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An appeal to public opinion against the railway being carried across the Selkirk range, that route being… Veritas, Philo. 1885

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 .A-irsr .A-iFiPiE^iii
fSSjg - FROM
PRICE 25c.
ri Entered according to Act of Parliament in the year one thousand eight hundred and
eighty-five, by William Dbysdale & Co., in the office of the Minister of Agriculture
and Statistics at Ottawa. 1 or
-;|C- OF THE *£
— tN. ^J  THE
^P&>>n    ry^odV^Mfv-if
ft"*   &/
&f      &7£l
J " Quandoquidem populus decipi vult decipiatur."—Cardinal Caraffa.
' [" Seeing that people are willing to be deceived, let therh be deceived
! Apres moi le deluge."
["When I am gone, the deluge may come again.'}
" Ay, to the proof; as mountains are for winds,
That shake not, though they blmu continually."
Taming of the. Shreii: - Act II, sc. 1-. AN APPEAL TO PUBLIC OPINION,
Every statement made with, regard to the Canadian Pacific-
Railway Tiot meeting the views of the Syndicate; every effort to'
penetrate the mystery of its condition, and to weigh the justice with
which it asied for the extraordinary additional assistance it obtained
in the last Parliament; every criticism which tends to establish its
precise relation with the country, is met by the outcry, that an
attempt is being made to depreciate the resources of the Dominion,
and to vilify and blacken the character of the Directory who rule the
fortunes of the Company.
Nothing can be so unwarrantable as this outcry. That line of
conduct which is just, fair and honest cannot be affected permanently
by calumny. Especially when the project considered has a powerful
and almost unanimous support in the public press. Moreover, which
•is defended by a close phalanx of individuals who, identifying the
cause of the Railway as their owrt, step forward on the least occasion,
with all the violence of partizanship, and often with its want of
judgment, when the most temperate doubt is expressed on the
expediency of some measure under discussion.
It is true that a false statement, a malicious attempt to cause
injury, may lead to temporary misunderstanding, and may create an
unfair impression of the resources and competence of the parties who
are directing a scheme of magnitude. But, if not based on truth, the.
injury can only last for the time that the falsehood remains uncontradicted. In a few hours or days the truth becomes known, and,
irrefutably established, there is a perfect revulsion of opinion in favour
iof the interests which have been assailed, and the unwarrantable,
dishonest attack recoils- on its author.
Even if there be unjust I attacks against the Syndicate, they
have themselves to thank that such is the case. Nothing was plainer
than the policy which they ought to have followed towards the
public. It was each year to have presented to the monetary world
a straightforward statement of their affairs, and specially to have
addressed the Canadian Public in the form of an Annual Report. The
. line itself claims to partake of a national character.    Indeed, it is
/ a marked violation of the law that such has not been done. The relations of the Company with the Government exact a full report of
their affairs to the Minister of Railways and Canals, to be included in
his Report submitted to Parliament, and authenticated or commented
upon by the Government Engineer of Railways. The Railway
authorities have followed precisely the opposite course. They have
made a mystery where none should exist. With few exceptions all
who in anj way endeavoured tp understand what statements have been
made to Parliament have been forced to abandon the examination as a
puzzle impossible to disentangle ; or, if within the reach of ultimate
mastership that it exacted so much time that the effort to obtain the
information had to be abandoned. 'All the documents! which we
possess are those which have been obtained through Parliament on
the application for the thirty millions of dollars. They seem gathered
together with the desire to create confusion. Matters of no account
are given page after page. Several documents add to the bulk without increasing our information. We have given in full, an application
for a payment by the Company, the report of the Engineer on the
application and the Order-in-council granting the money; all of which
simply swells out the mafter profitlessly. When we come to the
figures themselves they are hopelessly complicated ; j classed in single
lines of immense amounts, unexplained and full of intricacy and confusion. It does not want much law for a man to act towards his
neighbour honestly and decorously. It requires little of the technical
knowledge of the accountant to follow;a clear statement which shews
tho condition of a project and its- claim to public confidence. In such
a case, however, we require the appeal to our understanding to be
clear, distinct and intelligible. But the statements presented to
Parliament by the Canadian Pacific Railway may be classed among
the most remarkable on record. A single line involving millions is
'unaccompanied by the slightest item of explanation. The very word
voucher, seems to have no place in their vocabulary. Men who, in
their own affairs, do not pay a-single account without full detail,
without the clear, specification of each item, expect the world to
accept an unsustained statement of an expenditure from its magnitude, and the known circumstances .under which it is made, we are
not prepared to accept without close investigation. It looks as if we
are asked to believe on no other ground but the one urged by the old
schoolmen why the miracle should be credited, because it was impossi- 1
bie : quia impossibile est. It is the only pretension on which credence
can be claimed for the Syndicate statements.
I use the word Syndicate because I believe from my heart there
is none other to represent the control exercised over the affairs of the
Railway. The Syndicate is now represented by Mr. Stephen, Mr.
Angus and Mr. Van Home. Mr. Mclntyre in the early stages of its
history was an active agent; but he has retired from, the position he
held. At all events it is so stated in the press, and no contradiction
has been given. Moreover, his place on the Board of Directors has
been filled up. Mr. Donald. Smith's known resources and his
admitted great wealth have led his name to be prominently identified
with the Railway. To what extent he has been an active member
is not known. Public opinion, right or wrong, assigns to him
the position of having acquiesced in the policy of the Company,
rather than to have actively interfered beyond the matter of finance.
His high unquestioned credit and his known wealth made him indispensable, especially when the assistance of the Montreal Bank was
appealed to, as the public papers shew.
It is useless considering the extent to-which Mr. Mclntyre has
influenced the policy of the Syndicate, for, if the published relationship can be relied on, he has ceased in any way to' influence their
proceedings, especially in the crisis of the hour.
The reason that the Word Syndicate is adhered to in these pages,
although the Company has been formed four years, and a nominal
list of Directors appears as presiding over the fortunes of the Company, is that the list of Directors is evidently simply a legal
compliance with the necessities of the case. The holders of stock are
given in the Parliamentary papers. The reader must form the
opinion that, excepting with those directly connected with the Syndicate, it consists of men who have purchased it for speculation, and
not as an investment. As you read through the 590 names which
appear in the list of those holding 550,000 shares, you discover that
no shares are held in Toronto, or western Canada; 57 are held in
Ottawa, with 500 by Mr: Sandford Fleming; about 1000 in Montreal,
including 370 by McDougall Bros., and 375 by H. C. Scott. Independently of this amount, Mr. John Cassils appears as the holder of
2925 shares, Charles Cassils 500 shares. Both gentlemen, I believe,
are connections of Mr. Mclntyre.   .
J The Syndicate list of shares is :
Mr. R. B. Angus,
Mr. George Stephen,
-    31,222
Mr. D. Mclntyre,
Mr. Van Home,
-      4,705
Mr. Donald Smith,     -
Total,      -       -    94,477
In connection with them we may include the name of Mr. Harry
Abbott, the holder of 1000 shares.
It is not possible to pronounce any opinion with regard to the
shareholders as they are set forth in the list of ten pages.. Many
well-known names appear for limited holdings. The larger number
of shares seem to have been taken up by banking firms. As a list,
the names suggest few points of criticism. It may, however, be said
that the shareholders have taken no interest in the proceedings of the
Company as such. It would appear that the stock has been mostly
bought, or-held in trust, on the theory that on the price paid for it,
it was an investment which might prove profitable, or that there
would be a rise on the stock, at the period purchased. I can find no.
trace of any desire to interfere in the operations of the management.
The leading persons who now stand before the public as the active
members of the syndicate are, Mr. Stephen, Mr. Angus, Mr.
Van Home.
Mr. Stephen is known for many years in Montreal as the
enterprising head of a large dry goods firm, and as a Director and
President of the Montreal Bank. In the construction of a Railway
he is entirely inexperienced. He is altogether unacquainted with the
details and principles of construction. Ho has brought from his
original profession his knowledge of finance, and his general
knowledge of business, necessarily of a wide character. With Mr.
Angus, his attention has evidently been given to the finance of the
Company. He has, also, appeared as the exponent and defender of
the policy of the Company, a duty entailed upon him as the
President, and in all extraordinary emergencies, the letters of
explanation, of remonstrance, and of application to the Government
have borne his signature.
Mr. Angus is equally well-known. Without family interest, or
extraordinary influence, he worked himself to be the Head General Manager of the Montreal Bank. A record in all respects creditable
to himself. His peculiar duties evidently have been in the way of
It is not the first time that Mr; Stephens and Mr. Angus have
worked together in matters of finance. Mr. Stephens was President,
while Mr. Angus was General Manager of the Montreal Bank.
Public opinion in money circles, and in commercial life in Montreal,
has- criticised their operations with some sternness with regard to the
Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway. The results turned
out prosperously, but reports of their non-success unfavorably
affected the stock of the Montreal Bank, which on one occasion
dropped as low as 120.
But I will not enter upon that matter here.
Mr. Van Home, the third of the triumvirate, has no Montreal
antecedents. He has had some experience in Railway life; when
and to what extent is not known in our community. Report states
that he was introduced to the Syndicate by a Mr. Hill, of Saint
Paul, as a man of great energy and force of character, capable of
pushing on the work rapidly. No one who knows Mr. Van Home
can fail to recognise these qualities pre-eminently. Whatever his
experience, and in what capacity obtained, it may be said that he is
strongly marked by those qualities, which we hold to be the attributes
of the Western man. Mr. Van Home is in nowav an engineer inthe
sense in which we speak of the educated, thoughtful men we meet in
Boston, in New York, and in the Central United States; equally in
our own country of Canada. He habitually expresses his contempt
for all the rules, habits and mode of action which mark this school
of educated men,, from whom he dissents, which they carefully
observe, With Mr., Stephen and Mr. Angus to deal with, Mr. Van
Home's force of character and quickness of perception pass for a
high order of trained ability.
No one but Mr. Van Home is responsible for the Canadian
Pacific line as it is located and constructed. If there be merit in the
extraordinary rate at which the track was pushed along the level
prairie, a course of action which with the iinthinking has been so
extolled, it is his. If there be blame in the choice of route, in the
multitude of curves, in the heavy grades in the Kicking Horse Pass,
in the prospect of the Railway being periodically crushed j and
rendered inoperative by the deseent of immence masses of snow and
J 8
ice from the glaciers of the Ille-celle-waet, or by land slips between
Bow River Summit and Kamloops, the fault is his, and he must be
held responsible for praise or blame, with regard to the published
statements, which from time to time have been published, descriptive
of the line, and have now to be criticised and examined by the test
of fact.
Mr. Van Home has had the whole unchallenged direction of the
resources of the Company. It is he who at this moment has the full
and undisputed control of the expenditure of the thirty millions now
being obtained from the Government, and of the twelve millions of
additional subsidy obtainable.
No Canadian, be he of the English-speaking race, or one who is-
actively interested in the theory of creating a distinct French-Canadian
nationality, as an individual, can have the least elation at Mr. Van
Home's success, or feel sympathy with his downfall and failure.
From the commencement, Mr. Van Home has ignored Canadian
ability, energy, education and experience. Himself from the Western
States, he has as little faith in our genius as a people, as he has
respect for the trained and educated Engineer, whether he be found
at New York or Montreal. He has shown this, fully, in the choice
of his agents. The combinations under which he worked has forced
assistants upon him which he has accepted unwillingly, or removed
as occasion offered. His principal assistants and officers are from the
United States, and if not as he is—Western men—-they follow their
mode of action, and claim recognition as having an experience like
his   own
his school. His deputies are of the same class,
found filled when he came amongst us.
he has done so. Some of the incumbents remain as he found them.
Different explanations are given why such is the ease, and it is
believed that few of the holders of such positions find favour in his
Report assigns to him the receipt of a large stipend. It is
variously named from $40,000 to $60,000 annually. Mr. Stephen,,
the President, is looked upon as recipient of a salary of $20,000.
Mr. Angus, as Vice-President, is said to receive $15,000,
Such are the Directing Agents constituting the Syndicate.
The old system of a line carefully located, and elaborately revised
so that no unnecessary curve has been admitted; in which every step
His construction agents are individuals who work after
Some offices he
When he could make change 9
has been calculated before action is taken, has been set at defiance
by Mr. Van Home. The traveller, as he passes from Winnipeg to
the West, looks on the curves of the line behind him, to-wonder at
their meaningless and causeless existence. The route followed is
equally a matter of surprise.
That, however, is a subject specially to be considered.
When criticism is made on any one point of the Canadian Pacific,
it is considered a reply in full to state that so many hundred miles on
the flat land plain—for with its gradual ascent, the rising grade is
not noticeable— in so many months were fully and entirely
constructed. Every objection raised, every query made, is considered
to be answered by this one fact. You are asked to look upon this
movement of rapidity as one of rare merit and ability. You are
called upon to admire this wonderful genius and energy thus displayed
in the North-west, as a marvellous effort of power without parallel in
modern times. It is held to be a fact so important as to set all
criticism at defiance, and one that should make complaint and
dissatisfaction impossible. It has not even the slender merit of novelty.
The same proceedings were followed in the Union Pacific.
^O" 10
It appears to me, at this, juncture, pertinent to inquire into two
points. First, as to the character of the location which has been
followed, especially in its projected passage over the Selkirk Range ;
secondly, what amount has been expended by the Syndicate between
Winnipeg and the first Rocky Mountain summit. With regard to
the line between Sudbury and 67 miles east of Port Arthur, we
have only the reports of those who have visited it. It is only
during this-summer that active steps have been taken in the way of
construction. No information has been published regarding it.
Steps, however, should be taken at the next meeting of Parliament
to obtain definite and clear information concerning this division; -
especially in the matter of curves and grades.
It is currently reported, and believed, that some scheme is being •
perfected by which additional aid will be asked from Parliament. It
can hardly take the form of "reasonable temporary assistance!" It has
been surmised that Parliament will be asked to guarantee a loan from
twenty to twenty:five years, so that sufficient means will be obtained
for the full completion of the work ! The future only will show
what foundation there is for this surmise.
Before entering into this examination, let me remark that if there
be misconception on these points, the fault is not that of the public.
The blame lies with the Syndicate, and reducing matters to a fine
point, with the one man in power, Mr. Van Home. If full and clear
annual reports had been published, there would be no misconception
to-day. Such statements would admit of criticism and examination,
and any claim which the Canadian Pacific would advance, would in
its justice or injustice be made manifest. But in the extraordinary
accounts submitted to Parliament their very insufficiency is without a
parallel irP the forty years of modern political life. Nothing is easier
than to show the cost of a Railway, if the accounts be kept in the
usual straight-forward and systemic method by which an educated
Engineer makes a record of the work.
It is as well in this place to explain how such accounts are kept,
and how clearly they establish the truth of any statement based upon 11
such vouchers. Indeed, it is only by such a report that any claim as
to cost can be established.
In order properly to carry on the construction of a Railway, a line
is laid out in lengths of one hundred feet, a stake being placed firmly
in the ground at the end of such distance. The first stake is named
Station 0, the second Station 1, and so the numbering goes on to the
end of the division. For convenience a' Railway is divided into
divisionSj especially when several parties are in the field. Thus any
given number of a station determines its locality in a particular
division; and by reference to the section, the extent and character of
the work is shewn, whether it be cutting or filling; and on the
profile or section the grades are marked shewing their height at each
station; and the progress of the work is described, according to the
sections reached.
It is then according to these stations that the final estimate
shewing the cost of the work, and setting forth the amount due to
the contractor is made out. Every station presents the record of
the amount of cutting or filling of each one hundred feet, the detail
of it being made, so that the work can be compared with the original
sections, which gives the level on the centre line. And with an
Engineer in Chief of experience, and who observes proper discipline,
fraud on the part of his subordinates is impossible.
The division for convenience sake is subdivided into sections, and
at the end of each section there is a recapitulation of the whole work, •
according to the detail given for each hundred feet, the length of the
The final estimate shews the amount of
Acres Grubbing and Clearing.
Cubic Yards Rock Cutting.
Earth      "
"■ "      Embankment from   borrowing   pits,   that   is,   filling
obtained from without the prism of the Railway
"       Masonry in Culverts,  allotted to the stations where
they are constructed.
" "       Bridge Abutment Piers.   I
"     feet lineal Bridge Superstructure,—or in lbs. of iron, as the
case may be.
"       "    Board Measure.    Timber in Road Bridges.
Cattle Guards.
Crossings (Road).    Per contract. f
and all matters soever in short bearing upon the construction of a
Railway, so that the cost is unmistakeable.
In all lines carefully and conscientiously recorded as to the work
executed, where the Engineer-in-Chief is competent and up to his
work, this proceeding is followed; where it is not followed the absence
of this essential and admitted* necessity ean only be affiliated to the
ignorance of the Chief Officer reeponsible to the Directors, or to the
desire of the Directors themselves to misrepresent the cost of the
There can be no other explanation,—ignorance or fraud.
Equally there is invariably a report of the curves and grades. As
the locomotive has grown -in importance and in power, there is a
tendency to abandon the old principles which regulated their limits.
The. early Engineers considered a curve of about a mile radius
the normal condition to be observed. On this continent what is
known as a 1° curve, 5730 feet radius was held, and is held to
be a limit by .the school of Engineers, who work with a sense of
responsibility and a knowledge of cause and effect. On the other
hand, it is remorselessly set at defiance by such persons, who,
without education, fate has pitchforked into prominent positions.
Ignoring ^11 past, experience, without any rule but that of expediency,
and their-own mere opinion, in their,arrogance they set at nought all
those principles which men carefully trained never violate. Hence
the many unfortunately located Railway lines on which public money
is wasted. Y'Pvi
I recollect a comic song in fashion a few years back, for even in
Music Halls taste changes, and the serio-comic business of to-day is a
different matter to the then witty, cheerful ditties, interspersed with
monologues. Carefully written, under their levitjr they often conveyed
the best of philosophic teaching and moral suggestiveness; and even
now in many instances are more than readable. The particular
melody which rises to my mind, had the refrain of " Push along,
keep moving." With many men of the hour, who'have obtained
marked prominence, it is this doctrine which seems to be' the be all,
and end all of their efforts. With such as these the time in which
the work is constructed is shewn as the proof of its excellence, as if it
were a match against time—such as walking one hundred miles in
one hundred hours. Prodigious ! Wonderful! cry the irreflecting,
for they take no note of the character of the' work thus rapidly 13    .
completed.    And if the work be a Railway they never stop to enquire
what are its characteristics.
One of the first essentials of a high-class Railway is that it possess
public confidence; first by its solid and careful construction, and
secondly, by the character of its curves and grades. Accordingly,
the publication of such a table should never be omitted. It states
whatis the rise,in the one, and the opposite direction; the extent
the curves are blended with the grades, and what these curves are.
Indeed, such a statement is no little guarantee to the public mind
with regard to the 'Railway they are dependent on.
No Chief Engineer with a sense of responsibility admits a curve
unnecessarily in the work. When the; location is sent into him by
the Division Engineer, he goes carefully through it. But a class' of
men have found their way amongst us who in no way look' to the
alignment. They unroll the profile and judge the location according
to the lightness of the work. The Bank Manager when a note is
placed in his hand for discount considers the character of the endorser
equally with that of the principal. One who is experienced turns k>
the location map to note at what cost the condition of the' work is
attained. He can see at once what the weak points of the location
are. Where sharp curves can be thrown out, where the transfer of
the line to some little distance with'a modified direction gives promise
of a more satisfactory alignment. The work is revised throughout,
and all concerned are satisfied that no better line can be obtained.
Those who have not taken this course can form little idea of what
important results can be obtained.
si* jx! . \>i r,w    -v- '1 (r> »i^t)   •'     •
On the other hand it is mere pedantry to ignore the cost of
work to obtain curves of large radius.
I have mentioned that on high-class roads in the United States
and Canada, that the one degree is the normal curve. It is so called
because an angle of 1 ° subtending- a base of 100 feet in an isosceles
triangle has its sides of 5730 feet. In a circle of this radius, the
chord and the arc in the length of 100 feet are almost identical. For
practical purposes they are so, and hence the choice of this curve.
There are occasions, however, when it cannot be introduced without
great cost. The question then arises how to fit to the ground, a
curve which the, amount of work the Engineer is prepared to admit
at. this spot will justify.
J 14
There are many young men engaged on the work of location who
are useful in the subordinate position of putting a line on the ground,
but who are deficient in the judgment and experience necessary to
determine its direction. Under the control of an accomplished Chief
Engineer they trace out a line, subject to his criticism, and brought
up in a good school, they the*mselves finally attain the knowledge and
experience to conduct important operations. But subordinate to men
of the driving school, their very faults and errors become magnified.
They think only of the progress they make. They cast no thought
on the value of the progress. It appears to them a doss of time to
revise work. Winding through a valley that requires judgment in
the choice of ground, knowing that no criticism will be given as to
the form and composition of their line, only that their work be light,
the result which they obtain is. often a series of curves, one running into
the other, reversing and connecting with varied sharpness of curvature, forming on paper such a series, of crooks that, the competent
engineer can only explain its appearance by his belief in the utter
incompetence of those who directed the proceedings.
In the working of Railways, curves are most objectionable, even
in the best of climates, owing to shutting out of the view of the
engine driver all of the line before him, but a limiied length of it.
For in sharp curves there is but little of the track to be seen in front
of the locomotive; hence, the more constant fear of accidents,
especially in dull weather, when the' sense of sound is more obtuse.
If the curve be in any way out of order, especially with regard to the
height of the outer rail, there is the greater risk of the engine by its
centrifugal force jumping the track. In Railways where great.speed
is to be observed, such curves are highly objectionable. At a low rate
of speed, a locomotive can pass round any curve, it is astonishing how
small the radius. But when we give the locomotive the impetus of a
high rate of speed, the greater the danger. Many of those I have
described speak of the improvement of the locomotive in the last
twenty years, and with some look of derision tell us it is no longer
what it was a few years back. The improvements have been in
power of traction and in the ascent of heavy grades, within a certain
limit, not in the power to run round sharp curves at a high rate of
speed. The danger of the engine leaving the track is as great as
ever.    With its increased weight and impetus the danger is greater. 15
I have entered into these points in the matter of locating Railway
lines, not that it is necessary to bring it under the notice of all who
may read these pages, but from the consideration that there are many
who are unacquainted witli them. Frequently, when stating facts, it
is necessary to lay down principles by which they must be considered,
otherwise the force of what you may advance is lost. This is particularly the case, when I show how simply the true cost of construction can be proved. No one can deny the correctness of the view I
have expressed. It is essentially necessary that the principles which
I have set forth be borne in mind, as the remarks which 1 make are
read and considered, for they cannot be explained away.
Myself, since the days of the Syndicate, I have never seen a table
of curves and grades. I have made diligent inquiry ;' I cannot learn
that any has been published.
I will proceed now to consider the location of the Railway in the
distance from Winnipeg to connect with the Government line at
Savonna Ferry. 16
Previous to entering upon* any examination of the present location
it is necessary to refer to the antecedent circumstances which will
throw light upon it. They have so far a bearing upon the proceedings of the Syndicate, that they will either fully justify them, or, on
the other hand, they will attach to them the extent of reprehension
under which they should suffer. Be the result what it may, it will
have the effect Of bringiug clearly before the public mind the several
points at issue, and there will be the first condition of getting at the
truth : a straightforward, fair relation of the facts.
