The Canadian Pacific Railway was a project started by the Prime Minister of Canada; Sir John A. Macdonald. British Columbia had wanted to join the Confederation of Canada, so they decided that a railway would be the best way to transport people, and many other items. In otherwords they wanted to tie the country together. At first they wanted to build a wagon road, however, the government took control and decided to build a railway joining the Pacific and the Eastern provinces. They would start on July 20th 1871 and would spend 10 years on the project. They agreed to build the railway if they were given $25 million dollars and 25 million acres of land. The railway did not have to pay property taxes for 20 years.
The biggest part of the railway that had to be conquered was the building of it, because the Rockies were not an even place of land they had to make a plan for a way that people could travel through the Rockies. Alexander Mackenzie started parts of the construction when he became the new Liberal Prime Minister in 1872. He was then removed from office in 1873 this is when the amount of money started to affect the project and the project started to slow down. When Alexander Mackenzie went back to office in 1878 the project started to take a good turn.
In the 1930's Canada was in the Depression, the Canadian Pacific Railway was greatly affected by this because of the lack of money people were trying to find less expensive ways to travel. In 1939 after the depression World War 2 started. The Canadian Pacific Railway spent all of their time helping move freight and passengers including soldiers to different areas. Trains were not the only part of the Canadian Pacific

there were ships and planes, which helped out in World War 2. Now for over 100 years many people such as Princesses, Dukes, Emperors, Kings, Queens and Presidents have travelled on the Canadian Pacific Railway trains.


Before the 1950's all of the Canadian Pacific Railways trains were steam trains. In the 1950's the Canadian Pacific Railway started to use diesel. They completely stopped using steam in the 1960's. In 1971 the Canadian Pacific Railway had grown outside of just the railway, so they changed the name from Canadian Pacific Railway to Canadian Pacific Limited. Then on October 3rd 2001 Canadian Pacific Limited ended and the entire company’s big businesses became five separate companies. The Canadian Pacific Railway was one of the five companies. After 125 years was celebrated they began a new project on the railway. They started an expansion on the railway which includes more tracks. Now today the Canadian Pacific Railway is shipping many supplies and some of its trains stretch over 3000 meters.


Winnipeg Free Press 

Significant Dates In Canadian Railway History

Canadian Encyclopedia


Steam Train




Local Articles

Winnipeg Free Press

Primary Source #1

Primary Source #2

Primary Source #3

Primary Source #4

Primary Source #5