Tracks, Tunnels and Trestles: An Environmental History of the Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1883-1885

Heather Longworth

Abstract


The construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was a spectacular achievement but it came at a significant environmental cost. An environmental examination of the railway demonstrates that the relationship between the people and the environment was two-fold: people had a noticeable effect on the environment through deforestation, blasting, and tunneling, and the environment likewise had a taxing effect on railway labourers and the operation of the line through the challenges of weather and geography.

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The Graduate History Review EISSN 1925-2455

Formerly Preteritus: 2009-2010