The Canadian Hit "Dot" On Trip To Vancouver, Published 5 January 1957

ABOARD THE CANADIAN (Before the Strike) -
     ‘Even at Field, your fall from the height of land at the great Divide is not over, and so The Canadian drops another 1,500 feet ‘till it reaches the mighty Columbia River at Golden.  Few passengers realize how really rugged it is, fighting through the Kicking Horse Pass often at less than 10 miles an hour.
      ‘Then, once beyond Beavermouth (the most northerly point on the main line of the CPR, by the way), the train starts to climb again,.  You think it has been tough up to now.  Well here in less than 17 miles, the CPR soars up 1200 feet through the Connaught Tunnel in Glacier, during which time the river at the left dwindles in perspective ‘till finally it seems like a thread on the carpet.  Then the long Connaught tunnel and then Glacier.  You would think that is all?  Engineers will tell you it is as hard to come down a hill as to go up.  So The Canadian rolls down 2300 feet in picturesque ellipses through the Cascades, sweeping by gorgeous Albert Canyon on its way,.  Here you have dropped from 3778 feet to 2224 feet, or 1500 feet, but you still must plumb the depths by another 900 feet from here to snow-bound Revelstoke.
     ‘Except for bothersome, if picturesque, Notch Hill, there are no great territorial hazards and you also slip by the cairn at Craigellachie, where at Mile 2530.3, Lord Strathcona drove the last spike and with his final swing, joined Montreal and Vancouver. The bearded Scot completed Confederation right here, little though anybody pauses nowadays to honor this hallowed site.
     ‘Before morning broke, I awoke to see a big diesel pacing our train across the narrow canyon of the Thompson River in a snowless, gloomy gorge.  The CPR had the narrow curves to take on its side and so got ahead of us.  But once its pirouettes were on the big side of the river bank curves, we passed it and left it still pickup its way amide the gaunt rocks.
    ‘Then back under the counterpane again and when I next surfaced, there was green pasture and also a cow.  We were now in the lower Fraser Valley.  We had sloughed the snowdrifts.  Suddenly on another side. there was the ragged duster of the British merchant marine.  This was the sea, and here was Vancouver.  The Canadian hit it on the dot. At the top of the escalator, Joan, my daughter and Fletcher, my son.

Home   Circle   Cross Articles

Updated 11 May 2019