It is important to know that for many years, certainly for half a
century before the Syndicate commenced their operations, no portion
of British Columbia was so well known as the River Columbia. A
glance at the Skeleton May I append will make the matter more
clear. The Hudson Bay Company entered the main land from the
Pacific by this river, and previous to the establishment of the present
Oregon Boundary, not a single citizen of the United States was to be
found on the north side of the river; or, if any such were there it
was by accident, as the servants of the Company. They ascended to
the Boat Encampment, and thence continued their ascent south to its
source, to take the Howse, or Kicking Horse Pass. At the Boat
Encampment the River Athabasca was followed to its tributary, the
Miette, leading by the chain of lakes and streams to the Yellow Head
Pass, called also the Leather Pass. As the Canoe. River was taken,
which led the voyageurs by a small portage to Alfreda Lake. The
trail, however, generally followed, I am told, was by Cranberry Lake
through the Yellow Head Pass to Alfreda Lake, whence the descent
was made to the Clearwater to its junction with the north branch of
the Thompson, to Kamloops, and thence following the Thompson to
its junction with the Fraser at the present town of Lytton. Consequently there was nothing to be learned of this part of the country.
One fact was especially known that the Yellow Head Pass was the
lowest of the Passes, that its approaches, east and west, were better
than any other, particularly in respect of climatal condition and the
excellent character of the land. 17
The Kicking Horse was also known. Certainly, since the days
of the Palliser Expedition, Dr. Hector having been kicked by a horse
there ; hence, its name. It was also a fact, well ascertained, that
from its summit you descend by the Bow River to the plains.. Mr.
Trutch's map of 1871 shews the Eagle River running to Shuswap
Lake with the Eagle Pass descending by the Skon Konchon, having
its mouth opposite the Ille-celle-waet; The latter has its sources
among the glaciers of the Selkirk range. Equally a nameless stream,
since called the Beaver, is shewn descending the eastern slopes of the
Mr. Fleming's operations commenced in 1871. He was engaged
upon them for ten years, when, to use the euphemism of the Order-
in-Council of the 22nd May, 1880, he was "relieved from the duties
and responsibilities connected with the office of the Engineer-in-Chief
of the Pacific Railway ;" and this was the reward of ten years' arduous
service and devotion to duty in directing the surveys of the Canadian
When Mr. Fleming took up the examination of the country from
Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean, he entered upon the examination
of an immense territory almost unknown. Some of the better known
localities had attracted attention, but the truth of the claim
preferred concerning them had to be tested and considered. There
were many important points involved in the determination of the
Terminus. There was one fact only which was a matter of common
faith: the value of the Yellow Head Pass. It was recognized
indisputably as the best. At the public dinner to Mr. Trutch in
Ottawa, 10th April, 1871, that gentleman pointed out that the line
would certainly pass between Leather (Yellow Head) Pass, or Howse
Pass. He, himself, drew no comparison of routes. He spoke, however, of one "feasible in his own experience, much of which he had
passed over. From the mouth of the Fraser, following up that river
to one of its tributaries, the Thompson, to the south branch of that
river to Shuswap Lake; thence through the Eagle Pass, across to the
summit of the Gold Range, and ascend from the Columbia by the
Blackberry River to the summit of the Rocky Mountains by the
Howse Pass.
All that Mr. Trutch knew of this route, was what he had passed
over on horseback or on foot; and it is precisely the ground over .   18
which it was physically impossible for him to pass the Selkirk range,
that there is any question to-day.
These remarks are valuable in this respect that they establish that
at the very inception of the undertaking the route of the Selkirk
range attracted attention. Howse Pass figured prominently in Mr.
Fleming's first, report, 10th April, 1872. As a possible pass it was
mentioned in common with the Yellow Head, and thus the route by
Shuswap Lake is brought into prominence.
In this report, page 2, the following significant words appear,
which, read by the light of present events, must have marked weight:
" Finding that Kamloops could be easier reached from the eastern
slope of the Rocky Mountains by the Yellow Head than by the
Howse Pass, there was no longer any object in continuing operations
east ot Kamloops on the latter route. This led to the adoption by
the Government, on the 2nd inst., of the Yellow Head Pass or the
gate (sic) to British Columbia from the East."
In the same report, page 36, Mr. Walter Moberly reports that the
Selkirk range, " I consider quite impracticable for a railway."
Even on the commencement of operations there was much general
information as to the leading passes across the mountains. Except
the Selkirk range their features were known. The two leading
passes, however, were those above named.
Yellow Head Pass was known to be the lowest, but it likewise
possessed the marked excellence of being free from climatal objections. It presented no risk of the fall of glaciers, or of being
impeded by avalanches and land slides. The approaches, east and
west, were believed to admit of the usual maximum grates used on
first-class railways, 53 feet to the mile ; 1 in the 100. It offered
fair directness of route without extremely sharp curves, while its
geographical position directed the line from the east through the best
land in the North-west.
On the 2nd April, 1872, the Yellow Head Pass was established
by Order-in-Council. Its selection remained unchanged until 1882,
when a special clause was included in the Act of that year, to the
effect that, with the approval of the Govemor-in-Council, some other
pass may be taken, provided that it be not less than one hundred
miles from the boundary line. One can almost read in this enactment the pre-determination to change the location regardless of cause
and result.
— 1
The question of location westwardly from the Yellow Head was
complicated at an early stage by one of those mischievous acts of
interference which lead to political pressure on a Government which, .
without convictions of its own, seeks by compromise to satisfy the
most opposite interests. Such was the project of connecting the
railway with Vancouver Island by a bridge over Valdez Island,
Those who, with little idea of distance on a map, saw on Trutch's-
map of 25 miles to the inch Valdez Island in the centre of the
Straits of Georgia, at once concluded that the interval could be
bridged. Of seven spans, six were more than 1000 feet, the least
opening being 1100 feet, the widest 1350 feet; the exception below
1000 reached 640 feet. The depths to be overcome, I never learned.
It is not of importance to waste time in search of the precise figures-
to-day, but the report tells us " the channels are of great depth, with
a tide from four to nine miles an hour." (Report, 1874.) Nevertheless, this bridging found advocates. The public took little trouble
in examining into its magnitude, and, however blatant the utterer of
an absurdity, he generally, finds' listeners. Consequently, Bute Inlet
as the terminus came to be generally considered by an active clique
of men, who made themselves heard. For a short period, also, the
Peace River route to the north was seriously considered for the time
to come out at the Skeena. But on this latter point there was not
general assent, and there were many proposed modifications of the
In fact there was a simple principle by which the location only
should be governed.4 The acute intellect of Lord Dufferin early saw
it, as did many Engineers who studied the subject. It was to reach
the sea as soon as possible. In other words to gain a commodious
harbour in the least distance. In this point of view Burrard Inlet
was recommended by Mr. Fleming, and adopted by Mr Mackenzie,
the present terminus, Port Moody, being acquiesced in.
This decision was thus made by Mr. Mackenzie. It is now
universally accepted as the wisest which could have been made. On
that point at least no effort has been made to defame Mr. Mackenzie's
I have set chronology somewhat at defiance in not dealing with
the Eastern Terminus. But it was necessary, before doing so, to make
plain what the Western objective points were. The governing point
of   location from the East was the Yellow Head Pass.    The first 20
question on starting from Lake Superior, was to determine whence
the line should take its origin. Two localities claimed consideration.
Port Arthur and River Kaministiquia. Port Arthur is exposed to
Southern gales. It would require an expenditure of many hundred
thousand dollars to secure shipping against them. The second
locality was the River Kaministiquia. The bar leading to its entrance
is 3,500 feet across, which requires dredging, and some work of this
character is necessary in the river. But the river offered the
advantages nowhere attainable, with deep water, where a fleet of
steamers can lie, whence they can with ease enter and depart, and
where, wharves the most commodious can be inexpensively constructed. So manifest are these advantages that the. Canadian Pacific
Syndicate have made this river the harbor for their boats, and the
Public Works Department are improving the approaches over the
shoal. An improvement commenced, and most satisfactorily carried
on, under Mr. Mackenize; on his resignation to be summarily
abandoned, now once again to be undertaken.
Therefore the claim of Mr. McKenzie to public consideration for
having wisely chosen the River Kaministiquia as the Lake Superior
Harbor for the Canadian Pacific terminus, has been fully vindicated.
It was from this locality the starting point of the line commenced.
Under the direction of the Syndicate, the railway connection with
Lake Superior has returned to it after four years of intrigue, misdirected effort and misrepresentation.
The survey of the line was commenced in 1871, and in 1873
came before the world what will hereafter be' known as the first
Pacific Scandal. Sir John Macdonald saw that the vote of Parliament would be adverse to him, and in preference to the facts coming
fully to light in the debate, and so placed on record against him, he
resigned. The new administration of Mr. Mackenzie was announced
on the 7th November, as having been formed.
The great argument relative to the first Pacific contract urged
o o o
against Sir John Macdonald, was that he awarded it to the late Sir
Hugh Allan, with the design of obtaining money to influence the
elections. To my mind, there was the greater crime of Idse majeste,
high treason against the people of Canada, on the part of Sir John
Macdonaldjin the fact itself of taking the contract out of the direction
of the Government, and placing it in private hands.   It was precisely 21
the work of which the Government should have kept full control,
and have carried on by subordinate agents, sectional contractors.
Admitting that the contract had been awarded on no other plea
but that of policy, and that it was a matter of faith, that it was
essential to the well-being of the community that the work should
be taken out of the hands of the Government, and that it was
advisable to place the work in private hands, the proceeding was
mischevious and dangerous in every respect. Even Sir John
Macdonald, appearing as the guardian of public virtue and morality,
his policy on the score of expediency had not a shadow of merit to
commend it, and called on all sides for condemnation.
Nothing was known concerning the-line, either of the extent of
work, or the direction it should take. One fact only was established
in reality ; the. Order in council of the 2nd April, 1880, which made
the Yellow Head Pass the locality at which the Mountain Range
should be crossed. A decision which this Government, in a few
years, was so pointedly to ignore. The cost of the work, even at a
most general approximation, was unknown. The very point at which
'it was to strike the Pacific Ocean was undetermined. But, even in
those wild days of legislation, Sir George Cartier's Act of 1872,
limited the subsidy to thirty millions of money and fifty, millions
acres of land. But to give a contract on the knowledge then
possessed by the Executive officers of the Government was a crime
as serious as the threatened vote of the House of Commons would
have stamped on Sir J. Macdonald; that of having entered into an
arangement for the disposal of the contract for corrupt 'purposes,
having even received money on account. A vote before which the
chief actor quailed and resigned his Premiership.
Those political supporters. who. still sustain Sir J. Macdonald,
continue to lay down the principle that such a gigantic work can
never profitably be performed by a Government for it brings with
itself the elements of demoralization- and corruption. It is one of
those convenient doctrines by whieh men fight round a dilemma
rather it. I believe that all thinking men must be of the
opinion, no error is greater than that contained in the proposition.
The proof is shown in the very condition of the work itself to-day.
The really difficult portions of the line which have been completed ;
the heavy, massive work exacting, expenditure of money with
engineering skill; all these portions have been undertaken and have 3s
been completed, or are nearly so by the Department oj Railways. The
distance in Mr. Fleming's line from Fort William toPacific waters was
1946 miles.    The extent of the heavy and difficult work lay at the
two extreme ends.
From Lake" Superior to Selkirk 408
Erom Kamloops to Port Moody 215
623 miles.
Something less than one-third of the whole on Mr. Fleming's line
embracing all the heavy work. Of the 1300 miles, 900 were light
in character. The remaining 400 miles had some heavy cutting, but
offered little difficulty to men of experience. Even on the present
line, 964 miles, from Winnipeg to the summit, have proved to be of the
slightest possible description of work. It has been carried on with
perfect ease by an ordinary organization, and very little effort. It
did not present the slightest difficulty of construction.
Thus, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, as it was first located, the
really difficult work was done by the country. The extreme work,
and the objectionable features of the route from the summit of the
first range on the Syndicate route did not come into calculation on
the Mackenzie line.    They did not exist. -
What I am desirous of showing is that the true principle by
Which the Railway should have been constructed was to keep it under
the control of the Government. It was the Department of Public
Works which constructed the Canals in 1841-42. It ifi the same
Department which has since consummated the enlargement of the
Welland and the Lachine Canals, and which is now engaged in the
completion of the remaining links. It was the Government which
constructed the Intercolonial Railway. Any faults and blemishes in
its location such as that which is known as the " Grecian Bend " in
Nova Scotia, and the diverted location at Moncton, New Brunswick,
with other blots on the work, are doubtless attributable to the greed of
politicians, and the weak compliance of the Executive. But to the
end the Department held control of the Railway, and it was finished as
a Government work: The whole history of the country* is against
the theory that' public works are best performed by a Company.
No one at all accustomed to public life, looks for ideal virtue in
any form of popular Government. Living on popular support, an
Executive has to do much to retain that support which many of its
members and" the best of its supporters would  wish undone.    A 23
claim for service is preferred, and it depends by whom it is enforced if
it be recognized. In a country with a strong healthy public opinion,
as in England, there is a limit to the extent of compliance. A
Minister with the great body of the people to sustain him ean take
decided ground,, and really make the common interest a governing
principle. With us in the Dominion public opinion is more difficult to
awaken. Generally it is faint, timidly expressed, and wanting in
concreteness and form. In public questions men are often taken by
surprise, and with the truest desire to do right, do not see their way
to do so. They are often bewildered by the boldness of the assertions of those preferring a claim. They have no facts, before them,
assured and undoubted, by which their judgment can be guided and
directed. In my humble judgment, they fail in this respect as much
as on any other ground*.^.
In the advances of the Canadian Pacific Railway of last session,
thirty-two. millions, of dollars, all .the real facts of the case were
carefully suppressed. I repeat the word deliberately, suppressed.
And when exacted by Parliament dishonestly, given, as I will prove,
before I complete these pages. The case itself was met by all sorts
of special pleading. In what was the difficulty with regard to the
Syndicate of the Canadian Pacific different to that of any other contractors 1 In the event of a firm appearing before the Minister of
Railways, and producing what he calls his expenditure to show his
solvency, and claiming that he could not carry on his work without
an advance, and demand an additional payment of. money in excess
of that he agreed to receive, the work would at once have been taken
out of his hands and measures adopted to on otherwise. But
there was such a cloud of bewilderment created about the Syndicate,
their resources, the work accomplished by them, their wonderful
energy ; the whole being made subservi ent to party ethics and political fidelity that men did n ot know where the truth lay. Hence the
vote of the last session of Parliament according the terms of relief
'granted, without a precedent in history and entirely at variance with
every principle of right, expediency and good Government : in
itself an outrage to public morality. X
Mr. Mackenzie entered upon power amid all the political chaos
which lately disclosed events created. There were no assured details'
to suggest what should be undertaken, and there was no policy generally accepted as one to be followed. The future was one of uncertainty. The one great project of the construction of the Canadian:
Pacific Railway lay before him, with the Order-in Council of the 2nd
April, in which the Yellow Head Pass was affirmed as the line of crossing the mountain-range.
It was not to be expected that this project, so important, and involving, such immense interests, should be kept free from the complications of theory which are observable' on all such occasions. They
arose on all sides, as to the starting point, the direction of the Railway, the Terminus, the'mode of carrying on the work. In reality,
the fortunes of every Railway lie in its own future development, and
they can be foretold with little precision. But there are cardinal'
principles to be observed in determining a project, never safely to be
abandoned. From the beginning we were calle I upon to expect too-
much from the completion of this Railway, and most unwisely. ! The
appeal has been made to our fancy, our- imagination rather than to our
knowledge, our judgment, our sober second thoughts. Moreover, as a
rule the minds of men are sanguine. The majority look generally to
the bright side of things,.and those who hesitate to admit all the glow-'
ing results, so passionately foretold, are stamped as they have been from
the days of Greek tragedy as'prophets of evil. But at this date the
confidence in the Railway seemed universal, so far as faith extended,
to- its promised influence. We are now beginning to recoil from the
bright estimate of the future. We see the population in the North-
West and in British Columbia but slowly increasing. There is no
particular advance in any of the- interests which we were led to think
possessed so much life. And we have been taught to bring to our
anticipations of the future that calm consideration, that well balanced
calculation of the chances of what we may look for, which mark the
operations of really able men when they embark in enterprises of
pith and moment.. ^\
Mr. Mackenzie's duty was plain ; to direct the most full explorations of the country to be made, and its resources to be studied. We
have the result of his six years' government in the valuable reports of
his Engineer-in-Chief, and in his adoption of the two terminal points,
and the line of Railway between them passing through the best land
and crossing the pass in all respects the most eligible for the purpose.
I have alluded to the. circumstance of the outcry against all who
call in question the policy and the proceedings of the Syndicate.
But surely the fortunes of our common country demand that every
operation by them should be keenly and severely examined. At the
same time, the criticism must be fair and just. One of the future
sources of revenue, from the day of the Trutch dinner down to • this'
hour, is the assumed trade with China and Japan and the East Indies.
In the early days of the Railway it was much dwelt "upon, possibly
believed in by many. Certainly few of us had the courage to dispute
the fact. Long rows of figures and tables of statistics were given to
show what the trade is with England. Nobody disputes the extent
of the trade. But even were it ten times what it is, what we ask today is, what is there to show, beyond merely fanciful supposition,
that any of this trade will pass over the Canadian Pacific Railway ?
What is there at present of this trade which follows the two lines of
Railway, the Northern and Central Pacific ? I cannot learn that
there is any Of any account. In plain words, no such trade exists,
and what is there to show that the Canadian Pacific can call it into
being. Were there an United States trade, with San Francisco at
one terminus, and New York the Banking emporium of the continent
at the other, we cannot -hope in any way to interfere with it.
It may be urged that it is not the American trade which will take
this line; it is the commerce of Europe, especially that of Great
Britain, on which it bases its hope. All reasoning is against this
possible eventuality. For had there been any British trade, it would
long ago have sought the United States line's.
With peoples of enlightenment, trade has no nationality. ■ If it
had been found profitable for the United States route to be followed
by Japan and China merchants, they would not have stopped to ask
under what flag the traverse of this continent Was to be made.
Were such a- trade possible during the years that the United States
Railways have been in operation there would now be an established
relationship easily adducible as a- fact, and if it do not exist to-day X
on the present trans-continental lines, the inference is against the
probability that it will be called into being by the Canadian Pacific.
I never could recognize any reason for the extension of the line to
British Columbia and the Pacific Ocean, beyond the fact that that
Province being a part of the Dominion, it was expedient to establish
.a Railway connection with it; the more especially as the fertility of
the. intervening country and its agricultural capability required such
connection, as the. means of settlement reaching it. The line was an
act of necessity, under the latter aspect; it became even to be
regarded as an act of justice to the settlers on the fertile plains of
the central territory between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains. It was due to them to give them access equally to Lake
Superior and the Pacific.
Sp recognized as a necessity, it was wise and prudent to complete
it with despatch, with more than ordinary despatch. But the
claim that its immediate completion at all cost, as a strong commercial
necessity, is entirely unsustained by any circumstance. It was never
more than an assertion, and to vouch it there is no proof. It was
merely one of the many generalities advanced on the occasion.
Any calculation based on theories other than those above stated
must lead to failure and disappointment. The only legitimate trade
to be looked for is that which is connected with the population of the
country traversed by the line. To the east there is access to Lake
Superior and the Canadian markets. The branch line to Emerson
opens a communication with the southern markets of the United
States, and the third connection with the Pacific opened the West to
the agriculturist of the plans.
We have been ten years studying the problem and we are able to
form some conception of what was our true policy. There were three,
courses open to us.
1. The Railway could be forced through from Pembroke to Burrard
2. The line could have been constructed from Lake Superior to the
Pacific ; the intermediate section around Lake Superior being
<Mt completed by yearly increments from each end.
3'. The connection between Lake Superior could bave been pushed on
and the ' line carried across the'plains in advance of settlement.
Branches wisely selected would have followed. The line also
to be commenced and carried on for three hundred-miles in
British Columbia,
..,..-'.„..., 27
The north shore of Lake Superior also to be proceeded with year
by year.
In the latter case the progress of the line from Winnipeg would
have depended on settlement, and in good time with population
sufficient to warrant the expenditure the connection would have been
carried across the mountains.
In the meantime such an extent of Railway should have been
constructed in British Columbia as would have satisfied the wants
and requirements of that Province.
By the last named policy, the resources of the Dominion would have
been husbanded, and the increase to our debt avoided. Who, free
from political entanglements, and having only the welfare of the
Dominion at heart, will hesitate to declare his faith in this policy %
Our first attempt was called for to obtain settlement. The land ought
never to have been regarded as a field for speculation, and to be given
as a prey to desperate gamblers. I believe myself that we would
have been wise to have given the land to actual settlers;, subject to
laws and regulations, which would have prevented it falling into
the gripe of the sharks who are always floating in the waters of
Had the Railway been constructed without rush and hurry as
emergency dictated, and facility given to settlement, we should not
have required foreign contractors, nor have seen the migratory bands
of workmen staying for a few days in one place and then disappearing
for ever. The money expended would have been kept in the country.
The effect of this course having been followed in 1827 and in subsequent years during the construction of the Welland Canal, is yet
visible in the counties of York, Peel and Halton. As money was
earned on the Welland Canal settlers flowed into the townships of
Toronto, Chinguacousy and Caledon, all of which received an extraordinary impetus, at this date. The money earned enabled settlers to
locate themselves, to construct their buildings, and extend their
We should have seen a repetition. of these consequences in the
North West, had a wiser policy been followed, and the Railway more
deliberately constructed. Above all the Avork would have been
performed by the settlers in the neighbourhood, or those who would
have, become settlers, and how different would have been our debt. r
It was-with this idea that Mr. Mackenzie proposed the statesmanlike view of using the water stretches, and what a shout arose from
the hopeful supporters of the last defeated administration. Who
cannot recollect the infamous attempts to blacken Mr. Mackenzie's,
fair fame? The repeated vilification of his personal honour and
honesty 1 Who utters these charges to-day ? Who comes forward
to assail the policy of improving the water stretches, when this very
Government is engaged in the work of their improvement; as they
are spending large sums . in deepening the channel to enter the
Kaministiqua River, completing the Mackenzie Channel. Although
only 22 feet in width, the cut remained open never having filled in,
so that the coal steamers from Ohio drawing 10 feet chartered by the
Canadian Pacific could ascend the river to deposit coal on the
We can recollect also the exaggerated language in the Senate
OO o      o
relative to the Fort Frances Lock.    In a few years we sball see this
lock in operation, with, general assent.
As I have said Mr. Mackenzie's attention was directed to the
exploration of the country. And from the hour of his assuming office
to the unfavourable verdicts of the elections in 1878, the surveys
were unremittingly pushed on by Mr, Fleming. They established
without a doubt that the. true location was by Yellow. Head Pass :
that the Railway would pass through the best land in the North-West.
No grade was in excess of 1 in 100. No curve less than a 1433 feet
radius was introduced, and the effort on all occ'asions was to use
the larger radius curve. The location was an admirable one. Across
the rugged-belt of territory between Lake Superior and Selkirk,
although the work was heavy, no gradient ascending eastward in
406 miles exceeded 26.40 to the mile. [Report 1877, p. 45].
