The Canadian Pacific Railway
) (reporting marks CP
), known as CP Rail
between 1968 and 1996 and simply Canadian Pacific
, is a historic Canadian Class I railway
incorporated in 1881. The railway is owned by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001.
Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
An alternative CP logo, featuring a beaver
, Canada's national animal
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta
, it owns approximately 20,100 kilometres (12,500 mi) of track in seven provinces of Canada and into the United States,
stretching from Saint John, New Brunswick
, and as far north as Edmonton
. Its rail network
also serves Minneapolis–St. Paul
, and Albany, New York
in the United States.
The railway was first built between eastern Canada and British Columbia
between 1881 and 1885 (connecting with Ottawa Valley
and Georgian Bay
area lines built earlier), fulfilling a commitment extended to British Columbia
when it entered Confederation
in 1871; it was Canada's first transcontinental railway
. 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
of Western Canada. The CPR 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
The company acquired two American lines in 2009: the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad
(DM&E) and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad
(IC&E). The trackage of the IC&E was at one time part of CP subsidiary Soo Line
and predecessor line The Milwaukee Road
. The combined DM&E/IC&E system spanned North Dakota
, South Dakota
, with two short stretches into Kansas City, Missouri
, and a line to Chicago, Illinois
. The railroad also has regulatory approval to build a line into the Powder River Basin
. It is publicly traded on both the Toronto Stock Exchange
and the New York Stock Exchange
under the ticker CP. Its U.S. headquarters are in Minneapolis
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
section linking Lake Superior
was commenced in 1875. By 1880, around 1,000 kilometres (700 mi) was nearly complete, mainly across the troublesome Canadian Shield terrain, with trains running on only 500 kilometres (300 mi) of track.
C.P.R. locomotive and employees
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
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
On 21 October 1880, a new syndicate, unrelated to Hugh Allan's, signed a contract with the Macdonald government. Fleming was dismissed and replaced with Sir Collingwood Schreiber
as chief engineer and general manager of all government railways. 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 $25 million. But its estimates of the cost of the Rocky Mountain section alone was over $60 million.
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.
Critics claimed that the government gave too large a subsidy for the proposed project but this was to incorporate uncertainties of risk and irreversibility of insurance. The large subsidy also needed to compensate the CPR for not constructing the line in the future, but rather right away even though demand would not cover operational costs.
Building the railway, 1881–1886
Canadian Pacific Railway Crew laying tracks at lower Fraser Valley
Building the railway took over four years. James J. Hill in 1881 sent Alpheus Beede Stickney
to be construction superintendent for the Canadian Pacific Railway. 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
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 and who became the town's wealthiest inhabitant and mayor for four successive terms.
One 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 cheque
for $5,000 and that the pass would be named in his honour. 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 cheque. 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.
Map from 1890 showing system of land survey and the lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Manitoba, Alberta, Assiniboia, and Saskatchewan. First Nations reserves are marked throughout with "I.R." for "Indian Reserve."
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 on the continental divide. In the first 6 km (3.7 mi) west of the 1,625 metres (5,331 feet) high summit, the Kicking Horse River
drops 350 metres (1,150 feet). The steep drop would force the cash-strapped CPR to build a 7 km (4.3 mi) long stretch of track with a very steep 41
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 10 km per hour (6 mph), and special locomotives
were ordered. Despite these measures, several serious runaways still occurred including the first locomotive, which belonged to the contractors, 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 800 km (500 mi) of main line built in 1882. Floods delayed the start of the construction season, but over 672 km (418 mi) of main line, as well as 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 railway 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 eight kilometres (five miles) 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
C.P.R. trestle bridge
Many thousands of navvies
worked on the railway. Many were European
immigrants. In British Columbia, government contractors eventually hired 17000 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, transport to the job site, mail and medical care. After 21
months of hard labour, they could net as little as $16. Chinese labourers 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 exact number of Chinese workers who died is unknown but historians estimate the number is between 600 and 800. The victims of sickness and accidents were not given proper funerals. Most of the remains were buried into the railway and 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 labour 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 twelve years old 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
) 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 quickly suppressed. Perhaps because the government was grateful for this service, they subsequently reorganized the CPR's debt and provided a further $5 million loan. This money was desperately needed by the CPR. However, this government loan later became 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.
Telegram to Prime Minister John A. Macdonald announcing the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 7 November 1885
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 and 5,000 horses to construct the Lake section alone.
Meanwhile, in Eastern Canada, the CPR had created a network of lines reaching from Quebec City
to St. Thomas, Ontario
, by 1885 (mainly by buying the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental Railway
from the Quebec government), 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. 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.
