Washington Territory defend it from the south-westerly
Our Frontispiece shows this | Olympian Range " as seen from the house
of the governor of the island. The hills are sixteen miles away, across
the straits of San Juan de Fuca. Another sketch, on page 7, shows
the lonely and gorgeous Mount Baker, veiled in mist, but lifting its double
cone over ten thousand feet above the still waters of the archipelago. The
low island blending with the mainland shore from this point of view, is
San Juan, about which there was so much contention between the British
and American governments. The King of Prussia, who was called in as
arbitrator, decided that according to the wording of the treaty in dispute, it
must be reckoned American territory. The drawings give a very accurate
idea of the beauty of the landscape. There is no fairer land in the world
than the country about Victoria, the capital of Vancouver. The climate of
much of the Island is like that of Devonshire or Jersey. A more rigorous
winter is to be met with at its northern end, and the high mountains which
stud most of it afford opportunities of seeking an occasional snow-field in
winter. But about Victoria the snow never lies long, and its inhabitants
are far more ignorant of the art of skating than are their English cousins.
The great coal mines of Nanamo, near one of the best harbours on the
island, are seventy-five miles distant, and their produce is brought by rail 6 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
and steamer to 1 the city." A quaint and charming town it is, with very
pleasant society, many English and Canadians having recently settled there.
There is good land to be bought at moderate prices. But the chief attraction is the sport, the climate, and the beautiful scenery. Other minerals
besides coal are known to exist. Great woods of Douglas fir cover the
whole region, with a lovely undergrowth of arbutus, sallal, an evergreen
shrub, and small maples, while underneath all grows a luxuriant vegetation
of fern and other plants, giving proof of the mildness and moisture characteristic of the coast.
Many Chinese and some thousands of Indians live in this part of British
Columbia. The Chinese make excellent servants, but the Celestials are not
popular, and it is probable that their numbers will be much diminished in a
few years. The Indians are wholly unlike their brethren of the plains of the
interior. They are almost wholly fish-eaters. On the islands to the north
they build houses of carved woodwork, reminding the traveller much of the
Sandwich Islanders' habitations. They are not inclined to warfare, and are
easily employed in the steamers on the rivers, and in the industries connected with the catching and preserving of the salmon which swarm in
every creek and stream from March to October. The results we see in the
provision shops in Britain, where the potted fish are sold in enormous quantities. In the shops and banks are to be observed the nuggets and gold
dust parcels brought from the neighbouring mainland. These have been
won from the soil and gravel of the workings in the Fraser and streams
farther north, and the nuggets are often worth from £to to ^ioo apiece.
The crushing of the gold-laden quartz rocks will now become a prominent
industry in the mountains, for the necessary machinery can by rail be easily
imported. Vast mines of silver and copper will also be worked. Although
the amount of agricultural land cannot be compared with that to be offered
to emigrants in Alberta or Saskatschewan, there is a good deal still to be
had, and the delta of the Fraser only wants good dykes to make it a closely
peopled country. On account of its beauty and the many charms afforded
by its society, sport, and natural advantages, Victoria is sure to become the
favourite residence of men wishing to possess a home in one of the most
attractive spots on the American continent.
| Ottawa, November 6th, 1885. I am desired by His Excellency the Governor-General,
to acquaint you that he has received her Majesty's commands to convey to the people of
Canada her congratulations on the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Her
Majesty has watched its progress with much interest, and hopes for the future success of a
work of such value and importance to the Empire."
So wrote Lord Melgund, in giving the message sent by the Queen to Sir  8 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
George Stephen, the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
The message conveyed a wish in which all her Majesty's subjects will heartily
have joined, and not they alone, but all the dwellers in North America, who
have now three lines traversing the continent. Not long ago there was but
one. The southernmost should perhaps also be included, although it cannot
be called direct, passing as it does the Mexican frontier, and then turning
northward through Southern California. The three direct lines give the
inhabitants of the 1 Western Slope " a wholesome choice of route, and will
greatly lessen the charges which they have hitherto been obliged to pay.
No one expected that the British road would be completed so soon. I
remember that in 1882 I told the people of Victoria, on Vancouver Island,
that they might expect to see the rails laid to the harbour of Port Moody,
on their mainland coast, by the year 1887, and then the statement was
scarcely believed. The news seemed to be too good to be true. And now
the great task has already been accomplished. One of the men who were
first connected with the enterprise, namely, the distinguished engineer and
man of science, Mr. Sandford Fleming, was lately enabled to telegraph
I First through train from Montreal arrived at Vancouver, most successful
journey; average speed, including stoppages, twenty-four miles per hour.
Before long possible to travel from Liverpool to Pacific by Canadian National
Line in ten days. Physical difficulties have been overcome by gigantic
works skilfully executed, with marvellous rapidity." Then came the official
announcement, | This completes the Company's main system, covering a
distance of 3,053 miles."
Few would have believed, ten years ago, that such an announcement
would be made during the present century. The work stands as the
unrivalled national effort of a people only four and a half millions in numerical strength. That these should not only have deemed it possible, but
should have persuaded others to think so also, is a success altogether
unknown in history. There is nothing to equal the undertaking so gallantly
conceived and executed. When we remember the enormous difficulties,
political and physical, which had to be faced and overcome, we may congratulate the Canadians that above all nations they have shown a political
stability and absence of fickleness in the trust reposed in Governments,
which alone stamps them as a community capable of great things. If
another race had won the chief power in the northern zone of this continent,
we should have seen Government after Government overthrown in attempts
to carry out the vast project. Although in political strife the groundless
aspersions on private character and public worth among Americans and
Canadians give Englishmen an evil example, which, to judge by many cases
during the recent elections, they are only too ready to follow, yet the Cana- 1
dian has the advantage of the Englishman in the faith which gives the
power to the national Rulers to j put a thing through." Evident as it was
to the ministers of successive Cabinets, that the north-western prairie lands
must be settled and mapped out with roads and railways and provincial
boundaries, men feared to undertake the enormous outlay. "Times were
bad," and emigration brought comparatively few to the British American
shores. Twenty or thirty thousand was considered a fair number for the
country to have attracted during one year. There was no regular communication with the prairie, beyond the Great Lakes, unless the Hudson's Bay
freighters could be considered as making those distant regions accessible.
