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Industry Achievement
Revelstoke, British Columbia (2003)
Revelstoke StationLocated within the Columbia Mountains in the interior of British Columbia, Revelstoke’s history as a railway centre began in the 1880s during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Revelstoke is located on the Columbia River between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges. When the original CPR survey crews located the line it was known simply as Second Crossing owing to the presence of the Columbia River. Prior to being named in honour of Lord Revelstoke — which was the title bestowed upon British financier the Right Honourable A. C. Baring — the community was known as Farwell, named for A. S. Farwell, a local land owner and surveyor. It was the underwriting of a bond issue by A. C. Baring’s financial institution that would provide the funds that would lead to the completion of the CPR.

Revelstoke Yard and Mount McPhersonIn 1899, the community of Revelstoke became a major divisional point on the transcontinental mainline of the CPR, complete with divisional offices and large locomotive shop facilities for the servicing of steam locomotives. CPR employees for over a century have called Revelstoke home, and have ensured the safe operations of trains and maintenance of the Shuswap Subdivision running west to Kamloops and the Mountain Subdivision west to Field. Until the upper Arrow Lake reservoir was flooded with the creation of manmade dams, Revelstoke also served as the junction of the mainline and the Arrow Lake Subdivision. This branch line connected Revelstoke with CPR steam boats operating on the Arrow Lakes system.

A poster advertising Farwell, which became RevelstokeThe CPR also constructed a railway hotel in Revelstoke. This facility was constructed primarily as a meal stop prior to the introduction of dining cars on main-line passenger trains through the mountains. This facility however was closed and demolished in 1928.

CPR westbound intermodal train crosses the Columbia River with a new Revelstoke-based train crewRevelstoke remains an important railway centre for the operation of CPR’s Calgary to Vancouver corridor. Revelstoke-based crews continue to safely handle trains of coal, merchandise, and grain, today using modern fuel-efficient diesel locomotives. The dedication of the maintenance of way personnel located at Revelstoke ensures maintenance of the line, which includes huge geographical and operational challenges, together with managing record snow falls in the Rogers Pass each winter. Revelstoke’s railroaders continue to carry on a tradition today established by those who ensured that the trains ran safely and on time over a century ago. It is in this spirit that the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame honours Revelstoke as a Hall of Fame community in 2003.

Columbia House in Revelstoke




Photos: CPR Corporate Archives

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