The system in 1906, soon after the construction of the transcontinental railway
The first transcontinental passenger train departed from Montreal
's Dalhousie Station
, located at Berri Street and Notre Dame Street at 8 pm on 28 June 1886, and arrived at Port Moody
at noon on 4 July 1886. This train consisted of two baggage cars, a mail car, one second-class coach, two immigrant sleepers, two first-class coaches, two sleeping cars and a diner (several dining cars were used throughout the journey, as they were removed from the train during the night, with another one added the next morning).
First Transcontinental Train arrives in Port Arthur
on 30 June 1886
By that time, however, the CPR had decided to move its western terminus from Port Moody
, 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 Canada–US border at Windsor, Ontario
. That line opened on 12 June 1890.
The CPR also leased the New Brunswick Railway
in 1891 for 991 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 the First World War
, 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 1898, 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 neighbouring 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 local 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.
CPR and the settlement of western Canada
One of the CPR's land offerings, 1883
The CPR had built a railway that operated mostly in the wilderness. The usefulness of the prairies was questionable in the minds of many. The thinking prevailed that the prairies had great potential. Under the initial contract with the Canadian government to build the railway, the CPR was granted 25 million acres (100,000 km2
). Proving already to be a very resourceful organization, Canadian Pacific began an intense campaign to bring immigrants to Canada. Canadian Pacific agents operated in many overseas locations. Immigrants were often sold a package that included passage on a CP ship, travel on a CP train and land sold by the CP railway. Land was priced at $2.50 an acre and up but required cultivation.
To transport immigrants, Canadian Pacific developed a fleet of over a thousand Colonist cars
, low-budget sleeper cars designed to transport immigrant families from eastern Canadian seaports to the west.
CPR advertisement highlighting "Free Farms for the Million" in western Canada, circa 1893
During the first decade of the 20th century, the CPR continued to build more lines. In 1908, the CPR opened a line connecting Toronto with Sudbury
. Previously, westbound traffic originating in southern Ontario
took a circuitous route through eastern Ontario. 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 1,624 metres (5,328 feet) long and, at its maximum, 96 metres (315 feet) high, making it one of the longest railway bridges 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
, an eight-kilometre-long (5-mile) tunnel under Mount Macdonald
that was, at the time of its opening, the longest railway tunnel in the Western Hemisphere
C.P.R. railway locomotive 2860
During the late 19th century, the railway undertook an ambitious programme of hotel construction, building Glacier House in Glacier National Park
, Mount Stephen House
, British Columbia, the Château Frontenac
in Quebec City
and the Banff Springs Hotel
. 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.
First World War
During the First World War CPR put the entire resources of the "world's greatest travel system" at the disposal of the British Empire
, not only trains and tracks, but also its ships, shops, hotels, telegraphs and, above all, its people. Aiding the war effort meant transporting and billeting troops; building and supplying arms and munitions; arming, lending and selling ships. Fifty-two CPR ships were pressed into service during World War I, carrying more than a million troops and passengers and four million tons of cargo. Twenty seven survived and returned to CPR. CPR also helped the war effort with money and jobs. CPR made loans and guarantees to the Allies of some $100 million. As a lasting tribute, CPR commissioned three statues and 23 memorial tablets to commemorate the efforts of those who fought and those who died in the war.
After the war, the Federal government created Canadian National Railways
(CNR, later CN) out of several bankrupt railways that fell into government hands during and after the war. CNR would become the main competitor to the CPR in Canada. In 1923, Henry Worth Thornton
replaced David Blyth Hanna
becoming the second president of the CNR, and his competition spurred Edward Wentworth Beatty
, the first Canadian-born president of the CPR, to action.
During this time the railway land grants were formalized.
Great Depression and the Second World War, 1929–1945
Strikers from unemployment relief camps climbing on boxcars as part of the On-to-Ottawa Trek
The Great Depression
, which lasted from 1929 until 1939, hit many companies heavily. While the CPR was affected, it was not affected to the extent of its rival CNR because it, unlike the CNR, was debt-free. The CPR scaled back on some of its passenger and freight services, and stopped issuing dividends to its shareholders after 1932. Hard times led to the creation of new political parties such as the Social Credit movement
and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation
, as well as popular protest in the form of the On-to-Ottawa Trek
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 honours of pulling the royal train across the country, with the CPR undertaking the westbound journey from Quebec City to Vancouver. Later that year, the Second World War 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 armoured 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.
logo was used from 1968 to 1987, when it fell out of favour. It was sometimes referred to as the 'Pac-Man
' logo, after the popular 1980s video game of the same name.
