John Marlor's Canadian Pacific

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The Arrowhead Express Departs Arrowhead for


The years immediately preceding World War I were busy ones for the

Canadian Pacific Railway on the lakes of southern British Columbia. It

was clear that new and larger vessels were needed on the three lakes

systems. Accordingly, construction of three nearly identical sister

sternwheelers was undertaken.

Because of the length of the run on the Arrow Lakes and the rapid

growth in traffic to and from the Canadian Pacific Railway’s main line

at Revelstoke, it was decided to begin work on the first of these new

sternwheelers at the Nakusp yards on Upper Arrow Lake. The keel for

the new steamer, which was to be named the Bonnington, was laid in

November 1910 and the vessel launched in April of 1911. In total, the

Bonnington had 62 staterooms on the three upper decks. The standard

of accommodation was a vast improvement over the '”bare boards”

standards of the first steamers on the lakes of only two decades


When work on the Bonnington was finished construction of the second

of the new sternwheelers. This vessel was named the Nasookin. The

name is believed to derived from the Kootenay Indian language and to

translate as “The Supreme Chief,” which seemed appropriate for the

largest vessel yet seen on the inland lakes. Like the Bonnington, the

Nasookin was designed to handle both increasing local traffic and to

improve accommodation for the tourist trade that the Canadian

Pacific Railway was actively developing.  The Nasookin was launched

on April 30, 1913.

The last of the three sister ships, the Sicamous, was built at Okanagan

Landing on Lake Okanagan and launched on May 19, 1914. Some

modifications were made to the design so that she differed slightly

from her sisters. Most noticeable was the reduced length of her Texas

deck, which did not provide any passenger accommodations. Both the

Bonnington and Nasookin tended to be difficult to control in a strong

crosswind because of their large, high superstructure, and the reduced

size of the Sicamous Texas deck may have helped alleviate this


In the Okanagan, the Sicamous continued paasenger service until

1935. The Sicamous then operated the following two summers

primarily carrying fruit. During her last years the Sicamous underwent

an extensive reconstruction. Her upper cabins, no longer needed,

were removed. Shorn of her Texas deck and most of her upper saloon

deck, she was undoubtedly a more functional vessel, but the

conversion did little to lengthen her career.

Today the Sicamous is a landmark on the waterfront at Penticton. An

historic site and museum, she also hosts various functions including

the jazz festival held in September.

On John’s layout the Arrowhead Express consisted of a baggage car

and two coaches. With the arrival of a boat as big as the Bonnington

there were probably times when more that two coaches

were called for.

TrainPlayer Scenario

Time required to complete: Approximately 35 minutes.

RIGHT CLICK here to download track plan JM-06RR.rrw

From file JM-06RR.rrw:

Select Arrowhead yard switcher CP 6239.

Move baggage car CP 2742 to head end of center track.

• Place coaches CP 1105 and CP 1142 behind baggage car.

• Return Arrowhead yard switcher CP 6239 back to the yard track.

• Select locomotive CP 4128, run to head end of consist, and couple

to baggage car.

• Depart Arrowhead for Revelstoke via Clanwilliam arriving at

Revelstoke on the first station track next to station.

• After allowing sufficient time for passengers to disembark,

place baggage car CP 2742 on the siding east of the station.

• Place coaches on siding east of the first station track.

• Run locomotive CP 4128 to the roundhouse and place in stall #5.

Save file as JM-07RR.rrw.



Arrowhead Express is

"put to bed"