Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), formerly also known as CP Rail (reporting mark CP) between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I rail carrier founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP, NYSE: CP), which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, it owns approximately 14,000 miles (22,500 km) of track all across Canada and into the United States, stretching from Montreal to Vancouver, and as far north as Edmonton. Its rail network also serves major cities in the United States, such as Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City.
The railway was originally built between Eastern Canada and British Columbia between 1881 and 1885 (connecting with Ottawa Valley and Georgian Bay area lines built earlier), fulfilling a promise extended to British Columbia when it entered Confederation in 1871. It was Canada's first transcontinental railway, but currently does not reach the Atlantic coast. Primarily a freight railway, the CPR was for decades the only practical means of long-distance passenger transport in most regions of Canada, and was instrumental in the settlement and development of Western Canada. The CP became one of the largest and most powerful companies in Canada, a position it held as late as 1975. Its primary passenger services were eliminated in 1986, after being assumed by Via Rail Canada in 1978. A beaver was chosen as the railway's logo because it is one of the national symbols of Canada and was seen as representing the hardworking character of the company.
The company acquired two American lines in 2009: the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad. The trackage of the ICE was at one time part of CP subsidiary Soo Line and predecessor line The Milwaukee Road. The combined DME/ICE system spanned North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa, as well as two short stretches into two other states, which included a line to Kansas City, Missouri, and a line to Chicago, Illinois, and regulatory approval to build a line into the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. The Canadian Pacific Railway is a public company with over 15,000 employees and market capitalization of US $7 billion in 2008. It is publicly traded on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CP.
The creation of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a task originally undertaken for a combination of reasons by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald. British Columbia had insisted upon a transport link to the East as a condition for joining the Confederation of Canada (initially requesting a wagon road). The government however, proposed to build a railway linking the Pacific province to the Eastern provinces within 10 years of 20 July 1871. Macdonald also saw it as essential to the creation of a unified Canadian nation that would stretch across the continent. Moreover, manufacturing interests in Quebec and Ontario desired access to sources of raw materials and markets in Canada's West.
The first obstacle to its construction was political. The logical route went through the American Midwest and the city of Chicago, Illinois. In addition to this was the difficulty of building a railroad through the Canadian Rockies, an entirely Canadian route would require crossing 1,600 km (990 mi) of rugged terrain across the barren Canadian Shield and muskeg of Northern Ontario. To ensure this routing, the government offered huge incentives including vast grants of land in Western Canada.
In 1873, Sir John A. Macdonald and other high-ranking politicians, bribed in the Pacific Scandal, granted federal contracts to Hugh Allan's Canada Pacific Railway Company (which was unrelated to the current company) rather than to David Lewis Macpherson's Inter-Ocean Railway Company which was thought to have connections to the American Northern Pacific Railway Company. Because of this scandal, the Conservative Party was removed from office in 1873. The new Liberal prime minister, Alexander Mackenzie, ordered construction of segments of the railway as a public enterprise under the supervision of the Department of Public Works led by Sandford Fleming. Surveying was carried out during the first years of a number of alternative routes in this virgin territory followed by construction of a telegraph along the lines that had been agreed upon. The Thunder Bay branch linking Lake Superior to Winnipeg, was commenced in 1875 and a section from Fort William in 1878. By 1880, around 700 miles was nearly complete, mainly across the troublesome Canadian Shield terrain, with trains running on only 300 miles of track.
With Macdonald's return to power on 16 October 1878, a more aggressive construction policy was adopted. Macdonald confirmed that Port Moody would be the terminus of the transcontinental railway, and announced that the railway would follow the Fraser and Thompson rivers between Port Moody and Kamloops. In 1879, the federal government floated bonds in London and called for tenders to construct the 206 km (128 mi) section of the railway from Yale, British Columbia, to Savona's Ferry, on Kamloops Lake. The contract was awarded to Andrew Onderdonk, whose men started work on 15 May 1880. After the completion of that section, Onderdonk received contracts to build between Yale and Port Moody, and between Savona's Ferry and Eagle Pass.
A Canadian Pacific Slideshow.
*Author: Brooksbank. These image files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Canadian Pacific FP7 No. 1432 takes on fuel at Revelstoke, British Columbia.
On 21 October 1880, a new syndicate, unrelated to Hugh Allan's, signed a contract with the Macdonald government and Fleming was dismissed. They agreed to build the railway in exchange for $25 million (approximately $625 million in modern Canadian dollars) in credit from the Canadian government and a grant of 25 million acres (100,000 km2) of land. The government transferred to the new company those sections of the railway it had constructed under government ownership, on which it had already spent at least $25m. But its estimates of the cost of the Rocky Mountain section alone was over $60m. The government also defrayed surveying costs and exempted the railway from property taxes for 20 years. The Montreal-based syndicate officially comprised five men: George Stephen, James J. Hill, Duncan McIntyre, Richard B. Angus and John Stewart Kennedy. Donald A. Smith and Norman Kittson were unofficial silent partners with a significant financial interest. On 15 February 1881, legislation confirming the contract received royal assent, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was formally incorporated the next day. Some claimed that the government gave too large a subsidy for the proposed project. It is true that the subsidy was larger than it should have been but this was to incorporate uncertainties of risk and irreversability of insurance. The subsidy was also needed to be that big to compensate the CPR for not constructing the line at a privately optimal time late in the future, but rather right away. for this the company got additional subsidies from the government for their trouble.