CPR train step stool (Calgary station) c. 1950
After the Second World War, the transportation industry in Canada changed. Where railways had previously provided almost universal freight and passenger services, cars, trucks and airplanes
started to take traffic away from railways. This naturally helped the CPR's air and trucking operations, and the railway's freight operations continued to thrive hauling resource traffic and bulk commodities. However, passenger trains quickly became unprofitable. During the 1950s, the railway introduced new innovations in passenger service. In 1955, it introduced The Canadian,
a new luxury transcontinental train. However, in the 1960s, the company started to pull out of passenger services, ending services on many of its branch lines. It also discontinued its secondary transcontinental train The Dominion
in 1966, and in 1970, unsuccessfully applied to discontinue The Canadian
. For the next eight years, it continued to apply to discontinue the service, and service on The Canadian
declined markedly. On 29 October 1978, CP Rail transferred its passenger services to Via Rail
, a new federal Crown corporation
that is responsible for managing all intercity passenger service formerly handled by both CP Rail and CN. Via eventually took almost all of its passenger trains, including The Canadian
, off CP's lines.
In 1968, as part of a corporate reorganization, each of the 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 air, express, telecommunications, hotel and real estate holdings were spun off, and ownership of all of the companies transferred to Canadian Pacific Investments. The slogan was: "TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD" The company discarded its beaver logo, adopting the new Multimark
(which, when mirrored by an adjacent "multi-mark" creates a diamond appearance on a globe) that was used—with a different colour 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 14.7 km (nine miles), 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 bankrupt 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 Milwaukee Road as part of its historically logical route) and New York City
(via the D&H).
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. In 1996, CP Rail moved its head office from Windsor Station in Montreal to Gulf Canada Square in Calgary 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
, (on Norfolk Southern
lines from Detroit
) as well as the Delaware and Hudson Railway
in the northeastern United States. However, the new subsidiary, threatened with being sold off and free to innovate, quickly spun off money-losing track to short lines, instituted scheduled freight service, and produced an unexpected turn-around in profitability. On 1 January 2001 the StL&H was formally amalgamated with the CP Rail system.
2001 to present
In 2001, the CPR's parent company, Canadian Pacific Limited
, spun off its five subsidiaries, including the CPR, into independent companies. Most of the company's non-railway businesses at the time of the split were operated by a separate subsidiary called Canadian Pacific Limited
. Canadian Pacific Railway formally (but, not legally) shortened its name to Canadian Pacific in early 2007, dropping the word "railway" in order to reflect more operational flexibility. Shortly after the name revision, Canadian Pacific announced that it had committed to becoming a major sponsor and logistics provider to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver
On 4 September 2007, CPR announced it was acquiring the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad
from London-based Electra Private Equity
The transaction was an "end-to-end" consolidation and gave CPR access to United States shippers of agricultural products, ethanol and coal. CPR stated its intention to use this purchase to gain access to the rich coalfields of Wyoming
's Powder River Basin
. The purchase price was US$1.48 billion with future payments of over US$1 billion contingent on commencement of construction on the smaller railway's Powder River extension and specified volumes of coal shipments from the Powder River Basin. The transaction was subject to approval of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board
(STB), which was expected to take about a year. On 4 October 2007, CPR announced that it had 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.
In 2010, four repainted Canadian Pacific AC4400CWs were used in the filming of the movie Unstoppable
On 28 October 2011, in a Schedule 13D
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. The reconstituted board, having named Stephen Tobias (former vice president and chief operating officer
of Norfolk Southern Railroad
) as interim CEO, initiated a search for a new CEO, eventually settling on E. Hunter Harrison
, former president of Canadian National Railway, on 29 June 2012.
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 who walked off the job on 23 May, stalling Canadian freight traffic and costing the economy an estimated CA$80 million (US$77 million). The strike ended with a government back-to-work bill forcing both sides to come to a binding agreement
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-Mégantic derailment.
On 15 July, the press reported that CP would appeal the legal order. Railway spokesman Ed Greenberg stated "Canadian Pacific has reviewed the notice. As a matter of fact, in law, CP is not responsible for this cleanup."
In February 2014, Harrison called for immediate action to phase-out DOT-111 tank cars
, known to be more dangerous in cases of derailment.
On 12 October 2014 it was reported that Canadian Pacific had tried to enter into a merger with American railway CSX
, but was unsuccessful.
In 2015–16 Canadian Pacific sought to merge with American railway Norfolk Southern
and wanted to have a shareholder vote on it.
Canadian Pacific created a website to persuade people that the Canadian Pacific/Norfolk Southern merger would benefit the rail industry.
However, this proposed merger would come under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice
over antitrust concerns created by the proposed merger. Canadian Pacific filed a complaint against the U.S. DOJ and dropped their proposed proxy fight in the proposed merger with Norfolk Southern.
