The Burgess Shale

Importance of the Canadian Pacific Railroad

Part of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s “National Policy” was a railway linking Canada’s four eastern provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario) to the Pacific Ocean. The CPR was a bargaining tool to persuade the Northwest Territories and British Columbia to join the new Confederation (in 1870 and 1871, respectively). After its completion in 1885, the railroad not only bound the young country together, it also opened up vast areas for exploration and exploitation.

Child sitting on cow-catcher of a 95-ton locomotive used to haul trains up Upper Kicking Horse Pass, Field, British Columbia. 1894.
Child sitting on cow-catcher of a 95-ton locomotive used to haul trains up Upper Kicking Horse Pass, Field, British Columbia. 1894.
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