Courteous as were the officers of the Company, and hospitable to any
traveller going for sport or curiosity to visit their fur-trading posts, not one
of them could be found who would not deprecate the idea of I opening the
country for settlement." They could not foresee that a favourable bargain
for the Company would be made in reference to their lands, and they only
looked upon an immigrant invasion as the expulsion of the fur-bearing
animals, which alone afforded a good trade. Had they been able to prophesy they would have welcomed the tide of the white races, whose advent
would enhance a thousandfold the value of the as yet useless grass ocean
around them, while the influx of settlement could never penetrate into the
northern forests, where for an apparently endless vista of years, the musk-
rat, beaver, skunk, fox, and wolverine will yield their annual tribute for the
European and American market.
But the Hudson's Bay people had had enough trouble in years long past
with their competitors of the old North-west Company, and having passed
these troubles and procured a monopoly, they did not desire neighbours who
might become interlopers and usurpers. So it was said that grain would
not grow, that even roots were difficult to "raise," and that an arctic
winter made life unbearable in winter, even for the buffalo. It was known
that these spirited members of the ox tribe liked the country in summer;
but whoever heard of their staying during the winter, and why should people
in the comfortable groves of Ontario desire the comparatively bleak grassy
levels of the Red River? Manifestly it was best to leave the buffalo to
speculate in H. B.'s, and to develop the backwoods, and do all the clearing
in old Canada before men thought of the lazy process of beginning agricultural work by the Royal Road of putting a plough | straight away" into
virgin soil. Who knew if the virgin soil was worth the plough ? Such was
the language industriously employed. But there were suspicions that the
country should not be left to the musk-rats and buffaloes. Lord Selkirk had
persuaded some of the Highlanders, who at the beginning of the century
thronged so eagerly to the emigrant vessels, to sail into Hudson's Bay, and
1 10
to ascend the Nelson River, and to settle to the south of Lake Winnipeg.
They formed a most flourishing colony, and the French voyageurs, who had
taken unto themselves Indian wives, also throve -and multiplied. Then again
the Americans, higher up the Red River, which cast its dirty waters into the
lake, had found the valley most fertile, with a soil marvellously black and
rich. It became evident that vast wheat-fields, affording far more space and
scope than any heretofore occupied, had been hidden away in that dim green
northland. The old provinces of Canada, magnificent as they are in area,
had their best tracts already used for agriculture, and that craving for
novelty, and for yet better land and for new soil, which is the wholesome
characteristic of the Transatlantic farmers, was strong among Ontarians and
the Brunswickers and Nova Scotians. Had not the Americans derived new
life and hopes from the time that civilisation was carried inwards from the
coast, and the mere fringe of the New England colonies, with the Carolinas
and New York, had blossomed and bourgeoned into a nation controlling the
Mississippi, and master of all the regions which pour their wealth through
the great market-place on the shores of Michigan, the city of Chicago ?
Why should not Canada also have its Chicago ? To be sure there was
the rocky desert to the north of Lake Superior, and a further stretch of
country which, like the north shore, was fit only for wood and minerals ; but
had not the United States also their desert beyond the fiats of Nebraska ?
Was this rocky tract, which would very likely prove rich (as a part of it had
already proved) in silver and copper, so bad an impediment as that horrible
plain, so many hundred square miles in extent, filled with alkali dust and
ugly sage scrub, called "the American Desert ?" Did not that brown Sahara
extend almost to the Rocky Mountains on Uncle Sam's territory, and had
the Canadians anything so disagreeable and useless? No; on the contrary,
it was known that once past the marshes and rocks and woods of Keewaytin,
there was in Canadian territory one uninterrupted stretch of grass for eight
hundred miles right up to the Western Mountains. And as to the quality
of the soil, the veil had been lifted. Even Richardson, the traveller and
naturalist, famous in boyhood's memory as the man who had once, on an
arctic expedition, shot one of his companions, an Indian, because morally
certain that the said Indian had begun, in his hunger, to kill and eat
Richardson's white comrades—even Richardson long ago, when accompanying Sir John Franklin, had declared the Saskatchewan country to be
good. Then in our own time, Colonel Butler had written a charming book,
describing with ecstasy the riches of a region which, in spite of the ice and
snow covering which enveloped it during the season of his journey, he had
found to possess an excellent climate and promising soil. So the world
began to believe in the north-west; and Canada saw that she must have it OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC. n
soon under control, or the active American might go in and possess it, and
she decided to build a railway. She was so keen about doing this that, in
order to get an indispensable member of her future sisterhood of provinces
under the national government, she promised British Columbia that the line
should be made so as to reach the Pacific in so short a time, that the
Government must have anticipated a direct interposition of Providence in
their behalf, Sir George Stephen not having at that date appeared above
the political horizon. It was Sir George Stephen's assent to form a company
to undertake the work that virtually produced the results we now witness.
This may seem a remarkable statement, but it is the bare truth. If we look
back we see how government after government had been floundering in the
slough of half measures, and in the "muskegs" or bogs of the political
difficulties always attendant on the undertaking by the State of any great
public work. The smaller the State, and the more party conflicts centre
around the domestic quarrels involved in the giving of contracts to firms or
companies, or even on the appointments by Government Departments to
offices in connection with docks, railways, or canals, the more impossible
does it become that the direct action of the State can prove a satisfactory
method for the prosecution of an undertaking. A strong executive can
alone provide the best means, and the best means can alone be found in a
powerful company with an able chief. To these agents it is essential to
confide the business, under proper conditions. Witness the ineffective
progress made under Mr. Mackenzie's Government; although, with the
best intentions, surveys were pushed forward, and work commenced. The
difficulties seemed almost insurmountable; and almost as soon as the facile
promises had been given they were repented of, because the regions,
hitherto unknown, showed obstacles, as soon as they were examined,
enough to daunt the stoutest heart. The north shore of Superior was
known to be a mass of rock. Then mighty mountain chains barred the
way to the western coast, and no one knew of a pass on the most direct
route through the "Rockies." There was one far to the north, and it was
resolved to lay the line across the plains so as to reach it, and then to
take a zisfzagf course down the easiest river courses. But it was soon
acknowledged that much more time must be given to surveying.
Meanwhile the twenty thousand .white men in British Columbia were
exhorted to patience and moderation, qualities which, in view of the
promises formerly made to them, they found it difficult to exercise. They
spoke as if their union with Canada must be repealed. They objected to
the employment of Chinese, although it was not possible, except at enormous expense, to get the necessary amount of white labour to begin the
road.    Hardly anything was done on any section, so that men began to 12
lose faith in the earnestness of the desire to bind the provinces together.