Building the railway, 1881–1885
The Canadian Pacific Railway began its westward expansion from Bonfield, Ontario (previously called Callander Station), where the first spike was driven into a sunken railway tie. Bonfield was inducted into Canadian Railway Hall of Fame in 2002 as the CPR first spike location. That was the point where the Canada Central Railway extension ended. The CCR was owned by Duncan McIntyre who amalgamated it with the CPR and became one of the handful of officers of the newly formed CPR. The CCR started in Brockville and extended to Pembroke. It then followed a westward route along the Ottawa River passing through places like Cobden, Deux-Rivières, and eventually to Mattawa at the confluence of the Mattawa and Ottawa rivers. It then proceeded cross-country towards its final destination of Bonfield. Duncan McIntyre and his contractor James Worthington piloted the CPR expansion. Worthington continued on as the construction superintendent for the CPR past Bonfield. He remained with the CPR for about a year after which he left the company. McIntyre was uncle to John Ferguson who staked out future North Bay after getting assurance from his uncle and Worthington that it would be the divisional and a location of some importance.
It was presumed that the railway would travel through the rich "Fertile Belt" of the North Saskatchewan River Valley and cross the Rocky Mountains via the Yellowhead Pass, a route suggested by Sir Sandford Fleming based on a decade of work. However, the CPR quickly discarded this plan in favor of a more southerly route across the arid Palliser's Triangle in Saskatchewan and via Kicking Horse Pass and down the Field Hill to the Rocky Mountain Trench. This route was more direct and closer to the American border, making it easier for the CPR to keep American railways from encroaching on the Canadian market. However, this route also had several disadvantages.
One consequence was that the CPR would need to find a route through the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia while, at the time, it was not known whether a route even existed. The job of finding a pass was assigned to a surveyor named Major Albert Bowman Rogers. The CPR promised him a check for $5,000 and that the pass would be named in his honor. Rogers became obsessed with finding the pass that would immortalize his name. He discovered the pass in April 1881 and, true to its word, the CPR named it "Rogers Pass" and gave him the check. However, he at first refused to cash it, preferring to frame it, saying he did not do it for the money. He later agreed to cash it with the promise of an engraved watch. Another obstacle was that the proposed route crossed land in Alberta that was controlled by the Blackfoot First Nation. This difficulty was overcome when a missionary priest, Albert Lacombe, persuaded the Blackfoot chief Crowfoot that construction of the railway was inevitable. In return for his assent, Crowfoot was famously rewarded with a lifetime pass to ride the CPR. A more lasting consequence of the choice of route was that, unlike the one proposed by Fleming, the land surrounding the railway often proved too arid for successful agriculture. The CPR may have placed too much reliance on a report from naturalist John Macoun, who had crossed the prairies at a time of very high rainfall and had reported that the area was fertile.
The greatest disadvantage of the route was in Kicking Horse Pass, at the Alberta-British Columbia border and Continental Divide. In the first 3.7 mile (6 km) west of the 5,330 foot (1,625 meter) high summit, the Kicking Horse River drops 31,150 ft (50 meters). The steep drop would force the cash-strapped CPR to build a 4.3 mile (7 km) long stretch of track with a very steep 4.5 percent gradient once it reached the pass in 1884. This was over four times the maximum gradient recommended for railways of this era, and even modern railways rarely exceed a two-percent gradient. However, this route was far more direct than one through the Yellowhead Pass and saved hours for both passengers and freight. This section of track was the CPR's Big Hill. Safety switches were installed at several points, the speed limit for descending trains was set at 6 mph per hour (10 km), and special locomotives were ordered. Despite these measures, several serious runaways still occurred including the first locomotive to descend the line. CPR officials insisted that this was a temporary expediency, but this state of affairs would last for 25 years until the completion of the Spiral Tunnels in the early 20th century.
In 1881, construction progressed at a pace too slow for the railway's officials who, in 1882, hired the renowned railway executive William Cornelius Van Horne to oversee construction with the inducement of a generous salary and the intriguing challenge of handling such a difficult railway project. Van Horne stated that he would have 500 miles (800 km) of main line built in 1882. Floods delayed the start of the construction season, but over 418 miles (672 km) of main line, as well as various sidings and branch lines, were built that year. The Thunder Bay branch (west from Fort William) was completed in June 1882 by the Department of Railways and Canals and turned over to the company in May 1883, permitting all-Canadian lake and rail traffic from Eastern Canada to Winnipeg, for the first time in Canada's history. By the end of 1883, the railway had reached the Rocky Mountains, just five miles (eight km) east of Kicking Horse Pass. The construction seasons of 1884 and 1885 would be spent in the mountains of British Columbia and on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Many thousands of navvies worked on the railway. Many were European immigrants. In British Columbia, the CPR hired workers from China, known as "coolies". A navvy received between $1 and $2.50 per day, but had to pay for his own food, clothing, transportation to the job site, mail and medical care. After 2-1/2 months of hard labor, they could net as little as $16. Chinese coolies in British Columbia made only between 75 cents and $1.25 a day, paid in rice mats, and not including expenses, leaving barely anything to send home. They did the most dangerous construction jobs, such as working with explosives to clear tunnels through rock. The families of the Chinese who were killed received no compensation, or even notification of loss of life. Many of the men who survived did not have enough money to return to their families in China, although Chinese labor contractors had promised that as part of their responsibilities. Many spent years in isolated and often poor conditions. Yet the Chinese were hard working and played a key role in building the Western stretch of the railway; even some boys as young as 12 served as tea-boys. In 2006 the Canadian government issued a formal apology to the Chinese population in Canada for their treatment both during and following the construction of the CPR.
