MBC 1887 T:ANE

        Trainz 1887:      TANE Route In the       Beginning Laggan Hill Bath Creek Stephen Siding Kicking Horse    Pass Hector 1886 Forest       Fire The Big Hill Mount Stephen House Field Locomotive       #314 Muskeg Summit Ottertail      Trestle Ottertail Leachoil Palliser Lower Kicking Horse Canyon Golden Moberly Beaver River Valley Snow Sheds Return

Canadian Pacific Railway's Mountain

Subdivision: Field to Revelstoke

British Columbia, Canada 1887 (T:ANE)

Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the decade following its

completion in 1885 is perhaps the most interesting period in the Canadian Pacific

Railway’s (CPR) history. The section through the Kicking Horse Pass in the Rocky

Mountains and Rogers Pass in the Selkirks Range in British Columbia was the last

section of the transcontinental main line to be completed. By the time of its

construction the CPR was running out of money. So this section, in particular,

was built quickly and inexpensively to get the railway into a revenue generation

position as soon as possible. Blasting, tunnelling, cuts and fills were kept to a

minimum. As steel was expensive and not readily available and masonry

construction time consuming, the abundance of timber along the route was used

instead for construction including trestles, some massive structures. Mountain

Creek Bridge in the Beaver River valley, for example, was at the time one of the

largest wooden structures in the world. The bridge was 164 feet (53 m) high and

1,086 feet (354 m) long and contained over 2 million board feet (650,000 m) of

lumber. Surprise Creek Bridge and Stoney Creek Bridge were equally impressive.

To represent this period in the CPR’s history I have chosen the year 1887 to

model. The CPR recognized that the wooden trestles would deteriorate rapidly

and in the decade following completion of the railway most, in particular the

larger structures were replaced with steel and masonry structures. Stoney Creek

Bridge, for example, was replaced in 1893 with a spectacular steel arch bridge,

which has become perhaps the most famous bridge on the entire CPR line and is

still in use today.

The year 1887 allows me to model the spectacular wooden trestles. However, I

have taken license to the period in order to represent other aspects of the route

in the late 1880s and 1890s. For example, many of the towns established along

the route were construction town which didn’t last long after construction was

complete. It was the practice to tear down the town site and move as soon as

the railhead advanced. Other town sites were established as mining town. But,

as richer mineral deposits were discovers to the south these too disappeared. It

is difficult for me to ascertain just how long some of these town lasted so I have

interpreted their existence loosely. Today most are just names on a map if even


Conversion of the route from Trainz 12 to Trainz: A New Era (T:ANE) began in

early 2016. As the conversion progresses I will update previous posts with

pictures from my T:ANE interpretation of the late 1880s and early 1890s. I hope

to also add some of the history I have had access to that supports my

interpretation of the route in this era. In the near future (summer/fall of 2016) I

hope to make available the T:ANE interpretation.

A model railroad is never complete. Thus, rather than wait for “completion”, I

hope to first make available a version that is scenically complete and functional.

Then, as time permits, I hope to add detail, by replacing “generic” assets from

N3V’s Download Station (DLS) with more authentic looking Blender creations.

Functionality will be enhanced by reskinning or creating locomotive and rolling

stock and adding sessions. Rather than using portals, I would like to create a

fixed roaster of locomotives and rolling stock that can be moved from place to

place on the route, e.g., by using exist or creating sessions. To this end portals

have been replaced by staging areas at either end of the route (i.e., east of the

Kicking Horse Pass and west of Revelstoke).



Last Updated:


February 8, 2013

July 4, 2016


The original Rogers Pass Station with Mount Macdonald (Mount Carrol) in the background circa 1887. An

avalanche that came down off of Mount Tupper to the left (out of view) destroyed the station in 1889.

Source: Wiki Commons


Stoney Creek steel arch bridge built in 1893 and still in use today. Source: Wiki Commons


The abundant timber along the route of the railway through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains was

used to construct the railway thus saving on the cost of construction. (Click on image to enlarge)


In the 1880s there was little in the way of mechanical equipment available so most of the

construction on the railway was done by hand. Here a donkey engine is being used to

load flat cars with freshly cut timber. (Click on image to enlarge)


A tote road was constructed in advance of the railway so that construction could occur

simultaneously at several locations. Bridges, tunnels, fills and cuts were constructed

before the grading and subsequently the track-laying crews arrived. (Click on image to enlarge)


Sources of information:

English, C. 2015. Brown Bag History: Revelstoke Origins. 135p.

Lavallee, O. Van Horne’s Road. 1974. Railfare Enterprises, Toronto, Ontario. 304 p.

Pole, G. The Spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill. 2009. Mountain Vision Publishing,

Hazelton, British Columbia. 127 p.

Turner, R. D. West of the Great Divide. 1987. Sono Nis Press, Victoria, British

Columbia. 336 p.

Wheeler, A. O. The Selkirk Range of British Columbia. 1905. Government of Canada

Printing Bureau, Ottawa, Ontario. 459 p.