Mr. Fleming^ estimate for the work was. as follows :   \
Fort William to Selkirk       406 miles $17,000,000
Selkirk to Jasper    1,000   " 13,000,000
Jasper to Kamloops Lake       385    "     at $43,660 15,500,000
Lake Kamloops to Yale       125    "     at   80,000 10,000,000
Yale to Port Moody         90    "    at   38,888.. 3,500,000
Add additional.'.  1,000,000
Putting out of sight the work executed by the Government,- viz.,
from Lake Superior to Selkirk, and from Kamloops to the Pacific, we ,29
have  the  following  sections  on  Mr. Mackenzie's line,   with  Mr.
Fleming's estimates :
From Selkirk to Jasper  1,000 miles 13,000,000
Jasper to Kamloops Kake..:.. 385   " 15,500,000
This was the total amount estimated for the completion of the
line within the distance included in the contract of the Canadian
Pacific, with light equipment.
Mr.  Stephen claims that he expended on 1131 miles of line of
completed road as follows :
Construction  ; $23,078,929   -
Materials, Railroad Supplies   4,364,839
Rolling Stock  6,130,792
Plant, Tools, and Outfit for Construction  187,002
All this is for the Canadian Pacific proper, for the 1131 miles,
for the construction of the work and the equipment of the line.    For
we have  equally an estimate of expenditure on the extension from
Callender to Montreal and Brockville.
These lines consist of the old Canada I Central, and the North
Shore Railway from Ottawa to Montreal constructed by. the Quebec
The Canada Central is as follows :
Miles.   Mile?.
Brockville to Ottawa  75
Smith's Falls to Perth  .  12
.   Carleton Junction to Pembroke  76
There   remains on the above line a Mortgage of $1,823,333
—$11,130 per mile.
To the above distance has to be added the line from Pembroke
to Callender      120
The North Shore line is 120 miles in length, there remains a
mortgage upon it of $3,500,000 equal to $29,166^ per
mile           120
The expenditure as set forth by Mr. Stephen stands as follows :
Extension from Callender to Montreal and Brockville.. $3,270,351
Rolling Stock for above  ' 900,000
Shops....  516,032
Tools and Machinery  352.230
Real Estate for Terminus '  390,790
Total •     $5,469,403 30
No account is taken of the allowance of the Dominion
Government as a bonus towards constructing the line
from Pembroke to Callender, — 120 miles at $12,000
per mile        1,440,000
Add Mortgages     $1,823,333
| "        3,500,000
Total     $12,232,736
For 283 and 120=03 miles with equipment at a cost per mile of
Turning to the expenditure of the hues west of Callender^ the
figures of Mr. Stephen establish that the total amount, with equipment
and provision for future work is $33,761,562.
Of the completed 1131 miles, I infer from the subsidy paid that
they consist of
110 Miles from Callender to Sudbury Junction p^fif.
67      "   East of Prince Arthur	
177      "     at       per mile     $15,384.61
900     "  from Winnipeg towards the summit.      10,000.00      9,000,000
54     I    '" I "        " "    ..      13,333.00 719,982.
These figures, if not correct, are practically so.
On   the   Land   Grant   Bonds   the   amount
received is         9,029,012
Deduct one-fifth pro rata,  for lines East of
Lake Superior       1,805,802
There remains  then to   charge   against   the
"Western Work from Winnipeg  6,223,200
Subsidy paid'on line West Prince Arthur, $15,943,192
Such is the amount received for the work west of Winnipeg^,
about $16,000- per mile
This was the district estimated by Mr. Fleming at $13,000.
The cost of construction alone, is stated by Mr. Stephen at.
$20,405 per mile.
The examination of this asserted cost I leave for another place.
I bring these figures side by side, to show that the change  of
location was not dictated by any theory of economy.    For the line of
Mr. Mackenzie would have cost less money.
I have described Mr. Mackenzie's line, how it went over the
lowest pass, with no climatal objections, with grades and curves
under the circumstances unexceptionable, certainly immensely .better,
than those met on the constructed line, and above alTpassing through
the best land. I cannot meet anywhere a record of a fair and just
objection which was urged against it.    The length was 1946 miles. 31
The present contract legalized, the Syndicate entered upon power.
It is yet to be shown what control has been exercised over their
proceedings by the Government, and on what principle, and for what
cause the change of line was dictated. Whether this policy arose
with the Syndicate, or whether it was suggested by the Executive to
throw discredit on Mr. Mackenzie's administration; whether it
originated from a conviction of its wisdom, or from mere arbitrariness,
will ever be one of the minor debatable points hereafter to be discussed. For I prophesy that the history, of this Railway will long
hold a place in the public mind when'the actors who are figuring in
it have passed from the scene, and the heritage • they have left to the
country is known and felt.
One would imagine that so momentous and important an undertaking would have been entered into only on deliberation, and after serious
investigation; that those responsible for it would have placed on
record their views after the most careful inquiry, and would have
embodied in an argumentative report the causes, the necessities, the
advantages which had dictated the change,- and which they felt would
fully justify it. If any such document exists, it has never been
published. Among the many laudatory notices.which, from time to
time, appear in that portion of the public press which has taken the
well-being of the Canadian Pacific in charge, and which is at the
beck of its henchmen and hangers-on, no announcement has. ever been
made of the causes which have led to the change.
I can find only two allusions, which bear upon the matter.
Mr. Schreiber, the Government Engineer of Railways reports :
(Vide Par. Papers 31, pp. 31-36) :
I The obtaining of a route through the Rocky Mountains by a
pass other than the Yellow Head, that contemplated in the original
location, has long been an object, with the Company, (why 1) and they
have selected a line via the Kicking Horse Pass; this route they
consider admitting of the construction, of a road which will compare
favorably with existing lines to the Pacific Coast, while in comparison
with the Yellow Head route, it icill shorten the distance to Port 32
Moody by at least 100 miles.    The maximum gra lient it will be found
necessary to employ is 116 feet to the mile"
Mr. Schreiber refers to the Report of Mr. A. B. Rogers, Chief
Engineer in charge of Surveys, Mountain Sections (page 39.)
We learn in this report, that this maximum grade of 116 feet
extends- for a distance of 17 miles in the Kicking Horse Pass, and
again for a distance of 2 miles in the lower Kicking Horse Pass
for 16 miles in the ascent of the Selkirks, and 20 miles down the
west slope, making a total of 49 miles of this grade.
When Mr. Schreiber speaks of the length of the line, a simple
process would have shown that the saving, as claimed by the Canadian Pacific, is not sustained by the figures he himself gives :
Mr. Fleming's Line, length    1946
Length reported by Mr. Schreiber (page 31)... 1900
Difference      46
Thus, then, according to the Report of the Engineer-in-Chief, the
main advantage spoken of is saving in distance.
The second allusion is by Mr. Fleming, in his lately published
volume "England and Canada," pp. 410.
The problem which the company had to solve was the location
between Winnipeg and Kamloops. They have considered it on the
principle of obtaining the shortest trans-continental route, and in these
few words they explain the theory of their selection. They claim that
this reason is in itself-all powerful to determine the location by the
more southern route which they follow, and One in itself sufficient to
meet any objection against it.
What is this directness of route1! Mr. Schreiber shows it to be 46
With' grades of an equal character, with no special advantage,
without the least miscalculation of any mischance, this difference is
in time from one hour and a half to one hour and three-quarters.
To show precisely what this difference is, if the time required to pass
over the Fleming location were 78 hours, it would take 76J hours to
pass over the-Canadian Pacific, as located.
But what have we to say of the admitted heavy grades on the.
latter and the sharper curves 1- Mr. Rogers mentions 49 miles of 116
feet to mile, whereas it is a matter of notoriety that for some miles
the grades run from 200 to 250 per mile. 33
There is everything to show, that, with all the boasted directness
of route, the disadvantage is manifestly against the.present location.
From the want, of reports,   and the absence of a straightforward
statement of figures, it is not easy to reach the precise length of the
line.    But there are sufficient data scattered here and there by which
we can work out what it is.
The proper comparison of the two lines is from Lake Superior to
the Pacific Terminus.    The line on the north shore of Lake Superior
from Callender to Port Arthur does not affect the question canvassed
in these pages.    What is known of the section is that the line is in
operation to Sudbury Junction, 120 miles, and those who pass over
this line are struck by its extent of curve.    On the remaining portion
of the line many thousand men are at work, a fact mentioned to mark
how the line is being pushed through.
Mr.   Mackenzie's  line  has  been  stated  at   1,946   miles.     The
Canadian Pacific distances, as I can understand them, are :
Port Arthur to Winnipeg        429
Winnipeg to the summit of the Rocky Mountains...        964
From summit Rocky Mountains westward, vide Report Mr. Rogers—
given Railways Canals Report, 1883, p. 115 :
From summit Rocky Mountains to foot Kicking Horse Pass, River
Columbia      45
Along River Columbia     30
Dp Valley, Beaver River     20
East Fork, Ille-oelle-waet -.     20
Main Stream      24
—      139
Reported by Mr. Schreiber Sess. Pap. 31. p. 42 :
From North of the Eagle Pass to Kamloops        161
From Kamloops to Pacific, constructed by Government        215
Total     1,908
With these figures there is a saving of 38 miles only.
It is difficult to determine what the exact length of the line is.
I  have turned to what sources are available to learn the precise
detail, in addition to what I have given.    The following distances
appear in the Report of a Mr. Reed, lately published :
From Winnipeg to summit first range Rocky Mountains     1,393
From summit to the second line of the Columbia, as above stated        139 34
Brought forwa/rd     1,532:
From the River Columbia to Griffin Lake, summit Eagle Pass Not given
' From Griffin Lake to Sicamous Narrows     30
"     Sicamous Narrows to Little Shuswap Lake     45- .
"     Little Shuswap Lake to Kamloops     38
"    Kamloops to Savonna Ferry     25
—      138
"     Savonna Ferry to the Pacific ,        215
According to Mr. Schreiber's figures, the distances not given (161—138)
would be equal to 23 miles	
Adding these      23-
We obtain a total of     1,908
which, until we have, more positive figures, may be assumed to be the
length of the line, with the promised 100 miles of distance saved
reduced to 38, and this is the extent of the gain.
And what is our loss ? The more the question is studied and
considered the more does every known fact establish that the Railway
is in the wrong place, and if the route over the Selkirks be
persevered in, it will be carried over ground for fifty miles where the
Railway cannot be relied upon as being workable.
I must revert to the fact that from the commencement of this
work, the public have been kept entirely unacquainted with the proceedings of the Company. It is one of the most difficult tasks to
obtain any correct knowledge of their operations. The imperfect
report I am only able to give, is a proof of this wrant of information.
What reports are given are contradictory and misleading. I have
mentioned that of Mr. Rogers, setting forth that the maximum grade
was 116 feet to the mile. In the Kicking Horse Pass the grades are
from 200 to 250 to the mile.
Mr. Van Home's statement of a year backj 27th November, 1883,
was as follows : " Beyond this section (the first summit of the Rocky
Mountains) to the point of connection with the section under construction by the Government, no engineering difficulties exist; on
the contrary, the work is light and may be quickly done."
And yet, a few months after these statements, so positive, so clear,
and so bold, we hear of all the difficulties in the Kicking Horse Pass
where the extreme grades, extending over nine miles, are introduced
and the work itself reported so exacting that a " temporary " line is
suggested. 1
If, when the Canadian Pacific Syndicate assumed the contract,
and dissatisfied with the location, which was the result of ten years'
severe labor and much personal privation, they desired to obtain a
better and a more direct line, they had every opportunity to gather
all the information necessary to their doing so. Had they desired to
deal fairly with the people of Canada, and honestly locate a line
which would justify their preference of direction, probably no conditions ever existed more favorable for an exploration of\ the country,
so that all its features could be known and its climatal conditions
thoroughly investigated.
From the Pacific Coast, Kamloops is most accessible; and it wasr
a mere matter of organization to push parties eastwardly from that-
location. Why, however, such a course should be considered necessary, after a study of Mr. Fleming's reports, is by no means plain.
I have mentioned, in a former part of these pages, that access
was formerly had by the Hudson's Bay Company territory by the.
Columbia River. Acting on this suggestion, the Syndicate should
have seen that it was by this river that they should enter the territory to commence their explorations. Their base of operations should
have been in Washington Territory and Oregon.    No little of the
O t/ o
distance was traversed by the Northern Pacific, and when the railway
did not exist the lines of communication were open. The present
point of communication is Sand Point station on the railway furnishing the most convenient spot, where the depot of provisions would
have been established, where parties would have taken to canoes to
ascend the Columbia past Fort Col ville to the. Eagle Pass. On the
River Columbia, at the Eagle Pass, a temporary building—a log
shanty, such as we Canadians can put up in a few hours—could have
been constructed. It would have housed the party as long as requirement exacted. Here should have been established the first station
from which the exploration parties should have been started.
On the theory that one had already been started from Kamloops
west; the second would proceed easterly through the Eagle Pass from
the Columbia, so that the distance of 160 miles to Savonna Ferry
could have been thoroughly examined.
One party would have been sent up the river to examine its
banks to the Boat Encampment.
A fourth party would have started from the Columbia eastwardly
across the Selkirk Range, ascending the Ille Celle waet. ^-m
Passing up the Columbia by the bend of the Boat Encampment
and following the southerly course of the river, a second log hut
barrack would have been established at the foot of the Kicking
Horse Pass.
The knowledge of the geography of the Rocky Mountains, even
at this early date, was quite sufficient to let tne fact be known that
if^ it was determined to take what Mr. Van Home calls the more
direct arid southerly route, and which to-day he affects to justify " in
the [strongest terms," the Bow River had to be ascended, and the
Kicking Horse or the Howse Pass had to be followed.
It remained therefore necessary at the Eastern line of the Columbia, to examine the river itself, and to make reconnaissances of the
two passes.
I recapitulate the examinations, which, to my mind, ought to
havepoeen undertaken :
1. From Kamloops Eastward towards Eagle Pass.
2. "    the Columbia Westward through "
3. By the river Columbia to the Boat Encampment along the
West line of the River.
4. By the river Columbia East line.
5. The Western declivity of the Selkirks up the Valley of the
Hie Celle waet.
6. The Eastern declivity of the Selkirks up the Valley of the
Beaver, from the East line of the Columbia.
7. An  examination  of  the   Howse  Pass — East  from. the.
8. An examination of Kicking Horse Pass to Bow Rivfoi.
To judge by all we know of what has been done by the Syndicate
no such systematic proceedings as these were undertaken. The whole
of their operations as we can judge them, suggest, that in their desire
to depart from the deliberately selected route of Mr. Mackenzie after
the elaborate and careful surveys conducted by Mr. Fleming, to
repeat the common phrase which has been applied to others, " They
went it blind," "They trusted to luck." They are in a position of a
countryman who has gone into a gambling booth in a fair, who has
put his money on black, and red has come up la couleur gagne. As
to the country, the Dominion, so for the Syndicate, in this emergency
the outlook will indeed be black, unless public opinion can intervene
to prevent the consummation of the mischievous folly of carrying the
Railway across the Selkirks. 37
I have alluded to the well-ordered grades and curves on Mr..
Fleming's line. The Syndicate have never published a table of
curves and grades. I trust, at the next meeting of Parliament, it
will be called for and insisted upon. I must here enter my. protest
against the dishonest language of Mr. Reed in his lately published
report. Speaking of the line in the vicinity of Mount Stephen, what
he calls "nine miles of temporary track built around a tunnel."
" This part of the road has 4 per cent grades and curves of 10 ° ."
Anyone reading this expression casually would fail altogether to take
in his meaning. The majority of newspaper readers would imagine
it to mean 4 per cent of grades. In other words, 2X5 of the whole
was on a grade, and the remaining l\ not on a grade. * This unusual
- mode of stating a common fact can only be meant to mislead. What
Mr. Reed should say is, that on this section the grades are 4 ft. to
the 100, extending over 9 miles, with 10 ° curves, 573 radius.
- The Railway is very much belied if it has not 13°'and 14° curves,
440 feet radius and 409 radius with this maximum grade. And this
is precisely the portion Mr. Van Home described a year ago as having
116 feet to the mile, 2 to the 100 and that the work could be
quickly done.
One of the marked features of the location, leaving Winnipeg, is
the number of curves. People by no means observing ask* why they
exist. What explanation can be given for their introduction 1 Some
attempt has been made to justify them, by the remark, that a
previous chief engineer had purchased land here and there on the
several lots, and in order, dishonestly, to place stations on them, had
curved about to suit his own interest. One can conceive such a state
of things existing for 20. or 25 miles before it escaped observation,
when it would have been summarily dealt with by the Managing
Director, and a different order of location established. But these
curves run for many miles.
I repeat that the country must exact a statement of these curves
and grades throughout. Surely, there is patriotism sufficient even in
the ranks of the supporters of the Government to admit of their production There is not a doubt but some member will rise in the
House of Commons and demand them.
We shall see how such curves run along the plains, how they
increase as the line ascends the valley of the Bow River, and how
the Railway in the Kicking Horse Pass is mostly curves of small
radius, and for some miles of immense grades. s
Is this the result on which Mr. Van Home is so boastful of bis
satisfaction % I will tell him, that he will fail to communicate such a
feeling to the people of the Dominion. The gigantic blunder made
in the change of the location, will, in a few months, come to be
known and to be understood,, and there will arise in the country an
outcry of discontent, which no political dexterity can deaden, and
before which, incompetence, meanness, and the service of the hired
defender will quail and sink abashed. ^1
On the27th September last, the report of Mr. Reed, to which I
have alluded, appeared in the Montreal Herald. It was preceded by a
commendatory report of Mr. Van Home. To show that I do not
misrepresent these papers, I give them in the appendix, so that the
views of the Canadian Pacific are set forth in the language of their
chosen agents, and the criticism that I make upon it can be fairly
tested. They are introduced as being published by order of the
I do not know of any parallel in engineering literature to such
reports. With detail floating on the mere surface of the work described,
they deal with assertions which startle us. But, first it is asked, who
is Mr. Reed 1 I cannot learn that he has ever been heard of in Canada. I cannot learn that he has any reputation in the United States.
What little is known of him is that he was brought here by Mr. Van
Home. Why his report should be held to have weight on
Canadian opinion, there is nothing in his antecedents to justify. To
my mind, it is a gross insult to Canada to foist this unknown man
upon us, with his report dated from Joliette, Illinois. Are there no
engineers of credit in the dominion ? There are many. Why did the
Canadian Pacific Railway select this stranger? Because he was
plastic and ductile, Mr. Fleming was telegraphed to from England to
examine this line. It is a matter of notoriety that he did so. Why
is his report not published 1 It has never yet seen the light, in the
view of its public.use.
Mr. Van Home from the commencement has ignored Canadian
experience and capacity, and in the crisis of the hour public confidence has passed away before the recklessness of the contradictory
statements which, from time to time, have been made. Could he
hope that such a report as that of Mr. Reed can have the slightest
influence in reinstating it 1 Had Mr. Van Home really desired to
influence public opinion, and not as if feeling he had a strength above
it, cynically set it at defiance, he would have appointed two Canadian
Engineers to have examined the extent of the line in question, and
have made a fair and genuine appeal to public confidence.    Mr. Van
J 40
Home's own assertions are being tested in these pages,, and since the-
last session of Parliament, the current of public feeling does not run
with them. Their principal feature is to show the poor opinion he-
has of our intelligence, and- our- capacity for judging the situation
which he misrepresents.
"There are no difficult problems;" he tells us, "-to be met; the
work is simple and the cost easily calculated."' What is the history of
this easily calculated work ? Last year his Agents furnished a set of
estimates, which, in a few months, a new special examination reduces
to the extent of four millions. This four million reduction is on the
300 miles from- Savonna Ferry to the Summit.
. Mr. Reed's estimate runs :
Miles.   Average Cost..
West Kamloops Lake to-Griffin Lake 138       $21,565       $2,975,970-
From summit of Gold Range to summit of Rocky)- * KA OD nnA
Mountains-. 7    } 15° 33>000
' I cannot deny myself the remark that I admire the nicety with
which the odd five dollars in the first estimate is so precisely specified!
Thus we have work which last whiter was valued at twelve
millions is now only to cost eight. There- must have been strange-
recklessness in one examination or the other. What are we to think
of the operations which have led to such changes of calculations- in
the same work. If the original estimates were so far wrong what
guarantee- is there that the present figures are correct. They may be
amended to go back to their original figures, or to double them. It
cannot be said that the saving will be effected by throwing out the-
tunnel on the Rocky Mountain summit, for the cost of that work
would be from tern to twelve millions as I will shortly shew.
Mr. Van Home proceeds to say that the doubts he felt are
removed.. He speaks of the magnificent forests which are to furnish
a large and remunerative- traffic. As usual, he is careful to give no*
statistics of profit. We will supply the figures. He will have to-
carry his timber from 1400' to 1600 miles before it reaches Lake
Superior. Does he really mean that there is profit for the lumbereu-
in operations of this character 1 So that the Railway will have-
constant employment. He tells us that the supply is inexhaustible-^
It is so in many parts of British Columbia, and in no way peculiar to-
the location through which he has so madly rushed. Will any
lumberer of credit and standing say that it is a field fon- present 41
operations. There are so many limits, so much more favourably
situated which will last for a century that we cannot hope for such
operations being commenced for three or four generations.
A few figures will shew the shallowness of such calculations :
A car load of lumber consists of 12 tons, equal in plank to 10,000
feet broad measure of square timber 833 feet lineal, say 28 sticks, 12
inches x 12 inches, 30 feet long. The ordinarily estimated tariff is
three-quarters of a cent a ton a mile, that is 9 cents a car. The cost
to New York from Ottawa, between 400 and 500 miles, according to
route, to Portland 417 miles, to Boston 436 miles, is alike $40 a car,
and this price is low.
It is well known that there are mills at Rat Portage, 132 miles
from Winnipeg, and that it is from this source that that city and
generally the Province of Manitoba will be supplied. Consequently,
Mr. Van Home's timber must be exported.
The freight per car, accordingly, will be from the summit to
Winnipeg 960 miles, $ 86 per car. Per 1,000 feet B. M. $ 8.64.
-      Lake Superior... 1389    "       125       " "              "          12.50.
Ottawa 2269    "       204       " "              "          20.42.
Montreal 2389    "       215       " " .        .   it          21.50.
These figures shew the utter absurdity of the idea.
In the case of British Columbia, lumbering operations may be
commenced, but will be best carried on in the districts near the sea,
and not till those fields are exhausted will the operators advance to
the interior.    Where, then, is Mr. Van Home's revenue 1
From the magnificent timber trade of the future, he turns to the
I magnificent harbours " of British Columbia, and its exceptionably
favourable situation for commanding the trade of the North Pacific
Coast, and of Japan and China.
This rhetorical flourish of the Pacific Ports is placed at its right
value when it is remembered that the Canadian Pacific Railway is
interested in one only, Port Moody, Burrard Inlet. Again, we have to
ask, what is the Japan and China trade which is to come over land?
There are three Railways to battle for it, be it what it may. But it
is in reality a myth. There is no China trade in the sense of
its beirig a prize worth struggling "for. The freight from San
Francisco, east, is the production of the, fruitful soil of California.
