Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - By Executive Decree

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

The Transcontinental Railway

Photograph of employees of the Dominion Atlantic Railway roundhouse, Ottawa, 1892

Photograph of employees of the Dominion Atlantic Railway roundhouse, Ottawa, 1892
Source

 

Plan of the New Brunswick Foundry and Railway Car Works, September 27, 1891

Plan of the New Brunswick Foundry and Railway Car Works, September 27, 1891
Source

In this section:

Throughout the late nineteenth century, the people and the government of Canada were captivated by railway expansion and the dream of a transcontinental line. Accordingly, many orders-in-council and despatches from the post-Confederation period deal with railway construction, finances, personnel and other matters. When British Columbia entered Confederation in 1873, the terms of union included the completion of a national railway linkage. More than a decade would pass before the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, with the first passenger train making the coast-to-coast journey in the summer of 1886. Privy Council documents shed light on the evolution and administration of the Canadian Pacific Railway during that time, including the lengthy deliberations between the federal government and the government of British Columbia over the progress of the ambitious national route.