By 1883, railway construction was progressing rapidly, but the CPR was in danger of running out of funds. In response, on 31 January 1884, the government passed the Railway Relief Bill, providing a further $22.5 million in loans to the CPR. The bill received royal assent on 6 March 1884.
In March 1885, the North-West Rebellion broke out in the District of Saskatchewan. Van Horne, in Ottawa at the time, suggested to the government that the CPR could transport troops to Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan (Assiniboia) in 10 days. Some sections of track were incomplete or had not been used before, but the trip to Winnipeg was made in nine days and the rebellion was quickly put down. Perhaps because the government was grateful for this service, they subsequently re-organized the CPR's debt and provided a further $5 million loan. This money was desperately needed by the CPR. However this government loan was later found out to be controversial. Even with Van Horne's support with moving troops to Qu'Appelle, the government still delayed in giving its support to CPR. This was due to Sir John A. Macdonald putting pressure on George Stephen for additional benefits. Stephen himself later did admit to spending $1 million between 1881 and 1886 to ensure government support. This money went to buying a £40,000 necklace for Lady MacDonald and numerous other "bonifications" to government members. On 7 November 1885, the last spike was driven at Craigellachie, British Columbia, making good on the original promise. Four days earlier, the last spike of the Lake Superior section was driven in just west of Jackfish, Ontario. While the railway was completed four years after the original 1881 deadline, it was completed more than five years ahead of the new date of 1891 that Macdonald gave in 1881. The successful construction of such a massive project, although troubled by delays and scandal, was considered an impressive feat of engineering and political will for a country with such a small population, limited capital, and difficult terrain. It was by far the longest railway ever constructed at the time. It had taken 12,000 men, 5,000 horses and 300 dog-sled teams to build the railway.
Meanwhile, in Eastern Canada, the CPR had created a network of lines reaching from Quebec City to St. Thomas, Ontario by 1885, and had launched a fleet of Great Lakes ships to link its terminals. The CPR had effected purchases and long-term leases of several railways through an associated railway company, the Ontario and Quebec Railway (O&Q). The O&Q built a line between Perth, Ontario, and Toronto (completed on 5 May 1884) to connect these acquisitions. The CPR obtained a 999-year lease on the O&Q on 4 January 1884. Later, in 1895, it acquired a minority interest in the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway, giving it a link to New York and the Northeast United States.
By that time, however, the CPR had decided to move its western terminus from Port Moody to Gastown, which was renamed "Vancouver" later that year. The first official train destined for Vancouver arrived on 23 May 1887, although the line had already been in use for three months. The CPR quickly became profitable, and all loans from the Federal government were repaid years ahead of time. In 1888, a branch line was opened between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie where the CPR connected with the American railway system and its own steamships. That same year, work was started on a line from London, Ontario, to the American border at Windsor, Ontario. That line opened on 12 June 1890.
The CPR also leased the New Brunswick Railway in 1890 for 990 years, and built the International Railway of Maine, connecting Montreal with Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1889. The connection with Saint John on the Atlantic coast made the CPR the first truly transcontinental railway company in Canada and permitted trans-Atlantic cargo and passenger services to continue year-round when sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence closed the port of Montreal during the winter months.
By 1896, competition with the Great Northern Railway for traffic in southern British Columbia forced the CPR to construct a second line across the province, south of the original line. Van Horne, now president of the CPR, asked for government aid, and the government agreed to provide around $3.6 million to construct a railway from Lethbridge, Alberta, through Crowsnest Pass to the south shore of Kootenay Lake, in exchange for the CPR agreeing to reduce freight rates in perpetuity for key commodities shipped in Western Canada. The controversial Crowsnest Pass Agreement effectively locked the eastbound rate on grain products and westbound rates on certain "settlers' effects" at the 1897 level. Although temporarily suspended during World War I, it was not until 1983 that the "Crow Rate" was permanently replaced by the Western Grain Transportation Act which allowed for the gradual increase of grain shipping prices. The Crowsnest Pass line opened on 18 June 1899, and followed a complicated route through the maze of valleys and passes in southern British Columbia, rejoining the original mainline at Hope after crossing the Cascade Mountains via Coquihalla Pass.
The Southern Mainline, generally known as the Kettle Valley Railway in British Columbia, was built in response to the booming mining and smelting economy in southern British Columbia, and the tendency of the local geography to encourage and enable easier access from neighboring US states than from Vancouver or the rest of Canada, which was viewed to be as much of a threat to national security as it was to the province's control of its own resources. The main cross-country passenger service was re-routed to this new southerly line, which connected numerous emergent small cities across the region. Independent railways and subsidiaries that were eventually merged into the CPR in connection with this route were the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway, the Kaslo and Slocan Railway, the Columbia and Kootenay Railway, the Columbia and Western Railway and various others.