Parties with theodolites and scientific paraphernalia, although most necessary pioneers of labour, did not strike the popular imagination to the same
extent as would a party of navvies. But events were hastening towards
more definite conclusions; St. Paul and Minneapolis, in Minnesota, had
become great facts. Flourishing cities had been created there on lands
in no way superior to those of the lower part of the Red River. Settlement
was rapidly progressing, and the Americans had pushed their communications to our border. Most fortunate of all, of those who had seen the
advantages of the country was Sir George Stephen. He had control of a
tract which virtually gave him as much land on American soil as exists in
the whole of Lowland Scotland. The improvement made in that part of
Minnesota through the energy of himself and his friends was phenomenal.
Full of eagerness as was the government of Sir John Macdonald to open up
Manitoba, it was difficult to see how the feat could be accomplished; for,
although there was not much opposition to the laying of a railway over
the prairies, there was still hesitation as to the direction it should take, and
no one believed that the hostility sure to be encountered by "pushing
through" any portion of the line over sterile parts of the route would be
successfully combated. Indefatigable as was the Minister of Railways, and
capable as he had shown himself of proving that a State road could be
managed without loss, by the manner in which the "Intercolonial," between
Flalifax, in Nova Scotia, and Quebec, had been administered, it was
manifestly adding a tremendous load to that already placed on the shoulders
of his department to saddle it with the task of another great undertaking.
Even his indomitable will might recoil from such a prospect. On the other
hand, there was no want, of volunteers who deemed themselves able to build
a railway to the moon if they could only get the contract on terms which
might bridge the interstellar spaces. New York and London vied with each
other in producing men, who had talked the matter over in club smoking-
rooms, and were quite ready to certify to "the soundness of their own
financial condition, and become the pillars of a nation. Even in Canada
itself there were several who declared themselves ready to cope with any
emergency, without having recourse to the unpatriotic course of employing
men who had not had the advantage of opening their eyes at birth to
sunshine which had become national fifteen years ago. But it was much
to be desired that a syndicate should be formed which would command the
confidence of men iffthe Old as well as in the New World, and, above all,
that they who had the experience in Minnesota to guide them should come
forward. Would they be induced even to look at the new country ? Eminent Englishmen, guides of London opinion, had been persuaded to go as OUR RAILWAY TO  THE PACIFIC.
far as St. Paul, but in some cases had refused to look even at Niagara,
unless from American soil, and had positively refused to look at Winnipeg,
believing all things Canadian to be "cracked up" and only a future northern
fringe of Washington dominion. But the patriotism of Sir George Stephen
made him at all events go to judge for himself of the value of Manitoba. He
came back, as many a man since has come back, convinced that in the northwest lay the future prosperity of Canada. But the Government terms were
hard, for they had to satisfy public opinion, which is always suspicious of
bargains made with individuals, however eminent for integrity and pluck.
Pluck was the quality required, and in the case of the future president of the
Canadian Pacific Railway there was no doubt that this existed, combined
with many others which he will pardon his friends from mentioning in an
article that may possibly meet his eye. With true Canadian patriotism he
finally launched out into the work, gathering round him distinguished men
of the commercial world in Canada, London, and New York. Foremost
among his best supporters was a chief of the Hudson's Bay Company,
Mr. Donald Smith, a gentleman as distinguished for his life's work in that
service, as he has since become by his unobtrusive aid in assisting all good
causes, whether they require his support in Canada or Great Britain.
From the moment that these gentlemen put their shoulders to the wheel,
we felt the affair was only a question of time, and that victory must soon
crown the desire to span the continent and unite the provinces. It was only
an affair of time, and with Sir George Stephen at the head of the organization,
the time would be made as short as possible. Now for the necessary support!
It was obviously the interest of the country to get these men as their best
agents, and then to help them' through thick and thin, through evil report
and good report; to allow no detraction to influence the Government from
the honest path of backing those who were proving themselves the indispensable friends of their country. The object was a national one, for how
can a country live in isolated sections, barred each from each, except by
passage through a foreign land ? How can a political whole be cemented
together, when there is no backbone for the limbs ? A railway traversing
the Dominion on its own soil was only to be delayed at the price of secession, disintegration, and destruction of the Union. Completed, it would give
new life and hope to the enormous territory, would carry emigrants direct to
the place where they would be settled, would give to the farthest communities a pledge that their interests were not to be neglected or sacrificed, and
would brace with the invigorating influence of national feeling the cohesion
and solidarity of Canada. In 1881 the incorporation of the new company took
effect, and with a capital of 100,000,000 dollars the start was made. Twenty-
five million dollars in cash was to be given by the Government, and an equal H OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
number of acres of good land in the new territories was to be added. The
small I bits I of the road already begun were to be completed and handed
over when finished. These portions traversed country that was formidable
enough from an engineer's point of view, and very little labour had been
| put in I upon them. The first was that between the Lake Superior and
Winnipeg, a distance of no less than four hundred and twenty-eight miles,
and these were miles covering an unbroken series of lakes, bogs, rocks and
woods, where no settlements were possible, where much cutting and "filling
in " had to be done, with the probability that in many cases the stuff put in
the treacherous swamps would sink, and have to be again brought up to the
requisite levels. But nitro-glycerine and giant powder were soon at work,
and the pretty lakes gemmed with countless water-lilies, and the little islets
tufted with their crown of pine, and the lonely forests silent but for the
knocking of the woodpeckers and the hooting of the owls, heard the blasts
that gave passage to the wide liberty of the open plains.
Again, in the far west, at the very limit of this track, almost nothing had
been done. There the labour was far more serious, and great canons between
immense precipices had to be threaded, and ledges made and tunnels bored
along the mountain's face, over torrents that rose with the summer melting
of the snow a hundred feet in perpendicular height, sweeping with tremendous violence through the bottom of the gorges. Yet the Government
promised to carry out the plan here also, and two hundred and thirteen miles
of road-bed had to be laid and furnished to the satisfaction of the company.