Let Mr. Van Home show facts and figures that such a Railway
movement exists. 42
Again, I repeat, the only theory of establishing a Railway connection with the Pacific was the political necessity of blending British
Columbia with the rest of the Dominion, and to find an outlet to
the Western Ocean for the produce of the dwellers on the plains.
To talk of the Timber trade, of China and Japan, of the harbors
of the coast, is to deal with mere generalities, which come- like
shadows, so depart.
What a positive trade is, we can see when we consider the passage
of wheat. Ten barrels of flour are reckoned as a ton of freight, so
the car of twelve tons carries 120 barrels. Take any point on the
line. Medicine Hat, which is 1083 miles from the River Kaministiquia, and 660 from Winnipeg. The estimated cost of a car to the
former at f cents per tori per mile, equal to 9 cents, the car would be
$97.47, so the freight of a barrel of flour would be 81 cents; to the
latter the car would be $59.40. So the cost of a barrel of flour
would be 60 cents. One Hundred barrels of flour being equal to
3666 bushels of wheat, the 120 barrels of flour are equal to 4,400
bushels shipped.
I do not enter into any examination of the question of land. It
is a disputed point to-day, what is good and what is bad. It really
does not come into my argument. When all the good land is taken
up we shall learn the truth of the eligibility of the. land from Moose
Jaw to Calgarry. Any comparison which is made, is not to be considered with the lines south of us in the United States Territory.
Whether the land south of us be good or bad, the temperature dry
and arid, or geniaL the climatal conditions free from trouble and
threatened difficulty, these considerations come no way into the
character of the Canadian line. The only comparison allowable is to
place it as a whole with its advantages and disadvantages, in opposition to those of the line adopted by Mr. Mackenzie, on the route of
which to the mountains all the land was good, where the mountain
pass was low and free from glaciers. But with all these advantages
it was abandoned.
When we read the shallow grounds assigned by Mr. Van Home
for the change, and see plainly his failure to establish the fact of
directness of route, we can only read with contempt the expression of
satisfaction on which he plumes himself.
I have somewhat dealt with the report of his lieutenant, Mr.
Reed, in connection with his own assertions.    I have some other
— 43
remarks to make on its contents. Is Mr. Reed aware of the claim of
Mr. Stephen as to the cost of constructing the line on the plains ? He
would have done well to have made himself acquainted with it. Mr.
Stephen's average is $20,406 per mile. Mr. Reed tells us that the
section to Griffin Lake, at the summit of Eagle Pass, 113 miles, is
estimated, through the mountains, not to cost more than $16,000 per
mile. Little experience in railway construction will inform us .that
if this estimate be correct, the country through the mountains must
be almost level.
The figures themselves' suggest a problem to solve. Given the cost
over the plains at $20,406 per mile, what will be the probable cost
through the Eagle Pass : who would not reply $30,000 or $40,000
per mile.
Given the cost through the Eagle Pass range at $16,000, what
would be the cost across the plains : the reply would follow, some
$9,000 or $10,000.
There is only one form of estimate to be accepted, that based on
known quantities, taken out in detail, with the incidental work. And
what is specially needed, is a table of grades and curves to show what
the line is. For, in the desire to hurry the work to completion, it
may skim the surface only. To use the expressive technical word of
the Engineer's Dictionary, he 1 scamped."
The narrative description of Mr. Reed is valueless. It is unintelligible, a mere statement of generalities. He gives us his views and
orders us to accept them Without examination. There is no table of
curves, or information as to the length of the grades. We are told
that in the distance of 390 miles, the grade does not exceed 66 feet
to the mile, but not the extent which this grade of 66 feet embraces.
He can speak plainly of grades when within this figure. How different and how covertly he sets forth grades of 200 feet to the- mile as
4 per cent. Speaking of the above named grades, and in order to
explain the necessity of some heavy work which finds itself among
them, he tells us " that it would not be sound railroad policy to introduce heavier grades near the center of a long section," implying that
this principle has been the dominant one observed, and that there is
no break in the continuity of the. normal grade.
What a comment do these words of this chosen scribe of the
Canadian Pacific make on their own policy 1   They have carried out 44
the very policy he condemns. In the head of the Rocky Mountains
there is a stretch of nine miles down the Kicking Horse Pass of
excessive grades.
I have before remarked, that to read Mr. Reed's report the fact has
no existence. Here is the passage in which conveys a most false
impression :
"•The alignment is good, and the gradients, with the exception of
the west slope of the Rocky Mountains and over the Selkirks, in no
place on the Mountain section exceeds 60 feet to the mile."
He proceed to say that on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains,
and parts of both slopes of the Selkirk Range, grades of 116 feet per
mile exist, but they occur within a comparatively short distance, and
can be easily and economically operated by the use of special locomotives such as are used on similar gradients elsewhere.
Mr. Rogers tells us that 116 feet grades extend for 49 miles.
We. have heard a great deal of the temporary track in the columns
of the press, devoted to the interests of the Canadian Pacific ; Mr.
Reed tells us that it is built round " the tunnel of nine miles. The
temporary line will answer all purposes of traffic for years to come."
It is here that Mr. Reed speaks of his four per cent curves.
Does Mr. Van Home or Mr. Reed know what a tunnel of nine
miles in the Mountains is, that they speak so glibly of it 1 There
have been several tunnels of world-wide renown. On our own
continent the Hoosac, so admirably brought to completeness by the
Messrs. Shanly; except for whose genius and patient labour it is
doubtful if it would ever have been finished, as there was a strong
party in the State of Massachusetts who were hopeful that their
operations would break down. Anyone at all familiar with the
United States stage must recollect that one of the jokes of the
burlesque of that date was the improbable completion of the work.
The funny men classed it with the Greek Kalends. It was regarded
as an " impossibility;" and as one reads the reports of the proceedings
of the State Engineers, it looks as if they did their best to make it
so.*    But it has been carried through by the Messrs. Shanly with
* Even the gentle minded Oliver Wendell Holmes found a pleasant simile
of the impossible in the -Hoosac Tunnel. It appears in the lines known as
" Latter day warnings " in the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.
When you that hath a horse on sale
Shall bring his merit to the proof, ^\
masterly ability. It is considered one of the most difficult of the four
works ; the remaining three being Mount Cenis, the St. Gothard, and
the Arlsberg in Austria. In the Hoosac, shaft workings were
required, the source of great expense in hoisting rock and pumping
water. There was also no water power available to work the
machinery. For the difference between water power and steam
power represents a large cost. Its length is 4.8 miles; the deepest
shaft upwards of 1000 feet. It cost not far from a million and a
quarter dollars a mile, of fair construction. But the State of
Massachusetts, before the Shanlys took it in' charge, wasted an
immense amount of money from the incompetency of its Agents and
other causes.
The Mount Cenis Tunnel and the Hoosac furnished the. conductors of the Saint Gothard Tunnel with the means of improving
the machinery, and they had unlimitable water-power to work it. It
was completed in 1882, after 3,330 days of actual work having been
given to it, say 11 years. The distance is 9 miles, 564 yards. The
cost eleven millons of dollars.
The latest great tunnel work is the Arlsberg. The progress made
has been an advance on the St. Gothard. There is, also, the advantage of water power of full extent, with every improvement on the
machinery known.
Giving every advantage to the Rocky Mountain Tunnel, although
I fear that there would be little or no water for the machinery, it is
a   most  formidable  undertaking.    Moreover, if  the  late   event  as
Without a lie for every nail
That holds the iron on the hoof.
When publishers no longer steal
' And beg for what they stole before.
When the first locomotive wheel
Bolls through the Hoosac TunneVs bore.
Then, let Cumming blaze away,
And Miller's saints blow up the globe,
But when you see that blessed day,
Then order your Ascension robe.
No doubt the poet in his next edition will tell his readers that the impossible
has been accomplished, dwelling on all that the State of Massachussetts owes to
the Shanlys. Will it not be something to appear in the pages of an -undying
writer ? The Ascension robe, Dr. Holmes, however, I fear, must still include
with the difficilia quae pulchra. 46
recorded in the newspapers be correct, of the fall of the crown of a
short tunnel, from which several visitors of the British Association
narrowly escaped with their lives, the rock, though hard, will not
stand without being lined, such a work, at random, may be estimated
as costing eleven or twelve millions, and taking eleven years to
It is a work of this character so pleasantly promised in the future.
To hide the excess of grade 200 feet and 250 feet to the mile,
over the deliberate statement that the maximum grade was but 116
feet to the mile, the' prese nt work is called a " temporary line." But
call it what they may, it is clearly intended as the permanent line.
What is the promise of the future? Coming events casts their
shadows before. Loguittir, Mr. Reed. The paragraph is one of the
beauties of his report.
" I gave some attention to the nine miles of temporary track that
has been built around, a tunnel, and some heavy work in the vicinity
of Mount Stephen for the purpose of saving a year's time in completing the road through to the Pacific. This part of the road has
four per cent grades, and curves of ten degrees. As far as I
examined this temporary line, I found it thoroughly built, when
\Sic ? with] seventy pound rails, per yard and first-class fastenings.
It will answer all purposes for traffic for years to come, without
material increase in the cost of operating. The Atcheson, Topeka
and Santa Fe, &c, and other roads have grades equal to, or exceeding
this one. . . . The temporary line around this place is so well
built, and promises to answer present purposes so well, I should think
it unwise to expend any money on the intended permanent Une, until
the traffic really demanded it."
I will not stop to criticise the slip-slop English, or disingenuous-
ness of the statement. Who can read it and doubt its motive ?
Written to bewilder the general public, its feeble effort at deception
fails entirely to mislead any one having the slightest knowledge of
the subject.
This "temporary track" to save a year's time, if if "means anything
is the statement that the nirie miles of tunnel, which with Engineers
of the highest skill and power would exact ten years of constant
labour to complete, can be built in as many months by Mr. Van
Home. At the same time cui bono engaging in this trifle ! Gentlemen you have -an excellent line quite equal to that which satisfies the 47
meridian of Topeka. Accept the blessing you possess. You have
rails 70 lbs. to the yard, you see I am particular in stating this fact,
even if your grades are "four per cent," and I think I have given
you a riddle to solve when describing this admirable location. And
then you gain a year to receive the immense revenue coming from
the trade of the Orient, such a puzzle to our fathers,, and you have all
the profit of bringing lumber from the Columbia, to the St. Lawrence
at Montreal, with the vast acquisitions to be derived from the working of the mines, and the development of the fisheries : and you will
at once have a rush of immigrants to British Columbia, all of whom
will make large fortunes, and send for their relatives, including their
sisters, their cousins, and their aunts, to increase the population.
It is difficult to write seriously of such a paragraph. Its consummate impudence brings us back to some chapter of fiction. But to
Canada it is a serious matter. A line of the importance of the Pacific-
connection with the other Provinces, deliberately given out of the
control of the Government, for the ten years' examination, establishing the choice of route, and its carefully considered location to be
rejected. This line, with its reduced grades, its curves kept to a
fixed standard, passing through the recognized best land of the
country, over the lowest pass, free from every climatal objection, to
be rejected: to give place to a reckless change of location, made
without principle, without knowledge, without forethought. To pass
over these extreme grades and these sharp curves ; alone it is a national
Mr. Van Home's letter, enclosing Mr: Roger's statement of the
grades of 116 feet to the mile, was written the end of November,
1883. At the beginning of September, Mr. Fleming made his
passage through the Kicking Horse Pass. He describes the fall in 50
miles, of- 2700 feet; the first six miles giving a descent of 200 feet
per mile. Could this detail have been unknown to Mr. Van Home,
when he stated that the maximum grade was 116 feet? Possibly he
had in view the the tunnel of 9 miles, for which, as Mr. Reed
explains, he substituted the temporary track " for the purpose of
saving a year's time." 46
The line of the Canadian Pacific from the plains, ascends the
valley of Bow River, and passing the crest of the mountains descends
the valley of the Kicking Horse to the River Columbia. The line
follows the bank of the river for 30 miles, whence it commences to
cross the Selkirk Range, ascending by the Beaver Valley, and
descending by that of the Ille-celle-waet.
The distances are as follows. They have been given before, but
on an examination of this character, figures have to be repeated.
From the .summit, down the Kicking Horse to the Columbia 45
Along the River Columbia 30
Ascending Beaver Valley 20
Descending the Ille-cette-waet 44
The second line of the Columbia is here reached, whence the
Eagle Pass is followed.
What is the climatal condition of the mountain range, the
Selkirks, between these two lines of the River Columbia ?
The height of the first summit, the Kicking Horse Pass is 5,300
feet above the sea; the second summit, between the waters of the
Beaver and the Ille-cette-waet, is 4,600 feet.
The rejected Yellow Head Pass is 3,646 feet above the sea, free
from every trace of difficulty of snow, ice or avalanches. Such is
its history of half a century.
Mr. Fleming's valuable work throws especial light on the climatal
condition of the mountains traversed by the Railway. In his
expedition to examine this very ground, he described the phenomena
which attracted his attention. That he has done so may yet save the
country from the perpetration of an act of rashness which may cost
millions to rectify. Mr. Fleming's contribution to Canadian literature at this juncture, is particularly valuable, because having the
assurance of his character, we know that it is honest and reliable.
■The description given by him is not a picture of winter and desolation. It was in the early days of September, when we are yet in
summer, with our green Canadian foliage, untinged by the autumn, )
with the warm nights of that season. His graphic description of the
scenery must suggest to every thoughtful mind, not blinded by political partizanship, and in whom patriotism, and duty to the country
are not dead, that the line is being taken through a district where it
is in constant danger of being crushed by land slips, avalanches, aud
snow and ice slides, to make it impassable. I will give these extracts
in the form at which they are met.
I will premise by saying that Mr. Fleming has ascended Bow
River from Calgary and is gaining the summit.
" We ascended for a few miles, when we turned to the West of
Summit Creek a small glacier bed stream [? glacier fed] which we
followed till we arrived at the Engineer's Camp at the summit, 5,300
above sea level."-—-p. 235.
I Mountains of great height in groups tower above it (a bold rocky
bluff) to the right and left. Some of them have crater-shaped peaks
filled with snow."—p. 238.
" We cross the path of a great snow slide, an avalanche divided into
two forks, one about fifty yards wide and the other about one hundred
and fifty- yards wide. Thousands of trees, two and three feet in
diameter, have been broken into shreds by it, and roots, trunks and
branches have been swept away, and with a multitude of boulders of
ail dimensions hurled into the lake to form a promontory, of which
three or four hundred feet still remain. To the south, beyond the
lake, the eye rests upon a mighty mountain, streaked with snow-filled
crevices."—p. 238.        $Mt
1 As we ascend the steeper and southern bank, we obtain a grand
view of the lofty river mountains, seen from our last camp, and it
struck me that it was from the lower heights that the avalanches
must have descended."—p. 239.
" Looking Upwards to the south, at about an angle of sixty degrees,
we can see high in the clear air a mountain peak, which, lighted up
by the sun, presents in its horizontal strata various colors, and assumes the form of a natural crown. Separated from this height, by
a great depression, rises a sister peak singularly striking both, undoubtedly, rising to a vertical mile above the river. A great glacier
on the second mountain overhangs a precipice with a face of hundreds
of feet in thickness. At the base debris lie gathered for countless
centuries to form an immense deposit sloping down the mountain;"
—p. 240. 50'
Mr. Fleming, on the 1st September,, reaehed the- first crossing of
the Columbia.
"The sun lights up the whole valley of the Columbia. The
great Selkirk range lies in front of us. * * * * *
A glacier is visible to the south, and large areas of snow, possibly the
accumulation of centuries, rest between the peaks."—-p. 255.
" We were now no longer by Beaver- River. We had followed it
for fifteen miles, and had ascended a branch named Bear Creek.
* * * * We reached a rugged mountain.defile leading
up to the summit which we are to cross. * * * *
We crossed many old avalanche slides. On the southern side of the
mountain, as we wend our way, great scaurs, banked with snow, are
seen two hundred or three hundred feet above the bottom of the
narrow valley through which Bear Creek flows. To the north we
observe a glacier, possibly fifty yards thick, at its overhanging termination. It takes its origin at some remote lofty source, far beyond
the reach of our view. Below the glacier, on the mountain side,
«there are traces of a heavy avalanche, where trees have been broken
and crushed in all directions. Judging from the age of the timber;,
the movement must have taken place a considerable time back, and
was probably caused by^ the breaking off of a huge mass of the
glacier. What could have been more majestic than the fall of one
of those great glaciers, in its descent driving everything before it as
stubble iri the field,    (p. 265.)
Mr. Fleming reaches the summit of the Selkirk. ' We are now
4,600 feet above the sea, surrounded by mountains of all forms. . . .
Between them the everlasting glaciers present the most remarkable
variety of appearance. . . . The valley is, to all appearance,
completely enclosed by what seemed to be impenetratable mountains.
Towering high near the crest there is a series of glaciers
o o o
extending for half a mile or more from north to south.'—p. 266.
Mr. Moberly ascended the Ille-cette-wait, a distance which he
estimated at fifty miles to the forks, one of which, the most northern,
he traced some thirty miles further. This branch terminated in a
cul de sac among snowy mountains,    (p.' 267).
' I (Mr. Moberly) tried to induce the Indians -to accompany me
all the way across the Selkirk Range. . . . All my efforts were
unavailing, as they affirmed that if we went in we.should be caught
in the snow, and never get out of the mountains. Mr. Moberly's
report, 18th December, 1865.'—Note p. 268. 51
' To the west there is a remarkable glacier, whence issues one of
sources of the Ille-cette-wait. We descend slowly enough, but with
increased rapidity of actual descent, crossing a series of avalanche
slides. . . . The flat in the valley of the Ille-cette-wait in some
parts may be a quarter of a mile in width, but it is exceedingly
irregular in that respect.'—p. 272.
' We soon find ourselves five hundred feet below the summit. The
adjoining mountains are steep, and tracks of avalanches are frequent,
—p. 272.
' Our course has been westerly through a valley flanked on both
sides by high mountains of all forms with interlying glaciers.'—p. 273.
' We continued through the valley, wailed in by mountains, the
height of which must be counted by thousands of feet. After a
progress of fourteen miles we come upon two large masses of frozen
snow, one on each side of the river, and fifty feet back from it. We
learn that, three years ago, when first seen, they were much larger and
higher, forming a great natural bridge across the stream. The water,
which is here of considerable volume and impetuosity passed through
the opening which it had forced in the centre. It is the remains of
an avalanche from one of the glaciers, at which date no one can tell,
and, as I have said, it was first seen three years ago. The bridge has
disappeared, and only the abutments of hard frozen snow or ice are
left, and they are gradually melting away. It is to be inferred that
it was of no late occurrence, and that the mass must have been
precipitated from a neighbouring glacier, evidently not an uncommon
occurrence in this district. Mr. Moberly mentions in his journal, 26
Sept., 1865, having seen further up the Ille-cette-waet a snow bridge,
on which his party crossed the stream which flowed two hundred and
fifty feet beneath without being seen.'—p. -274.
The nights are now cold, and before morning we are chilled,
although we wrap ourselves in our blankets without being undressed.
It could hardly be otherwise in the neighbourhood of so many
glaciers, (p. 277). ,
I will close my extracts here. After reading them the question
may well be asked, will the Government permit the line to be taken
across the Selkirks. It is the domain of glaciers. As Mr. Fleming
tersely puts it "an avalanche is evidently not an uncommon occurrence
here." A most searching investigation should be made into the
character of the district.    I do not hesitate to say that it will be a 52
public scandal if the line be permitted to be taken in the threatened
direction. There will be perpetual risk of the stoppage, of traffic, and,
at an immense cost, the line will have eventually to be changed round
the River Columbia.
In the meantime let us see how Mr. Reed, of Joliette, Illinois,
deals with this subject.
I While traversing the line reinaining to be built through the
toooded section, (!) evidence of snow slides were seen at and near
Rogers Pass, in the Selkirk Range, also, near the summit of the main
range of the Rocky Mountains. But the aggregated distances in
which these occur do not exceed fifteen miles. A number of snow sheds
will probably be required for the protection of the track, but nearly
forty miles of these are in successful use on the Central Pacific Road."
We do not in Canada require to be told what a snow-shed is.
They are to be met constantly on the Intercolonial Railway, where
they are in legitimate use. It is to protect the track' from a heavy
snow fall, and from the drifts, which, in localities, often collect in
masses of some feet in depth. I have no knowledge of the use of
them on the Central Pacific, so I shall say nothing on the subject.
But anyone reading the description of the climatal conditions of the
Selkirk Range, must at once recognize that it is not protection from
an ordinary heavy fall of snow, or from snow drifts, however serious
and deep they may be found, which is called for. What must be
looked for is the fall of an avalanche, the constant dread of an overhanging portion of the glaciers casting itself down in the narrow
valley. Mr. Reed seems to think fifteen miles of such risk a small
matter. Even if it were confined to that limit, the danger would be
sufficient for a conscientious, honest and competent engineer to report
in the strongest language against any such location. As I read Mr.
Fleming's record of his observations, the distance extends on the
Selkirks over forty or fifty miles.
And then Mr. Reed's remedy. Equally it is that of. Mr. Van
Home. "From personal observation," says the latter, "I can vouch
for the correctness of his statement." The counteraction is among
the curiosities of modern literature ! A snow-shed to stop an avalanche, to retain the track intact from a land slide, which often engulfs whole villages, to preserve the road-bed free from an influence
which changes the face of a district, and whioh is classed among the 53
convulsions of nature. The only parallel I know is Sydney Smith's*
accounts of the respectable Mrs. Partington, endeavouring to mop out
the Atlantic Ocean in the great storm of Sidmouth, when the waves
entered above the level of her modest dwelling. It is not improbable
that both Mr. Van Home and Mr. Reed will be remembered as the
Dioscuri Mrs. Partington of the Selkirk Range.
The remedy does not lie in a snowshed, or in any such fragile
house of cards, in view of the forces against which the railway would
have to contend. It is to be found in the recognition that the
Selkirk Range is perfectly unfit for the construction of a railway.
Even of the line, as it is located, we are in perfect ignorance.
There is no statement of curves or grades. There is, however,
internal evidence to show that both are extreme. In the trumpery
report to which Mr. Van Home invites our credence, there is a
suppression of all the marked facts which should obtain prominence.
The few words I quote are all the attention given to this important
The remedy is plain. The Railway should at once be diverted
round the Columbia River following the eastern line to the Boat
Encampment, and descending, by the western line of this river to the
Eagle Pass. Have the Canadian Pacific authorities never considered
this course ? The impenetrable mystery which hangs about every
item of their interior economy is now more than doubled. Whispers,
however, have come from the west, that doubt, even in their ranks,
has arisen that the Selkirk Range was unfit for the location. The
traveller, as he looked across them, with the mountains covered
with snow, cannot understand the madness which would place a
railway amid the influence of glaciers.
The possible diversion by the river has accordingly been looked
for.   If ever it had been seriously entertained, the report of Mr. Reed
*In the year of 1824, there set in a great flood upon that town, the tide rose to
an incredible height, the waves rushed in upon- the houses, and everything was
threatened with destructisn. In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm
Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house
with mop and patterns, trundling her mop, squeezing! out the sea-water, and
vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused. Mrs.