The CPR and the settlement of Western Canada
Several operational improvements were also made to the railway in Western Canada. In 1909 the CPR completed two significant engineering accomplishments. The most significant was the replacement of the Big Hill, which had become a major bottleneck in the CPR's main line, with the Spiral Tunnels, reducing the grade to 2.2 percent from 4.5 percent. The Spiral Tunnels opened in August. In April 1908, the CPR started work to replace the Old Calgary-Edmonton Rail Bridge across the Red Deer River with a new standard steel bridge that was completed by March 1909. On 3 November 1909, the Lethbridge Viaduct over the Oldman River valley at Lethbridge, Alberta, was opened. It is 5,327 ft (1,624 meters) long and, at its maximum, 314 ft (96 meters) high, making it the longest railway bridge in Canada. In 1916 the CPR replaced its line through Rogers Pass, which was prone to avalanches (the most serious of which killed 62 men in 1910) with the Connaught Tunnel, a five mile (eight km) long tunnel under Mount Macdonald that was, at the time of its opening, the longest railway tunnel in the Western Hemisphere. On 21 January 1910, a passenger train derailed on the CPR line at the Spanish River bridge at Nairn, Ontario (near Sudbury), killing at least 43.
The CPR acquired several smaller railways via long-term leases in 1912. On 3 January 1912, the CPR acquired the Dominion Atlantic Railway, a railway that ran in western Nova Scotia. This acquisition gave the CPR a connection to Halifax, a significant port on the Atlantic Ocean. The Dominion Atlantic was isolated from the rest of the CPR network and used the CNR to facilitate interchange; the DAR also operated ferry services across the Bay of Fundy for passengers and cargo (but not rail cars) from the port of Digby, Nova Scotia, to the CPR at Saint John, New Brunswick. DAR steamships also provided connections for passengers and cargo between Yarmouth, Boston and New York. On 1 July 1912, the CPR acquired the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, a railway on Vancouver Island that connected to the CPR using a railcar ferry. The CPR also acquired the Quebec Central Railway on 14 December 1912.
During the late 19th century, the railway undertook an ambitious program of hotel construction, building the Château Frontenac in Quebec City, the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, the Banff Springs Hotel, and several other major Canadian landmarks. By then, the CPR had competition from three other transcontinental lines, all of them money-losers. In 1919, these lines were consolidated, along with the track of the old Intercolonial Railway and its spurs, into the government-owned Canadian National Railways. The CPR suffered its greatest loss of life when one of its steamships, the Empress of Ireland, sank after a collision with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad. On 29 May 1914, the Empress (operated by the CPR's Canadian Pacific Steamship Company) went down in the St. Lawrence River with the loss of 1,024 lives, of which 840 were passengers.
World War I
The Great Depression and World War II, 1929–1945
One highlight of the late 1930s, both for the railway and for Canada, was the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their 1939 royal tour of Canada, the first time that the reigning monarch had visited the country. The CPR and the CNR shared the honors of pulling the royal train across the country, with the CPR undertaking the westbound journey from Quebec City to Vancouver. Later that year, World War II began. As it had done in World War I, the CPR devoted much of its resources to the war effort. It retooled its Angus Shops in Montreal to produce Valentine tanks and other armored vehicles, and transported troops and resources across the country. As well, 22 of the CPR's ships went to war, 12 of which were sunk.
In 1968, as part of a corporate re-organization, each of the CPR's major operations, including its rail operations, were organized as separate subsidiaries. The name of the railway was changed to CP Rail, and the parent company changed its name to Canadian Pacific Limited in 1971. Its express, telecommunications, hotel and real estate holdings were spun off, and ownership of all of the companies transferred to Canadian Pacific Investments. The company discarded its beaver logo, adopting the new Multimark that was used—with a different color background—for each of its operations.
In 1984 CP Rail commenced construction of the Mount Macdonald Tunnel to augment the Connaught Tunnel under the Selkirk Mountains. The first revenue train passed through the tunnel in 1988. At nine miles (14.7 km) , it is the longest tunnel in the Americas. During the 1980s, the Soo Line Railroad, in which CP Rail still owned a controlling interest, underwent several changes. It acquired the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway in 1982. Then on 21 February 1985, the Soo Line obtained a controlling interest in the Milwaukee Road, merging it into its system on 1 January 1986. Also in 1980 Canadian Pacific bought out the controlling interests of the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B) from Conrail and molded it into the Canadian Pacific System, dissolving the TH&B's name from the books in 1985. In 1987 most of CPR's trackage in the Great Lakes region, including much of the original Soo Line, were spun off into a new railway, the Wisconsin Central, which was subsequently purchased by CN. Influenced by the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1989 which liberalized trade between the two nations, the CPR's expansion continued during the early 1990s: CP Rail gained full control of the Soo Line in 1990, and bought the Delaware and Hudson Railway in 1991. These two acquisitions gave CP Rail routes to the major American cities of Chicago (via the Soo Line) and New York City (via the D&H).
During the next few years CP Rail downsized its route, and several Canadian branch lines and even some secondary mainlines were either sold to short lines or abandoned. This rationalization, however, came at a price, as many grain elevators in the region known as Canada's Breadbasket shut down due to not being able to distribute their thousands of bushels of grain through a large enough region. This included all of its lines east of Montreal, with the routes operating across Maine and New Brunswick to the port of Saint John (operating as the Canadian Atlantic Railway) being sold or abandoned, severing CPR's transcontinental status (in Canada); the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late 1950s, coupled with subsidized ice-breaking services, made Saint John surplus to CPR's requirements. During the 1990s, both CP Rail and CN attempted unsuccessfully to buy out the eastern assets of the other, so as to permit further rationalization. As well, it closed divisional and regional offices, drastically reduced white collar staff, and consolidated its Canadian traffic control system in Calgary, Alberta.