It was even undecided where the terminus was to be; but this was soon
settled, and a lovely fiord running far up into the hills was chosen, having
at its mouth an excellent harbour. Along the shore of this ocean inlet grew
wondrous specimens of the Douglas fir and gigantic cypress, to the height of
150 and 250 feet, and of a girth of 25 and 30 feet. These stand close to the
water's edge, and it is on the borders of such sheltered coast that the
tallest trees are found. Inland there are magnificent groves of the same
species, clothing the valleys of the Columbia River, but the finest are to be
seen near the sea, and it is to be earnestly desired that they may be preserved in some area chosen as a national park, that travellers may have the
attraction of visiting the tremendous aisles where the great shafts rise from
the thickets of glossy-leaved shrubs, to be lost to sight in the dark green
gloom above. I do not think there is any scenery more solemn and beautiful than the interior of such a grove. It wants, of course, the intense colour
and the sunlit glory of the liana-hung woods of the south, and the undergrowth is not so varied or bright. But the russets and browns, the greys
and sombre greens, the purple tints on the straight stems varied by the vivid
hues of the moss, which provides a compass for the wanderer, because it OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
At Canmore.
grows most abundantly on the
side which feels the western
sea moisture, — all are most
delicious to the eye. And
overhanging the sea margin,
in crannies of the rocky bays
or covering the jutting promontories, are the beautiful madrona - trees,
the large-leaved arbutus, with the trunks as red as coral. All this forest
is evergreen. Winter strips the scattered maples of their autumnal fire,
but makes little change on the steep slopes of these deep lochs. Away
above, the hills become whiter, and the snow comes far down, driving
the wild sheep and goats to the valleys. But the frost is light except in
the interior. The temperature, however, was often quite low enough -for'
the Chinese labourers even near Burrard's Inlet, and as they hewed a
lane through the woods and graded the track, they used every half-hour
to rush away to warm themselves over little fires lit at intervals by the
wayside. Crouching over these, the small blue figures, with their saucer-
shaped straw hats, could be seen, acting on the Indian principle that many
tiny fires are better than one big one. | You make fire so big you must run
away from it; make small, then can sit close," says the Indian, and the
Chinese seem to agree with him. For the cold weather to be encountered in
the winter time on the higher ground white men were alone found to be of
real use, and where they were employed the work went forward merrily.
The big mountain buttresses were bored through,  trestle bridges,  to be
I i6
quickly made more substantial, carried the construction trains, so that the
navvies had house and food carried along with them as'they progressed.
Curious obstacles had to be overcome, and one which was unique was encountered near where the Thompson River joins the rushing Fraser. At this
spot a remarkable land slide seems to.be in perpetual operation. Probably
owing to the action of some springs of water, all the soil of a whole mountain slope is slowly descending at the even rate of about eight feet per year.
It is like the movement of a glacier, very slow, but very constant. Big blocks
of earth, bearing on their tops shrubs and higher growth, are to be seen
toppling over near the road. They look as if they would fall, but the pressure of the soil above, where the like masses are seen in apparently the same
predicament, is gradual, and there is no danger of sudden descent. Each
year the lowest blocks are pushed down into the impetuous river, and are
taken to form atoms of the delta plain which affords such good land to the
settler by the sea. The engineers, I hear, have avoided the unusual difficulty
by crossing over to the other bank, where firm gravel banks give security to
the road-bed. Very grand are the views of peak and snow-fields from points
in this tract of the valley, and at one of the finest prospects a bend had to be
made, giving the traveller an opportunity to let his eye dwell on beauties
which are too often seen in such journeys only for an instant.
Dangers of another kind have to be guarded against in this Alpine
country, where the snow slides or avalanches had to be taken into account.
So much practice has been afforded by experience on the American
railways in this regard, that the only question is one of expense; so many
I snow-sheds" have to be placed where the falls are heaviest. These are
like the coverings seen on Swiss bridges. Stout timbers, of which there is
no lack, support a strong roof capable of resisting the impact of any
ordinary slide: and spots where heavy falls occur are avoided, or the safe
shelter of the rocks themselves is used by the process of tunnelling beneath
them. Wherever high wooden bridges are necessary (and there is one
which is perhaps the highest in the world), the lowest supports rest on
masonry of the strongest kind. Cobweb-like as these wooden structures
appear from a distance, it is wonderful what strength they possess, and how
extremely rare accidents have been upon them, universal as is their use all
over the American continent. The trains go over them at a leisurely pace,
and if it were not for the courtesy of the conductors, who usually call the
attention of the passengers to the outlook, the traveller would not know that
he was proceeding along a narrow way just wide enough to hold the pair of
rails forming the single track, and with an abyss below him of two or three
hundred feet. In the snug cars the transit is no more trying than is the walk
across London Bridge.    But if a man unaccustomed to heights tries to walk On the Fraser Rivet'.
across as an experiment, the sensation is not so pleasant. The " ties" or
sleepers are only a short distance apart, but between each yawns the gulf
below, and many a person finds it advisable to halt and gather nerve as he
goes on his way stepping from timber to timber, for his eye gets confused in
the effort to look through the intervals and to the next resting-place for the
foot. Perhaps the shortest-sighted are the least inclined to giddiness in making such an effort. Many of course laugh at the idea of such weaknesses, but
the strongest in body often prove the weakest in head. The engraving of
Canmore, on page 15, gives a good idea of one of the fine hill views. The
first surveys of these ravines and hills looked like one of the old physical
geography charts of our boyhood, where all the acutest and tallest peaks of
the globe were gathered together at the top of the map to show their relative ,8 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
heights. Such a formidable row of uneven sharks' teeth was never seen. It
seemed impossible to run a straight line anywhere among them. And for a
long time it was believed that none could be found. Man after man who
had explored the ranges had come back with the tale that as far as he could
see through the dense forest unbroken range succeeded unbroken range.
The entrance to the Fraser canon is not difficult. The engraving on
page 17 gives the outlook from near the foot of its great ravines.
Every one knew the Fraser gorge could be penetrated, costly as it would
be, for a waggon road had already been made to cling to the precipice walls
above the foaming floods, and this had carried the gold miners up to regions
where in old days the Indians could hardly get a mule along the craggy
footpath scarcely fit for a goat. Then there was the Thompson River, giving
access by more easy paths to Kamloop's Lake, and beyond again, by streams
overshadowed by woods, to Lake Shuswap, a beautiful sheet of water, winding with many arms among the forest slopes. Then again, yet farther, there
was the Eagle Pass to the Columbia River, which was a little difficult, but
was certainly possible. Ah ! then came the puzzle! We might follow the
Columbia round its great bend of seventy-five miles and so reach the foot of
an awful " col" or neck, which might be reached by climbing three thousand feet, and so down over the " Kicking Horse Pass I to the eastern side
of I the Rockies." But could the Columbia bend be avoided ? All accounts
said, I No, it is impossible; we see no chance of it." But Major Rogers, an
American engineer, thought he would make another attempt. Through perils
innumerable from the difficulty of getting food, and with dreadful fatigue, he
accomplished his object. Following a stream called the Illecillowat, he took
observations with the result that he came down from the entangled forests
declaring that the thing could be done. He had found a practicable pass.
Few believed him, but he was " not to be denied," and taking with him Mr.
Sandford Fleming and Principal Grant, two men who, like himself, believed
that nothing was impossible, he went over the route again, and light broke
in on the darkest problem of this stupendous enterprise. The sea range in the
Cascade Mountains had been traversed, "the Rockies," the most eastern,
would give trouble, but a bit could be placed in their rugged jaws, and now
the central or "Selkirk" range had also been conquered, for where the
surveyor says the navvy can go, the iron horse can follow.
