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Canadian Pacific Crane, Frank; Canadian Pacific Railway Company 1924

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 The Canadian Pacific
Reprinted from
"Current Opinion"
Canadian Pacific Railway
Printed in U. S. A.  A
A MAN should write about what
he knows. Now I KNOW a little
something about the Canadian
Pacific. I have traveled over its lines
as far as it goes into the West—to
China and Japan. In a few days I shall
sail out of the St. Lawrence River for
Europe on one of its palatial steamers.
So this article is a personal testimonial.
I know this railroad. I know its officials. I know their way of doing business. They are about the biggest thing
in the way of a transportation company
in the world—a billion dollar corporation whose activities extend into every
aspect of the service of travelers.
When we want to declare in the fewest words that a man is the finest fellow
on earth, dependable in any emergency,
loyal through any crisis, courageous
under whatever danger, we call him "a
real SEA-GOING chap."
That goes double for the Canadian
Pacific. It is, literally and figuratively,
"a real SEA-GOING railroad."
It is pretty nearly the bones and
sinews   of   the   great   free   Dominion
which is our Good Neighbor to the
North. Its share in building Canada is
like its share in developing our continent, too large to estimate.
It is a national railway, but there are
no nationalistic blights or taints on it.
Five thousand miles of its tracks run
through the United States. Its telegraph and cable connections and steamships circle the globe. It set out to be
an Imperial Highway from Britain to
Hong Kong, and the value of that highway was demonstrated during the
World War.
The railroad's life history is one of
the most exciting stories I know. It is
the story of something that "couldn't be
done." Back in 1857 the British Government's engineers spent four years and a
lot of money to find out that the Canadian Pacific Railroad was "impossible"
to construct.
But when the men who carried it
through got back of the job they put so
much energy into it that they could not
stop at the Pacific coast; they shot clear
around the globe. The Canadian Pacific
J T WASN'T so long ago that the country called "Canada" was just a thin
strip of territory from Lake Huron to
the mouth of the St. Lawrence. The
northern half of the country, from Labrador through Hudson Bay to the Rockies, belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company, which had held these two and a
half million square miles under imperial
charter for about two centuries. And
on the west coast, between the Rockies
and the Pacific, stood the independent
Colony of British Columbia.
Eventually the Dominion embraced it
all, as was inevitable. British Columbia
entered on condition that within ten
years a railway should be built connecting it with Eastern Canada.
The Canadian people, scattered over
an area which included more than half
of the continent of North America,
numbered only three and a half millions. Obviously the new railway could
■not count on much traffic. Hundreds of
miles of its track must be laid through
an uninhabited wilderness. No wonder
a pessimist made himself famous at the
time by asserting that the line would
never be able to pay for its axle-grease.
Except in courage, the Canadian people were not rich, and means to finance
the proposed line were found with great
Driving    the    last     spike     at     Craigellachie,
November   7th,   1885.
difficulty. In 1880 fewer than seven
hundred miles of the line which had
been promised to British Columbia had
been laid by various organizations all of
which suffered under the customary
blight of political control. Then at last
common sense triumphed, and the task
of carrying out the national purpose
was entrusted to a non-political group
of bankers and business men.
On May 2, 1881, the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company turned their first sod.
They had undertaken to reach the
Pacific in ten years. They reached it in
five. The Government assisted them
with grants of land and subsidies, but
after every financial device had been
resorted to, the funds available did not
pay the day-to-day costs of construction. When the Company's credit had
been exhausted, a far-sighted Government continued to lend them money.
And when the Government had almost
lost courage, the men in charge of the
work invested about everything they
had, thereby persuading the Government to continue its loans a little longer.
It is pleasant to record that every one
of these loans has been repaid in full.
The cost of construction was amazingly low considering the results attained.   The credit for this is due to the Dr. Frank Crane
purchasing system installed by the late
Lord Shaughnessy. So successful was
this system that it was adopted as a
model in the reorganization of New
York City's purchasing department.
'T'HE TROUBLES of railroad builders
can scarcely be imagined by most of
us who have never wielded the pick,
shovel and ax on a right-of-way, or attempted to survey a practicable route
for a railway. Blasting, cutting and
leveling; building a track to carry heavy
trains along the sides of precipices
where not even a mountain goat had
ever ventured; scaling heights and
bridging streams; drilling through rock
and piercing trackless forests; dodging
avalanches and constructing miles of
line over the deceptive "muskeg" which
looks fairly solid but is really a treacherous morass — the story is a Promethean epic of man's battle against the
earth gods and the elemental deities.