In 1996, CP Rail moved its head office to Calgary from Montreal and changed its name back to Canadian Pacific Railway. A new subsidiary company, the St. Lawrence and Hudson Railway, was created to operate its money-losing lines in eastern North America, covering Quebec, Southern and Eastern Ontario, trackage rights to Chicago, Illinois, as well as the Delaware and Hudson Railway in the U.S. Northeast. However, the new subsidiary, threatened with being sold off and free to innovate, quickly spun off losing track to short lines, instituted scheduled freight service, and produced an unexpected turn-around in profitability. After only four years, CPR revised its opinion and the StL&H formally re-amalgamated with its parent on 1 January 2001.
2001 to present
On 4 October 2007, CPR announced that it completed financial transactions required for the acquisition, placing the DM&E and IC&E in a voting trust with Richard Hamlin appointed as trustee. The merger was completed as of 31 October 2008.
On 28 October 2011, in a 13D regulatory filing, the U.S. hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management (PSCM) indicated it owned 12.2 percent of Canadian Pacific. PSCM began acquiring Canadian Pacific shares in 2011. The stake eventually increased to 14.2 percent, making PSCM the railway's largest shareholder. At a meeting with the company that month, Pershing's head Bill Ackman proposed replacing Fred Green as CP's chief executive. Just hours before the railway's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, 17 May 2012, Green and five other board members, including chairman John Cleghorn, resigned. The seven nominees, including Ackman and his partner, Paul Hilal, were then elected. While this does not give PSCM control, it does afford them significant influence. The reconstituted board, having named Stephen Tobias (former vice president and chief operating officer of Norfolk Southern Railroad) as interim CEO, has initiated a search for a new CEO.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd trains resumed regular operations on 1 June 2012 after a nine-day strike by some 4,800 locomotive engineers, conductors and traffic controllers walked off the job on 23 May, stalling Canadian freight traffic and costing the economy an estimated $77 million U.S. dollars (C$80 million). The strike was ended via a government back-to-work bill forcing both sides to come to a binding agreement. On 29 June 2012, Hunter Harrison, former President of CN Rail, was named President and CEO of Canadian Pacific.
On 6 July 2013, a unit train of crude oil which CP had subcontracted to short-line operator Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway derailed in Lac-Mégantic, killing 47. On 14 August 2013, the Quebec government added the CPR, along with lessor World Fuel Services (WFS), to the list of corporate entities from which it seeks reimbursement for the environmental cleanup of the Lac-Megantic derailment. On July 15, the Canadian Press reported that CP will appeal the legal order. Railway spokesman Ed Greenberg said "Canadian Pacific has reviewed the notice. As a matter of fact, in law, CP is not responsible for this cleanup."
Grain is hauled by the CPR from the prairies to ports at Thunder Bay (the former cities of Fort William and Port Arthur), Quebec City and Vancouver, where it is then shipped overseas. The traditional winter export port was West Saint John, New Brunswick when ice closed the St. Lawrence River. Grain has always been a significant commodity hauled by the CPR; between 1905 and 1909, the CPR double-tracked its section of track between Fort William (Which is today part of the city of Thunder Bay) and Winnipeg to facilitate grain shipments. For several decades this was the only long stretch of double-track mainline outside of urban areas on the CPR. Today, though the Thunder Bay-Winnipeg section is now single tracked, the CPR still has two long distance double track lines serving rural areas, including a 75-mile (121 km) stretch between Kent, British Columbia and Vancouver which follows the Fraser River into the Coast Mountains, as well as the Canadian Pacific Winchester Sub, a 100-mile (160 km) stretch of double track mainline which runs from Smiths Falls, Ontario through downtown Montreal which runs through many rural farming communities. There are also various long stretches of double track between Golden and Kamloops, British Columbia and portions of the original Winnipeg-Thunder Bay double track (such as 20 miles through Kenora and Keewatin, Ontario) are still double track.
In 1952, the CPR became the first North American railway to introduce intermodal or "piggyback" freight service, where truck trailers are carried on flat cars. Containers later replaced most piggyback service. In 1996, the CPR introduced a scheduled reservation-only short-haul intermodal service between Montreal and West Toronto called the Iron Highway; it utilized unique equipment that was later replaced (1999) by conventional piggyback flatcars and renamed Expressway. This service was extended to Detroit with plans to reach Chicago however CP was unable to locate a suitable terminal. Loss of the small Detroit terminal and low US traffic along with loss of the Chrysler Windsor traffic it was later cut back to Milton, west of Toronto.
The CPR also had a line of Great Lakes ships integrated into its transcontinental service. From 1885 until 1912, these ships linked Owen Sound on Georgian Bay to Fort William. Following a major fire in December 1911 that destroyed the grain elevator, operations were relocated to a new, larger port created by the CPR at Port McNicoll opening in May 1912. Five ships allowed daily service, and included the S.S. Assiniboia, and S.S. Keewatin built in 1908 which remained in use until the end of service. Travelers went by train from Toronto to that Georgian Bay port, then traveled by ship to link with another train at the Lakehead. After World War II, the trains and ships carried automobiles as well as passengers. This service featured what was to become the last boat train in North America. The Steam Boat was a fast, direct connecting train between Toronto and Port McNicoll. The passenger service was discontinued at the end of season in 1965 with one ship, the Keewatin, carrying on in freight service for two more years. It later became a marine museum in the United States.