The proposed merger was also opposed by rival freight company, the United Parcel Service
(UPS), who spoke out about the rail merger and said they were against the Canadian Pacific/Norfolk Southern merger.
CP ultimately terminated its efforts to merge on 11 April 2016.
On 18 January 2017 it was announced that Hunter Harrison was retiring from CP and that Keith Creel
would become president and chief executive officer of the company effective 31 January 2017.
On 4 February 2019, a loaded grain train ran away from the siding at Partridge just above the Upper Spiral Tunnel in Kicking Horse Pass
. The 112-car grain train with three locomotives derailed into the Kicking Horse River just after the Trans Canada Highway overpass. The three crew members on the lead locomotive were killed.
The Canadian Pacific Police Service
(CPPS) investigated the fatal derailment. It later came to light that, although Creel said that the RCMP
"retain jurisdiction" over the investigation, the RCMP wrote that "it never had jurisdiction because the crash happened on CP property".
On 26 January 2020, Canadian current affairs program The Fifth Estate
broadcast an episode on the derailment, and the next day the Canadian Transportation Safety Board
(TSB) called for the RCMP to investigate as lead investigator Don Crawford said, "There is enough to suspect there's negligence here and it needs to be investigated by the proper authority".
On 4 February 2020, the TSB demoted its lead investigator in the crash probe after his superiors decided these comments were "completely inappropriate". The TSB stated that it "does not share the view of the lead safety investigator". The CPPS say they did a thorough investigation into the actions of the crew, which is now closed and resulted in no charges, while the Alberta Federation of Labour
and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
called for an independent police probe.
On 20 November 2019, it was announced that Canadian Pacific would purchase the Central Maine and Quebec Railway
from Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors
The line had had a series of different owners since being spun off of the Canadian Pacific in 1995. The first operator was the Canadian American Railroad
a division of Iron Road Railways
. In 2002 the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic took over operations after CDAC declared bankruptcy. The Central, Maine and Quebec Railway started operations in 2014 after the MMA declared bankruptcy due to the Lac-Mégantic derailment. On this new acquisition, CP CEO Keith Creel remarked that this gives CP a true coast-to-coast network across Canada and an increased presence in New England. On June 4, 2020; Canadian Pacific bought the Central Maine and Quebec.
In March 2021, the CP offered US$29 billion to purchase the Kansas City Southern Railway
, which would allow the CP to own rail lines across the entire North American continent. Kansas City Southern CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer stated that the USMCA
signed a year earlier created a unique opportunity amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
. The transaction would require approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board
, which is expected to be completed by the middle of 2022.
Over half of CP's freight traffic is in grain (24% of 2016 freight revenue
freight (22%), and coal (10%) and the vast majority of its profits are made in western Canada. A major shift in trade from the Atlantic to the Pacific has caused serious drops in CPR's wheat shipments through Thunder Bay
. It also ships chemicals and plastics (12% of 2016 revenue), automotive parts and assembled automobiles (6%), potash (6%), sulphur
and other fertilizers (5%), forest products (5%), and various other products (11%). The busiest part of its railway network is along its main line between Calgary and Vancouver. Since 1970, coal has become a major commodity hauled by CPR. Coal is shipped in unit trains
from coal mines in the mountains, most notably Sparwood, British Columbia
, to terminals at Roberts Bank
and North Vancouver
, from where it is then shipped to Japan.
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 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, Ontario
(part of present-day 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 121-kilometre (75 mi) 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 160-kilometre (100 mi) stretch of double track mainline which runs from Smiths Falls, Ontario
, through downtown Montreal
which runs through many rural farming communities. However, CPR is in the midst of partially dismantling the stretch of double track mainline on the Winchester Sub. 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 30 kilometres (20 mi) through Kenora
and Keewatin, Ontario
) are still double track.
The train was the primary mode of long-distance transport in Canada until the 1960s. Among the many types of people who rode CPR trains were new immigrants heading for the prairies, military troops (especially during the two world wars
) and upper class tourists. It also custom-built many of its passenger cars
at its CPR Angus Shops
to be able to meet the demands of the upper class.
An Angus Shops building converted into an SAQ
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. Travellers went by train from Toronto to that Georgian Bay port, then travelled 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 at Douglas, Michigan, in the United States, before returning to its original homeport of Port McNicoll, Canada in 2013.
After the Second World War, passenger traffic declined as automobiles and airplanes became more common, but the CPR continued to innovate in an attempt to keep passenger numbers 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 went on to acquire the second largest fleet of RDCs totalling 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.
