Freighting Down the Arrow Lakes
With the collapse of sternwheeler traffic in the Klondike at the end of
the 1800s, two boat, originally destined for the Klondike, were
redirected by the Canadian Pacific Railway to the lakes of southern
British Columbia where the vessels could be put to profitable use.
Construction of the prefabricated steel hull for the Moyie, which
would sail on Kootenay Lake, began in June of 1898 and that of the
Minto, which would sail on the Arrow Lakes, in July of the same year.
Completion of the Minto, together with the new Rossland and
Kootenay, gave a total of three modern sternwheelers on the Arrow
Lakes at the turn of the century. In addition, the Trail and the older
Lytton were still in use along with a self-propelled barge, the
By 1930, however, the fleet had been reduced to only the Minto,
Bonnington (built in 1911) and Columbia (built in 1920). With the
Depression worsening the Bonnington was tied up at Nakusp after the
1931 summer season, never to see service again. Thereafter, the Minto
maintained a summer service between Arrowhead and Robson and in
winter the Columbia provided service on Lower Arrow Lake while the
Minto confined her service to Upper Arrow Lake.
In the declining years the Minto and the Moyie became somewhat of a
curiosity. In the late 1940s, steamship enthusiasts traveled from
distant parts of North America to ride the vessels, which had become
the only surviving commercial paddlesteamers in western Canada,
south of the Yukon River.
The Minto survived long enough to be photographed in colour, her last
voyage on the Arrow Lakes occurring in 1954. In 1956, the Minto was
purchased by John Nelson in an attempt to preserve her. John did his
best to repair the steamer, replacing some window frames and the flag
pole and making a new name plate for the wheelhouse. However, upon
his death in 1967, the Minto was towed to the middle of Upper Arrow
Lake and burned.
The Moyie survived and remains a National Historic site and
attraction, as the world’s oldest intact passenger sternwheeler, at
Kaslo on the western shore of Kootenay lake.
Time required to complete: Approximately 1 hour.
From file JM-11RR.rrw:
Select Kamloops yard switcher CP 6942.
Remove caboose CP 431784 from train CP 4131.
Add cars SOO 33498, SP 19022, CB&O 46650, CB&O 46655
and caboose CP 431784 to tail end of train CP 4131.
Cut in locomotive CP 4112 behind boxcar CP 232590 for
braking on the descent into Revelstoke (Operations east of Taft,
i.e., addition of locomotives for the ascent to Eagle Pass were
not modeled on John’s layout.)
Select Kamloops yard switcher CP 6942 and place cars CP 233502,
CP 233279, CP 389026, CP 303495, CP 350309, CP 350312,
CP 232940, CP 232617 and caboose CP 436782 on tail tracks.
Proceed with CP 4131 to the passing siding at Taft.
Select Arrowhead yard switcher CP 6239 and load the barge.
Save file as JM-12RR.rrw