A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Canadian Pacific Railway Lines

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beaver logo
Beaver Logo
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)(CP), known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a Canadian Class I railway operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited. Its rail network stretches from Vancouver to Montreal, and also serves major cities in the United States such as Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Its headquarters are in Calgary, Alberta.
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. Now primarily a freight railway, the CPR was for decades the only practical means of long
Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific
July 26, 1942
distance passenger transport in most regions of Canada, and was instrumental in the settlement and development of Western Canada. The CP company became one of the largest and most powerful in Canada, a position it held as late as 1975.(wik)
During the 30's and 40's the CP connected to Chicago both eastbound and westbound. In 1940, the eastbound trains the Canadian and the Overseas ran from Chicago to Detroit on the Michigan Central and then to Toronto and Montreal on the CP. The westbound train, the Soo-Dominion/Mountaineer ran to St. Paul on the North
Western, then to Portal on the Soo Line, where the CP continued on through Moose Jaw to Vancouver BC.(rp)
The CP 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 represents the hardworking character of the company. The object of both praise and damnation for over 120 years, the CPR remains an indisputable icon of Canadian nationalism.(wik)
Short History of the Canadian Pacific Railway
1871 - British Columbia enters Canada Confederation when promised a railway connection to east.
1872 - After much political maneuvering and scandal, a contract was let to a "Canadian Pacific Railway Company".(Not related to the current company), and the Inter-Ocean Railway Company.
1873 - Work started as a public enterprise.
1875 - Lake Superior to Winnipeg branch started.
1875-78 - Little public money and little work accomplished.
1878 - Sir John McDonald back in power and aggressive plan developed.
1879 - Federal government floats bonds to get funds.
1880 - Discussions with James J. Hill and others are leading to government land grants, financial support and tax exemptions for a new company to build the line west.
1881 - Government approves the Hill interest's plan and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company is formed.
1881 - Northerly route through Yellowtail Pass rejected for a southerly route closer to U.S.A. This caused severe gradient problems at Kicking Horse pass.
1882 - 417 miles of main line built under Wm. Van Horne's supervision.
1882-83 - Thunder Bay branch west from Ft. William built by Dept. of Railways and Canal's and turned over to CP. Eastern Canada now connected to Winnipeg.
1883 - Rockies reached.
1884 - Government loans CP $22,500,000.
1884-85 - Mountain lines built with many Chinese laborers, and lines built on north shore of Lake Superior.
pre-1885 - A CP associated railway, the Ontario and Quebec created a network of lines reaching from Quebec City to Ontario.
1884 - CP leases O&Q, and minority interest in Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo Railway giving it a link to New York and northeast.
1885 - Last spike driven. Transcon is completed.
1886-87 - First trans-Canada train runs from Montreal to Vancouver.
1888-90 - CP connects to US at Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor.
1889 - CP leases New Brunswick Railway and builds International Railway of Maine to connect to St. John on the Atlantic, to truly be transcontinental.
1899 - Crowsnest Pass line south across BC is finished.
late 1800's Hotels constructed, including famous hotels in Quebec City, Toronto and Banff.
1908 - Toronto-Sudbury line completed, shortening Ontario crossing.
1909 - Spiral Tunnels completed, through Rockies, west of Banff, reduces the Big Hill grade bottleneck from 4.5% to 2.2% .
1909 - Lethbridge viaduct completed in Alberta.
1912 - Acquisitions: Dominion Atlantic gave access to Halifax, DAR ferry and steamship lines and east coast ports, Esquimalt and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island with railcar ferry, Quebec Central Railway.
1916 - Connaught Tunnel eliminates Roger's Pass crossing.
1919 - CP's money losing competitors consolidated as the government owned Canadian National Railways.
1929-1945 - CP not affected by depression and war as much as competitors, since it was debt free, but it stopped dividend in 1932.
1955 - New luxury transcontinental passenger train, the Canadian introduced.
1960 - CP is completely dieselized.
1960's - Passenger services reduced.
1966 - The "Dominion" transcon train discontinued.
1968 - CP railroad operations reorganized as CP Rail.
1970 - Application to discontinue the "Canadian" refused.
1971 - Parent company becomes Canadian Pacific Limited.
1978 - Passenger service transferred to VIA Rail.
1980 - CP buys controlling interest in TH&B
1990 - CP gains full control of Soo Line (except for much of original line spun off as Wisconsin Central and bought by CN). This CP line included old Milwaukee Road (then part of Soo) which gave CP access to Chicago.
1990 - CP buys Delaware and Hudson gaining access to New York.
1990's - CP downsizes, eliminating branches, and abandoning or selling off all rails east of Montreal; So, CP is now not transcontinental.
1996 - Headquarters moved from Montreal to Calgary and name changed back to Canadian Pacific Railway.
2001 - CP's parent, CPL, spins off CP which again changes name to Canadian Pacific.
2007 - CP is in process of acquiring Dakota Minnesota and Eastern and Iowa Chicago and Eastern (old Milwaukee Road trackage) with intent to reach corn belt and Wyoming coal fields.
CP 2004 map
CP 2004 Downsized and expanded

CP genealogy

CP west map
Canadian Pacific - west - timetable map - 1942
CP east map
Canadian Pacific -east - timetable map - 1942

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Diesel Victory-Kalmbach Publishing Co.
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 24, 2009, revised April 22, 2011