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Maps show the location of the Trans-Canada Trail on the abandoned KVR route through Myra Canyon.


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A route info sign is located at each end of Myra Canyon.


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First view across the canyon from the eastern side.


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Photo of trestles 17, 16, 15, and 14 taken from the trail.


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Eastern-most tunnel with timber cribbing on one end.


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Minor rock fall between east tunnel and trestle number 11.


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Carol Fingler fell to her death from this trestle in 1994.


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The West Tunnel's portal as seen from trestle 10.


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Flat furry resident of the western tunnel.


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Last winter's slide now has a bypass route cleared around it.


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Rock retaining wall just east of the old water tank footings.


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Discarded wood from trestle 7 litters the canyon floor.


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This shot looks directly west across the canyon at trestle 4 from trestle 7.


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This is trestle 6, the higest on the route, above the West Fork and Pooley Creek.


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Trestle 6 from the opposite western end.


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The abandoned 1912 trestle lies beneath the trail's bypass over an old slide area.


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Marked by a signpost, these are the remains of Ruth Station.


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A mapping software file may be obtained from this page.








Myra Canyon

The Kettle Valley Railway, known as "McCulloch's Wonder", was created by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It wound its way across southern British Columbia from Hope to the Crow's Nest Pass near the border with Alberta. It is now part of the Trans-Canada Trail system. Myra Canyon became better known in 1974 through the release of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) television series named the National Dream, spawned from Piere Burton's book of the same name.
KVR History

The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed across Canada on 7 November 1885 and by the 1890s construction commenced south from Sicamous on the main line towards Okanagan Landing at the north end of Okanagan Lake. Stern wheel ships plied the lake between Okanagan Landing and Pentiction thereby connecting Penticton to the outside world.
With the discovery of minerals and timber in southern British Columbia population centers grew, bringing a demand for a southern east-west rail route across BC's sea of mountains. Because the mountain chains run roughly north-south, construction along the valleys was less costly and simpler. The American, J.J. Hill, with his Great Northern Railroad was one of the first to penetrate the region from the United States.
Shaughnessy, then head of the CPR, saw this as a threat to the CPR and commenced construction through the Crow's Nest Pass westward towards Midway. In 1901 a charter was granted for construction of the Kettle River Valley Railway (KRVR) to connect a mine at Republic, and a smelter at Grand Forks. Shaughnessy, using this charter as his legal basis, began survey work in 1910 from Midway to Penticton and the newly named Kettle Valley Railway was born.

A year later work west of Penticton was commenced towards the Coquihalla Canyon and Hope. On 30 May 1915 the Coast-to-Kootenay connection became a reality.
Kettle Valley traffic began to dwindle in 1949 when the Hope Princeton Highway opened. By 1962 tracks through the Coquihalla had been removed. In January of 1964 the last passenger train ran from Merritt to Penticton, onto Midway, and finally into Nelson. Kettle Valley Railway passenger service was over but segments of KVR territory remained in freight service until 1989.
Shaughnessy had chosen Andrew McCulloch as the Chief Engineer for the construction of the KVR. This man, who oddly chose to name stations along the route with Shakespearean names, had to oversee many construction difficulties through this mountainous region of BC. McCulloch hiked the country to get the lay of the land, and to determine which side of the mountain to put the line, but it was subordinates who actually surveyed the grade. McCulloch usually made personal field surveys with a transit only where unusually difficult problems arose. The Quintette Tunnels in all probability were not personally located by Andrew McCulloch. There is evidence to suggest that Great Northern Railroad engineers may have made the first location.
120 rail miles
to the east of the Quintette Tunnels lies Lake Okanagan. Myra Canyon is still further east of Pentiction and is reached by a twisting rail route ascending from Okanagan Lake to nearly 4,200 feet at Myra. The Myra Canyon trail alone contains 18 trestles and 2 tunnels.
Myra Canyon Today

To get a feel for the KVR's route through Myra Canyon ride a bike along its 12 kilometer length. A lazy ride with photo stops takes about 90 minutes each way. The bike trip will give you a great appreciation for the difficult construction works required in the canyon.
The nearest road access to the canyon may be reached from Kelowna by heading south along Lakeshore Road, also named Pandosy Street. Approximately 2 1/2 kilometers from Highway 97 in the city center look for a street named KLO Road. KLO Road winds gently upward past orchards and golf courses until it becomes McCulloch Road. McCulloch Road is paved but rough in spots when it narrows to only one lane where it makes a switchback in a narrow canyon. After 15.8 kilometers from Kelowna it intersects the Myra Canyon Forest Service Road. Watch for a sign naming Myra Canyon at this junction. The service road is washboard gravel and climbs steeply from this 2,100 foot elevation through several switchbacks for 8.5 kilometers until reaching Myra, at 4,200 feet elevation.