The task is done, and done in less time than many governments would
take to talk of it. The Canadian Pacific Railway spans the continent.
Nowhere can finer scenery be enjoyed from the window of a car than upon
this line. There is no doubt that the favourite Transatlantic excursion will
no longer be to New York, Niagara, Montreal and Quebec only, but that all
who have a month's time to spend will go to the Pacific by the Northern making
American    line,    or
come back that way,
the    Canadian
Pacific     Railway     their
object  on  the  outward   or   return
journey.    By the "Union and Central,"  striking as   is  some  of the
scenery on the Western slope, there
is very little worthy
of   note    until   the
woods  are reached,
for one is borne to
the top of the high
it,     so
gradual and so tame
is the ascent.    But
on the two northern,
roads the  approach
to the mountains is
Mount Stephen. 20
most remarkable, and the view from the Canadian j Susa," namely Calgary,
is very grand. Clear from the long swells of greensward spring the rock
walls and serrated ridges of the Western Alps. It is among these rock
masses that it has been found in one place necessary to make a long tunnel
under Mount Stephen, a formidable barrier to the line. The engraving
on page 19 shows this "little difficulty." As the train leaves the hills,
standing steel-blue against the golden sky of sunset, and we depart from
this fascinating Alpine land, let us listen to the words of one of the latest
settlers within its valleys, and beguile halt an hour in the smoking-room
of the train by hearing, what he says.
There is nothing so interesting as the recital of recent experience, and
the following letter was received by me in December. It was written by
an English officer who, last year, determined to try his luck in the ranche
country, and it gives so graphic a picture of life among the valleys of
British Columbia, near to the borders of America, and a hundred and fifty
miles from Alberta Territory, that it is worth far more than any general
"I have now," he writes, "been over a twelvemonth in this lovely
country, and am therefore in a position to give an account of it which
may be of value. Thanks to letters of introduction, my way was smoothed
on my arrival at Victoria, and, accompanied by my son, I made my way
here last winter. We had a hard time of it—in a tent up to last January,
with the thermometer occasionally 400 below zero of Fahrenheit; but from
the 24th of January we had the most exquisite weather imaginable. The
winter was an unusually severe one, but I purposely braved it in order
to gain experience of the country at its worst season.
I First, let me give a brief description of the country and valley where
we are located. Starting from the Kicking Horse Pass, where the Canadian
Pacific Railway meets the Columbia River, we have a long valley formed
by the Rocky Mountains on one side, and the Selkirk Range on the other,
and stretching for two hundred and fifty miles to the American boundary.
About half-way along the valley is a flat piece of land of about two
thousand acres area, with the foot-hills of the Rockies and Selkirks coming
down on each side of it. This flat is, curiously enough, the watershed of
the two great rivers, the Columbia and the Kootenay, there being only
a difference of eleven feet between the two. The former flows north, and
then makes a great bend to the south, the latter flows south, and then
makes a great bend to the north.
'We thus have a long valley of two hundred and fifty miles, with the
Columbia and Kootenay rivers flowing in  opposite  directions from its OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC. 21
centre. Both these rivers are navigable for the above distance, and it is
contemplated to put steamers upon them next year, which will bring the
whole valley into water communication with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The width of the valley varies from fifteen to twenty miles, and it is composed of foot-hills, benches, or river-terraces, and bottom lands, all covered
with bunch grass (an excellent, nutritious grass, making the best beef in'
the world), and a considerable quantity of magnificent pine and larch
timber. It may be described as open forest with small prairies scattered
through it. North of the watershed there is no pine, and very little larch,
but Douglas fir is scattered over the grazings. The bunch grass gives
way to pine grass about eighty miles north of the watershed. Good
agricultural land is very much scattered in patches varying from three
hundred to fifty acres, here and there, but the former quantity in one
piece is rare. The soil is generally a sandy loam, with a gravelly subsoil,
and it bears splendid crops of potatoes, oats, barley, peas, and wheat, but
where the sand predominates over the clay irrigation is necessary. There
are many streams flowing into the main river, which afford means for
irrigation. Father Fouquet, the Roman Catholic priest, who has lived in
the valley for fifteen years, declares that irrigation is not necessary, but I
should be loath to farm some of the lands without the power of irrigation
on an emergency.
"There are parts which must originally have been lakes, where the soil
is deep and exceedingly rich, forming a dark vegetable loam, and I am
fortunately located on such a spot. This year I had over ten tons of
potatoes from one acre, and without manure or irrigation. An acre of
oats, which averaged five feet three inches in height—and some stalks
were six feet six inches—turnips, carrots, and beet do admirably, but it
is too cold for Indian corn to flourish. Currants, raspberries, gooseberries,
and strawberries, together with numerous other berries, grow wild in great
profusion.    There is also a wild vetch, a wild pea, and a wild onion.
I As to climate, I have found it perfectly delightful. There is generally
a heavy fall of snow at this season, or early in November, which disappears
in a few days. Just before Christmas the second snowfall occurs, and the
snow lies until March, when it commences to thaw, and is generally gone
by the 1 st of April. The average depth of the snow is about fifteen inches.
Horses do admirably on the wild grazings without any other food in the
winter, and come out in the spring in admirable condition; but unless a
man is fond of gambling he should feed his cattle for three months in
winter, otherwise he might lose a large proportion of them in a very
severe year. Horses, or rather large ponies, may be bought at 27 dollars
per head, taking a number of various ages; cattle at 30 dollars in the same 22 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
way. Wages and food are very high at present: labour 45 dollars and
food per month in summer, and 30 dollars and food per month in winter.
Beef sells at 13 cents, pork at 20 cents, flour at 10 cents, potatoes at 3 cents
per pound. But the local market is limited at those prices. Herds of
cattle can be readily sold at Fort McLeod,'distant two hundred miles from
here, at 40 dollars per head. The future of the valley is dependent on its
mining, timber, and cattle-ranching resources. There is an almost certain
prospect of a very large mining population growing up in the valley, as
gold is found in all the creeks, and one ' wild horse' has given out over
three million dollars within the last twenty years. The country is yet in
its infancy as far as mineral prospecting is concerned, but valuable discoveries are constantly being made. A clever mining engineer who has
lately visited us, considers this to be one of the richest mining districts
on the American continent. There is no doubt that the lumber trade will
also develop, as the timber lies conveniently for supplying the north-west
provinces. Cattle-ranching, with ordinary care, must prove very profitable,
and there is yet a field open for settlement in that direction. There is
no doubt that when communication is easy the valley will become one of
the great tourist routes, as the lake, river, and mountain scenery could
not be surpassed. The district is admirably suited for English gentlemen
immigrants provided they have capital. A steady man, with a good
common-sense head and with not less than ^3,000, would be sure to
succeed, and with patience and hard work he might in twenty years have
an income of as many thousands a year as he had capital to start with.