On November 7, 1885, the last spike
on the main line was driven at Craigellachie. Donald Smith hammered it into
place, and earned the congratulations of
Queen Victoria for the people of Canada. Eight months later the first transcontinental train left Montreal, passing
through Winnipeg on Dominion Day,
July 1st, and reaching the Pacific terminus of Port Moody, on the morning
of July 4th—sharp on time.
The human body is said to renew
every microscopic cell of its entire
structure every seven years. The same
thing happens to a well-maintained railroad. Not one rail of the Canadian
Pacific remains where it was placed in
the original line.
A large part of the line has been
double-tracked. All wooden bridges
have been replaced by iron or sustained
on filled-in rock and concrete foundations, except on a few of the newer
Joined end to end the bridges of the
Canadian Pacific would make a viaduct
80 miles in length, long enough to
bridge the English Channel from Dover
to Calais four times over.   Some of the
bridges ought to be as interesting to
the general public as they are to engineers. The bascule bridge over the
United States Ship Canal at Sault Ste.
Marie, for example, is an absolutely
unique bridge, providing a wider unobstructed channel than that afforded by
any other movable bridge. When its
two leaves or arms are locked together
in the center its trusses form a single
simple span from pier to pier 336 feet
Quite as extraordinary as the bridge
building has been the tunneling of the
Rocky Mountains and the Selkirk
Range. In the Rockies at the summit
of Kicking Horse Pass (named after
an accident which occurred to one of
the early surveyors) the west-bound
train plunges into Cathedral Mountain,
descends gradually in a complete circle
within the mountain, and comes out 48
feet below. Then it crosses a river,
turns to the north and hurls itself into
Mt. Ogden, spiraling down to 45 feet below its entrance. In the Selkirks, cedar
snow-sheds to protect some miles of line
were eventually replaced by a double-
track tunnel nearly five miles long
straight through the heart of Mt. Macdonald, the longest tunnel in our hemisphere, and one of the longest anywhere.
Just returned from a Round-the-World cruise. The Canadian Pacific
Leaving    Windsor    Street    Station,    Montreal.
The crack train  of the  Canadian  Pacific;   90
hours   from   Montreal   to  Vancouver.
'THE NERVE centers of a railroad
are its yards, where freight is
sorted and sent on its way. A railroad
yard may sound unromantic, but it is
actually one of the most fascinating
spots in the whole system. Here the
cars weave busily to and fro on a giant
loom, forming the fabric of Commerce.
The railway yards of the Canadian
Pacific are among the wonders of the
world. Its Winnipeg yards are the
largest on the planet, and it has other
In  the   Canadian  Pacific  Irrigation   Block,   an
area    of    3,000,000    acres    transformed    into
farming  land.
tremendous  yards   in   Montreal,   Vancouver, Toronto, St. John and Quebec.
At first the railroad had no fence.
When a herd of cattle or bison was
crossing the track the train halted until
the last animal hoofed his way over.
In 1903 a statute commanded a general
erection of fences along all railways,
and the Canadian Pacific put up a woven
wire fence which keeps farm stock in
safety, and at the same time does not
prevent the free migration of wild animals, though the fence puzzles the antelope until they discover how readily
they can jump it.
Snow is one of the blessings of the'
Canadian farmer, storing up moisture
for the Spring crops, and protecting
grass and fall-sown seed from the intense cold, but drifting snow is a tremendous problem to the railway. The
Canadian Pacific, after experimenting
with wooden breaks, has planted long
lines of trees which beautify the line as
well as stop the drifts. In some of the
bald-headed prairie sections they are
the only groves to be seen.
Every precaution that modern science
has devised to render travel safe and
to warn pedestrians and automobilists
at crossings, has been taken by the Canadian Pacific. Automatic crossing bells
are supplemented by an illuminated
danger sign, or a red disc with a lamp
which swings to and fro, wig-wagging,
so that neither a blind nor a deaf driver
can fail to receive warning of an approaching train.
The Company's horticulturists have
made beauty spots of their stations by
means of substantial prizes offered for
the best gardens, the Canadian Pacific
having more gardens than any other
railway organization in the world. During the war these were turned into "war
gardens" and grew a great quantity of
produce for the Allies.
The Company is both one of the largest and one of the most enlightened
employers of labor. A hundred thousand persons are frequently on its payroll. A liberal pension system is in full
operation. There are schools for mechanics, scholarships for ambitious men Dr. Frank Crane
at Canadian universities, and clubs and
recreation centers at strategic points all
along the line.