The Trans-Canada Trail along the old KVR right-of-way through Myra Canyon was blocked by two slides sometime during the winter of 2002-2003. In early May bikers were on the trail but had to carry their bikes around or over these slides. Volunteers from the "Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society", and members of the federal "Making Educated Environmental Tracks Project", constructed a detour around one slide and cleared a path through the rubble of the second.
On the morning of 15 May 2003 the dawn temperature was -2 degrees celcius without frost due to the dryness in this sub-alpine area. Myra is named for Myra Newman, the daughter of a KVR Engineer. A section house was located next to a passing track at this location therefore the current right-of-way is quite wide at this point. There is a large dusty gravel parking area between Myra and Mile Zero of the canyon route. Concrete markers are placed a kilometer apart along the entire canyon route.
Travelling westbound from the zero marker (That's railway westbound. The KVR runs east and west between Midway and Hope. Geographically, the route actually heads south from this point.) along the route the grade descends imperceptably from Myra to Ruth. It's a short bicycle ride before you first enter the canyon and immediately see trestles on the opposite side. Tracing the route with your eye you can see the right-of-way makes a long switchback south into Myra Canyon to lose elevation on its descent towards Ruth, Chute Lake, and eventually Penticton. Don't be intimidated by the length of the bike ride you see before you, the kilometers pass quickly enough along the trail.
The route crosses 18 trestles that are numbered from west to east. The majority are timber construction, but there are steel structures too. Two short rock tunnels create cool shade on hot summer days. The eastern-most tunnel has been reinforced with new timber cribbing to support crumbling overhead granite.
The most impressive bridge on the route has to be the West Fork Canyon steel trestle located slightly past the halfway mark. It is a curving structure built 55 meters high over the western fork of the canyon.
There is a trestle bypass over the original 1914 trestle located between trestles 2 and 3. The railbed was relocated across a slide path leaving the remains of the original trestle below with its top two tiers removed.
Small signs describe points of interest along the way. Look carefully and you will spot old water tank footings, rotten log cribbed retaining walls, stone retaining walls constructed without mortar, and abandoned building foundations.
Ruth Station which was named for one of Andrew McCulloch's daughters is now a heap of rotting boards over a concrete foundation. The site lies at the end of Myra Canyon just past the 12 kilometer point. A Richardson ground squirrel is the only remaining inhabitant of the station.

CPR Number 136

CPR number 136 is a Standard 4-4-0 steam locomotive class number A2m. One of only four similar engines still remaining today and one of only two still operative. She may be found at the South Simcoe Railway station located near Tottenham, Ontario. The other operative 4-4-0, number 133 now runs as Prairie Dog Central 3 out of Winnipeg. The two inoperative examples are number 29, inoperative due to an enginehouse fire, but cosmetically restored and displayed in front of Candian Pacific's corporate headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, and number 374 found in Vancouver, British Columbia, on display at the old Drake Street Roundhouse, now a community center.
Specifications No. 136

Rogers Locomotive Co.
Patterson NJ USA
Serial number
Boiler pressure
160 psi
17 x 24 inches
63 inches
Tractive effort
15,000 pounds
Weight on drivers
65,000 pounds
Loaded Weight
100,000 pounds

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The Canadian Pacific Railway utilized four numbering series for its steam locomotives over the years. Omer Lavallee called these groups; Series I, Series II, Series IIa, and Series III. Series I included engines from 1881 to 1908. Series II began in 1905. Series IIa had a false start in 1912 and contained only 48 locomotives. Series III was put in place between 1912 and 1914 and was the last major renumbering of CPR steam locomotives. As engines were rebuilt, upgraded, or scrapped during their lifetimes they may have passed through several renumberings. This is a complex subject. You should refer to Omer Lavallee's book titled "Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives" published in 1985 for detailed information.
Today's Number 136 began life in 1883 at the Rogers Locomotive Company in Patterson, New Jersey, USA. She had builders number 3332 and was constructed as a 4-4-0 type commonly known as an "American" in America but called a "Standard" in Canada. There were no classification numbers at that time. Seventeen by twenty-four inch cylinders pushed sixty-two inch driving wheels. In May of 1907 the driving wheel diameter was increased to sixty-three inches and the engine renumbered 196 in Series II. She was class A5h at that time. A second renumbering occured in September 1912 into Series IIa as number 115. Finally, in August 1913 she became 136, an A2m class steam locomotive. The CPR disposed of her in 1960 to one Neil McNish, somehow ending up in the possession of the Ontario Rail Association and today the South Simcoe Railway at Tottenham, Ontario.
Number 136 was used in the making of the television series named the National Dream in 1973. She was modified to an older appearance and renumbered 148 for several scenes. Here's an interesting anecdote from that filming:
In one particular scene the locomotive pulls a train of soldiers from the East to crush the Riel Rebelion out West. The train reaches a gap in the incomplete main line near Lake Superior where the soldiers disembark to march across this ice and snow filled gap to reach the next section of operating track. They then board a train pulled by the same engine! The film company obviously neglected to renumber the engine between scenes.
This circumstance came about due to CBC's request to ship the locomotive complete with a special non-glare paint job and no numbers for the non-winter footage shot in Alberta and BC during June. Numbers were applied using vinyl and changed as required. During 136's return to Toronto she was used for a double-headed fan trip with Number 1057 to Owen Sound in October. Her number was painted on for that trip.
The winter scenes were then shot in December on the Nephton Subdivision north of Havelock in an uncharacteristic early blast of snow and extreme cold. CBC was informed of the painted numbers but it wasn't until they were about to shoot the first winter scene that it sunk in. With the large production crew, including Pierre Burton, already on hand they had little choice but to go ahead and shoot with the painted numbers. However, they did paint out the number on the smokebox and you may notice it blank in the winter footage.
7 June 2003 - corrections by Joe Smuin in blue.
Associated Links

