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Saturday, August 15, 2015

World's Longest Railroad Tunnel (at the time)

I can tell you with great certainty that the picture on this post card was taken after December 16, 1916. I know that because the Connaught Tunnel was opened on that day. The tracks shown here belong to the Canadian Pacific Railway and they are not very far from the bridge in last week’s blog post. This picture was also taken by the photographer, Byron Harmon.

You will notice that there is a set of double tracks through the tunnel. This is because, according to Gary Backler’s graduate thesis: “The C.P.R.’S Capacity and Investment Strategy in Rogers Pass, B.C., 1882 – 1916” the reason the tunnel was built was to compete with other rail lines to gain the lion’s share of rail traffic and to accommodate the increasing demand on the rails that the CPR already operated between Vancouver and Calgary. According to his thesis, the number crunchers found the combination of elevation and length of tunnel to make the project financially feasible. I recommend that you read this article: http://www.okthepk.ca/dataCprSiding/articles/201111/month00.htm

It is named the Connaught Tunnel because it was named after the person who was the Governor General (the queen’s representative in Canada) at the time, the seventh child of Queen Victoria: Prince Arthur William Patric Albert, the Duke of Connaught (a county in Ireland). Construction on the tunnel was started on April 2, 1914 and completed on December 16, 1916. The tunnel is 5.022 miles long (the longest tunnel at the time of its completion) and 20 feet wide. The grade through the tunnel is a mere .95%. In building this tunnel through the mountain CPR was able to abandon fourteen and a half miles of track and thirty one snow sheds. It also saved countless lives of the workers who could have died clearing avalanches on that 14.5 miles of track in Rogers Pass.
I can tell you with great certainty that the picture on this post card was taken after December 16, 1916. I know that because the Connaught Tunnel was opened on that day. The tracks shown here belong to the Canadian Pacific Railway and they are not very far from the bridge in last week’s blog post. This picture was also taken by the photographer, Byron Harmon.

You will notice that there is a set of double tracks through the tunnel. This is because, according to Gary Backler’s graduate thesis: “The C.P.R.’S Capacity and Investment Strategy in Rogers Pass, B.C., 1882 – 1916” the reason the tunnel was built was to compete with other rail lines to gain the lion’s share of rail traffic and to accommodate the increasing demand on the rails that the CPR already operated between Vancouver and Calgary. According to his thesis, the number crunchers found the combination of elevation and length of tunnel to make the project financially feasible. I recommend that you read this article: http://www.okthepk.ca/dataCprSiding/articles/201111/month00.htm

It is named the Connaught Tunnel because it was named after the person who was the Governor General (the queen’s representative in Canada) at the time, the seventh child of Queen Victoria: Prince Arthur William Patric Albert, the Duke of Connaught (a county in Ireland). Construction on the tunnel was started on April 2, 1914 and completed on December 16, 1916. The tunnel is 5.022 miles long (the longest tunnel at the time of its completion) and 20 feet wide. The grade through the tunnel is a mere .95%. In building this tunnel through the mountain CPR was able to abandon fourteen and a half miles of track and thirty one snow sheds. It also saved countless lives of the workers who could have died clearing avalanches on that 14.5 miles of track in Rogers Pass.

Notice that Mr. Harmon was kind enough to tell us that the mountain in the background is Ross Peak. It was named after James Ross who was the superintendent of the construction efforts in the Selkirks. It is 7,647 feet tall.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.