After World War II, passenger traffic declined as automobiles and airplanes became more common, but the CPR continued to innovate in an attempt to keep ridership up. Beginning 9 November 1953, the CPR introduced Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs) on many of its lines. Officially called "Dayliners" by the CPR, they were always referred to as Budd Cars by employees. Greatly reduced travel times and reduced costs resulted, which saved service on many lines for a number of years. The CPR would go on to acquire the second largest fleet of RDCs totaling 52 cars. Only the Boston and Maine Railroad had more. This CPR fleet also included the rare model RDC-4 (which consisted of a mail section at one end and a baggage section at the other end with no formal passenger section). On 24 April 1955, the CPR introduced a new luxury transcontinental passenger train, The Canadian. The train provided service between Vancouver and Toronto or Montreal (east of Sudbury; the train was in two sections). The train, which operated on an expedited schedule, was pulled by diesel locomotives, and used new, streamlined, stainless steel rolling stock.
Starting in the 1960s, however, the railway started to discontinue much of its passenger service, particularly on its branch lines. For example, passenger service ended on its line through southern British Columbia and Crowsnest Pass in January 1964, and on its Quebec Central in April 1967, and the transcontinental train The Dominion was dropped in January 1966. On 29 October 1978, CP Rail transferred its passenger services to Via Rail, a new federal Crown corporation that was now responsible for intercity passenger services in Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney presided over major cuts in Via Rail service on 15 January 1990. This ended service by "The Canadian" over CPR rails, and the train was rerouted on the former "Super Continental" route via Canadian National without a change of name. Where both trains had been daily prior to the 15 January 1990, cuts, the surviving "Canadian" was only a three-times-weekly operation. In October 2012, the "Canadian" was reduced to twice-weekly for the six-month off-season period, and now operates three-times-weekly for only six months a year.
In addition to inter-city passenger services, the CPR also provided commuter rail services in Montreal. CP Rail introduced Canada's first bi-level passenger cars here in 1970. On 1 October 1982, the Montreal Urban Community Transit Commission (STCUM) assumed responsibility for the commuter services previously provided by CP Rail. It continues under the Metropolitan Transportation Agency (AMT).
Canadian Pacific Railway currently operates three commuter services under contract. The West Coast Express comprises ten daily trains between downtown Vancouver and its eastern suburbs on behalf of TransLink, a regional transit authority. GO Transit contracts CPR to operate six return trips between Milton and downtown Toronto in Ontario. In Montreal, 59 daily commuter trains run on CPR lines from Lucien-L'Allier Station to Candiac, Rigaud and Blainville–Saint-Jerome on behalf of the AMT. The Rocky Mountaineer excursion train is also crewed (Engineer and Conductor) by CP employees where it operates on their right of way.
Sleeping, Dining and Parlour Car Department
Dominion Express Company was formed independently in 1873 before the CPR itself, although train service did not begin until the summer of 1882 at which time it operated over some 300 miles (480 km) of track from Rat Portage (Kenora) Ontario west to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was soon absorbed into the CPR and expanded everywhere the CPR went. It was renamed Canadian Express Company on 1 September 1926, and the headquarters moved from Winnipeg, to Toronto. It was operated as a separate company with the railway charging them to haul express cars on trains. At major terminals separate buildings usually next to stations were owned by CPE. At smaller locations where volume would not warrant a separate employee the local station agent would act for the Express Company receiving a commission for all sales made on their behalf.
Express was handled in separate cars, some with employees on board, on the headend of passenger trains to provide a fast scheduled service for which higher rates could be charged than for LCL (Less than Carload Lot), small shipments of freight which were subject to delay. Aside from all sorts of small shipments for all kinds of businesses such products as cream, butter, poultry, and eggs were handled along with fresh flowers, fish and other sea foods some handled in separate refrigerated cars. Horses and livestock along with birds and small animals including prize cattle for exhibition were carried often in special horse cars that had facilities for grooms to ride with their animals. Automobiles for individuals were also handled by express in closed boxcars. Gold and silver bullion as well as cash were carried in large amounts between the mint and banks. Small business money shipments and valuables such as jewellery were routinely handled in small packets. Money orders and travelers' checks were an important part of the express company’s business and were used worldwide in the years before credit cards. Canadian Express Cartage Department was formed in March 1937 to handle pickup and delivery of most express shipments including less-than-carload freight. Their trucks were painted Killarney (dark) green while regular express company vehicles were painted bright red. Express routes using highway trucks beginning in November 1945 in southern Ontario and Alberta co-ordinated rail and highway service expanded service to better serve smaller locations especially on branchlines. Trucking operations would go on to expand across Canada making it an important transportation provider for small shipments. Deregulation in the 1980s changed everything, and it was not long before all trucking services were ended even after many attempts to change with the times. CanPar was one such attempt.
Funeral trains would carry the remains of important people, such as prime ministers. As the train would pass, mourners would be at certain spots to show respect. Two of the CPR's funeral trains are particularly well-known. On 10 June 1891, the funeral train of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald ran from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario. The train consisted of five heavily draped passenger cars and was pulled by 4-4-0 No. 283. On 14 September 1915, the funeral train of former CPR president Sir William Cornelius Van Horne ran from Montreal to Joliet, Illinois, pulled by 4-6-2 No. 2213.
