Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia

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This project is very much a work-in-progress. The section on Surveying is the most complete, with detailed descriptions for each year, 1871 to 1879.

CPR in BC
Background
Surveying
Onderdonk Section
CPR Section
Postscript
Listings
People
Bibliography
Places

This site is about the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia between 1871 and 1885. There are 3 phases to this project. There is overlap in time between these phases with surveying continuing after construction started on the Onderdonk sections and construction was taking place from both the west and east simultaneously between 1883 and 1885.

  1. Surveying - Between 1871 when British Columbia joined confederation and 1880 when construction first started, numerous government survey crews explored and surveyed the valleys and passes of British Columbia.
  2. Onderdonk Section - In 1880, construction started under contractor Andrew Onderdonk on the section between Vancouver (initially Yale) and Savona. When this section was complete, Onderdonk was contracted by the CPR to construct the track east and ran out of track in the summer of 1885 in Eagle Pass.
  3. CPR Section - In 1883, CPR construction crews working across the prairies crossed into British Columbia at the Great Divide in the Kicking Horse Pass. The crews connected with Onderdonk's section at Craigellachie where the last spike was hammered home on November 7, 1885.

Also browse this project by list of people involved and by timeline.