Most North American railroads began their lives as local or regional enterprises, growing larger through acquisition and construction. By contrast, Canadian Pacific Railway was conceived as a transcontinental railroad from the beginning. CPR has not only provided transportation;it has given tangible expression to the political, economic, and social connections between Canada's eastern and western provinces.
In this marvelously illustrated history, author Tom Murray provides readers with an engaging look at the railroad whose own history is, in many ways, the history of Canada itself. In addition to examining the prehistory leading to CPR's incorporation in 1881 and its current status as one of the continent's leading carriers, Murray explains the colossal geographic obstacles overcome by CPR's founders; motive power and rolling stock through depression, war, and peacetime; renowned diversification efforts that included a passenger ship line, an airline serving four continents, a chain of four-star hotels, and western mining operations; and the colorful cast of characters who laid the groundwork that made CPR what is today.
Marvelous photography carefully chosen from the collections of top rail photographers and archives across Canada and the United States illustrate the national icon that began as a railway, became a global transportation system, and evolved into a diversified industrial conglomerate before settling into its role as the respected carrier it is today.