The Kettle Valley Railway
Joe Smuin's KVR Project
Joe Smuin's KVR Photo Gallery
Kettle Valley Steam Railway
South Simcoe Railway
Prairie Dog Central Railway
Greater Winnipeg Water District
Engine 374 Vancouver
Canadian Pacific Railway
CPR Locomotive Roster
Cycling the Kettle Valley
British Columbia Trans-Canada Trail
Trans-Canada Trail
The KVR 4x4
Greg's 4WD Page

Brown, Kevin M.
Quintette Tunnels on the Coquihalla Subdivision of the Abandoned Kettle Valley Railway, The
Government of British Columbia Parliament Buildings Victoria BC V8V 1X4 - 1981 - Cerlox bound - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 206 pages.
Description of condition as of 1981 with some history and construction photos. Proposal to either preserve tunnels as heritage site with interpretive center or relay track and run steam train excursions. Direct access from Coquihalla Highway would be denied by Ministry of Highways.
Burton, Pierre
National Dream, The
McClelland & Stewart 900-481 University Ave. Toronto ON M5G 2E9 - 1970 - Hard cover - 6.5 x 9.75 in - 17 x 25 cm - 439 pages.
Politics during the construction of the CPR.
Burton, Pierre
Last Spike, The
McClelland & Stewart 900-481 University Ave. Toronto ON M5G 2E9 - 1971 - Hard cover - 6.5 x 9.75 in - 17 x 25 cm - 478 pages.
Politics during the construction of the CPR.
Burton, Pierre
Great Railway Illustrated, The
McClelland & Stewart 900-481 University Ave. Toronto ON M5G 2E9 - 1972 - Hard cover - 10 x 10.25 in - 25.5 x 26 cm - 336 pages.
Historic photos taken during CPR construction.
Doeksen, G.
Kettle Valley Railway Volume 1
W.A.V.E.S. Box 165 Montrose BC V0G 1P0 - 1981 - Stapled - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 32 pages.
Collection of author's ink drawings.
Doeksen, G.
Railways of the West Kootenay Volume 2
W.A.V.E.S. Box 165 Montrose BC V0G 1P0 - 1983 - Stapled - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 36 pages.
Photos and captions.
Doeksen, G.
Railways of the West Kootenay Part 2
W.A.V.E.S. Box 165 Montrose BC V0G 1P0 - 1984 - Stapled - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 40 pages.
Photos and captions.
Doeksen, G.
Railways of the Boundary
W.A.V.E.S. Box 165 Montrose BC V0G 1P0 - 1985 - Stapled - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 46 pages.
Photos and captions.
Doeksen, G.
Railways of the West Kootenay Part 3
W.A.V.E.S. Box 165 Montrose BC V0G 1P0 - 1988 - Stapled - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - ? pages.
Photos and captions.
Government of Canada
Report of Mr. R.C. Clute on the Commission to Inquire into the Death of McDonald and Fraser on the Crow's Nest Pass Railway
Government of Canada Parliament Buildings Ottawa ON - 1899 - Report - 6.5 x 9.75 in - 16.5 x 24.5 cm - 17 pages.
Excellent report details unnecessary deaths of two labourers and shows working conditions on the Crowsnest Pass railway in 1899.
Government of Canada
Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into Complaints Respecting the Treatment of Labourers on the Crow's Nest Pass Railway
Government of Canada Parliament Buildings Ottawa ON - 1899 - Report - 6.5 x 9.75 in - 16.5 x 24.5 cm - 23 pages.
Excellent description of hardships endured by construction workers on the Crowsnest Pass railway.
Hill, Beth
Exploring the Kettle Valley Railway:  By Car, Foot, Skis, Horseback or Mountain Bike