This service was initially heavily promoted by the company and many images of the train, especially as it traversed the Canadian Rockies, were captured by CPR's official photographer Nicholas Morant
. Featured in numerous advertising promotions worldwide, several such images have gained iconic status.
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 currently 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
Sleeping, Dining and Parlour Car Department Sleeping cars
were operated by a separate department of the railway that included the dining and parlour cars and aptly named as the Sleeping, Dining and Parlour Car Department. The CPR decided from the very beginning that it would operate its own sleeping cars, unlike railways in the United States that depended upon independent companies that specialized in providing cars and porters, including building the cars themselves. Pullman was long a famous name in this regard; its Pullman porters
were legendary. Other early companies included the Wagner Palace Car Company
. Bigger-sized berths and more comfortable surroundings were built by order of the CPR's General Manager, William Van Horne
, who was a large man himself. Providing and operating their own cars allowed better control of the service provided as well as keeping all of the revenue received, although dining-car services were never profitable. But railway managers realized that those who could afford to travel great distances expected such facilities, and their favourable opinion would bode well to attracting others to Canada and the CPR's trains.
W. C. Van Horne decided from the very beginning that the CPR would retain as much revenue from its various operations as it could. This translated into keeping express, telegraph, sleeping car and other lines of business for themselves, creating separate departments or companies as necessary. This was necessary as the fledgling railway would need all the income it could get, and in addition, he saw some of these ancillary operations such as express and telegraph as being quite profitable. Others such as sleeping and dining cars were kept in order to provide better control over the quality of service being provided to passengers. Hotels were likewise crucial to the CPR's growth by attracting travellers. 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 500 kilometres (300 mi) 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. 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 and Express messengers were armed for security. Small business money shipments and valuables such as jewellery were routinely handled in small packets. Money orders and travellers' cheques 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 railway 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 transport provider for small shipments. Deregulation in the 1980s, however, changed everything and trucking services were ended[when?]
after many attempts to change with the times.
Between the 1890s and 1933, the CPR transported raw silk from Vancouver, where it had been shipped from the Orient
, to silk mills in New York and New Jersey
. A silk train could carry several million dollars' worth of silk, so they had their own armed guards. To avoid train robberies and so minimize insurance costs, they travelled quickly and stopped only to change locomotives and crews, which was often done in under five minutes. The silk trains had superior rights over all other trains; even passenger trains (including the Royal Train of 1939) would be put in sidings to make the silk trains' trip faster. At the end of World War II, the invention of nylon made silk less valuable, so the silk trains died out.
The CPR ran a number of trains that transported members of the Canadian Royal Family
when they have toured the country. 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 honour of giving King George VI
and Queen Elizabeth
a rail tour of Canada, from Quebec City
. 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 the exception of CNR 6028 which was not painted, with silver trim as was the entire train. The locomotives ran 5,189 km (3,224 mi) across Canada, through 25 changes of crew, without engine failure. The King, somewhat of a railbuff
, 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
Between 1927 and the early 1950s, the CPR ran a school car to reach children 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 and accommodation for the teacher.
Major shooting for the 1976 film Silver Streak
, a fictional comedy tale of a murder-ridden 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) and the second unit (CP 4067) were sold to Via Rail and CTCUM respectively.
Holiday Train in Montreal, November 2009
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 CP and a few of its customers. Each train has a box car stage for entertainers who are travelling along with the train.
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. 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 train is roughly 1,000 feet (300 m) in length with brightly decorated railway cars, including a modified box car that has been turned into a travelling stage for performers. They are each decorated with hundred of thousands of LED Christmas lights. In 2013 to celebrate the program's 15th year, three signature events were held in Hamilton, Ontario
, Calgary, Alberta
, and Cottage Grove, Minnesota
, to further raise awareness for hunger issues.
A crowd watches entertainers perform out of the CP Holiday Train
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 1,050 km (650 mi) 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 U.S. and been used for various charitable purposes; 100% of the money raised goes to the nationwide 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
, a 2011 IMAX
film which follows the locomotive on an eastbound journey beginning in Vancouver, and which tells the story of the building of the CPR. 2816 has been stored indefinitely since 2012 after CEO E. Hunter Harrison
discontinued the steam program.
CP Canada 150 Train
In 2017, CP ran the CP Canada 150 Train from Port Moody to Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 150th year since Confederation. The train stopped in 13 cities along its 3-week summer tour, offering a free block party and concert from Dean Brody
, Kelly Prescott
and Dallas Arcand.
The heritage train drew out thousands to sign the special "Spirit of Tomorrow" car, where children were invited to write their wishes for the future of Canada and send them to Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and daughter Ella-Grace Trudeau also visited the train and rode it from Revelstoke to Calgary.