But the man without capital should not come here; he will find the cost of
food and wages so great that it will crush him before he can get returns
from his farm, and he cannot count upon any returns worth mentioning
under three years. As to sport, there is plenty of game; but it is difficult
to get at, on account of the immense extent of forest on the mountains.
There are grisly, brown, and black bears; here and there elk and cariboo,
besides numbers of black and white-tailed deer, mountain sheep and goats,
several kinds of grouse, wild swans, geese, and ducks; but a large bag
cannot be made. There are quantities of splendid trout in all the rivers,
and they take the fly readily. Hitherto we have been very much out of
the world; but with steamers on the Columbia and Kootenay rivers we
shall be within fourteen days of England.
"I ought to have mentioned that although in the winter months there
are one or two cold waves of three days' duration, during which the
mercury has gone down to indicate the low temperature recorded, the
remainder of the time has given us most enjoyable weather. February,
March, and April were most lovely months.   The altitude of the valley OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
has never been accurately measured,
but I make it about 3,000 above the
sea.    I would not advise any gfentle-
man emigrant to bring out a wife at first; he should come himself for a
year, and get things settled up, and then bring out his wife.
" Yesterday an old man, over seventy years of age, came to me. Where
had he come from ? He had been born and bred in Golspie. I gave him
some of the whisky of the country, and told him that when next he came I
might be able to give him a glass of Clyneleish whisky from Brora. I was
amused at his remark of thanks, for the curse of this region may be put
down as whisky-drinking in excess. Such scruples had evidently not
troubled my friend, for when I announced my expectation of the arrival of
mountain dew from Sutherland he said, 'Weel, now, sir, ye'll just be the
making of this country!' "
It may be mentioned in passing that the cattle droves have thriven
marvellously of late on this side of the mountains, among which the writer
of the foregoing letter is settled; and that whisky is not a commodity
allowed to be sold in Alberta, so that the old Sutherland emigrant had
better remain where the country has the best chance of such " making."
If the reader has not gone to sleep already he may do so now, as the
train passes on. He will miss the junction of the line to the coal-mines and
the crossing of the Bow River, with the swift and clear water of the South
Saskatchewan, whose waters are already made muddy by the alluvial
deposits of the flat country.    He will miss Regina, the official centre of the z4 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
new provinces, but he may console himself if he awakes when the morning's
light shines upon cultivated fields, grain elevators, substantial stations, near
busy little towns, like that of Brandon, a three-year-old city. These are
springing up like the flowers in spring-time all over the prairie country.
They are not yet, as a rule, free of their aboriginal structures of plank, but
with church towers and public buildings.
Winnipeg itself deserves a more than passing look, for the site gives
promise of great wealth. The Assiniboine joins its waters to those ot
kindred hue in the Red River's stream. Fine buildings, wood-paved streets,
gas, and handsome shops show the vigorous growth of the young capital of
the West. It is strange to think that only fifteen years ago Riel, the leader
of two revolts, who has just expiated his second crime by death, believed
himself secure here when he raised the flag of a mongrel separate state, and
bade defiance to the British Empire. His last crime was the worst, for he
attempted to raise the red against.the white man; but peace to these
recollections, which may be deemed the last trouble of the newest country
in the New World.
Henceforward let us pray that an uninterrupted time of ever-progressing
prosperity lies before the great grain-provinces of Canada. What they may
do in the future has been shown this last year, when, in spite of insurrection
and disturbance, more than eight million bushels of wheat was ready for
export. With careful sowing the early frosts of autumn can be made harmless, and, to judge by the looks and words of the people, there are health
and comfort to be found in the wide north land now open to all who love
independence, and toil remunerative in the two great requisites of health
and contentment. No one who has knowledge of the present condition ot
affairs dreads any Indian trouble, any more than death at a London crossing.
The chiefs knew too well what was their sole chance ot getting food, and did
not join Riel. The exceptions were men living far to the north of the railway, and in contact with the half-breeds. The grievances of Riel's deluded
followers, the so-called Metis, have been fully investigated and remedied.
No redskin would have dreamed of resistance to the law had it not been for
the instigation of his evil-minded cousins. The exceeding promptness with
which the Canadian troops were sent westwards, their swift tracking- of the
insurgent bands, the summary end put to the armed rebellion on the faraway Saskatchewan, and the just and certain doom dealt out to the murderers, have produced the desired lesson.
The land along the railway may still be obtained at prices which are
ridiculously cheap. Branch lines are being pushed in various directions.
The whole of the eight hundred miles to the west of Winnipeg pays tribute
to her advancing prosperity.   The cattle ranches have proved as successful OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
as was expected in Alberta, and where cattle cannot be easily grazed all the
year round, a large amount of horse-breeding will probably be carried on,
for horses appear to thrive well all over the plains, and especially in the
north during the winter cold. The coal mines opened by Sir Alexander
Gait have already reduced the price of coal at Winnipeg to 8 dollars per
ton. There is an apparently endless amount of good fuel, so that as other
mines are developed, and a double track laid, the best provision can be
made against winter's severity.
The last news given to the
Directors of the Hudson's Bay
Company is good. " There is,"
says their Land Commissioner,
a decided improvement in
mercantile affairs in Manitoba.
The bank deposits are largely
increasing ; so much so that the
rate of interest is being steadily
reduced.    The wholesale and
The Lake of the Woods.
retail business throughout the city shows a marked improvement. Similar
reports are received from Brandon and other points. The price of grain
is much better than last year, and the quantity of first-class wheat much 26 OUR RAILWAY TO  THE PACIFIC.
greater than was expected in September. The branch lines now being
constructed are of benefit, both from the expenditure incurred and the
improving transportation (for grain) facilities which they are creating. The
Fall has been fine and very dry. A large amount of land has been
ploughed, and will be ready for early sowing next year."