Partington's spirit was up; but need I not tell you the contest was unequal. The
Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington. She was excellent at a slop, or a puddle,
but she should not have meddled with a tempest. Gentlemen, be at your ease—
be quiet and steady, you will beat Mrs. Partington.—Sydney Smith's Speech at
Taunton, October 12th, 1831. 54
shews that it has beeri definitely abandoned. It is easy to understand
why such should be the case with the policy which marks the
Company, all push and dash. First, it would delay the completion
of the line, of which so much has been said, and there appears some
desire to push the line to completion, regardless of all other facts,
excepting that it is completed. They have justified the change of
location by the one claim of directness of route, in view of obtaining
that myth the China and Japan trade. Half-a-dozen freight trains in
the year would bring all the China and Japan silks and teas, and
curiosities and china, and idols, which would satisfy years of trade.
As to such trade passing in transit, tested by current events and
commercial analogies, it is a theory based more on hope than certainty.
The one positive fact on which stress is laid, and I have shewn its
absurdity, is directness of route, a saving of 38 miles in the distance
of 2000.
To take the line round the River Columbia, would destroy even
the prestige of these figures. Measuring by the map the line would
be prolonged 86 miles, that is to say, following the east line to the
Boat Encampment to the mouth of the Eagle Pass is 150 miles;
deducting the distance across the Selkirks, 64 miles, we have 86
remaining. Therefore, with this line 86 — 38=48. The present
line would then be 48 miles longer than Mr. Mackenzie's line.
Had ordinary precaution been taken no such difficulty would
now painfully agitate the minds of those who have studied and
understand the question. Who can doubt that we are about placing
a Railway across a range of mountains where glaciers abound ; where
there are indications of avalanches, many of 'them of a formidable
character, and that at every hour there is a risk that the same action
may take place, and the line be cumbered with immense masses of snow,
ice, and shattered trees which may take weeks, even months, to
remove. We run this risk even on the summit of the Kicking Horse
Pass. For such a calamity there is now no remedy. But with
regard to the Selkirk Range there lies the plain duty of avoiding
it, and taking the line round by the Boat Encampment on the
The authorities guiding the policy of the Canadian Pacific Railway
know well the facts I adduce. They even attempt to meet them
and explain them away in the feeble sentences of Mr. Reed. Does
"Mr. Van Home believe that when the public mind is awakened to PP. 55
^the true situation, that it wall be calmed by any such paltry assurance of protection against am avalanche by a snow shed. It would
«eem that the Syndicate shrink from the one remedy open to them,
the prolongation of their line. Had they conducted their operations
with the skill and system which mark the policy of trained and
•competent engineers, had they, as prudence pointed out, availed
themselves of the River Columbia, and started the explorations T
bave given in detail, in a few months the facts of the situation
would have been known.
The heavy grades, the short curves, the repelling climatal conditions would have been established as such marked features of the
line, that the Government, if it performed its duty, would never
have recognized the location. Had the Executive shown compliance,
inquiry in Parliament would have exacted the production of the
papers and reports; and public opinion, so aroused, would have
sternly intervened to have demanded a more wisely selected and
better location.
It is not too late -to save the passage of the line across the
Selkirk Range. The question, which is one which must come before
ithe next session of Parliament must rise above the claims of party,
political expediency, the interested adherence of personal greed, and
the influences wbieh, in such cases, invariably arise to intercept the
true view of what is right, expedient, necessary .and indispensable. 56
In Sir Charles Tupper's celebrated speech, of the 5th February,
of last year, given with his usual ability and power, he made the
following remark. " I trust, under these circumstances, we have
heard the last, either in this house or out of it, of the unfounded
statement, as I have proved it to be, from the figures which I have
submitted to the house, that this Company has taken the money
received under this contract from the Government, for the purpose
of building a line of Railway from Callender to Kamloops, and
expended it on outside enterprises apart from it, without any
reference to the Canadian Pacific Railway."
The last remark is, as the French say, hasarde. . According to
one theory, the Perth and Toronto is an integral part of the system
necessary to its development. Three millions and three-quarters
have been avowedly expended on 269 miles of completed road.
—| Branch lines west of Callender." Four millions, " on advances
and accounts receivable for extension to the sea-board." But the
question must not be complicated by these considerations. To the
public mind, the Canadian Pacific Railway, constructed by bonuses
from the Government, must ever be the line from Callender to
Savonna Ferry.
A statement has been made to Parliament of the expenditure on
this line. If it be proved that such expenditure is impossible, then
if the amount has been expended, it must have been on the work
undertaken by the Syndicate outside the Canadian Pacific system, and
on lines constructed in opposition to existing lines.
Mr. Stephen claims that the company have expended on the main
line, west of Callender, embracing 1131 miles of railway for construction $23,078,929, the average cost per mile being $20,406.
The cash subsidy was 12,289,212
Land grant bonds 9,029,012
Sale of town lots      477,775
$21,795,999 57
I have looked through the Public Returns to find the data by
which this amount has been paid.    It is not given exactly; the best
reference I can find is the estimate of the 5th December, when 120
miles are returned at $15,384.64, evidently the line from Callender
to Sudbury, with
900 miles on the central section      @      $10,000
54    I        I " " @      $13,333
The distance from Winnipeg to the summit.
The total estimate on this occasion is $12,002,120
Mr. Stephen's reported receipts are $12,289,212
Possibly the balance was on account of work east of Prince Arthur
to the Nepigon, 67 miles, recognized in another report given in these
returns. But in the large figures we are dealing with the explanation
of the balance is not important. We are enabled by these figures
approximately to describe the work subsidised.
Subsidy per mile.
120 miles from Callender to Sudbury Junction $15,384.61
900      I      "     Winnipeg toward summit  10,000.00
54      "     " " 13,333.00
57     "   on account Prince Arthur east to Nepegon  15.384.61
I have stated in an earlier chapter how Railway engineers, who
know their work and act with a sense of responsibility, keep their
accounts so that the cost of every mile is known. If such accounts
have been kept on the Canadian Pacific Railway, they will at once
establish the cost as stated by Mr. Stephen. Moreover, their verification will be complete. The original section has been deposited in
the Department of Railways and Canals, and the amount of work
can be established beyond cavil. The advocates of the Company
may say that it is a perfectly private matter for the Company, as to
the manner in. which they keep their accounts. , It may be so if the
remark be addressed by an individual. To no single person, in his
private capacity, are the Syndicate called upon to give a reply. It is
different with regard to Parliament. I presume that it will be conceded that the House of Commons can demand the fullest information, especially when the Syndicate is a claimant for assistance. Sir
Charles Tupper may argue as he sees fit, that the security offered to
the Government by the Company for what he called the temporary
advance, as if it had been a few thousand dollars, instead of being in
reality $22,000,000, is. ample, and that the reason assigned for the loan 58
to enable the Company to complete " this great national work " is incontrovertible. Mr. Blake, the leader of the Opposition, thought the
security anything but satisfactory, and he moved, accordingly, that
the remaining Railway lines owned by the Syndicate, should be
included in the mortgage. Further, he held that the reasons given
for making the loan were paltry and insufficient. The Government
majority summarily ruled down the proposition.
But, however, phrases may cover the true character of the application, the Syndicate came to Pariiament in forma pauperis and
demanded aid. One of the grounds was that they had expended
$23,078,929 on construction. They backed up this assertion with no
evidence whatever, and none has been produced during the nine
months' criticism in the reported expenditure, and the inference is
that none exists.
H injustice be done them in this supposition, nothing will be
easier than to confound the assertions of the writer by producing
the final estimates, showing what the cost has been. In the meantime the extravagance of the outlay must be considered impossible.
Through the plains there is only the embankment to be thrown up.
There are spots where there is some cutting, but the character of the
work is easy to the summit. Hence, it is not a matter of difficulty
to form some approximate estimate as to the cost per mile.
Purchase of land       0
Grubbing and clearing       0
Average 10,000 cubic yards excavation @ 25 2500
Ordinary masonary for culverts , 600
Cattle guards 200      3300
1 mile of track—complete  5000
Additional on the whole line :—
Bridging and additional excavation,)
fencing where in place, say     J 1,000,000
100 ordinary stations, each say    $6000      . 600,000
6 principal stations additional $25,000        150,000
On the 954 miles, per mile  1835
Superintendence  400
Estimated cost per mile  $10,586
Turning to the line from Prince Arthur to Nepigon, the work is
known to be light, except the important bridge at Nepigon, not then
constructed; and, if at all considered, it was possibly included among 59
the materials. From all I have heard, the 67 miles accepted by the
Government, as it would appear from a report in another place did
not exceed $15,000 per mile.
Equally so, the line 120 miles from Callender to Sudbury, is
marked by no difficulty. It may not be possible to generalize this
work, as that on the plains may be described, where the work for
hundreds of miles is of the same character. On leaving Callender
there may be places here and there where the work is heavy, but it is
not representative of the whole; there is also some bridging. As a
whole, the work is possibly of a more expensive character throughout
than the line west of Winnipeg. But generally the work is light,
and it is believed by men capable of judging and having the opportunity of doing so, that its cost was within the subsidy, $15,384, or
that that amount was little exceeded. Mr. Hickson, it is true, not a
friendly critic, nevertheless possessing the best sources of information,
thus addreesed the Premier, Sir. J. Macdonald, on the subject:—"It
is manifest from a perusal of the papers which have been presented
to Parliament, that the money subsidy and the lands granted by the
Government to the Canadian Pacific Railway, on the basis of the
Government's and the Company's estimate of their value, were sufficient to pay for all the work which has been done up to this time
upon the Pacific line proper."
In order to reduce the work of construction to a minimum, much
of the location is marked by curves. If this assertion be an exaggeration, the cost, in the first place, can be established by the final
estimates ; in the second, a publication of the table of curves and grades
will show the character of the line.
The branch lines west of Callender are reported to have cost
$3,759,793—$13,977 per mile.
Whence this difference of cost between the branches and tbe
main line ? the latter amounting to $20,406. I have endeavored to
learn what distinctive excess of cost is apparent in the main bne. I
have been unable to obtain any explanation.
When we speak of Branch lines, we come to that extraordinary
creation, the Algoma branch of 95 miles, on which it is reported
$1,877,324 has been expended at a cost of $19,761 per mile.
This line was completed in 1883 and abandoned. The ties are
rotting in the. ground ; the embankments are being washed away";
the whole, from neglect, falling into ruin. 60
Why it was at all constructed with the insufficient means of the
Company is inexpheable, except on the ground that the Syndicate
desired to extend their control over the lake navigation of Lake
Superior. With this view, during last year, three vessels were constructed in Scotland, and fine vessels they are. They are marked
by the extraordinary feature, however, that they are unable to pass
through the enlarged St. Lawrence Locks, for they are 275 feet in
length. The enlarged St. Lawrence Lock is only 270 feet. But a
report incorrectly assigned the length of the chamber to be 275 feet,
Owing to the necessity of opening and shutting the hinder pair of
gates, about twelve feet is exacted from the length of the chamber,
so no vessel longer than about 258 feet or so can pass through. Why
the additional feet were added to this length for boats on the Lake
Superior and lake trade, I cannot learn on any principle of naval
architecture. That they had to be cut in two, to pass through the St.
Lawrence Canals, was anticipated owing to the incomplete condition
of the Beauharnois and Cornwall Canals. But it was not anticipated,
as it was said at the time, that they would have difficulty in passing
through the enlarged locks of the Lachine Canal. It was only by
removing some of the work from the bow that it could be effected:
Cut in half and floated on pontoons, they were taken to the lakes,
there again to be riveted together. But from their size, being unable
to pass the St. Lawrence locks, they can never proceed east of Buffalo,,
whereas, with their length adapted to the new locks, they would
have been fitted for the main line of communication of Canadian
waters, and woidd be as available at Montreal, as at Lake Superior.
These lake steamers appear in the expenditure under the head of
$552,251. With a private company there might be an impropriety
in canvassing the policy of incurring it. But the Canadian Pacific
can no longer be so considered. Even in different circumstances,
the establishment of a line of steamboats would have been held to
be a somewhat arbitrary interference with the enterprise of the shipowners in the Lake Superior trade. It may be urged that the belief
existed that the boats engaged on the line did not extend the
necessary accommodation and that the anticipated rush of emigration
to the North-West demanded their establishment. Even if such an
argument we're admissable, there was no immediate necessity for their
being placed on the route at this early date,    By all the reports of 61
the extent of the business they command, it is possible that had
their establishment been somewhat delayed, it would have been
further postponed.
In connection with these boats, arose the necessity, rather
the supposed necessity, of the branch to Algoma Mills, 95 miles,
since abandoned. It appears to me that even if this branch come
to be considered an established necessity, it was premature at the
time it was commenced. It opened up only a connection with
Montreal; west of Brockvillle there is no railway connection with
the line of the Canadian Pacific. The branch to Algoma Mills had
not the slightest relationship with Ontario above Brockville. To
obtain the Ontario trade, the boats had still to leave Collingwood or
Owen Sound, or Sarnia. Hence, the negotiations to obtain control
of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway. Even if the Grand Trunk
Railway had retained control of the latter, even if that company
had favored another line of vessels, and impeded all traffic with the
Canadian Pacific Boats, the Northern Railway was free from
embarrassing alliances, and the wharves at Collingwood would doubtless gladly have received the Canadian Pacific steamships.
It seems difficult to justify either the expenditure of the steamships or of the Algoma Branch. One explanation has been given.
The exacting determination of the Syndicate to control the whole
trade, and to make all Railway interests of the Dominion subordinate
to their own.
It was this spirit which recklessly awoke the hostility of the
Grand Trunk Railway, for it forced that line to the attitude of self-
defence. The Canadian Pacific have constructed an antagonistic line
from Perth to Toronto. They have obtained control of the Credit l
Valley to St. Thomas. They propose constructing a line from London
to Detroit.
Thus, through the whole breadth of Canada, they have created
an opposition to the Grand Trunk, and the most zealous advocate of
the Canadian Pacific must fail to see how such a line can be in the
least identified with the legitimate operations of the Syndicate.
It- was felt, therefore, the greater hardship that public money
should be given to a company engaged in creating opposition lines of
fairways and steamships, using public money in competition against
private enterprise. 62
The Grand Trunk Company expressed this view as may be well
remembered. Indeed, it may be asked what are the several expenditures set forth, in view of the relationship of the Syndicate to the
Dominion of Canada. Their contract was to construct the unfinished
portion of Jbe line between Callender and Kamloops. The subsidy
in money and land would have gone do it. And if there had
been exercised a healthy influence in relation to the stock, it is not
improbable that it would have commanded confidence in any market.
Again: What has the Canadian Pacific Railway, as such, to do
with the South-Eastern Railway, the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa
Railway, the Atlantic and North Western, except in opposition to
the Grand Trunk.
The Atlantic and North-Western includes a bridge oyer the St.
Lawrence at Lachine, with a connection west of the Mountain to
Mile End Station. Seven miles of track are laid, unused, going to
destruction. There was little grading. If the line cost $75,000, it
is as much as it could have done. Possibly some $10,000 has been
expended on surveys. The curve can be seen entering near the
Mile End Station. Yet it is claimed that $156,646 has been
expended on this line.    What is there to show for it ?
If there be any one fact that the Dominion of Canada should
remember, it is that the Victoria Bridge cost nearly eight millions
of dollars; that it is a work which was only the result of great
financial effort, and that those who advanced the money on its construction in the hour of difficulty and trial, have a clear claim on the
forbearance and gratitude of the Dominion. How is the latter shown?
At this stage in our history there is no requirement for a second
bridge. The one condition of its being, is opposition to the Grand
Trunk. Those who control our public policy have closed their ears
to all memory of the past, and they are as little guided by the
necessities of the future, or they would not countenance this unprofitable use of capital. The construction of a second bridge at Lachine
is a moral, commercial and political act of wickedness.
The lines constructed by the Canadian Pacific establish the true
relationship of this bridge.
They have constructed the line from Perth to Toronto, 195 miles,
to connect with the Credit Valley, which they propose to extend to
Detroit. They control the South-Eastern, and, last season, surveys
and examinations have been made to obtain a new direct connection
with the Atlantic.
\4fc 63
Over these lines the lien given to the Government in no way
What has the Government to do with this consideration of an
Atlantic terminus ? It is purely a private matter of the Canadian
Supposing, for the sake of argument, the Company give back to
the Government the Canadian Pacific line proper, with the extensions
of the line from Callender to Brockville and Montreal. They have
the" system they have built up as a rival to it to take the traffic
through the United States.
And what is to prevent this policy? When the Company have
constructed the line to Savonna Ferry, across the formidable Selkirks,
they can claim, technically, that they have completed their contract.
Should any loss arise in working it, they can throw themselves
upon a friendly Government and claim to be released. There is
nothing at all to stay them giving up the line, or to force them to
work it longer than they see fit. They have only to hand it over to
the Government with a certain extent of plant, and plead inability
to continue it.
They can let all go, even the extensions to Brockville and Montreal, on which there is a mortgage of five millions and a half.
Leaving the Government to deal with the Bond Holders they can
reorganize under.another name, parting with the Montreal connection.
They can construct another branch from Montreal to Smith's Falls
and with a new station at Montreal they have a fixed system to
Detroit to carry freight through the United States to the Province
line .of Manitoba.
Nor is this the only rival with which the Canadian Pacific proper
is threatened.
The most careless observer who has seen the Canadian Pacific
maps issued this summer, must have remarked that the line is
shown prolonged from Algoma Mills to Sault Saint Mary, that the
river is crossed, and the line carried to Saint Paul. The distance
from Algoma Mills to Sault Saint Mary is 95 miles by water, about
100 by land.
There is every probability that the House of Commons will be
called upon to subsidize 200 miles of Railway from Sudbury Junction to Sault St. Mary. I presume at the current rate, $15,333 per
mile"; so the amount will be another grant of $3,066,606. 64
There is every indication that such a demand is coming.    One of
the strange arguments to be used is, that' it will offer the most direct
connection from Montreal to St. Paul.
The distances will then be :
Montreal to Sudbury Junction   441
Sudbury Junction to Algoma Mills     95
To Sault St. Mary, say  100
Sault St. Mary to St. Paul     440
If the distance to New York come into calculation, we must add 386
Distance by this route from St. Paul to New York 1462'
On the other hand from New York to Saint Paul, through the
United States, is : *■.&.-
New York to Suspension Bridge  440
Suspension Bridge to Chicago   511
Chicago to St. Paul  409
ft| 1360
What claim, it may well be asked, has such a scheme as this to
demand the support of the Dominion, that it should be subsidized to
the amount of upwards of three millions, except as a further concession to the Canadian Pacific ?
It should be uncompromisingly opposed, even if the refusal to
grant it, establish the blunder of the very conception of the Algoma
branch, and cause the total loss to the Company for this needless
e^g^^J^™ 65
I have given an estimate of what, from all I have heard, the
work may be valued across the plains. It is, in round figures,
$10,000 a mile less than Mr. Stephen claimed as the expenditure
made by the Syndicate. If, of 1131 miles completed, the theory be
applied to one thousand miles, the amount, in excess, claimed above
what I conceive to be the proper cost of the work, reaches ten
I revert to the fact that my estimate should be easy of disproof,'
if, in any respect, it be unwarrantable. By producing the final
estimates, the refutation can be decisively given.
There is a greater reason for the supposition of such a record
if we consider the terms of the published sub-contract as given in
the Sess. Pap., No. 31, pp. 51-59.
As I read it, this contract, dated  21st October. 1880, extended
from a point 40 miles west of Callender, to the eastern end of Lake
Superior, Port Arthur.    This was the eastern section.    The central
section extended from a point 45 miles east of the Saskatchewan.
As I understand the railway map, Medicine Hat is the Station on
the Saskatchewan; 45 miles east will be about Forres, 615 miles
from Winnipeg.    The contract extended to Savonna Ferry, (pages
The Payment for the Eastern Section was—Cash     $14,099,979
"   ' " " I Stock     20,000,000
" Central " Cash     17,800,000
Stock     25,000,000
On the 21st November, 1883, the contract was cancelled and annulled.
Here is precisely a case in point to reach a just idea of value.
' An incomplete contract set aside by consent. It has not gone into
the Courts of Law; so all parties are satisfied. What was the base
of settlement? There could only have been one principle. The
work must have been paid for, for what it was worth, quantum valuit.
There, then, must have been final measurements and a record of
work. Let them be produced. It will sustain or confute me, and I
bow to the ordeal.
E (i
Mr. Fleming's estimate foT this distance was $13,000'a mile.
I do not hide fronr myself the outcry which will arise from those-
who'have become defenders of the Syndicate or are dependent upon
it;1 when what I am writing appears in type. I have endeavoured to>
state the truth alone ; when I fail, the fault is rather in the effort,
not in the desire to attain it. I have given authority for every statement I advance, and where data establishing such statement are
wanting, I have endeavored to show the reasoning by which I have
arrived at my conclusions; that my inferences arei not fanciful.
What need is there for mystery in the operations of the Canadian
Pacific that so many incomprehensible events in its history should be
shrouded in doubt 1 In honest and straightforward dealings-none is
required. Hence so many speculations of the resources of the
Syndicate. Anyone who mixes in the money world in Montreal,:
will hear the assertion, that for the last season, they have been
dep'enderit, as a Company, on the money they have been receiving
from the Government. Doubtless -when Parliament meets, a return
will be asked for setting forth these payments, and under what condition they have been made.. Generally such returns are so cumbered
by formality and peculiarity of expression; so mixed up with
matters unconnected -with the main facts, that it is difficult to get at
the truth. Still, with diligence, some meaning can be extracted from
But the fact and the condition of each payment will be a plain
matter to state. What is necessary to set forth is the total amount
of work which has been executed, the-prices allowed for each item of
claim, and what. the total sum paid on the execution of the work.
H given in a mere list of sums paid, in line after line' of type, it
will be indeed difficult to penetrate.
To be comprehensible it should be divided into sections; first the
1131 miles reported as completed, being clearly specified, so that we
may know where the Station 0 is of each section of work on which
advances harve been made.
^j^The sections should be as follows :
1. From Sudbury West.
2. Port Arthur East—less 67 miles (?) already accepted..   .
3. From the summit, 954 miles (?) from Winnipeg,  or what
the distance may be, westerly.
4. From  Savonna Ferry, the   terminus  of  the Government
work, easterly. 67
Full detail should be given of rock excavation, earth excavation^
tunnel work, bridging and track, with the amounts paid on each.
And this important principle must be known. Will the Syndicate be first paid for the work as it is performed, according, to the
schedule, and then be again paid according to the length,, the price
of the section, mile by mile, out of the subsidy in the hands of the
Government. ^|j
Any other return will be waste paper, and even harassing to all
who refer to it.
Parliament, likewise, should call for the final measurement on the
1131 miles of line to verify the statements submitted.
There is, undoubtedly, great dissatisfaction in the. present; position
of affairs, which the constant report of some extraordinary work to
be- executed, or some remarkable step to be taken, in no way tends to
quiet. Public confidence is not given to the proceedings, of the
Syndicate. The very reasons assigned for the advance, granted last
Session, of the $32,000,000, cannot be accepted as sufficient.
These advances were as follows :
Security deposit held by Government, to be released ...... $1,000,000
"       of Land Grant Bonds held for the efficient completion of the road     5,000,000
Payment of the Company of the sum to be deposited as ■
security for dividend deferred to November, 1888   2,000,000
Temporary advance      22,500,000
:40l      $32,353,912
At the same time the remaining cash subsidy, $12,710,788 be
paid as the work proceeds. Mr. Schreiber, the Government Engineer, pointed out there were mortgages on the railways between
Callender and Montreal and Brockville, amounting to $5,333,333,''he
proceeds to say.    No. 31, page 9. • No.. 2.