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. Before 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 mobile 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 efficiencies 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 licences to operate radio stations in 11 cities from coast-to-coast for the purpose of organising 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
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.
CPR programming included a series of concert broadcasts from Montreal with an orchestra
conducted by Douglas Clarke and a series called Concert Orchestra
broadcast from the Royal York Hotel featuring conductor Rex Battle, and another series of concerts, this time sponsored by Imperial Oil
and featuring conductor Reginald Stewart
with a 55-piece orchestra and some of the leading soloists of the day, also performing at the Royal York.
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 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. Canadian Pacific passenger service on the lakes ended in 1965.
In 1884, CPR began purchasing sailing ships as part of a railway supply service on the Great Lakes
. Over time, CPR became a railway 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 Bay of Fundy Ferry service. In the 20th century, the company evolved into an intercontinental railway which operated two transoceanic services which connected Canada with Europe and with Asia. The range of CPR services were aspects of an integrated plan.
Advertisement for Canadian Pacific steamships to the Far East, 1936
Once the railway was completed to British Columbia, the CPR chartered and soon bought their own passenger steamships as a link to the Orient. These sleek steamships were of the latest design and christened with "Empress" names (e. g., RMS Empress of Britain
, Empress of Canada
, Empress of Australia
, and so forth). 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
linking the various parts of the British Empire
The other ocean part was the Atlantic service to and from the United Kingdom, 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, which were considered to be a direct part of the railway's operations. 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 Empress of Britain
There were also a number of rail ferries
operated over the years as well including, between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit
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, Ashtabula
, a large vessel which eventually sank in a harbour 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 railway 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
British Columbia Coast Steamships
The Canadian Pacific Railway Coast Service
(British Columbia Coast Steamships
or BCCS) was established when the CPR acquired in 1901 Canadian Pacific Navigation Company (no relation) and its large fleet of ships that served 72 ports along the coast of British Columbia including on Vancouver Island. Service included the Vancouver-Victoria-Seattle Triangle Route
, Gulf Islands, Powell River, as well as Vancouver-Alaska service. BCCS operated a fleet of 14 passenger ships made up of a number of Princess
ships, pocket versions of the famous oceangoing Empress
ships along with a freighter, three tugs and five railway car barges. Popular with tourists, the Princess ships were famous in their own right especially Princess Marguerite
(II) which operated from 1949 until 1985 and was the last coastal liner in operation. The best known[by whom?]
of the princess ships, however, is Princess Sophia
, which sank with no survivors in October 1918 after striking the Vanderbilt Reef
in Alaska's Lynn Canal
, constituting the largest maritime disaster in the history of the Pacific Northwest. These services continued for many years until changing conditions in the late 1950s brought about their decline and eventual demise at the end of season in 1974. Princess Marguerite
was acquired by the province's British Columbia Steamship (1975) Ltd. and continued to operate for a number of years. In 1977 although BCCSS was the legal name, it was rebranded as Coastal Marine Operations (CMO). By 1998 the company was bought by the Washington Marine Group which after purchase was renamed Seaspan Coastal Intermodal Company and then subsequently rebranded in 2011 as Seaspan Ferries Corporation. Passenger service ended in 1981.
British Columbia Lake and River Service
All of these lake operations had one thing in common, the need for shallow draft therefore sternwheelers were the choice of ship. Tugs and barges handled railway equipment including one operation that saw the entire train including the locomotive and caboose go along. These services gradually declined and ended in 1975 except for a freight barge on Slocan Lake. This was the one where the entire train went along since the barge was a link to an isolated section of track. The Iris G
tug boat and a barge were operated under contract to CP Rail until the last train ran late in December 1988. The sternwheel steamship Moyie
on Kootenay Lake was the last CPR passenger boat in BC lake service, having operated from 1898 until 1957. She became a beached historical exhibit, as are also the Sicamous
on Lake Okanagan
To promote tourism and passenger ridership the Canadian Pacific established a series of first class hotels. These hotels became landmarks famous in their own right. They include the Algonquin
in St. Andrews
, Château Frontenac
, Royal York
in Toronto, Minaki Lodge
in Minaki Ontario, Hotel Vancouver
, Empress Hotel
and the Banff Springs Hotel
and Chateau Lake Louise
in the Canadian Rockies. Several signature hotels were acquired from its competitor Canadian National
during the 1980s, including the Jasper Park Lodge. The hotels retain their Canadian Pacific heritage, but are no longer operated by the railway. In 1998, Canadian Pacific Hotels
acquired Fairmont Hotels
, an American company, becoming Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Inc.
