John Marlor's Canadian Pacific

        Historical Background Choosing the Route Discovery of Rogers Pass Construction through      Rogers Pass Connaught Tunnel Revelstoke Eagle Pass Arrowhead Branch Continue

The Monashee Mountains and Eagle Pass

From Revelstoke, the railway made a more modest climb westward for

8 miles (13 km) to Eagle Pass in the Monashee Mountains. Eagle Pass at

an elevation of 1,832 feet (558 m) required lower grades than Rogers

Pass (4,351 feet, 1,326 m), or the Kicking Horse Pass (5,329 feet,

1,624 m) in the Rockies to the east of Rogers Pass.

Nevertheless, in the early days helper locomotives were required to

move trains up to Eagle Pass.

Railroading in the Eagle Pass

The town of Clanwilliam was established at the summit of Eagle Pass

to cut out helper locomotives and send them light back down the

grade east and west.

In 1909 the Canadian Pacific put in a siding about 16 miles west of

Clanwilliam and named the spot Taft, after a lumber company

manager. In the early days of steam, Taft was the start of helper

locomotive assistance of east-bound passenger and freight trains to

the summit of Eagle Pass.

The Last Spike

Five miles west of Taft was

Craigellachie, known the world over as

the place where a plain iron spike was

driven to mark the completion of the

Canadian Pacific Railway, in 1885.

In 1927 the railway had a seven-foot

stone cairn mounted on a concrete base

built. A large bronze plaque on the side

facing the track is inscribed, “Here was

driven the last spike completing the

Canadian Pacific Railway from Ocean to

Ocean, November 7, 1885. A bronze

spike in a tie marks the spot of the

driving of the Last Spike.

 

Cairn at Craigellachie

(2007)

 

Last Spike at

Craigellachie

(2007)