The CPR ran a number of trains that transported members of the Royal family when they toured Canada. These trains transported royalty through Canada's scenery, forests, small towns and enabled people to see and greet them. Their trains were elegantly decorated; some had amenities such as a post office and barber shop. The CPR's most notable royal train was in 1939. In 1939 the CPR and the CNR had the honor of giving King George VI and Queen Elizabeth a rail tour of Canada, from Quebec City to Vancouver. This was the first visit to Canada by a reigning Monarch. The steam locomotives used to pull the train included CPR 2850, a Hudson (4-6-4) built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1938, CNR 6400, a U-4-a Northern (4-8-4) and CNR 6028 a U-1-b Mountain (4-8-2) type. They were specially painted royal blue with silver trim as was the entire train, the locomotives ran 3,224 miles (5,189 km) across Canada, through 25 changes of crew, without engine failure. The King, somewhat of a railfan, rode in the cab when possible. After the tour, King George gave the CPR permission to use the term "Royal Hudson" for the CPR locomotives and to display Royal Crowns on their running boards. This applied only to the semi-streamlined locomotives (2820–2864), not the "standard" Hudsons (2800–2819).
Better Farming Train
CPR provided the rolling stock for the Better Farming Train which toured rural Saskatchewan between 1914 and 1922 to promote the latest information on agricultural research. It was staffed by the University of Saskatchewan and operating expenses were covered by the Department of Agriculture.
Between 1926 and the early 1960s the CPR ran a school car to reach people who lived in Northern Ontario, far from schools. A teacher would travel in a specially designed car to remote areas and would stay to teach in one area for two to three days, then leave for another area. Each car had a blackboard and a few sets of chairs and desks. They also contained miniature libraries.
Major filming for the 1976 movie Silver Streak, a fictional comedy tale of a murder-infested train trip from Los Angeles to Chicago, was done on the CPR, mainly in the Alberta area with station footage at Toronto's Union Station. The train set was so lightly disguised as the fictional "AMRoad" that the locomotives and cars still carried their original names and numbers, along with the easily identifiable CP Rail red-striped paint scheme. Most of the cars are still in revenue service on Via Rail Canada; the lead locomotive (CP 4070) is extant in Quebec, though it is un-serviceable, but the second unit (CP 4067) has been scrapped.
Starting in 1999, CP runs a Holiday Train along its main line during the months of November and December. The Holiday Train celebrates the holiday season and collects donations for community food banks and hunger issues. The Holiday Train also provides publicity for Canadian Pacific and a few of its customers. Each train has a box car stage for entertainers who are traveling along with the train. Artists such as Johnny Reid, Tracey Brown, Melanie Doane, The Odds, Valdy, Doc Walker, Matt Dusk and Willy Porter have been part of the festivity. The train is a freight train, but also pulls vintage passenger cars which are used as lodging/transportation for the crew and entertainers. Only entertainers and CP employees are allowed to board the train aside from a coach car that takes employees and their families from one stop to the next. Since its launch in 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised close to $9.5 million CAD and 3.3 million pounds of food for North American food banks. All donations collected in a community remain in that community for distribution.
There are two Holiday trains that cover 150 stops in Canada and the United States Northeast and Midwest. Each Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with brightly decorated rail cars, including a modified box car that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers. They are each decorated with hundred of thousands of LED Christmas lights.
In 2013 to celebrate the programs 15th year, three signature events were held in Hamilton, Ontario Calgary, AB, and Cottage Grove, MN to further raise awareness for hunger issues. All-star celebrities performed for record crowds at each event including Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, The Tenors, Great Big Sea, Natalie MacMaster and Take 6.
Royal Canadian Pacific
On 7 June 2000, the CPR inaugurated the Royal Canadian Pacific, a luxury excursion service that operates between the months of June and September. It operates along a 650 mile (1,050 km) route from Calgary, through the Columbia Valley in British Columbia, and returning to Calgary via Crowsnest Pass. The trip takes six days and five nights. The train consists of up to eight luxury passenger cars built between 1916 and 1931 and is powered by first-generation diesel locomotives.
In 1998, the CPR repatriated one of its former passenger steam locomotives that had been on static display in the United States following its sale in January 1964, long after the close of the steam era. CPR Hudson 2816 was re-designated Empress 2816 following a 30-month restoration that cost in excess of $1 million. It was subsequently returned to service to promote public relations. It has operated across much of the CPR system, including lines in the United States. It has been used for various charitable purposes, the most significant of which has been to raise awareness of the need to provide children with a nourishing breakfast to aid their learning in school. One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the nation-wide charity Breakfast for Learning — the CPR bears all of the expenses associated with the operation of the train. 2816 is the subject of Rocky Mountain Express, an IMAX film released in 2011, which follows the locomotive on an eastbound journey beginning in Vancouver, and which tells the story of the building of the CPR.
In 2008, Canadian Pacific partnered with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to present a "Spirit Train" tour that featured Olympic-themed events at various stops. Colin James was a headline entertainer. Several stops were met by protesters who argued that the games were slated to take place on stolen indigenous land.
Historically, Canadian Pacific operated several non-railway businesses. In 1971, these businesses were split off into the separate company Canadian Pacific Limited, and in 2001, that company was further split into five companies. CP no longer provides any of these services.
The original charter of the CPR granted in 1881 provided for the right to create an electric telegraph and telephone service including charging for it. The telephone had barely been invented but telegraph was well established as a means of communicating quickly across great distances. Being allowed to sell this service meant the railway could offset the costs of constructing and maintaining a pole line along its tracks across vast distances for its own purposes which were largely for dispatching trains. It began doing so in 1882 as the separate Telegraph Department. It would go on to provide a link between the cables under the Atlantic and Pacific oceans when they were completed. Prior to the CPR line messages to the west could be sent only via the United States.