; the combined corporation operated the historic Canadian properties as well as the Fairmont's U.S. properties until merged with Raffles Hotels and Resorts and Swissôtel in 2006.
In the CPR's early years, it made extensive use of American-type 4-4-0 steam locomotives
, and an example of this is the Countess of Dufferin
. Later, considerable use was also made of the 4-6-0
type for passenger and 2-8-0
type for freight. Starting in the 20th century, the CPR bought and built hundreds of Ten-Wheeler-type 4-6-0s
for passenger and freight service and similar quantities of 2-8-0s
for freight. 2-10-2s were also used in passenger service on mountain routes. The CPR bought hundreds of 4-6-2
Pacifics between 1906 and 1948 with later versions being true dual-purpose passenger and fast-freight locomotives.
CPR 2317, a G-3-c 4-6-2 Pacific-type locomotive built at the CPR's Angus Shops in 1923
The CPR built hundreds of its own locomotives at its shops in Montreal, first at the "New Shops", as the DeLorimer shops were commonly referred to, and at the massive Angus Shops that replaced them in 1904. Some of the CPR's best-known locomotives were the 4-6-4
Hudsons. First built in 1929, they began a new era of modern locomotives with capabilities that changed how transcontinental passenger trains ran, eliminating frequent changes en route. What once took 24 changes of engines in 1886, all of them 4-4-0s except for two of 2-8-0s in the mountains, for 4,640 kilometres (2,883 mi) between Montreal and Vancouver became 8 changes.
The 2800s, as the Hudson type was known, ran from Toronto to Fort William, a distance of 1,305 kilometres (811 mi), while another lengthy engine district was from Winnipeg to Calgary 1,339 kilometres (832 mi). Especially notable were the semi-streamlined
H1 class Royal Hudsons
, locomotives that were given their name because one of their class hauled the royal train carrying King George VI
and Queen Elizabeth
on the 1939 royal tour across Canada without change or failure. That locomotive, No. 2850, is preserved in the Exporail exhibit hall of the Canadian Railway Museum
in Saint-Constant, Quebec
. One of the class, No. 2860, was restored by the British Columbia
government and used in excursion service on the British Columbia Railway
between 1974 and 1999.
The CPR also made many of their older 2-8-0s, built in the turn of the century, into 2-8-2s.
In 1929, the CPR received its first 2-10-4 Selkirk locomotives
, the largest steam locomotives to run in Canada and the British Empire. Named after the Selkirk Mountains where they served, these locomotives were well suited for steep grades. They were regularly used in passenger and freight service. The CPR would own 37 of these locomotives, including number 8000, an experimental high pressure engine. The last steam locomotives that the CPR received, in 1949, were Selkirks, numbered 5930–5935.
A CP passenger train heads east towards Calgary
In 1937, the CPR acquired its first diesel-electric locomotive
, a custom-built one-of-a-kind switcher numbered 7000. This locomotive was not successful and was not repeated. Production-model diesels were imported from American Locomotive Company
(Alco) starting with five model S-2
yard switchers in 1943 and followed by further orders. In 1949, operations on lines in Vermont
were dieselized with Alco FA1
road locomotives (eight A and four B units), five ALCO RS-2
road switchers, three Alco S-2 switchers and three EMD E8
passenger locomotives. In 1948 Montreal Locomotive Works
began production of ALCO designs.
CP was the first railway in North America to pioneer alternating current
(AC) traction diesel-electric locomotives in 1984. In 1995, CP turned to GE Transportation
for the first production AC traction locomotives in Canada, and now has the highest percentage of AC locomotives in service of all North American Class I railways.
On 16 September 2019, Progress Rail
rolled out two SD70ACU
rebuilds in Canadian Pacific heritage paint schemes; 7010 wears a Tuscan red
and grey paint scheme with script writing, and the 7015 wears a similar paint scheme with block lettering.
On 11 November 2019, five SD70ACU units with commemorative military themes were unveiled during CPR's Remembrance Day
ceremony. These units are numbered 7020–7023, with 7024 being renumbered to 6644 to commemorate the date of D-Day
: 6 June 1944. The 6644 represents a memorial to World War II
, distinctively sporting invasion stripes on the rear hood similar to those applied to Allied aircraft prior to the Normandy campaign. The 6644 also sports a paint scheme derived from the Allied Spitfire
using Royal Air Force
(RAF) dark green, ocean grey and accented with roundel yellow with a typeface that is RAF standard to planes used in World War II. 7020 represents the army in temperate regions, painted in NATO
green and featuring a modernized army typeface. The 7021 represents the army in arid regions and painted in a desert sand colour and features the same typeface like as 7020. The 7022 represents the navy, painted in Royal Canadian Navy
shipside grey and oxide red and uses the correct naval typeface. The 7023 represents the air force, painted in the same colours as a CF-18
, which uses light ghost grey and medium grey as well featuring the correct Royal Canadian Air Force
typeface. All five commemorative military units feature CPR's unique support-our-troops logo.
