Browse "Railroad"

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British Columbia Railway

The British Columbia Railway was incorporated as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1912 to build a line from North Vancouver to Prince George, where it was to link up with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.

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Canadian Pacific Railway

The Canadian Pacific Railway company was incorporated in 1881. Its original purpose was the construction of a transcontinental railway, a promise to British Columbia upon its entry into Confederation. The railway — completed in 1885 — connected Eastern Canada to BC and played an important role in the development of the nation. Built in dangerous conditions by thousands of labourers (including 15,000 Chinese temporary workers), the railway facilitated communications and transportation across the country. Over its long history, CPR diversified, establishing hotels, shipping lines and airlines, and developed mining and telecommunications industries. In 2001, Canadian Pacific separated into five separate and independent companies, with Canadian Pacific Railway returning to its origins as a railway company. CP, as it is branded today, has over 22,500 km of track across Canada and the United States. It is a public company and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CP. In 2016, CP had $6.2 billion in revenue and $1.6 billion in profit and held assets valued at $19.2 billion.

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Cobourg and Peterborough Railway

One of the 2 earliest railway charters granted in Canada, the Cobourg Rail Road Co was incorporated in 1834 to build a railway from Cobourg northward to Peterborough across Rice Lake. The project was shelved until 1846, when it was revived as the Cobourg and Rice Lake Plank Road and Ferry Co. Samuel Gore built his plank road the 17 km to the lake, but it barely survived the first 2 winters.

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Contemporary Railways

In the 4 decades following World War II, Canada's 2 major railways became major conglomerates, among the largest companies in Canada. During the 1950s and 1960s a number of major resource railways were completed.

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Great Western Railway

  The London and Gore Railroad Co, incorporated 6 May 1834, changed its name to the Great Western Rail Road Co in 1845 and to the Great Western Railway in 1853. Promoted by lawyer-politician Allan Napier MACNAB and more significantly by Hamilton merchants Isaac and Peter Buchanan, R.W.

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Hudson Bay Railway

Two of western Canada's earliest railway charters, granted in 1880, authorized construction, with government help, of railways parallelling old water transportation routes to Hudson Bay. The projects were amalgamated in 1883 and the first 64 km built northward into the Manitoba interlake region.

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Intercolonial Railway

The Intercolonial Railway was a rail line that operated from 1872 to 1918, connecting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec and Ontario. The line was Canada’s first national infrastructure project. Plans for its construction date to the 1830s, but the project only gained momentum during the Confederation conferences of 1864 in Charlottetown and Québec City, where construction of the Intercolonial Railway was negotiated for the Maritime colonies’ entry to British North American union. Construction began shortly after Canada became a country in 1867, with most lines completed by the mid-1870s.

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Railway Station

More familiar are the "road stations" built between 1855 and 1857 for the Grand Trunk Railway's line from Montréal to Toronto and Sarnia.

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Railways, Track and Yards

Railways, Track and Yards Railway track is the assembly of the 5 basic components - rail, ties, fastenings, ballasts and subgrade - over which trains run. Rails are rolled steel lengths bolted or welded together to form the running surface for trains.

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The Last Spike

The Last Spike was the final and ceremonial railway spike driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) track by company director Donald Smith on the morning of 7 November 1885. The ceremony marked the completion of the transcontinental CPR and was a muted affair at which a group of company officials and labourers gathered at Craigellachie near Eagle Pass in the interior of British Columbia. One of about 30 million iron spikes used in the construction of the line, the Last Spike came to symbolize more than the completion of a railway. Contemporaries and historians have viewed the Last Spike — as well as the iconic photographs of the event — as a moment when national unity was realized.

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Toronto Feature: Union Station

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.