Polestar Press Ltd. RR 1 Winlaw BC V0G 2J0 - 1989 - Perfect bound - 5.5 x 8.5 in - 14 x 21.5 cm - 108 pages.
Book describes Kettle Valley Railway route in its abandoned condition in 1989.
Hope, Jim
Those Beautiful "C" Liners
Launch Pad Distributors Publishing 7043 Dumphries St. Vancouver BC V5P 3C3 - 1979 - Soft cover - 8 x 11 in - 20.5 x 28 cm - 44 pages.
Photos and captions.
Kennedy, W.G.
Canadian Pacific in Southern British Columbia the Boundry Division
British Railway Modellers of North America 5124-33rd St. Northwest Calgary AB T2L 1V4 - 1986 - Stapled - 11 x 8.5 in - 28 x 21.5 cm - 30 pages.
Photos and captions. "Gib" Kennedy was a recognized authority on Canadian Pacific locomotives and rolling stock and a regular contributor on this subject to Model Railroader magazine. Not only did he build the equipment in many cases, but he prepared scale blueprints as well. His specialty was HO gauge.
Kennedy, W.G.
Canadian Pacific's Rossland Subdivision
British Railway Modellers of North America 5124-33rd St. Northwest Calgary AB T2L 1V4 - 1986 - Stapled - 11 x 8.5 in - 28 x 21.5 cm - 26 pages.
Photos and captions.
Lavallee, Omer
Canadian Pacific Steam Locomotives
Railfare Enterprises Ltd. Box 33 West Hill Toronto ON M1E 4R4 - 1985 - Hard cover - 9 x 12 in - 28 x 21.5 cm - 464 pages.
Oversize book. Excellent work, very comprehensive defining steam locomotive fleet from beginning to end.
Matheson, George
Vader's Caboose, The
Kettle Valley Publishing Inc. RR 2 Site 2 Comp 19 Lumby BC V0E 2G0 - 1994 - Perfect bound - 6 x 9 in - 15 x 23 cm - 223 pages.
Somewhat gritty short stories about life and the Kettle Valley Railway.
Riegger, Hal
Kettle Valley and its Railways, The
Pacific Fast Mail Publications PO Box 57 Edmonds WA USA 98020 - 1981 - Hard cover - 8.75 x 11.25 in - 22 x 28.5 cm - 289 pages.
Oversize book. Excellent coverage of Southern BC operations. Errors in publication corrected by the late David Wilkie.
Sanford, Barrie
McCulloch's Wonder
Whitecap Books Ltd. 351 Lynn Ave. North Vancouver BC V7J 2C4 - 1977 - Hard cover - 6.25 x 9.25 in - 16 x 23.5 cm - 260 pages.
Construction of the Kettle Valley route.
Sanford, Barrie
Steel Rails and Iron Men
Whitecap Books Ltd. 351 Lynn Ave. North Vancouver BC V7J 2C4 - 1990 - Hard cover - 9 x 11.5 in - 23 x 28.5 cm - 165 pages.
Excellent photo book written by the author of "McCulloch's Wonder" it is a pictorial history ( more than 150 original photos ). A mile-by-mile story of the birth, life, and death of a railway.
Smuin, Joe
Canadian Pacific's Kettle Valley Railway
Canadian Railroad Historical Association 120 Rue St. Pierre St. Constant PQ J5A 2G9 - 1997 - Stapled - 11 x 8.5 in - 28 x 21.5 cm - 36 pages.
Photos and captions.
Turner, Robert D.
Steam on the Kettle Valley
Sono Nis Press 1745 Blanshard St. Victoria BC V8W 2J8 - 1995 - Perfect bound - 9 x 7.75 in - 22.5 x 19.5 cm - 120 pages.
Contains previously unpublished photos.
White, John
Driving the Kettle Valley Railway Field Maps and Notes
Publisher unkown - 1995 - Spiral bound - 8.5 x 11 in - 21.5 x 28 cm - 282 pages.
Mainly topographical maps of Kettle Valley route plus crudely drawn maps by author.
Williams, H.K.
Kettle Valley Railway, the Coquihalla Pass, and Tragedy in the Canyon, The
Carleton Press Inc. New York NY USA - 1989 - Hard cover - 5.5 x 8.25 in - 14 x 20.5 cm - 32 pages.
A wreck which occured 5 September 1926 in the Coquihalla Canyon.

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