A joint venture of MAM and THTC Virtual Museum of Canada
  Read The Grain System Evolution Story
Prairie Networks Past & Present - Grain Transportation in Western Canada Prairie Networks Past & Present - Grain Transportation in Western Canada
1825 1850 to 1914 Exhibit 1900 1914 to 1945 Exhibit 1975 1945 to Present Exhibit 2003


Surveying for the Canadian Pacific Railway
Archives of Manitoba, Brandon, 1.

In 1871, the Conservative Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada promised to build a railway 3000 miles long, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. The Liberal opposition called the decision “an act of insane recklessness”. Saying that trying to build a railway across the Precambrian Shield, was “one of the most foolish things that could be imagined.”

Pierre Burton, The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881 (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Toronto & Montréal, 1970), p.6.
Surveying for the Canadian Pacific Railway

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Loading Supplies in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Archives of Manitoba, Transportation, Wagon, 5.

The first line in Western Canada, the Pembina Branch between Winnipeg and St. Paul Minnesota, begun in 1877. Although some grain was shipped on the line, it was mainly used to move supplies for the railway effort from Minneapolis to Winnipeg.
Loading Supplies in Minneapolis-St. Paul

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Completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway
Manitoba Archives and Special Collections, Winnipeg Tribune Collection, PC 18/1381/18-1381-021.

Canadian Pacific Railway's transcontinental line was completed by 1885, when the last spike was driven at Craigellachie, British Columbia. Farmers throughout Western Canada then had a means to export grain overseas by an all-Canadian east-west route.
Completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway

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