There is no doubt that, although in 1881 there was an undue amount of
speculation, and the resultant recoil, together with the general depression in
business, produced much disappointment and distress, the country is now
finding its level. The national highway must reap the benefit of this solid
and satisfactory advance: the dangers which menaced it have been conquered. These consisted not so much in the rocky wilderness of the Lake
Superior shore, sufficient as they had been to make men decry the honest,
purpose of pushing the undertaking. No : the real danger lay in persistent
detraction by interested rivals, and in the attempts of New York rings to
cut down stocks that might compete favourably with those supported by
themselves. Once this gigantic effort, made by a people of such comparatively small numbers, should succeed, there was no doubt that the southern
I combinations " would have to look to their laurels. What other company
possessed, as did this new upstart, harbours on each ocean, entirely free
only to themselves, relieving them from the obligation of parting with the
I earnings of the most remunerative traffic " ? How could the fact be passed
over that there was a saving in distance of more than four hundred miles,
and that, if one looked at the saving in reaching Asia, the gain was
enormous ? Opposition was natural. But it must be acknowledged that
the public opinion of the great people of the United States overlooks the
small jealousies of competing companies, and regards only the " greatest
good of the greatest number," and it hails with joy the opening of a new
access to the West.
No more appreciative notice has come from any quarter than that given
by a Chicago writer. | A transcontinental railway parallel to, and in many
respects a competitor with, those of the United States, but independent of
them in respect to all agreements, is now completed. The Canadian Pacific
has a continuous track from Port Moody, a distance of 2,900 miles; the
longest line in the world. A few days ago its trains commenced running
from Montreal to Winnipeg, 1,430 miles, and from the latter point they
already run west 1,000 miles. The entrance of this line into the field will
soon develop some new phases of railway competition. The Canadian
Pacific has been built as a national highway, and to develop the region
through which it passes. Travel and freight traffic between Europe and
Asia is to be diverted from the long all-sea route, and from the railways
now reaching the sea at Portland and San Francisco ; and the trains of the OUR RAILWAY TO  THE PACIFIC. 27
Canadian Pacific, and the fast steamers which will ply in its interest
between Vancouver Island and Japan and China, will offer all possible
inducements. There is no fear that American railroads will not hold their
share of transcontinental business against this new rival, but it is not
unlikely that rates may be materially reduced in the struggle. The suggestion that this ambitious railway may also reach down and take business
right from under the eyes of American roads seems comical, and yet it
appears to be apprehended. Thus the Gazette, published at Billing's,
Montana, advocates the building of a branch from the Northern Pacific
north-westerly to Fort Benton. The Canadian Pacific Railway has a great
and useful work to perform in developing the vast country which has called
it into being, and in this the people of the United States will be glad to see
it succeed. If it is operated on the principles of fair and reasonable competition it will receive honourable treatment from the railways of the United
States; and in time the growth of the continent, which all transcontinental
lines will help to develop, will give them all ample support."
Of the difficulties overcome north of Superior some idea may be formed
from the annexed statement:—
With the exception of about sixty miles, the principal material encountered was rock of the hardest description known to engineers and
contractors, and the oldest known to geologists—sienite and trap. Over
two and a half million tons of solid rock excavation of this description—a
mixture, chiefly, of feldspar, hornblende and quartz—had to be removed,
besides large quantities of loose rock and hardpan. The task may be
judged of by the fact that for fifteen months one hundred tons of dynamite
per month were used. The explosive property of dynamite is considered to
be equal to twelve or thirteen times that of gunpowder; so that for every
month, for fifteen months, if gunpowder had been employed, enough would
have been required to freight one of the Company's large steel steamers
running on Lake Superior. The dynamite was manufactured on the
The operation went on without intermission, winter and summer, day
and night, controlled by an army numbering for the greater part of the time
not less than twelve thousand men. There were also employed from fifteen
hundred to two thousand teams of horses, supplemented in the winter by
about three hundred trains of dogs. To house and accommodate this vast
host, nearly three thousand buildings of various descriptions were erected
on the works. There would thus be there more than double the number of
buildings that the city of Stratford contains, counting five persons to each
building. Of course the comparison ends here, for the shanties and stables
were in marked contrast to our three-story stone and brick edifices.   We 28 OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
can give no estimate of the quantities of food for men and dogs and forage
for horses which were brought in : but in the fall of the year seven months'
provision had to be made for this hungry host, with appetites so whetted by
the hard out-door work and the eager nipping air, that each man consumed
on an average five pounds of solid food per diem. To bring in these supplies and the material for the works, the company had seven steamers
running, and the contractors five. For the same purpose fifteen docks and
storehouses were built by the company along the shore of the lake, requiring
three million feet of lumber in construction. The shore was so rough that
supply roads could not be built except at enormous expense; so the supplies
and material were landed at these docks, and thence distributed by fleets of
small boats along the line. And not only were there difficulties by land,
there were difficulties by water as well. Michipicoten was one of the most
valuable points of distribution along the entire coast; but it could not be
advantageously availed of owing to the fierceness of the storms. Here two
docks were built, each in turn to be washed away by the violence of the sea,
and here also two steamers were sunk. Consequently the supplies had to
be landed four miles west of Michipicoten, and distributed from that point
The labour and expense of getting in the stuff from the coast at Michipicoten to the railway being constructed inland on the north, may be estimated
from the following: First, a road through the rocks had to be built seven
miles in length; then a lake six and a half miles long was struck, to traverse
which a steamboat had to be constructed. A stretch of sixteen miles of
rough mountainous country, requiring large rock blastings and cuttings,
had then to be encountered. That accomplished, a second lake eleven miles
long was reached, where another transport steamer was built. Two and a
half miles more of road intervened between this lake and Dog Lake, where
a third steamer was built. This boat ran from the point of taking in the
supplies fourteen miles to the north-west angle and twelve miles to the
north-east angle of Dog Lake, distributing her freight along the works,
which were now at last reached—about one hundred miles of the road east
and west being in this way supplied from Michipicoten. On these inland
lakes six docks and six warehouses were built. As many as eight hundred
and sixty derricks were used on the works.
Between Nipigon and the Pic there are five tunnels, and not less than
ten rivers had to be diverted from their natural courses and carried through
rock tunnels excavated underneath the road-bed. One of these rivers
measures in width one hundred and fifty feet. There are along the coast
eleven miles where in the living rock a shelf has been formed for the roadbed of the railway, averaging twenty feet in width, in some places consider- OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
Junction of the Gatineau and Ottawa.
By H.R.H. Princess Louise.
|c ably wider. The rivers crossed
by the line are spanned by iron
bridges ; the abutments—indeed,
the stonework throughout—being
the best kind of masonry. There
is some temporary trestle work which has mostly now been filled in. As
a further evidence of the quality of the work, it may be remarked that no
grade exceeds fifty-two feet to the mile, and the curvature is generally good,
only two curves exceeding six degrees.