" With.regard to the proposal as a whole, I beg leave to say that,
in my opinion, too great importance cannot be attached to the early
completion of the railway which is to connect the Atlantic and
Pacific Oceans by way of British Territory. It is an absolute necessity for the developement of the country in every respect. It is the
only means whereby the North-west can be peopled. By its means
the Rocky Mountains would be filled with a mining and lumbering
population. The fisheries of the Pacific. Ocean would be developed.
The trade of China and Japan, which now finds its.way into and
/ 1
through the United States, would no doubt follow our line as the
shortest and most favourable to the East. In view of these facts,
I am prepared to recommend any reasonable temporary assistance to
the Company, provided the Government be secured against loss."
No one will deny the proposition that it is advisable that the
Railway should be completed. But the above shallow statements to
affirm that such completion is immediately called for, are simply impotent to sustain that pretention. In the view of the sacrifice the
country is called upon to make, payment of thirty-two millions of
dollars, the generation succeeding will wonder that a Canadian House
of Commons should have been impressed by such arguments, or rather
the want of them, to make such a sacrifice. What population does
Mr. Schreider suppose will be located between the summit of the
first range arid Savonna Ferry? What is there, to-day,1 to delay
settlement to Stephen ? Access is eq^illy easy by the Northern
Pacific to British Columbia. What is this population to be engaged
in? In agricultural pursuits east of the Rocky Mountains, and we
have the old story of a lumbering, mining and fishery population in
British Columbia,
Have our lumberers waited hitherto for a railway to reach limits ?
Do they do so to-day ? ' If lumbering in the Rocky Mountairis and
British Columbia were the prosperous fields of enterprise they are
claimed to be, the desired avenues are now open to reach them- By
Stephen, which can be reached by railway, access can be had to
many a mile in its. neighbourhood. -What is to show that they will
be affected by this completion of the route ?
'-What is the history of mining on the Pacific? Let Mr. Schreiber
refer to the mining operations of British Colombia which commenced
in 1856, when gold was discovered, and which proved to be a turning
point in the history of the Province, In 1857.the country was full
of adventurers. Twenty thousand people were gathered there. They
"went through, difficulties of no.small magnitude to reach the spot
-where gold was to be found. Since that date, roads have been opened
and access to the gold fields is comparatively easy. There is now no
extraordinary prize to. be obtained in this search for gold. The truth
is known that life here offers no lottery; that while industry and
perseverance meet their reward, that there is little encouragement to
feverish and broken effort. Every fact connected with the history
of mining, that,is, as, the mines..were, known when Mr. Schreiber 69
wrote, is against the supposition that the completion of the railway
will bring another rush of miners to the Fraser. If the Province has
to risa.^a the seale_ of communities, it can only be by sober industry,
by thrift and by industry.
So with the fisheries. A steamer will take their produce to the
North Pacific Railway. No new impulse can be given to them as
they exist to-day.
Mr. Schreiber is of opinion that the trade of China and Japan
which now finds its way into and through' the United States, would
no doubt follow our line. Doubtless, a portion of it, such as it is,
might do so. But what is there of it ? and what part even of this
limited trade could we obtain ? Enough of it that our effort to gain
it should4ead us to pay Thirty-two millions to obtain it?
All these aggregated expectations are phrases. Even in British
Columbia proper, the railway can have no influence on the lumbering
operations. What is manufactured must be exported by shipping,
and no more facilities will be given for that branch of commerce
when the railway is completed that it enjoys at present.
There are already two modes of communication with British
Columbia, leaving Montreal almost daily. ■ I question if at any time
freight will range at a lower rate than it is to-day. There is certainly
nothing in the serious grades of the. Kicking Horse Valley to suggest that it will be so on the Canadian Pacific Railway. One route
is by the Grand Trunk 'by its own system to Chicago, thence to St.
Paul, thence northward to connect with the Northern Pacific.
The second line is the Canadian Pacific itself. The line from
Perth to Toronto has really become a branch of the Michigari Central.
What was called, in old days, the Canadian Southern has ceased to
be known by that name. It is now the Canadian branch of the
Michigan Central. The Canadian Pacific line from 'Perth to. St.
Thomas is an extension of this route. It has become a portion of
• the Michigan Central system, in so far it is devoted entirely to
United States' interests in antagonism to Canadian interests. A connection is also obtained with this route with the Northern Pacific.
The completion of the Canadian Pacific will have the one recommendation that passengers and freight will be carried from Montreal,
through British Territory.
But what is to be the freight from British Columbia ? 70
. There is only one raison <$Hre for the construction of the railway
By the admission of British Columbia, it became a political necessity.
Further, it is essential to the dwellers in the plains to 'obtain for their
produce a market on the Pacific.
What a fallacy it is to speak of this rapid completion as leading
to rapid settlement. It might have been fortunate in increasing the
number of settlers had the country wisely kept the control of the
land; but in this respect it has bartered away its birthright, and,
moreover, without receiving the traditional mess of pottage. The
population to-day in Manitoba and the North-west is not 130,000,
including 25,000 in the City of Winnipeg. Of the thousand miles
of railway constructed, settlement-has followed it only to a limited
extent. Ppft -
I have alluded to the stress laid on the rapidity with which the
track was carried across the plains, so many miles a day. The one
difficulty was to have money to pay the men. There was little grading. The ties and iron deposited at the end of the track as they
were distributed, were laid and spiked, and so the engine' proceeded
onwards with further distribution, and the ballast trains followed.
It was, after all, a poor tour de force, intended to attract attention,
and to obtain a reputation for energy. I think that the application
of February of this year, which coming events had taught them, of a
necessity, had to be made, had no little to do with the effort. As a
policy, it was adverse to settlement, arid has left no trace behind it
in any form.
My object in writing these few chapters is primarily to protest
against the line being carried across the Selkirk Range, the domain
of glaciers, at the risk of being often inoperative for weeks, and to
ijxsist that it- is a national duty to carry the Une round the River
Columbia to the Boat Encampment, and entirely to avoid the Selkirk
I have given what I believe to be a. fair estimate of the cost of
the Railway.aeross the plains. Until Mr. Stephen produces the final
measurement establishing the cost of each section, the public, are
justified in thinking that the Railway on the 1131 miles constructed
has cost ten millions less than the figures show.
I haye, drawn-attention to thgpossibility of a subsidy, being asked
for a line from Sudbury to the Sault St. Mary, 200 miles : the amount
V* .71
will exceed three millions of dollars. Such a demand can have no
justification beyond recouping the .expenditure of the Canadian
Pacific incurred on the Algoma branch ; in itself, a bungle arising
from work being undertaken without careful consideration. The
line has not the slightest regard to Canadian interests in any one
respect. If it be of the -importance, which it will doubtless be
asserted it possesses, it should be constructed by the United States
representatives of the interests which it is intended to serve.
. I have brought to notice the statements and figures of Mr. Reed,
with his assertions .sustained by Mr. Van Home, excepting that the
latter considers the estimates are two liberal. I have pointed out,
that Mr. Reed is. an unknown stranger, and that mere assertion on
bis part can have no weight.
I baye drawn attention to the positive and deliberate assurance of
Mr. Van Home, that no grade would exceed 116 feet to the mile.
This grade extends, a matter serious enough, for forty-nine miles !
The work, however, for nine miles, is marked by the embarrassing
grades from 200 feet to .250 feet to the mile, accompanied by sharp
curves. isj'^
. I. bring to notice the remarkable assertion that it is possible to
complete the exacting work of nine miles of tunnel through the mountains in a few months, an assertion so audacious that it can only be
made by men ignorant of what such a tunnel is, or that in Canada,
like.-Sir Andrew Aguecheek, they believe that " they have fools in
Hence the so-called "temporary track with its unusually heavy
grades has been designated ' temporary, ' "without warrant; that it is
a permanent track and was never intended for anything else, and
that the whole proceeding is as insulting to our intelligence, as it is
hurtful to the future operation of the line.
i . That the line has been located on the site it now follows in a haphazard way, without examination, without scientific inquiry, conveying the impression that the location has been directed by men
ignorant of what is required in such circumstances. Moreover, with
a perfect disregard of the public interest, and. equally as injurious
to the Interest of the Syndicate.   ' Jg
That the line has been located in the wrong place; that the true
And proper location was through the Yellow Head Pas&, as'sur-Veyed
and selected by Mr. Fleming, and adopted by Mr Mackenzie.' •72
Earnestly, I record the opinion, I believe, almost universally
entertained, that in respect to this Railway, the country is passing:
through a crisis of no sbght character. It is yet to be known how
much of the thirty-two millions granted last session remains unexpended ; in cash" amounting to twenty-three millions and a half.
Further, if there be ground for the painful surmise that additional
assistance will be asked in the coming session of Parliament.
Already.the amounts paid are
Subsidy      $12,289,212
Advances of last Session        32,353,000
Subsidy available on the 1st March last        12,710,788
It will be recollected that Sir George Cartier's act limited the expenditure to thirty millions on the whole line.
Mr. Fleming's estimate from Selkirk to Kamloops was $28,500,-
000. Deducting this amount from what the Syndicate has been
paid and will secure, there remains the sum of $28,833,000.
The distance from Port Arthur to Callender is 650 miles, this-
balance $28,833,000 would allow $44,358 per mile for the line-
between Port Arthur to Callender.
What will be the next phase in the chapter of money advances ?■
With all these present complications, the policy of the country
was plain at the commencement, and it was much as Mr. Mackenzie-
mapped it out.
To have placedthe- railway on the right location.
Rapidly to have completed the line from Lake Superior to Winnipeg. Simultaneously to have constructed two hundred miles in.
British Columbia, to satisfy the requirements of that Province.
To have pushed the railway across the plains, as settlement was-
made, and in advance of it, with the construction of wisely located
To develop the water channels of the country, such being, as
the history of the continent has shewn, the true means of communication for the settlement of the territory.
Under proper regulations to have given the land to the settler,
and have kept it from the domain of speculation.
-To have constructed the railway from Callender to the neighbourhood of Lake Nipissing; 73
To have commenced the line at Port Arthur, and year by year,
east and west, the line to be carried on to completion on the north
shore of Lake Superior.
When population warranted the completion of the scheme to have
carried the line across the Rocky Mountains.
How different would have been the situation in every respect ?
how much, greater the population in the Northwest ? bow much less
our debt ? and how utterly free the Dominion would have been from
the discontent, which so broods over the whole population ? Vi
, During the period these pages were being prepared for the press,
a political convention was held at Toronto, on Wednesday the 17th
December. A speech was made by Sir- John Macdonald, the present
Premier, to a crowded.audience of his supporters, with several members of his administration ranged around him in moral support. I
have no desire to touch on the political features of his oration. It is
not my object r to , add to the bitterness and rancour of Canadian
public life. His.allusions, however, to the Canadian Pacific Railway
I venture to consider; indeed, I feel it a duty to do so. For if what
I have written lays claim to be free from, party colouring, it is in
itself an investigation of the proceedings of the national work in
question; and I approach the subject rather Avith the view of dis^
integrating party associations, than by one sentence strengthen or
Gonfirm them. *Hs-'i
The paragraph I extract is the following. It is the only one
which I will consider-.- I will, however, make bold to say that much
dwelt upon by the First Minister in his long address, has been
answered in these, pages; that its. utterance in many respects has
been met by anticipation.
"Now, gentiernen, I,shall read this short memorandum: 'The
Canadian . Pacific Railway is rapkily approaching completion.
Through trains will be running from Montreal to the Pacific Coast
next autumn. The distance from -Montreal to the Pacific ocean is
$,Jjp0 miles, 9?,-A?0 miles less than from New York to San Francisco.
From Montreal to Yokohama in,Japan via the C. P. R. the distance
is 10,977 railes, or 1,013 iniles shorter than via New York and San
Francisco.'. When the C. Pi R. has been extended eastward to the
Maritime provinces with a direct line to Louisbourg, C. B., the ocean
voyage from England to America may be accomplished easily in five
days, and the railway journey from Louisbourg to the Pacific ocean
may be. done in five, days more.. This will be ten days from London
to the new city of Vancouver on the..Pacific coast. The run. across
the Pacific to Yokohama may be made in fourteen days ; the whole
trip .will thus.. be made in twenty-four days from, London to.Y.oko- 75
hama, a saving in time of at least twenty days over the route via
Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. The English colony of Hong Kong
may be reached by the C. P. R. in less than thirty days from England, or sixteen days less than by Gibraltar or the Suez Canal.
During all that time the traveller will never be out of the sound of
the British drum, and may always have his eyes resting oh the Union
Jack.''     [Tremendous cheering.] IJ**v
We have here the old mystifying argument of distance,' than
which nothing is more fallacious. It is so far convenient that it sets
out of sigLt the facf adrnitted by all engaged in the' duty of studying
the movernent Of Freight, that there is nO Eastern trade from China,
JarJari or Pacific Waters-obtainable, to :be passed over the Canadian
Pacific. I raise a distiSrit issue. If I be incorrect,' Sir John Macdonald,
in his place in Parliament,- can establish the contrary.- There is
either a well established trade finding its way across'the'United
States or there is riot. If such trade has not be'eri j hitherto created
and established, the proof is plain against the possibility of its creation 5" that in'spite of the expectations expressed, and the assertions
persevered in, there is no present trade to be competed for. Iri'-tfhe
wide serise of the word, 'ho Eastern railway-trade exists":; i It passes
by Water through the Suez; Canal at one4hml the cost.* • I avoid'-all
allusion to the Panama Carial for I believe that the;' coriditions''6-f
that work' are such, that its corirpletioir is- Scarcely"attairiable ; that,
at least, a century must pass before it is in operation, The difficulties to be overcorhe and'the aihoiint'of ;wotk to be executed, are
Titanic; I class' it with the projected tunnel under the English Channel betweeri Dover arid:Calais'.
* Mr. T. W. Hellyer, of Yokohama, Japan, arrived in this city on Tuesday
evening on his way to England. Mr. Hellyer has lived in Japan nearly fifteen
years; -He said that if thfe' Canadian Pacific line was not blockaded TSy. snow
during the winter, some of^the trade would likely, go itsrrig. .way to Europe. Eorty-
nine fiftieths (49-50) of the amount of tea exported from Japan is-sent to America,
and when the C.P.R. is* completed, it is likely that the tea used by Canadians
will come-from Japan via that road, if the rates we're riottoo hieh. . At present
tea can be. shipped from Yokohama to New Yp£k, via the. Svifcz Canaiif,py<30
shilJings.per,toTi, or less than one cent per lb. While it-^sts2J cents , per lb. to
ship to New York, via the overland routs from San Francisco, Mr. Hellyer says
the latter way of shipment is preferable, as it is not a'good thing'to allow me-tear
to pass through the trbpics.   Mv3'miHioh pounds of tea are'dntported>aniuia]ly:
into:Oanada.    gsrjjR iiVQtxilhT'Pi Bi^aii* ^•»<*i'S'i     j'if.<5;i . -<•■■' od'.j
r~'-: Toronto Globe.
'•■ 'Tea must be carried by special Freight Tr&ms, to aVoTd^ulverizabion, caused'"
by unnecessary shunting.   In such case its value is decreased. e
Sir J. Macdonald, like the Duke of Newcastle, of George the
Second's reign, to whom he has himself been compared, is requited
to be told that Cape Breton is ah island. The Gut of Canso, which
separates it from Nova Scotia, is about 2£ miles wide, requiring a
viaduct longer than the Victoria Bridge, but infinitely more costly, to
construct from the greater depth of water, and the rapid current
xperienced at ebb arid flow, if it be at all practicable.
So far as ean be judged by naval charts, the voyage from Europe
is increased about 150 miles by going to Halifax in preference to
Louisbourg : in ordinary cases, a matter of from twelve to -fourteen
hours. Surely a -poor argument to explain the expenditure of twelve
or thirteen millions of dollars, independently of the construction of
an eastern Victoria Bridge to connect the island with the main land.
Why, indeed, it may be asked, is the country called upon to
entertain any project of this "short line" to the seaboard. Let us
examine its requirements. It is advocated purely in the interests of
the Canadian Pacific Railway. The terminus of that line is now
Montreal. Why complicate the obligations of the Syndicate to
the Government ? We learn from Sir J. Macdonald the terminus of
the future is Louisburg, and its historical associations have made it
well-known. Those acquainted with the events of this Continent
have little to learn of its locality, and capabilities. Be they what
they may, Louisbourg must be considered, to-day, as it was by the
able men who judged-it as a place of utility at the date of its second
conquest, 1758. They recommended its abandonment and destruction on the ground that it was unnecessary to maintain it as a-naval
station, by the side' of Halifax. It was demolished in 1764. Halifax
is 29 hours from Point Levis, 35 from Montreal. In the winter
months of travel, passengers will arrive at their eastward destination
in this time. Freight exacts a longer period of transit. In the
seven months of summer, of open water, passengers take the Railway
at Quebec.    Freight only is carried to Montreal.
Why should the Government build up a rival to the national
line, the Intercolonial Railway. If ever there was an expression of
public opinion necessary, it is at this moment called for against more
waste of public money on this monstrous, I use the word advisedly,
eastern extension. There is not a shadow of reason to explain it,
except the claim of the Canadian Pacific Company to build up aline
to connect with their Railways unpledged to the Dominion, those .77 informing a link in opposition to the Canadian Pacific Railway itself ;
lines west of Ottawa which have become a part of the Michigan
Central system. The Railways included in. the thirty-two million
mortgage, they can throw up at any time. Retaining the connection
with the Michigan Central from St. Thomas to Ottawa, they have
but to build a' branch to Montreal to establish a full independent
connection with the West. With the Eastern extension constructed
with Government money, to what extent it is not possible to say, the
Syndicate will possess a system in the most direct and positive
opposition to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Their natural connections will lie with the Michigan Central to the United States^
Pacific lines.
This scheme of extension is to run a line from Montreal, starting
at the bridge projected at the head of the Lachine Rapids, eastward
to Louisbourg, 800 miles estimated. Few out of the circle of the
influence of the Syndicate can see the necessity of this second bridge
in view of its cost. Nor can its construction be advocated except in
connection with this eastern extension. Disconnected from this
association, in which it is considered, the project can only be looked
upon as an unwarrantable misapplication of capital.
•  The distances so far as they can be estimated are as follow : -
Lines Not.yet
. Jf: ■■.. .  constructed constructed
and in distances
operation. estimated.
Miles. Miles.
■.-Jj'jlj    From the Lachine Bridge to Lennoxville  f;,V    95
From Lennoxville by the International line in opera-       XiP;'
tioB, Lake Megantic        66
From Lake Megantic across the State of Maine to
Houlton- to connect with the Canada and New
Brunswick Railway through foreign territory.. . 170
From Houlton to Woodstock, thence to Fredericton
by the Canada and New  Brunswick' Railway,
. ■££,-■ and New Brunswick Railway        81
Thence by newly projected rotite to Moncton and
parallel to the Intercolonial Railway to Painsec. .118
Thence by projected Railway to New Glasgow  115
Thence following the present line of the Halifax and
Cape Breton Railway to the Gut of Canso         81
Across Gut of Canso.  2J.
Thence by projected line to Louisbourg, Cape Breton 75J, >ex
PM 228 .576
'   By the above figures, the: total distance from Lachine Bridge to
Louisbourg is 804 miles, 584 miles of construction, being required. 78
The pre^nt distance from Montreal by the Grand Trunk Railway
arid the Intercolonial to Halifax is
Montreal to Quebec.        164
Quebec to Halifax ...'        679
Difference. 39 miles estimated.
Thus in the short route from Louisbourg to Montreal, to connect
with the Lachine Bridge, there will be a distance saved of 39 miles,
by the above figures. But, with the T*ut of Canso, often made of
difficult passage by the ice carried up and down by its rapid current,
the loss of time required for the transit would more than compensate
for any saving of distance. I do not hesitate to express an opinion
that the line from Halifax would prove much the shortest in matter
of time. The ocean voyage may, theoretically, be. 12 hours longer,
and to save these twelve hours we are called upon to expend twelve
What is one of the strange features of this project is that the line
should be taken for so great an extent through a foreign country, the
State of Maine. One of the main :arguments for constructing the
line on the north of Lake Superior, was the determination to keep
the location entirely in British territory. Indeed it was" the chief
reason assigned for the prosecution of the work. How can this principle be recognised in the present projected extension, which entirely
disregards-the theory.
Is the Government of Sir John Macdonald, when the First
Minister extolls this route, forgetful of the obligations which, by
tacit, inference, they assume. They are pledging themselves to an
expenditure, in round numbers, of 600 miles, at $20,000 a mile.
Twelve millions to create an opposition to the national line of the
Dominion, without one beneficial resulting consequence; to build up
a seaport, which our sires, a century and a quarter back, in the
national flush and pride of conquest^ deliberately abandoned as
unnecessary, and in view of our possession of Halifax held of
secondary importance.
Is there one grain of patriotism left in Canada which will not
revolt at this abuse of power, and this wilful senseless abandonment
of every dictate of reason and prudence. It is time that constituencies should know the merit of the question submitted to Parliament^,
and that the wealthy Province of Ontario should understand the 1
threatened profligacy of expenditure of money, in no small degree
gathered from the hardy toil and thrift of her children. I have said
that Halifax is in every way preferable as a harbour to- Louisbourg
and that the extra distance, may. prolong the sea voyage some 12
hours. Experience has established that although Halifax as a starting point for steam-ship travel to Europe offers the geographical
advantage of shortening the voyage, it has not been favourably
considered by the travelling community. New York, on the contrary,
has increased its centralizing influence to become the starting point
for Europe. The one interest to be benefitted in the choice of Louisbourg is that of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I may be told that I
am unpatriotic in stating that there will be but a very limited Pacific
traffic. I hold that it is true patriotism- to avoid misrepresentation,
and to set forth at'their just value these -visionary schemes, these
fariciful projects, which if they be recklessly accepted, can only lead
to hopes to be wrecked, and expectations never to be realized.
We have - the best of teaching' in the past, if we but profit by it.
Halifax has been known as an Atlantic steam-ship station for forty
years. It was the head-quarters of the Cunard line, but from the
force of circumstances, New York has become the point of departure
of this Company's vessels. Although Railways have been constructed
to bring Halifax In direct connection: with the centres of the United
States, every effort to regain this traffic has failed. . To judge the
future by the past, a similar result will be experienced by the creation
of this new- eastern port. It is a mere rhetorical flourish to speak of
Louisbourg. 'fiip.
Sir John Macdonald draws a comparison between the distance
frorii New York to San Francisco and from Montreal to the. new
terminus, Vancouver. Quebec, however, must be spoken of as the
starting point in Canadian waters, for it is here, that passengers leave
the steamers seven- months in the year. So far as can be made out
the distance from Montreal to the Pacific is 2,900 miles; from-..Quebec, 3,058 miles. From New York to San Francisco, is estimatedat
3,270 miles. A difference of 212 miles during seven months in the
year. For the remaining five months, when. Halifax will be the port,
the disadvantage is against the Canadian Pacific. All mere comparison of mileage is of little value : with* the extreme grades of 200 to the
mile on the Canadian Pacific, which the Government are allowing to
be introduced, there cannot be a doubt but via New York- will prove
the shortest in time. 80
Can Sir. Johri Macdonald be in earnest in naming Hong Kong as
being nearer across this continent to Europe, than by the Suez Canal ?
