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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

Canadian government, CP honor transcontinental railroad's anniversary


On Nov. 7, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore announced the federal government will officially recognize the date as National Railway Day to honor the completion of Canada’s first transcontinental railroad.

On Nov. 7, 1885, the railroad’s final spike was driven into place on a Canadian Pacific line in Craigellachie, British Columbia. The first transcontinental train left Montreal and Toronto for Port Moody, British Columbia, on June 28, 1886.

“The construction of the transcontinental railway united a collection of provinces into a nation,” said Moore in a prepared statement. “It is fitting that this great national project … should be recognized with a special day that will encourage Canadians to reflect on the importance of nation building and to remember those who suffered through adverse conditions to build this railroad.”

CP — which was founded in 1881 — also marked the 125th anniversary of the driving of the last spike on Nov. 7 with Parks Canada. Parliament member Dean Del Mastro and CP President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Green hammered a symbolic spike into place in Craigellachie.

"This iconic event marked an important chapter in our history, but also signaled the innovation the railway would bring to the country over the ensuing decades,” said Green.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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