The last spike photo of the Canadian Pacific Railway, November 7, 1885

Canadian Pacific Railway last spike
The historical picture of the Last Spike, Canadian Pacific Railway

In this photo, you can see a historical ceremony of the so-called last spike, pounded into the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was done by Donald Smith, an industrialist who was the leading investor behind the first railway that reached the Canadian Pacific shore.

This railway project passed through the long story of financial crises, workers strikes, and natural disasters. It had become a national symbol of unity of the people of Canada by the time the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.

Engineers of CPR had decided to move its last western station from Port Moody to Granville, which was renamed “Vancouver” later that year. That was a bit of historical luck for this town, making it a perspective settlement of the Pacific shore. It took three months for the first official train to arrive in Vancouver on 23 May 1887. The CPR quickly became profitable, and all loans from the Federal government were repaid years ahead of time.

Canadian Pacific Railway first train
The first Canadian Pacific Railway train passes over the Maitland River, 1885

The historical meaning of Canadian Pacific Railway

This railway led to almost nowhere at the beginning, and many experts doubted the usefulness of the transportation arteria in the wilderness. But Donald Smith believed that colonization of the Canadian West had tremendous potential, and thus invested his funds and requested 25 million acres (100,000 km2) from the government in order to complete this project.

The CPR led to migration waves streaming to the West, stimulated by the railway office itself. Their agents were promoting an idea of settlement in central and western parts of Canada overseas, and particularly in Eastern Europe. The land was relatively cheap ($2.50 per acre) and immigrants were often sold a package that transportation to the final destination point. To transport immigrants, Canadian Pacific developed a fleet of over a thousand Colonist cars, low-budget sleeper cars designed to transport immigrant families from eastern Canadian seaports to the West.

Read more: Impressive railroad bridges of the 19th century.

Here are some rare and exciting historical photo of Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian Pacific Railway locomitve
The first locomotives for the CPR were constructed in Germany.

Canadian Pacific Railway Co., Steam locomotive, 550, built-in 1904 by Saschische Maschinenbau A.G. (Saxon Locomotive Works), Chemnitz, Germany.

Canadian Pacific Railway station
A typical train station of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1894
CPR and CNR bridges
Train bridges of the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway
porters of the royal train
The porters’ crew of the Royal Train – one of the most popular in the Canadian Pacific Railway
cloth presser Canadian Pacific Railway
The cars in the Royal Train were equipped with many fancy things, including the cloth presser
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