HT 0 REALIZE what a gigantic affair
the Canadian Pacific is, and what a
tremendous volume of service it must
have rendered Canada and the world in
order to have grown so, you have only
to compare its early possessions with
present-day figures.
They started with about two hundred
locomotives. Now they have twenty-
two hundred, many of them built in
their own shops in Montreal. They
started with a hundred little oil-lighted
passenger cars. Now they have three
thousand big electric-lighted ones. They
started with six thousand old-time
freight cars. Now they have a hundred
thousand of the largest modern ones.
Their gross earnings the first year
were less than three and a half millions.
Last year they were nearly two hundred
millions. Passengers increased from a
million and a half in 1885 to fifteen millions last year—eloquent testimony to
the comfort afforded by their facilities,
and the business activity and tourist
appeal to the country. Where the journey to the coast at first consumed five
and a half days, all-steel trains now
whisk the traveler across the continent
in 90 hours.
According to an old employee the first
large freight movement was "dead" livestock—buffalo skeletons. Indians and
half-breeds had been hired to gather the
millions of buffalo bones which bestrewed the plains, lying where they
were shot down by generations of hunters. These bones were heaped up beside the track in huge mounds, like cord
wood. Incidentally one of these mounds
became the city of Regina, a city whose
original name was "Pile o' Bones."
Thousands of carloads of buffalo bones
were shipped to the United States at
that time for use in sugar refineries.
Nowadays, of all the freight carried
by the Canadian Pacific, wheat tops the
list. Last year more than a quarter of a
billion bushels were shipped from western Canada.   A freight car moved out
c.  P. R.  NO. 1
The    first    locomotive    on    Western    lines -
"Countess   of   Dufferin"   at   Winnipeg.
of Winnipeg eastbound with grain
every minute and a quarter day and
night for two months.
Its freight rates are not fixed by the
Company, but are as completely under
Canada's control as if the railway line
were owned and operated by the Government. This applies not only to
freight and passenger rates by land and
water, but also to express and telegraph
charges. The railroad is fully under
public control by regulation.
500   Miles  of  trackage. The Canadian Pacific
€1.1 !'
F 5
*^„u.~ - - .„   its
Vancouver,   B.   C.
The express department of the Canadian Pacific, the Dominion Express
Company, started business forty years
ago with three or four clerks and a
second-hand wagon. Now it has its offices in Europe, the Orient, the British
Isles and throughout Canada. Last year
it handled about sixteen million express
A WHOLE book could be written on
A Canada's appeal to the tourist.
There is enough magnificent natural
scenery in the far-flung Dominion to
stock the globe. Mountain ranges to the
east and west, including the greatest
aggregation of unsealed snow-capped
peaks anywhere this side of Tibet.
Valleys, lakes and primeval forests in
endless profusion and entrancing variety. The widest, richest, blackest-
soiled belt of central plain in existence.
Whatever the type of thing you most
enjoy you find it in Canada. You know
that. The reason you know it, however,
is that the Canadian Pacific has been
telling you about it in advertisements
and circulars and beautiful illuminated
brochures for twenty years.
The railroad has brought hundreds of
thousands of tourists to Canada, all the
way from the  Evangeline country  in
Nova Scotia to the eternal snows of
Lake Louise and the semi-tropical luxuriance and beauty of Vancouver
Island. Through the Company's efforts
the National Parks of Canada, Banff,
Lake Louise, Glacier, the Yoho and Mt.
Revelstoke, have attracted thousands of
visitors from all over the earth.
The Rocky Mountain section constitutes a perpetual challenge to mountain
climbers. Some years ago a group of
Swiss families were transplanted to the
Columbia River to act as professional
guides for tourists who yearn for the
thrill of seeing the dawn from a mountain top, or who wish to scramble up a
precipitous height where no human foot
has ever trod. It is only another illustration of the Company's thoughtful-
ness and their determination to make
the guests of the nation happy.
In this connection, they have erected
a magnificent chain of hotels in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Lake
Louise, Banff, Calgary, Quebec, Montreal, and St. Andrews, N. B.—hotels
so satisfactory to the tourist that
whoever has stopped in one of them is
apt to base all future comparisons of
hotel service upon it as a standard of
Perhaps the most celebrated of the
chain is the Chateau Frontenac, flanking the ancient citadel of Quebec and
gazing down upon the splendid sea highway of the St. Lawrence River. On
Christmas 1893, its opening day, the
Chateau Frontenac had only thirteen
guests at dinner. But it did not prove
an unlucky number. More than fourteen hundred are often housed there
In winter, while many tourists go to
Quebec and other Canadian resorts for
the winter sports, hundreds of others
embark on the Canadian Pacific vessels
for tours of the Mediterranean, of the
Orient, of the West Indies and "Around
the World." There are eighty-one
steamers in the Canadian Pacific fleets,
and their ships hold all records for
speed and comfort between North
American and Asiatic ports. From
London to  Yokohama  they  carry  the Dr. Frank Crane
traveler in 21 days. The Canadian Pacific has become the fabulous Northwest
Passage from Europe to Cathay which
explorers used to seek.
