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The most dangerous part of the railway was the section in British Columbia. Mountains had to be crossed and wooden trestle bridges had to be built to span great rivers.
Stoney Creek Bridge, at 325 feet, was the highest single-span bridge on the Canadian Pacific Railway line. Originally made of timber in 1893, it was replaced by a steel structure in 1894.
Bridge over Mountain Creek, British Columbia, 1880s
A railway trestle (the frame that supports a bridge) below Perry's Flat, British Columbia
"The Mountain Creek trestle looked so fragile that one engineer refused to drive his engine over it. Van Horne said that he would drive the engine across himself. The engineer said, 'If you ain't afraid of getting killed Mr. Van Horne, with all your money, I ain't afraid either.' Van Horne replied, 'We'll have a double funeral – at my expense of course.' The engine passed safely over the bridge."
Flashback Canada, by J. Bradley Cruxton. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, ©2000, p. 161
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