The extent of this Colony is 23 square miles. Its population about
100,000 !    What traffic in this direction can be hoped for ?
The figures furnished to Sir Johri Macdonald for his statistics are
not those generally accepted.
They are, across the Continent     5 days.
From- London to the Pacific         5   "
To Yokohoma    14   "
  24 days.
I would extend them as follows :
From London to the Pacific, from 15. to 19,
say average.  17 days.
From the Pacific to Yokohama, Japan is 4288
miles, at 12 miles an hour the journey
can be performed in 360 hours, or 15   "
  32 days.
From Southampton to Yokohama via;the Suez
Canal is 11,586 miles, which, at 12 miles
at hour, gives a time of 967 hours, or
about 40 days and some hours.
These   Calculations   are   based   on  the   theory   of   the   common
employment of steamships.
The  statistics furnished to the   Premier make these figures 24
days across the Continent, and 44 days through the Suez Canal.
When 1 give the figures of eight days' saving of actual time
travelled, with the transhipment at the future Louisbourg, to the railway,' and at the Pacific to the steamer, I do not think any shipping
agent will see any extraordinary advance in favour of the overland
route as to time. The cost of freight is known to be by railway
travel to water travel as nearly 4 to 1, certainly 3 to 1.
-.- Indeed, the days are gone'when there need be speculation as to
Eastern traffic across this continent, either from Hong Kong or Japan
or China. If the transcontinental route could have been successfully
established it would have been long ago in operation. The flourish
of the traveller never being out of sound of the British drum with
his eye resting on the British flag, is not. new. Certainly it is
untrue because we will be passing, according to Sir John Macdonald,
through the State of MaineJ nearly two hundred miles, a
foreign country where the flag, certainly will not be found.     The 81
drum, however, is not a national instrument. But in any case the
martial music of England found a better exponent in Daniel Webster. Mr. Fleming, in his lately published book, has anticipated
the first Minister in the matter of the second.*
I ask every considerate person to examine into the character of
these promised advantages.
When the length of the line is thus dilated upon, nothing is said
of the character of the line itself. All information concerning it is
suppressed. But reports of its condition creep out of the eharmed
circle' in which information, it is hoped, can be retained. What is
reported of the. line between Sudbury Junction and the Neepigon,
some 500 miles is, that three-quarters of the distance consists of curves
with few curves of large radius. Half of the curves are 4°, 1433 feet
radius. The remaining curves are 700 feet, 800' and 900' radius,
8°, 7° and 6° curves. When there is filling above 15 feet in depth,
trestle work is constructed. Some of it 95 feet in height, much of
it on sharp curves. The bridge's are of wood. What is this wood ?
Newly cut unseasoned timber 1 If so, its life is not worth seven years.
Seven thousand. men are reported as being engaged pushing on the
work with wonderful rapidity. If the description given of it be
true, it could scarcely be otherwise.
- Should the condition of the line be misrepresented in these
reports, Mr. Van Home must understand that it is owing to the
system he follows. I mention his name thus prominently, because it
is a matter of notoriety that he is the one directing power of the
operations on the ground.    The Company has no chief engineer, no
* " The construction of a system of submarine Telegraphs will also follow at an
early day They will be established across the ocean to Japan, and connect with
China. They will be extended to India, to Australia, to New Zealand. Great
Britain may then be in close relations with her possessions in every quarter of the
globe, by lines of communication under the protection of her flag without passing
through an acre of foreign soil."
England and Canada, p. 432, by Sandford Fleming.
* " On the question of principle, while actual suffering was as yet afar off,
they (the Colonies) raised their flag against a power for the purposes of foreign
conquest and subjugation, Rome in the height of her glory is not to be compared ;
a power which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum beat following the sun and keeping
company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken
strain of the martial airs of England."
Speech of Daniel Webster, 7th May, 1834. if
man of recognized authority in whom all responsibility is centered.
There are many in Canada of this class of thirty or forty years
standing. The' word of o ne of them would be accepted in most
unfavourable surmises. It is invidious to adduce names. But they
suggest themselves to the Railway world, and in this emergency,,
the declaration of one of them would suffice to silence the
most inimical criticism. Mr. Van Home's career in the United
States is now known to the public. If it be untrue what I am about
to state, I will make him the most humble of apologies. Like all
men who obtain a marked position, Mr. Van Home's early relationships have been discussed. His experience on the Chicago, Milwaukie
and St. Paul Railway has been that of telegraph operator, freight
clerk, conductor, assistant superintendent, District Superintendent,
I believe, General Superintendent. He has never had the slightest
experience in engineering duties, even in the humblest capacity. It
is in Canada that his first essay has been made. No one can affirm
that his career, since he left the State of Minnesota, has been
deficient in boldness and novelty.
Whatever natural abilities and energy any one' of us may possess,
it is no light matter to assume responsible duties which are new to
us. Especially those appertaining to a profession in which the
student of half a century feels that daily he has something to learn;
and in which, in critical and difficult emergencies, the best trained
' man acts with reserve, caution, and with a thorough investigation of
all the influences which he has to consider. No one need be told
that in the determination of the scientific problems by which inventions have be'en advanced and our comforts multiplied that it is only
by these qualities and this mode of proceedure that we have reached
our present horizon of comparative excellence.
It is by the non-observance of this mode of procedure that the
Canadian Pacific line has been put on the ground in a haphazard way,
and the wrong location selected. It is by the nonobservance of these
rules, that we have throughout the Une the formidable curvature,
which will make it so difficult to work; the unnecessary heavy
grades which would have been entirely avoided on Mr. Fleming's
location; the. reckless expenditure incurred to push on work, to make
the world talk of the speed with which it was carried on, as something to be admired; the Lake Huron steamers made of such
dimensions that they cannot pass through the enlarged canals, and so 1
must remain forever imprisoned west of Buffalo ; the construction of
95 miles of the Algoma Branch, abandoned, and now going to ruinr
without a train having passed over it; the seven miles of the Atlantic-
and North-west Railway curving near Mile End into the lirie, unusedf.
and the.ties rotting; the purchase of property for a tunnel from St.
Catherine Street, Montreal, to the Canadian Pacific line to Ottawri
commenced without reflection or forethought, and as impulsively
abandoned, fortunately with wisdom. Follies for which no explanation can be attempted. pP±.
I have now to enter upon what I hold equally to be a marked
departure from the rules of prudence, never to be neglected in great
It is reported that the gradients follow the level of the ground as-
much as possible in order to reduce the work to a minimum. What
these grades are I cannot say. But it is to be feared that these sharp
curves and heavy grades, in the season of snow and ice, present difficulties in working the line which may prove insuperable. The
introduction of trestling and wooden bridges will create a permanent
way, the duration of which cannot be lookod for longer than ten years
or so. The parliamentary papers shew that nearly a million dollars
has been paid to bring up to grade with earth embankments, the
trestle work of the hue between Fort Arthur and the Lake of the
Woods. Here the charge was legitimate. It was a schedule contract,
the only good and true mode by which work can be carried on and
paid for. The theory of Mr. Fleming, then Chief Engineer, was to
open out the communication in the most rapid way. Trestling was
accordingly introduced to admit the passage of ballast trains by which
the depressions could be filled. The theory was correct in that case.
It was advisable to complete the track by these means, so that as
rapidly as possible, railway communication could be obtained between
Lake Superior and Winnipeg.
' There, is no such requirement for haste on the north shore of
Lake Superior. The connection calls for no such sacrifice, no substitution of temporary expedients. What is required is that the
road bed be firmly and substantially formed. And if the principle of
construction which I describe has been followed, such is not the case.
On the contrary, unless the Railway be made perfect, by iron bridges
and firm earth embankments, the road bed will not last above twelve
vears. 84
I have also to allude to a new; feature which has been introduced
in bridge building on this division. Before entering upon its
description, I must avail myself of a homely illustration to shew the
force of the criticism I make. If any of us desire to remove a nail
or some projection' included in a clutch which we cannot open, we
■move it backwards and forwards to loosen it. Such is the action of
& train of cars over--a pier, the impulsion being given on the surface
of-it, continually contrariwise. This constant influence, like, the
working of the ever recurring drop of water, has the tendency to
disintegrate the masses of which the pier is composed, to destroy its
unity; so that in extreme frost, and with great loads it can be
disadvantageously acted upon. The superstructure, however,, will
•keep each pier in position, if it itself be secured and immovable. For
the movement is then longitudinally distributed. In properly constructed bridges the superstructure is carefully maintained in equilibrium by the abutments; heavy massive piers with side walls to secure
them against any lateral thrust conveyed by the passage of the train,
so it may be said that the massiveness of the abutment, regulated by
circumstance, is the key to the safety of the bridge.
I never knew a capable Engineer who -neglected a careful consideration of this matter:* iffir'-'teii
Mr. Van Home, however, who rises superior to rule and ancient
practice has abandoned this principle. To his bridges there is no
abutment. There is but a simple pier in its place. Hence according
to the old theory there is not sufficient resistance to the influence I
have described; and it may be expected that in a few years the
continuous passage of trains-will tell on these slight structures.
. It may be answered that these abutments will last as long as the
trestling and the wood bridges, and that it is the intention to
strengthen them in the renovation of the line in 1894.
0,<-; In the absence of published reports, the condition and character
of the work, can only be known by the narratives of those who have
passed over it. It is these statements, coming from the most varied
sources, which form a concrete whole. Clause 39 of the Act sets forth
•' that the company.shall, from time time, furnish.such reports of the
progress of the work, with suoh details as the Government may
require." Has this requisition been made ? Is there any default of
compliance 1 In any. case,  the public,  the  outer world  have  been
1 85
ignored. None such have been published as having been Submitted
to the House of Commons, the one channel through which all reports
should pass.
I claim in no way to exaggerate the reports I have given. They
are, however, simply' reports. I have no means of obtaining special
information. I only write what many besides myself have heard.
A few pages of information, which the offices of the Company, if
properly managed, should prepare in a few hours, would furnish all
the facts involved in the description, viz.: a table of curves and
grades, the amount of trestling, the extent of wooden bridges, the
extent of solid embankments, under and above 15 feet in height.
The return could be verified in a short time by the engineers of
the Department.
From all I hear, I do not think that the facts will be disputed.
My theory is that they will be justified. Clause 3, of the Contract
lays down these extraordinary provisions j
" In order to establish an approximate standard whereby the
" quality and the character of the railway, and of the materials
I used in the construction therefore, and the equipment
" thereof may be regulated. The Union Pacific Railway of
I the United States as the same was lohen. first constructed is
"hereby selected and fixed as such standard."  *;
* The acceptance of the Union Pacific Railway as a stafedard was first
objected to in the Debate on the 15th December, 1880, (Hansard vol. X, pp.
87-89). During the whole consideration of the contract the most marked opposition was made to the proceeding. In asking the Government to give some
information so that the standard could be judged, Mr. Blake pointed out that this
Railway was first commenced in 1863, and not completed until 1869; when the
early portions of the road were worn out. Sir Charles Tupper argued that as the
Union Pacific is a road on which a speed of 40 miles an hour can be obtained, and
is capable of carrying a vast amount of traffic at a very considerable profit,, and
as a completely constructed railroad would necessarily obtc^n. the best gradients and
curves, and best description of road, for the reason that being obliged to operate
the road after its construction, it is a matter of the utmost importance to the
Company in a financial and commercial point of view that they should make the
road of as good a standard, as possible to their means. ;j|f?:i " We: have,"
he added, "a tolerable strong assurance that the character of the Canadian Pac fie
Bailway will be all that we can desire. On Sir C. Tupper stating that the Union
Pacific Railway had been used as a standard on the Allan Contract, Mr. Blake
forcibly pointed out the marked distinction between the mode in which it was
named in the present and in the Allan contract.
In the present contract, the standard is as the same as first constructed.
In the Allan contract, the railway is selected as a standard, " Buf^ma general
way only, and not with respect to any minor details in its construction or working 86
The clause provides that any difference of view as to these provisions shall be referred to arbitration.
Are we to read by the above that any temporary work first constructed
may be admitted as the type for final acceptance 1 The proceedings
of the Department in the section- of the line west of Lake Superior,
through the rough country by. the Lake of the Woods furnish a negative reply. The Government are expending one,million of dollars
for filhng up the trestle work on this section. Conveying the idea,
that throughout the line they are enforcing the principle of caTeful.
thorough, solid work.
which may be found to be objectionable in respect of alignment and curves which
shall be as favourable as the nature of the country will admit without undue
Mr. Charlton remarked, the circumstances attending the construction of the
Union Pacific are briefly these. Two great Companies were chartered for the
construction of a Une from Omaha to. Sacramento. These Companies received
subsidies from Government in money and lands. The Companies built a road
without paying the slightest attention to the quality of the materials, or the mode
of construction, caring nothing but to get a line, over which they could run a
locomotive. Two or three miles of road were laid down every day.' The ties
were of pine and cotton wood, which was eyen less suitable than box wood, and
the road was in place (sic) during the winter months ballasted with blocks of
frozen earth. The grades at first were as high as 116 feet to the mile, though they
were afterwards reduced to 90 feet to the mile. The road had.ourves of small
radius, and its condition at that time was such that even a construction train could
not be run upon it with safety.   This was the standard of comparison.
In answer to Mr. Blake's application for information, Sir C. Tupper had no
papers to bring down.   The Union Pacific was a matter of history.
It was this standard which the Government majority sustained against all
protest and criticism—a protest continued throughout the whole debate.
Those who desire to read more on this subject may refer to the Commons Debates in 1881, pp. 87-89, pp. 108-111, also to page 385,to the speech of Mr.
Mackenzie. The latter is remarkable as it gives the purport of the letter laid on
the table by Sir. C. Tupper, "written by three gentlemen belonging to the
Syndicate," dated 16th December, 1880. The contents are not given. Mr. Mac*
kenzie tells us that it intimated their willingness to have the condition of the
Union Pacific in 1878 substituted. Mr. Mackenzie remarked : " I look upon the
standard of the Union Pacific Railway as wholly unsuitable, and one that it will
be a great calamity to adopt. . . , With the good sense which distinguishes
him he hit upon the absurd proposition of arbitration shewing that it was
perfectly inoperative. " This provision " he said " is an absurd and unpractical
' one, and we cannot help thinking that it was designed by the cunning contriver
of the 1'ilL-. I do not know whether he is present, but I believe that he is not far
from the sound pi my voice, as a very efficient preventive against the Government
having any interference in the construction of the road." It was oh this occasion
Mr. Mackenzie said, p. 397. " The evidence accumulates asothis discussiongoes
on, that the character of the road is [to be even worse than any one supposed it
would be."
\i .8.7
The clause itself is a national -shame and disgrace. Why was it
not distinctly stated what the -road-bed, structures and bridges should
be 1 We had nothing to learn on the matter of railways. Why
seek a foreigri standard 1 It is but a few years back that there was
an attempt to construct the bridges on the Intercolonial Railway of
wood. The published corBespondenee shows a thorough examination
of the question, Surely it could not have been forgotten. It is well
known that in the dark days of the early difficulties of the Grand
Trunk, that it was the iron bridges .alone which kept the road in
operation. Had they been of timber and perishable, the opinion has
long been held that the railway would have succumbed. The obvious duty of the Government was to have made a clear and distinct
specification, so that both the Dominion and the Company knew
what was to be expected and what performed.
It is almost impossible for an.Enginnaer to make an. inspection
■of the line. What is the legal standard by which the work can be
judged 1 Clearly not the moral abstract theory that a certain class of
work should '.be performed In a certain manner. There can be no
complaint of positive inferiority or unfitness. Any such objection
may be imet that is in accordance with the contract standard. The
wording of the contract could only have had in view the protection of
the Company in a crisis of difficult criticism.
The question of bridges -came-up during the.debate- {pp. 396-7).
In the powerful speech of Mr. Mackenzie, one of the most powerful
be ever uttered, his remarks disclosed the theory that the bridges
should be of iron. He was interrupted by Sir Charles Tupper, with
the query if he intended that the contractors should build a better
line than the Government had constructed west of Port Arthur, on
■which'the structures were of wood. Mr. Mackenzie pointed.out, that
the ■erection was necessarily of a temporary character, that the effort
of the Government "bad been to complete the connection as rapidly as
possible with the design to,replace such temporary work with iron
bridges. He made the marked distinction between a Government so
.acting, and the like course being permitted in the contracts with the
iSyndicate ; and it is preposterous to establish any such comparison.
Mr. Mackenzie at once .drew the conclusion that the bridges were
to be of timber.    Sir Charles Tupper remained silent; consequently,
the question of material in one -sense'could be called an open .question.    To some extent, it has. been resolved by the Syndicate.   .^^ The. Company commeniced their work with iron bridges. So long-
as they were but little distant from Ottawa, or on the plains, where
they were talked about, or in the neighbourhood of Port Arthur, the
newspapers tell us the bridges are of iron. This principle is completely departed from. North of Lake- Superior and down the Kicking. Horse Pass and on to Savonna Ferry, the report is general that
wooden briiges only are constructed. If this statement should be-
true, the line will scarcely survive the ten years which the Government have to take security that the Company work it. They have
parted with every vestige of security to enforce this duty. Where-
then lies our protection1? It seems all the law gives, us, is a perishable railway, with a narrow limit of life ; and the country has not
the slightest power to enforce a single right it possesses..
It may be asked why the statement is made ; why these pages are-
written. Many asgue honestly from the opinion, that the Canadian
Pacific is un fait accompli, which we must help right or wrong to a
conclusion. . That whatever its inception and the conduct of its directors, it appeals to public support as a national undertaking.
* L will not say that this argument would- be inadmissible if the
Company had confined its operations to the territory included in the
contract with-the.Government, to the construction of the line between
Callender and.Savonna Ferry. Most of us might then have felt that
it, was an unde^aking appealing to our sympathies, and sentiment, and
hence we would have been led to strain a point to foste£ and safeguard its interests. It is very, different to-day. The Company aims
at the establishment of a line througb the lengtb of the Dominion to
the extreme Eastern harbour of Louisbourg, to the exclusion and
injury of every existent interest, and from their earliest formation
they have been marked by an, arrogant and insolent .aggressiveness.
iiv>tj4s.a private Company they are only responsible to their, own
numbers for i&eir conduct.; They have the same freedom of action-
a&jany other kind of individuals to extend their operati©jj$-:as they see
fit. They possess the common right of self assertion whiehunder our
happily;, formed. Constitution, every Pritish subject enjoys. But,
wjsen.they are able to influence, the. Government of the country to
identify the national credit with their operations, they challenge inquiry into every item of tbw expendj&ure,! and every phase of their
policy, . When th&y suppliants to Parliament, and received
the immense,- .amotmt of assistance of thpty-twp: miliums the-y.-cpaae to- 89
be a private Company, they make themselves amenable to criticism
in every form. It will be recollected that this money payment was
voted on the ground that'-$26^353,912 loan-was the amount required
to complete the line'. Sirice this date we are told that the work
between the first crossing of the Columbia and Savonna Ferry has
turned out much less difficult than, was-anticipated, and that the cost
would fall below the first' estimate four riiiUion dollars. It has,
therefore, been a matter of speculation if Mr. Van Home will decline
to receive these four millions as there is no ground for their employment. Whether this money be retained by the Government, or
received by the Company, basing their opinion on these facts, the
public ought to feel satisfaction to this extent, that they have a
guarantee that' there is more than enough money to complete the line
fully, thoroughly; consequently that the House of Comrnons will not
be asked for a further subsidy. There is, however, the' feeling that
some application is hovering over us. Coming events cast their shadows
before, and there is much to lead to anxiety for the future.
When this rnoney was asked for, it' was clearly understood that
the maximum grade was 116 feet to the haile. Mr.. Reed's report for
the first time disclosed j the fact that there! are several consecutive
miles of a grade of 200 feet and 250 feet to the mile- on the western
slope of the Kicking Horse Pass. This distance, Mr. Reed's " temporary track," is merely to be used until nine miles of tunnel are constructed. It cannot be too seriously brought to recollection-that when
the money was obtained, a limit of- grade of 116 feet was promised.
Is this saving of time to' be thus attained by the introduction; of
these heavy grades 1 - Not Only the five years spoken of as Saved, but
another five years on their back-are required-to push the tunnel
through the mountains. The actual result is that the character of
the line has been depreciated. Had proper engineering information
been laid before Parliament when the money was obtained, it would
have been'shewn at what cost the saving of time is to'be effected by-
the introduction of grades, riot only never anticipated, but never everi
mentioned, conclusively establishing the blunder■ wbich has-been
made in following the present route, and ruthlessly-- disregarding' the
line located by Mr. Fleming.
There may be many who conceive that It is too late to take any
steps in'what I hold to be the great error, which throughout has been
committed.    W-ha'tis' required is that £he facts be'1 kriowrii'~'! A Com- 90
mission should be chosen from both political parties of men of
eminence and of high reputation, to embrace three Engineers of
standing, in no way connected with the Dominion or the Provincial
Governments. The Committee to have full power to institute what
examination they see fit, and themselves to appoint their Secretary.
The issues raised by me are distinct:
1. That no countenance or aid should be given to any new system of railways east of Montreal, with the view of creating further
Eastern Extensions other than those now in use. Certainly, that the
expressed intention of making an Eastern Port other than Halifax,
should be opposed.
2. That an examination should be made of the line between Callender and Port Arthur; especially that portion between Sudbury
Junction and Nepigon, with the view of examining the character of
the curves arid grades; likewise the manner in which the work of
construction is being performed, establishing the extent of trestling
and wooden bridges, and the character of the abutments.
3. That an examination he made into the questions involved by
the construction of Mr. Reed's temporary line, with the heavy grades
in the western slope of the Kicking Horse Pass, and especially into
the threatened danger of the line being impeded by the avalanches,
from the- glaciers, and by slides of earth and timber.
4. That ari examination be made into the threatened danger of
avalanches, from glaciers in the Selkirk Range, and from slides of
timber, earth and frozen snow; and of the remedy proposed to prevent
the line being-periodically-impeded by this debris, by locating the
- line round the River Columbia to the Boat Encampment.
The examination of the line to Savonna Ferry, to learn the grades,
curves, and system- of construction.
6. An investigation of the trade in Pacific waters, to trace what
overland eastern traffic is possible to be obtained, especially as supported by its- present condition over the United States' Railways, and
what actual ground exists for supposing that a large passenger and
freight traffic. will pass across, this Continent.. Particularly in the
view of deterrhining fjhe expediency of granting a large subsidy for
'■' the establishment of a line of steamships from the Terminus of the
Canadian'Pacific Railway to Yokohama, or to the East, or whether
the line' should not entirely be left to private enterprize^^i
1 91
There may be other delicate questions to be submitted to the Committee. They are not fanciful. Many of them already loom in the
distance, daily to become more distinct, and it is the surmises to
which they have given rise, which have created the opinion that there
will be an application to Parliament for further aid.
