Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - Canada, by Train

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.

Transcontinental Tour


White Pass & Yukon Railway

The White Pass & Yukon Railway was established in 1898 after the amalgamation of three smaller railway companies the year before. With the discovery of gold, the two major backers of the venture, Thomas Tancrede and Michael Henry, determined to exploit the mass attention on the region. Intending to link Skagway (on the Alaskan coast) to Whitehorse, the narrow gauge line over the White Pass to Carcross was completed in the summer of 1900. Construction proved to be a nightmare due to the harsh conditions and weather. After 110 miles of track had been laid and 30 workers had lost their lives in accidents, the terminus at Whitehorse was finally reached.

Brochure of the White Pass & Yukon Railway, 1915, with colour illustrations of a steamship sailing through a fjord and a train travelling in the mountains Inside pages of brochure of the White Pass & Yukon Railway, 1915, with illustrated text advertising Alaska and the Yukon's scenery, game and fish Map from brochure of the White Pass & Yukon Railway, 1915, showing Alaska, the Yukon and northern British Columbia


White Pass & Yukon Railway, 1915, covers, inside pages and map

Despite the fact that the gold rush was basically over, the railway proved to be the boon the backers had envisioned. The railway was essential for residents, as it was the only way to transport supplies and products, including the heavy equipment later used in gold and other mineral extraction. Movement of the region's bulk ore kept the railway in the black and tourists traveling the line loved the spectacular scenery. The railway continued operations until 1982, when widespread mine closures and new transportation choices brought it to an end. Sections of the line reopened in the late 1980s and the route currently supports a tourist service.

Canadian Pacific Railway

Poster of the Canadian Pacific Railway, advertising trips to the Yukon and Alaska, with a colour illustration of an Aboriginal woman


Canadian Pacific Railway, n.d.

Grand Trunk Pacific

Brochure of the Grand Trunk Railway, 1898, reading TO KLONDIKE THE LAND OF GOLD, with a drawing of a man panning for gold Map from brochure of the Grand Trunk Railway, 1898, showing the Grand Trunk Railyway's routes and American connections


Grand Trunk Railway, 1898, cover and map

Previous | Next

Visit the website ARCHIVED - The Kids' Site of Canadian Trains