There were few accidents to call the hospitals into requisition, and such
was the care exercised in the dynamite factories that no casualty whatever
arose in the manufacture of the tons upon tons of explosives. There was,
however, one serious result from culpable ignorance and temerity, four men
having brought dynamite into one of the houses and placed it on the stove
to thaw! The experience was a severe one, but to these poor fellows it
carried no benefit. The survivors were more cautious. After the works
were completed, care was taken to demolish the dynamite factories so as to
render them innocuous.
Although last winter was very severe, with heavy falls of snow, Mr. Ross
regards it as exceptional, and he does not apprehend difficulty in working
the line. The winters of 1882-3 and 1883-4 north of Lake Superior were, he
says, delightful, with only about two feet of snow, and no drifts. 3o OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC.
The character of the country, he states, is very different from the dreary-
waste between Port Arthur and Selkirk, being bold and, with the lakes and
rivers, exceedingly changeable in its aspects, striking and picturesque.
The work would have been completed earlier even than it was but for
the transport of the troops to suppress the Riel rising, the labour of laying
track and building bridges having to be suspended in order to take the
forces round the gaps. The first troops reached the division about April ist,
and were through by the 20th. Fifteen days later a train passed over
without a break. The last troops went past on May 19th, fully equipped
with sleeping and dining cars.
Once the north-eastern shores are left behind the route runs through the
woody country skirting Nipissing, and so by the Upper Ottawa to familiar
ground around the capital of the Dominion. Crossing the Gatineau River,
the junction of which with the Ottawa is shown on p. 29, we are reminded
that colonisation is being actively carried on by the French Canadians in the
valleys of the tributary streams, such as the Gatineau, Lievre, and others,
giving a | back country" to the Ottawa and St. Lawrence valleys. Montreal is reached in less than two hours from this point. Controlling interests
have been secured by the Canadian Pacific Railway in Ontario over other
roads to prevent hostile intrigues. In brief, the history of the greatest
undertaking of this age is seen at a glance in the following table:—
Incorporated February 16th, 1881.
Commenced building westward from Winnipeg, May, 1881.    Owns in November, 1885 :
Miles. Miles.
Main Line 2,8947
Branch Lines, East    ....... 40 V4
Do. West 221-2
Leased Lines      ....... 608"?
Which have come into the Company's possession in the following manner :—
I   .,   ,     I Miles. Miles.
Built by Government and handed over to Company   . 706*5
Acquired by purchase, lease, or otherwise .        .        .        1,370*5
Built by Company since May, 1881     ....       2,140-6
The mileage operated by the  Company next year (1886) will
(approximately) be .    ■   .      • 4j30q
Net earnings, for 12 months ending 31st December, 1885   .        . $3,225,000
I am sure it will be the wish of all patriotic men, be they British or OUR RAILWAY TO THE PACIFIC. I
Canadian, that this backbone of the Dominion may, year after year, draw
ever-increasing profits. Troops and freight may thereby be sent by a route
twelve hundred miles shorter than any other to China and Japan. Mail
service, if sent over by this way, will be greatly accelerated, and none but
British ground, and none but British ships, need be touched from London
to Hong Kong.    It is a noble work nobly performed.
As a purely Canadian work, this Pacific Railway fulfilled its primary
purpose when it connected the Atlantic with the Pacific seaboard, and
linked all the provinces of the Dominion together by a road lying entirely
within their own territories. But its still greater importance to the Empire
at large, and to Canada also, lies in the possibilities of extended trade, and
of increased safety to Imperial interests all over the world, which the construction of this great highway has opened up. It affords a safe alternative
route, without touching foreign soil, between England, Japan, China, India,
and Australia; and the following table shows how the proposed Services by
this route will compare with those by other lines using the Suez Canal ;—
I. Between London and Yokohama ■*—
i. By Peninsular and Oriental Company's route, vid Brindisi,
to Hong Kong	
Detention at Hong Kong       .....
Hone: Kong to Yokohama	
2. By P. and O., vid Gibraltar, to Hong Kon|
Detention at Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Yokohama ....
50   to 56
By Canadian Pacific Railway (Summer route)— DAYS.
London to Montreal  82 to   M
Montreal to Vancouver  4   to   4a
Vancouver to Yokohama  I3   to T4
25i to 28
By Intercolonial Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway
(Winter route)—
London to Halifax      ........ 7   to   9
Halifax to Montreal  1   to   1   *
Montreal to Yokohama (as above)  17   to 185
to 28
II. Between Londo7i and Hong Kong:—
1. By Peninsular and Oriental Company's route vid Brindisi 34   to 37
2. By same, vid Gibraltar  43   to 46
3. By Canadian Pacific Railway, vid Montreal, to Yokohama 25   to 28^ *
Detention at Yokohama         .        .        .        .        . ^ to    ^
Yokohama to Hong Kong  5   to   6
3°£ to 35
III. Between England and A ustralia :—
1. London to Adelaide in 1888, if the Proposed Contract for
Mails, vid Brindisi, is carried out ....        29 days
2. By Canadian Pacific Railway route and proposed Steam
ship line from Vancouver to Brisbane in 1888      .        .       30 days
* In the above comparisons, the shortening of the time now spent on the Atlantic
voyage to Canada, and on the land journey between Halifax and Montreal—both of which
will soon be effected—has not been taken into account. At the very least a day will be
saved by these improvements to the Canadian route. It is confidently anticipated that if the
proposals now made by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company are accepted by the Imperial
Government, the Mail Service which is at present performed vid Suez, between England and
Hong Kong in 34 to yj days, Shanghai 39 to 42 days, and Yokohama 43 to 46 days, will be
performed, by the Canadian route, in 29J to 31$ days, 28 to 30 days, and 24 to 26 days
Our Railway to the Pacific
The Canadian Pacific Railway
IS the longest continuous line in the world under one management, the only
line on the continent of America reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Oceans and can therefore give innumerable advantages that cannot be got by
other transcontinental lines.
Through Sleepers are by this line run from ocean to ocean without change,
a convenience offered by no other line.
We own and operate our own Sleeping and Dining Cars and they are therefore
run in the interest of the travelling public and not in the interest of a Sleeping
Car Company.
The temperature on our route is mild, the scenery is grand, and competent
engineers have pronounced the line to be the best built new Railway on the continent of America.
Asst. Freight Traffic Manager, Montreal. General Freight Agent, Toronto.
General Freight and Passenger Agent, Winnipeg. General Passenger Agent, Montreal.
General Sufi. Pacific Div., Vancouver, B. C. General Traffic Manager, Montreal
Vice-President, Montreal. 


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