The first condition for judging any such application is to possess
a thorough knowledge of the facts ; to know the character of the line
which is being hurried on, its guarantee for durability, and the
condition that in all seasons it can be worked. No object can be
attained by the increased rate of construction, by shortening the
period within which the work should be finished. The arguments
advanced to support this view are puerile and unsustained by reason
or facts.    They are entirely without force or sound argument.
An opinion has crept into public life that the attempt is being
made rapidly to complete the line, so it can be claimed that the
work is finished. We shall hear then the Io paean of success. The
work is consummated. Trains are running. The first locomotive,
wreathed with flowers, will have crossed the continent to the Pacific
shore. All will then - be well. Some classical friend may say
the Company have triumphed. The line is opened. All this babble
against them is mere jealousy ; your envious man is always a calumniator. He sees everything with eyes turned aside in hate. It is
just as Cicero tells us lividi limis occulis semp&r aspiciunt aliorum
It may all sound magnificent enough. But if this boasted result
shall have been attained by a sacrifice of those principles, and of that
careful mode of construction, by which permanent Works are established, so that' the line, humanly speaking, can be claimed to be free
from chance of accident, and that it can be worked in the most
rigorous season. If these have all been.'sacrificed, and we have only a
line of extreme grades and curves, with no promise of durability, we
have scarcely the shadow of the requirements of the Dominion, and
but a sorry return for our national sacrifices.
No information of the proceedings-of the Canadian Pacific .have
been published. The fault is entirely that of the Minister of Railways. So far as that railway is concerned, he has not fulfilled
his functions. The law exacts a different- course of proceeding. It
will be-a difficult question to answer in th© Souse of Commons,-why /f
this information has not been periodically published. We know
nothing of the grades and curves except what we hear by report.
Their character was certainly misrepresented in the last session of
Parliament. Constituencies should hold their members to stern
account for their votes'in the coming session. In spite of the efforts
to make the railway a political question, it is no longer so to-day. It
has become a consideration of commercial account. The whole
relations of the' railway are matters of practical economy, which
Parliament should investigate.
The effort in these pages has been to 'awaken public attention to
the condition of the railway; to point out that Which, if sustained
by fact, is reprehensible; to demand a calm examination of the whole
subject; and to exact, that while the Syndicate are- treated considerately and justly, they be held to the performance of their
obligations, and that the country is not called upon to accept any
inferior or ill-conditioned work.
The Dominion has a6ted with great generosity The country has
the right to expect full satisfaction in- the results attained. As I
have set forth matters^and I have done so from the papers at my
disposal arid what knowledge I could elsewhere obtain, I conceive
that the interests- of Canada have been sacrificed in the unwise
change of location ; in the features which the work presents ; in the
extraordinary payments Parliament consented to make. That- any
additional claim should be made upon the public purse with the
present condition of our information, appears unwarrantable; in no
wise countenanced by the terms of the contract; in no way supported
by the proceedings of the Syndicate; in no form called for by meritorious and faithful service ; in no degree sustained by any law of justice or the slightest whisper of reason.
We have to sift the true from the false, the metal from the earth.
We have to get rid of the mystery in which the operations of the
railway have been shrouded. We have to learn what the country has
obtained for its money. We have to know what remedy lies for
any deficiency which may be felt, in testing the full efficiency of the
We cannot permit the railway when finished to be made subser-
vient to private profit, and its usefulness engulfed in schemes of
extension and speculation, which, the more they are examined by 93
calm inquiry, the more visionary, and valueless they appear. In such
-circumstances we are, as it were, at the mercy of the Syndicate.
The public voice must be heard, the public sentiment respected
equally as the public purse has been drawn upon. We can claim
legitimately that the interests of Canada must alone be considered.
We must not pause in enforcing our demand that they be held preeminent. We must oppose all further subsidies. It has been declared
that more than enough has already been given to complete the Canadian Pacific proper. Indeed there is a surplus of four million dollars
above its necessities. What we have specially to resist is the talked
of Eastern extensions, costly, .unnecessary, of no public .utility.
The country has a higher duty than the consideration of the
schemes of a clique; of men. The Railway department was created
for something, more than their furtherance. - The Government is
called upon. so. to act that the interests of the. Dominion are in no way
sacrificed. . They can only be consulted by prudence, and by the
observance of an enlarged pohcy, based, upon justice, reason,; and
right-doing. A policy which, in .a work of the magnitude of this
Railway, while carried out generously and with liberality;; will avoid
unnecessary and unwarrantable expenditure, and so comma-rid respect
and confidence. On the other band, it must assert the right to claim
that the works of recognized . public requirement ,be fully and
efficiently constructed; that. I must add, in the.present emergency
as far as possible,     :j;.;J^^3o^:ii^itsi&^ s^jte^ss
The End.
>{?/?.' xlfl'; qS : i'l'-'i   •- APPEN DIX
[From the Montreal SereOd, Sept. 27th, 1884.]
The Work Remaining to be Done.
Important Reports from Mr. Van Horne and Mr. S. B. Reed, CE.
Canadian Pacific Railway, ■)
Montreal, 17th September, i884. j
The within, reports relating to the work remaining to be done by the Company, and to the character of the country on the western section of the line, are
considered by the Directors of sufficient interest to warrant their publication and
distribution among the shareholders.
By order of the Board,
Charles Drtnkwater,
The Canadian Pacific Railway.
To the Directors :
I returned last month from Victoria, British Columbia, over the line of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, and had an opportunity to examine every part of the
work remaining to be done by the Company on the mountain section.
Wishing to give all the time possible to our own Work, I did not examine in
detail the Government work between Port Moody and Savonna Perry, and as to
this, I can only report that it is proceeding rapidly, the track having reached, at
the time of my visit, a point near Spence's Bridge,. about 160 miles from Port
Moody, and the grading from there being so far advanced as to justify the belief
that the track will be laid to Savonna Ferry before many weeks.
The completion of the track to Savonna Ferry will be of the greatest advantage to the Company's work, which commences at that point and is directly
accessible from there by steamboats, on the South Thompson River and the
Shuswap Lakes for a distance of one hundred and eight miles.
Mr. S. B. Reed, an engineer of many years' experience, and under whose
supervision the Union Pacific Railroad was built, accompanied me across the
mountains, from Savonna Ferry; and as I am able to submit his report herewith,
I need not speak in detail of the engineering features of the line. Mr. Reed's
large experience in railroad location and construction, both in the mountain and
the prairie sections of the West, makes his report especially valuable. From personal observation, I can vouch for the accuracy of his statements, and I am
confident that the cost of the work remaining to be done will fall considerably
below his estimates, which were intended to be entirely safe. Indeed, the greater
part of the work for more than one hundred miles, eastward from Savona Ferry,
has been let at a price- below those upon which his estimates were based, and the
cost of the large amount of work already done westward from the summit of the
Rocky Mountains is also within his figures. 95
From the favorable character of the work and the progress already made, I
think there will be no difficulty in completing the mountain section within a' year
from this date, and for four million dollars less than the estimates of last winter.
Within the same time the eastern section will also be completed, so that by September next a through rail connection between Montreal and the Pacific Coast
will be established. There are no difficult engineering problems to be met; the
work is simple, and the cost easily calculated.
I am happy to state, as one result of my trip, that my doubts about the value
of the mountain section of the railway have been entirely removed. In addition
to the agricultural possibilities of the many valleys of British Columbia and its
great mineral wealth, its magnificent forests alone will furnish a large and remunerative traffic for the railway. From the mouth of the Kicking Horse River,
forty-four miles west from the summit of the Rocky Mountains, to the Salmon Arm
of the Shuswap Lakes, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles, the line passes
through a continuous belt of gigantic trees, which increase in size going westward
until they reach their maximum in Eagle Pass where trees eight and even nine
feet in diameter, measured seven feet above the ground, are common. The timber
is mostly ceda-r, Douglas fir, hemlock, white pine, spruce and tamarac. Other
varieties of more or less value also occur. All of the valleys near the line of the
railway through the Gold Range and the Selkirk mountains seem to be filled with
valuable timber, and I have no doubt that the supply is practically inexhaustible.
About the Pacific terminus there are also great forests of gigantic trees, even
larger than those described, and the export trade in timber is already of considerable magnitude. There are many other sources of traffic and of wealth, the
chief among them being the coals and the fisheries. The coals are the most valuable on the Pacific Coast, and are largely mined for shipment to Sari Francisco and
elsewhere.    The richness of th& fisheries is almost beyond belief.
The magnificent harbors of British Columbia, its exceptionally favorable
situation for commanding the trade of the North Pacific Coast, and of Japan and
China, its abundant natural resources.and matchless climate, must surely bring a
large and rapid increase in wealth and population immediately upon the completion of the railway.
Having now seen all of the line between Winnipeg and the Pacific, and
having studied the prairie section with great care, I feel justified in expressing my
opinion in the strongest terms, that no mistake was made by the
adopting the more direct and southerly route instead of that by way of the Yellow
Head Pass. The land along the northern route is undoubtedly good, but that
along the constructed line is as good as land can well be, and the worst of it
would be rated as first-class in almost any other country. Reports about alkali,
districts and sandy stretches have been circulated by parties ignorant of the
country. These reports have in some cases originated in malice, and' in others
from superficial observation. There is no more alkili in the land on the prairie
section of. the line, than on any other prairie section of the same extent in North
America. There is no more of it in the prairie soil along the line than is required
for the perfect growth of cereals. There is not one mile of the country where
good water cannot be obtained, and, as three years' experience leads me to believe,
where there is not sufficient rain-fall for the growth of the crops. There is a
notable absence of sand between Brandon and the mountains. It occurs in very
few places, and it so happens that nearly all of the sandy spots.haye been taken up
by settlers. The yellow clay sub-soil, so common west of Mbosejaw, has doubtless
been frequently mistaken for sand by parties looking at it from passing trains. 96
I do not hesitate to say that the Canadian Pacific Railway has more good
agricultural land, more coal and more timber between Winnipeg and the Pacific
Coast than all the other Pacific Railways combined, and that every part of the
line, from Montreal to the Pacific, will pay.
Since writing the above, I have received the following telegram from Mr.
Collingwood Schreiber, Chief Engineer of the Government Railways, who has
just made a trip over the mountain section of the line :—
Columbia, B. C, September 15th.
" Reached here this afternoon. Most satisfactory trip through the mountains.
" Should have been very much astonished at the character of the work, had you
" not previously given me a description of it."
I have the honor to be, gentlemen,
Respectfully yours,
W. C. Van Horne,
Montreal, September 16th, 1884.
JoLiErE, 111., September 9th, 1881.
Sir,—Upon your request, and on receipt of your letter of instructions, dated
Montreal, May 17th, 1884, to go to British Columbia and examine the location on
the Kamloops section of the Canadian Pacific Railway, I proceeded at once, via
San Francisco and Victoria, B. C, to Savonna Ferry, at the west end of
Kamloops Lake, where the Government contract for building east from the
Pacific coast ends and the work of the Company corrimences.
At Savonna Ferry I met Mr. Cambie, in charge of construction, and Major
Rogers, in charge of location, who walked with me over the proposed line to
Kamloops village, a distance of twenty-five miles.- At this time (June 6th)
Major Rogers had his locating parties organized and at work, and had located
the line from Savonna Ferry, about ten miles to the vicinity of the Cherry Creek
Bluffs, where the expensive rock work of the Kamloops section occurs. After
carefully examining the proposed line, I telegraphed you my opinion that the low
grade shore line, on the south side of Kamloops Lake, should be adopted in
preference to all other lines on the south side, in which opinion Mr. Cambie and
Major Rogers fully concurred.
In locating the line along the face of the Cherry Creek Bluffs, every foot of
the distance was carefully examined, and the best possible location selected. The
work on this part of the section .(six miles) is expensive but cannot be avoided.
The grades on the lake section are favorable, in no case exceeding one per cent.,
and are compensated for curvature.
During the location to Kamloops, I examined thoroughly the high grade line
located by the Government Engineers, some years ago, along the Cherry Creek
Bluffs, which I think would be impracticable to build and maintain. Embankments
more than'fifty feet high occur, the slopes of which-would extend into the lake,
where; in sounding with a line one hundred and ten feet in length, no bottom was
reached. Neither is there room to build retaining walls, or trestle bridging
without extending into very deep water.
The rock excavation on the new line will be much less than on the old, and
tijfe;ttttinellirtg is reduced more than one-half. The-maximum-gradients are the
stone "on the new line as on the old, but the carvature -is -increased-—curves of ten
degrees having been found necessary at the- Cherry Creek Bluffs.
W 1
I also examined carefully a line run by Major Rogers'over the hills south of
the Bluffs, which would avoid part of the heavy work, and cost less to build, but
to construct this line, grades of one hundred and sixteen feet per mile cannot be
avoided, and as there is no grade between the Selkirk Mountains and the Pacific
coast (about 399 miles), exceeding sixty-six feet per mile, it would not be sound
railroad policy to introduce heavier grades near the centre of this long section, if
they could be avoided without excessive expense.
I also thoroughly examined the country outside of the above specified lines,
and was fully sa'isfied that the low grade shore line was the best that could be
selected on or neat the south shore of Kamloops Lake.
I submit herewith an estimate of the total quantities of earth and rock
excavation and tunnelling, based upon the prices at which I understand the work
to be let, also of bridging, as estimated from the located Une, with the estimated
cost of ties, rails, fastenings, track-laying, ballasting, buildings, right of way and
engineering, making the total estimated cost of this section of twenty-five miles,
one million one hundred thousand one hundred and fifty-four dollars ($1,100,144),
or about $44,006 per mile.
After the location of the above-described section was finally completed, I
passed over, the remaining portion of the mountain section of the Canadian Pacific
^Railway yet to be built from Kamloops Village, in British Columbia, to the end
of track near the summit of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of 263. miles.
Having seen the plans and profiles covering nearly all the heaviest, work, and
having examined the character of the materials to be . moved, and the bridges to
'be built, I am able to speak of the cost of the line remaining for construction with
reasonable accuracy.
From Kamloops Village to the Little Shuswap Lake, thirty-eight miles,- the
line runs near the shore, of the South Thompson River, crossing the farms, that aye
located in the valley, where the small streams tributary to the river furnish water
for irrigation. The grading and bridging on this portion of the line is very light,
and the material is mostly sand and. graVel. The trees are few and scattered, and
the clearing and grubbing will be very light.
From Little Shuswap Lake to Sicamous Narrows, (forty-five miles) the line
will be somewhat more expensive. The Shuswap Lakes ara of irregular shape,
and their arms, extending out between the mountains, distort the railway line
and eause a. loss in distance of about eight miles. The line leaves the South
Thompson River at the head of the Little Shuswap Lake, crosses a " divide "to
the Salmon arm of the Shuswap Lakes, and passes around on the south shore to
Sicamous Narrows.
From the west end of the Little Shuswap Lake, going eastward, the excavation, on the first six-miles will average nearly 30,000 cubic yards per mile, about
one-half of which will be. rock. On the next fourteen miles the work will average
16,000 cubic yards per mile - all earth dnxl gravel. The next thirteen miles will
average 16,000 yards per mile, 1,000 yards of which will be rock, and the rest
earth, grayel and sand. The remaining twelve miles to Sicamous Narrows will
average only about 10,000 cubic yards to the mile, 40 per cent, of which will be
rock. On this section there will be two short tunnels—one of 240 feet and one
of 300.
From Savonna Ferry to Sicamous Narrows, a distance of 108 miles, the
entire line is contiguous to navigable water, and is therefore most favorably
situated for-cheap and rapid construction.
G 98
From Little Shuswap Lake eastward there is a marked change in the climate.
Instead of the dry and almost rainless section extending eastward from the
Cascade or Coast Range to the Shuswap Lakes, rain falls here in abundance,
and a dense growth of timber covers the country eastward to the summit, of the
Rocky Mountains; hemlock, white pine, Douglass fir, spruce and some other
verieties of timber growing to an enormous size. Cross-ties, bridge-timber,
telegraph poles and lumber can be obtained at any place between Kamloops Lake
and the main range of the Rocky Mountains at small cost. For example,
responsible parties propose to deliver at Savonna Ferry bridge timber of all
lengths at $15 per thousand feet, B.M., cross-ties on the line at 25 cents each, and
piles at four cents per lineal foot; and I think all such materials can be furnished
at less cost.
From Sicamous Narrows to Griffin Lake, near the summit of Eagle Pass, in
the Gold Range (thirty miles), the line follows the valley of the Eagle River. But
little if any rock excavation occurs, and the earth work is very light. Some pile
bridging, and a short pivot bridge at Sicamous Narrows will be required. The
country is densely wooded, and clearing and grubbing will cost about one thousand
dollars per mile over the remaining portion of the line, east to the Rocky
The Kamloops section (twenty-five miles), over which the line is definitely-
located and the work under contract, will cost, as before stated, one million one
hundred thousand one hundred and forty-four ($1,100,144) dollars. The section
to Griffin Lake, at the summit of Eagle Pass (113 miles), is estimated to cost not-
more than an average of sixteen thousand six hundred ($16,600) dollars per milo,
making the average cost per mile from the west end of Kamloops Lake to Griffin
Lake, a distance of 138 miles, twenty-one thousand five hundred and sixty-five
($21,565) dollars per mile.
This estimate, I am satisfied, will cover the cost of this road, including station
buildings, water service, etc.
From Eagle Pass the line follows down the east slope of the Gold Range by
way of the narrow valley of Turn water Creek, to the west crossing of the Columbia River. The excavation is mostly in earth, but few rock cuttings occurring:
As the Columbia is approached, some heavy embankments are required. The
Columbia River is 800 feet wide, with a strong rapid current, and should be
crossed by an* iron truss bridge, with a timber trestle approach, 2,800 feet long,
averaging thirty to thirty-five feet in height. The cost of this bridge can be
reduced materially by using two per cent, grades on the east slope of the Gold
Range, but as no grade exceeding sixty feet per mile occurs between the Selkirk
Range and the Pacific Coast, as before stated, it is best not to change here.
Eastward from the west crossing of the Columbia River, the line follows the
west crossing of the Ule-Celle-waet to the summit of the Selkirk Range (Roger's
Pass); thence down the valley of the Beaver to the East Columbia, thence up the
Columbia River Valley to the mouth of the Kicking Horse River, and up that
stream to the summit of. the main range of the Rocky Mountains.
The line over the Selkirk Mountains, a distance of sixty-three miles, is
remarkably easy to constrrct, there being comparatively .little rock excavation',
and but one short tunnel. The great bulk of the work will be in earth and loose
rock.   Two truss bridges of one span each will be required at the crossings of the
* Report states that these bridges are of wood. 99
Ille-Celle-waet and the Beaver, and one or two short truss bridges across small
mountain streams, and a moderate number of short pile and trestle bridges across
gullies on the mountain slopes.
At the east crossing of the Columbia, a deck truss bridge, 350 feet in length,
will be required. In the valley of the Columbia, for a distance of thirty-five
miles, with the exception of the canyon (four miles), where there are two short
tunnels and some heavy work, now being done, the line is a remarkably easy one
to build, the work being mostly in gravel and sand, and the rock, where it occurrs
consisting of slate and shale.
From the mouth of the Kicking Horse River to the summit of the Rocky
Mountains, a distance of forty-four miles., the grading is nearly completed, and I
can see no reason why the track cannot be laid to the mouth of the Beaves,
(seventy-nine miles from the Rocky Mountain summit) before winter sets in.
While traversing the line remaining to be built through the wooded section,
evidences of snow slides were seen at and near Roger's 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 fifteen miles. A number of
snow sheds will probably be required for tte protection of the track, but nearly
fifty miles of these are in successful use on the Central Pacific road. .
From careful inspection of the country through which the line passes, and an
examination of the plans and profiles so far as the line is finally located, between
, the summit of the Gold Range and the summit of the Rocky Mountains, on&
hundred and fifty miles, lam satisfied that this section of the road can be constructed at an average cost not exceeding thirty-three thousand dollars ($33,000)
per mile, including station buildings, etc.
In view of the rugged mountain country, through which the line passes, from
Savonna Ferry to the summit on the main range of the Rocky Mountains, a
distance of two hundred and ninety miles, and the dense timber obstructing the
successful exploration of the country over most of the distance, you have an
exceedingly cheap line to build, costing far less per mile than the mountain work
of the Union and Central Pacific roads.
The alignment is good, and the gradients, with the exception of the west slope
of the Rocky Mountains, and over the Selkirk Range, in no place on the=
mountain sectin exceed sixty-six feet per mile.
On a portion of the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, and parts of both
slopes of the Selkirk Range;-grades of one hundred and sixteen feet per mile
exist, but they occur within a comparatively short distance and can be easily and
economically operated by the use of special locomotives, such as are used on
similar gradients elsewhere.
I gave some attention to the nine miles of temporary track that has been
built around a tunnel, and some heavy work in the vicinity of Mount Stephen,
for the purpose of saving a year's time in completing the road through to the
Pacific. This part of the road has four per cent, grades, and curves of ten degrees.
As far as I examined this temporary line, I found it thoroughly built, with
seventy pound rails (per yard), and first-class fastenings. It will answer all
purposes for traffic for years to come, without material increase in the cost of
operating. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and other roads crossing the
Rocky Mountains have grades equal to or exceeding this one.
I also examined the section of the proposed permanent line around which the
temporary line has been built, and especially as you suggested, the large rock
J 100
slide immediately east of the long tunnel through a spur of Mount Stephen. All
of the slide, except about one hundred and fifty feet in width, seems to have
been formed from gradual accretions, as the face of the solid rock forming the
cliffs south of the line has weathered and worn-away. There is so evidence of
any recent movement that could not be guarded against. Bushes of various kinds
grow on the old and gradually accreted (sic) portion. The one hundred and fifty feet
of the slide above referred to, is the track of a small stream that comes out from .
under a glacier about one thousand feet above the grade line. This glacier
extends up Mount Stephen nearly, or quite to the summit, the upper portion
being hidden from view by a projecting spur of the mountain. This small stream
is gradually accumulating debris from the glacier, and in times of extreme
summer heat, when the largest amount of snow and ice is being melted, a flood
of water rushes down this slide, carrying with it the accumulated debris, into the
valley below, with great force. A truss bridge, one hundred and fifty feet in
length, can be built over this slide through whieh these accumulations can be
passed with safety.
But the temporary line around this place is so well built, and promises to
answer present purposes so well, I should think it unwise to expend any money on
the intended permanent line until the traffic really demands it.
From the summit of the Rocky Mountains I went by rail to Winnipeg, and
had an opportunity to see the entire line by daylight ;
The track is in most excellent condition.    Many of the temporary bridges
..across the larger streams have been replaced by substantial masonry and iron
structures, and others of this description are now being erected.
The country through which the road passes appears to be rapidly filling up
with a farming population, ^nd evidences of thrift and prosperity are seen in all
.settled parts. This country yields abundantly wheat, oats, barley, rye, potatoes,
-etc., and will soon become the great wheat-growing country of America.
I know of no country in the United States of the same area that equals this
for the growth of wheat and other grains adapted to the climate. By comparison
of samples taken frqm fields of standing grain, ready for the harvest, six hundred, and eight hundred miles west of Winnipeg, with like samples from the Red
River country in Minnesota, the merit was largely in favor of the former, and,
judging from appearances, the yield will be much greater.
(Signed),       S. B. Reed, CE.
W. C. Van Horne, Esq.,
Vice-President Canadian Pacific Railway,
G> ^\  ' 


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