Canadian Pacific ships have carried
their red and white checker flag into
all the ports of the world, and everywhere it is an emblem which inspires
respect. It is amusing to recall that
their first ship was the 800-ton brig
"W. B. Flint." With characteristic
foresight they started that little boat
out of Yokohama with a cargo of tea for
Canada, a week before the first through
train left Montreal for the British Columbian coast. It was the beginning of
a successful effort to capture the commerce of the Pacific.
(~)F ALL the tasks of the Canadian
Pacific perhaps the most Herculean
has been the task of filling up the empty
western land with substantial, contented farmers. More people is the
need of every new and sparsely settled
land. The Canadian Pacific has earned
for itself the title of "The Great Colonizer."
It has spent nearly seventy million
dollars, without any sort of legal obligation, to develop natural resources, improve agriculture and increase population. Here is a partial list of things it
keeps pegging away at all of the time:
Securing immigration, and fostering
colonization for Canada as a whole;
Advertising the resources and advantages of Canada in all countries from
which desirable settlers can be obtained in
any quantity;
Creating and maintaining an irrigation
system, in the semi-arid Southwest, and
instructing settlers in its use;
Parting with its land to settlers on
terms far easier than have been given by
any other owner; and, in addition, giving
purchasers financial aid in exceptional
Furnishing ready-made farms, with
buildings, fences and wells, and with a
considerable acreage under crop, on
equally easy terms;
Maintaining Demonstration Farms, with
pure-bred herds;
Providing without charge "Better Farming Trains" for agricultural instruction
and demonstration by public authorities;
Giving millions of trees to prairie farmers from its own tree nursery;
Giving pure-bred breeding stock;
Obtaining regular farm help for settlers, as well as many thousands of additional farm workers at harvest time;
Assisting farmers in the marketing of
their produce by carrying grain, cattle
and other products at considerably lower
freight rates than those charged by United
States railv/ays; and making further large
reductions to meet special needs;
Exhibiting Canada's agricultural products in Britain, the United States and
many other lands.
Agriculture is only one, though certainly the greatest, of Canada's interests. All her interests, including agriculture, are energetically promoted by
this indefatigable organization. From
the first it has kept its country's flag
flying, expounding Canada's unequalled
opportunities for the hardy and industrious, and spreading the news of
Canada's achievements and development among the nations. For almost
a generation, the Canadian Pacific has
been an eloquent ex-officio Ambassador
to the world.
/^ANADA   is   a   wonderful   country.
Any country that can grow a Canadian Pacific is a wonderful country.
On    a    Better    Farming    Special    Train
Saskatchewan. The Canadian Pacific
Canada is bigger
than the United
States in square
miles. And mile for
mile it is ROOMIER
than the United
States. It has only
one-tenth our population.
If you feel that
America is getting a
little crowded, especially in the cities,
you ought to go take
a look at Canada. It
will remind you of
the stories of old-
time America, in the spacious days of
our forefathers.
If you are a very old-fashioned American you will probably feel, in going to
western Canada, that you are returning
to the "good old days." People are still
living on their own farms there, just as
ninety-seven out of every hundred did
in the United States a century ago. It
is a homogeneous folk, and community
life is still constructed around churches
which are fully attended.
They have all the modern improvements, automobiles, movies, radio, and
so on. It is the same kind of place the
United  States used to  be and,  please
The great Canadian Pacific hotel at Quebec.
God, will be again,
when it digests
and assimilates the
aliens who have
poured into America
a little faster than
we could Americanize them.
Canada is a clean,
beautiful, white-
man's country, with
a wonderful climate
of the most bracing
variety, the kind of
climate which stimulates the human machine to its fullest
efficiency. It is an amazingly energetic
and hustling place.
I make no apology for boosting Canada. That course of action seems to me
100 per cent. American—North American. She is blood of our blood and bone
of our bone. Hundreds of thousands of
our farmers have flocked over the border to help build her. She cannot be too
prosperous to suit the rest of us.
And, if the Canadian Pacific keeps its
health and strength, she cannot fail to
be immensely prosperous.  


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