Paid for by the word, the telegram was an expensive way to send messages, but they were vital to businesses. An individual receiving a personal telegram was seen as being someone important except for those that transmitted sorrow in the form of death notices. Messengers on bicycles delivered telegrams and picked up a reply in cities. In smaller locations the local railway station agent would handle this on a commission basis. To speed things, at the local end messages would first be telephoned. In 1931 it became the Communications Department in recognition of the expanding services provided which included telephones lines, news wire, ticker quotations for the stock market and eventually Teleprinters. All were faster than mail and very important to business and the public alike for many decades before cell phones and computers came along. It was the coming of these newer technologies especially cellular telephones that eventually resulted in the demise of these services even after formation in 1967 of CN-CP Telecommunications in an effort to effect efficienty through consolidation rather than competition. Deregulation in the 1980s brought about mergers and the sale of remaining services and facilities.
On 17 January 1930, the CPR applied for licenses to operate radio stations in 11 cities from coast to coast for the purpose of organizing its own radio network in order to compete with the CNR Radio service. The CNR had built a radio network with the aim of promoting itself as well as entertaining its passengers during their travels. The onset of the Great Depression hurt the CPR's financial plan for a rival project and in April they withdrew their applications for stations in all but Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg. CPR did not end up pursuing these applications but instead operated a phantom station in Toronto known as "CPRY," with initials standing for "Canadian Pacific Royal York" which operated out of studios at CP's Royal York Hotel and leased time on CFRB and CKGW. A network of affiliates carried the CPR radio network's broadcasts in the first half of the 1930s, but the takeover of CNR's Radio service by the new Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission removed CPR's need to have a network for competitive reasons, and CPR's radio service was discontinued in 1935.
Steamships played an important part in the history of CP from the very earliest days. During construction of the line in British Columbia even before the private CPR took over from the government contractor, ships were used to bring supplies to the construction sites. Similarly, to reach the isolated area of Superior in northern Ontario ships were used to bring in supplies to the construction work. While this work was going on there was already regular passenger service to the West. Trains operated from Toronto to Owen Sound where CPR steamships connected to Fort William where trains once again operated to reach Winnipeg. Before the CPR was completed the only way to reach the West was through the United States via St. Paul and Winnipeg. This Great Lakes steam ship service continued as an alternative route for many years and was always operated by the railway. It would become the last operation in North America to feature a special connecting boat train.
In 1884, CPR began purchasing sailing ships as part of a railway supply service on the Great Lakes. Over time, CPR became a railroad company with widely organized water transportation auxiliaries including the Great Lakes service, the trans-Pacific service, the Pacific coastal service, the British Columbia lake and river service, the trans-Atlantic service, and the Ferry service. In the 20th century, the company evolved into a transcontinental railroad which operated two transoceanic services which connected Canada with Europe and with Asia. The range of CPR services were aspects of an integrated plan.
Once the railway was completed to British Columbia the CPR chartered and soon bought their own steamships. These sleek steamships were of the latest design and christened with the prefix Empress in a link to the Orient. Travel to and from the Orient and cargo, especially imported tea and silk were an important source of revenue aided by Royal Mail contracts. This was an important part of the All Red Route to link the British Empire. The other ocean part was the Atlantic service from England which began with acquisition of two existing lines, Beaver Line, owned by Elder Dempster and Allan Lines. These two segments became Canadian Pacific Ocean Services (later, Canadian Pacific Steamships) and operated separately from the various lake services operated in Canada. These trans-ocean routes made it possible to travel from Britain to Hong Kong using only the CPR's ships, trains and hotels. CP’s 'Empress' ships became world-famous for their luxury and speed. They had a practical role too in transporting immigrants from much of Europe to Canada especially to populate the vast prairies. They also played an important role in both world wars with many of them being lost to enemy action including the Empress of Britain.
There were also a number of rail ferries operated over the years as well including, between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan from 1890 until 1915. This began with two paddle wheelers capable of carrying 16 cars. Passenger cars were carried as well as freight. This service ended in 1915 when the CPR made an agreement with the Michigan Central to use their Detroit River tunnel opened in 1910. Pennsylvania-Ontario Transportation Company was formed jointly with the PRR in 1906 to operate a ferry across lake Erie between Ashtabula, Ohio and Port Burwell, Ontario to carry freight cars, mostly of coal, much of it to be burned in CPR steam locomotives. Only one ferry boat was ever operated, the Ashtabula, a large vessel which eventually sank in a harbor collision in Ashtabula on 18 September 1958, thus ending the service.
Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer Company was formed by other interest in 1888 linking the CPR in Prescott, Ontario, and the NYC in Ogdensburg, New York. Service on this route had actually begun very early, in 1854 along with service from Brockville. A bridge built in 1958 ended passenger service however, freight continued until Ogdensburg's dock was destroyed by fire 25 September 1970, thus ending all service. CPC&PTC was never owned by the CPR. Bay of Fundy ferry service was operated for passengers and freight for many years linking Digby, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Eventually, after 78 years, with the changing times the scheduled passenger services would all be ended as well as ocean cruises. Cargo would continue on both oceans with a change over to containers. CP was an intermodal pioneer especially on land with road and rail mixing to provide the best service. CP Ships was the final operation, and in the end it too left CP ownership when it was spun off in 2001. CP Ships was merged with Hapag-Lloyd in 2005.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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