Active diesel roster
Retired diesel roster
This section needs expansion
. You can help by adding to it
. (June 2008)
CP owns a large number of large yards and repair shops across their system, which are used for many operations ranging from intermodal
terminals to classification yards
. Below are some examples of these.
work by using a small hill over which cars are pushed, before being released down a slope and switched automatically into cuts of cars, ready to be made into outbound trains. Many of these yards were closed in 2012 and 2013 under Hunter Harrison's company-wide restructuring; only the St. Paul Yard hump remains open.
- Calgary, Alberta – 68-hectare (168-acre) Alyth Yard; handles 2,200 cars daily (closed)
- Franklin Park, Illinois – Bensenville Yard (closed)
- Montreal, Quebec – St. Luc Yard; active since 1950. Flat switching since the mid-1980s. (closed)
- St. Paul, Minnesota – Pig's Eye Yard / St. Paul Yard
- Toronto, Ontario – Toronto Yard (also known as "Toronto Freight Yard or Agincourt Yard"); opened in 1964 (closed)
- Winnipeg, Manitoba – Rugby Yard (also known as "Weston Yard") (active)
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- ^ "News - 2010 Commerce Centre". Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
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- ^ "CBC coverage of rail strike at Canadian Pacific", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1 June 2012.
- ^ a b Quebec targets CP Railway for Lac-Mégantic cleanup costs. The Globe and Mail (14 August 2013). Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- ^ "CP Rail refuses to pay for Lac-Mégantic cleanup", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 15 August 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
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- ^ Dana Mattioli, Liz Hoffman and David George-Cosh (13 October 2014). "Canadian Pacific Approached CSX About Merger Deal". The Wall Street Journal.
- ^ "Canadian Pacific Railway, Norfolk Southern don't agree on much, Chicago Business Journal, 10 February 2016
- ^ "Canadian Pacific pursues merger talks with Norfolk Southern". Manila Bulletin. 12 February 2016. Archived from the original on 13 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
- ^ "Canadian Pacific argues for Norfolk Southern takeover in new report". CYV News
- ^ News, ABC. "Business Index". ABC News
- ^ "CP to seek shareholder support for Norfolk takeover talks". 10 February 2017 – Reuters.com
- ^ "DEV CP Emerg Response". Cpconsolidation.com.
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- ^ Press, Associated (11 February 2016). "Canadian Pacific creates website to argue for rail merger" Archived 16 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Neely, Luke (28 November 2016). "Canadian Pacific Files a Complaint With the DOJ -- The Motley Fool". 2016 02 11.
- ^ scottdeveau, Frederic Tomesco Scott Deveau (9 February 2016). "CP Drops Possible Proxy Fight as It Pursues Norfolk Southern" – Bloomberg.com. 2016 02 09.
- ^ Stevens, Laura (11 February 2016). "UPS Opposes Rail Merger Between Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific" – The Wall Street Journal
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- ^ "Keith Creel becomes CEO of Canadian Pacific; affirms commitment to safety, best-in-class service". Cpr.ca.
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- Berton, Pierre (1970). The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871–1881. McClelland and Stewart, Toronto. ISBN 0-7710-1326-4.
- Berton, Pierre (1971). The Last Spike. McClelland and Stewart, Toronto. ISBN 0-7710-1327-2.
- Cruise, David and Alison Griffiths (1988). Lords of the Line. Viking, Markham, Ontario. ISBN 0-670-81437-7.
- Innis, Harold A. (1971) . A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. ISBN 0-8020-1704-5.
- Leggett, Robert F. (1987). Railways of Canada. Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, British Columbia. ISBN 0-88894-581-7.
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Business data for Canadian Pacific Railway:
- Official website
- The CPR on YouTube
- CPR, from Sea to Sea: The Scottish Connection — Historical essay, illustrated with photographs from the CPR Archives and the McCord Museum's Notman Photographic Archives
- Lavalle, Omer; Marshall, Tabitha (4 March 2015). "Canadian Pacific Railway". The Canadian Encyclopedia (online ed.). Historica Canada.
- The Canadian Pacific Railway inception - A rich digital set of unique artifacts, archival and graphic material from the UBC Library Digital Collections
- Royal Canadian Pacific
- Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1936), "The conquest of Canada", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 65–74, illustrated account of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Last edited on 8 May 2021, at 01:36
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