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.
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, n.d.
Grand Trunk Railway, 1898, cover and map
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