Van Horne Letter Book No. 1
1882-1883
 Photo
Sir William Cornelius VanHorne - 1902 A.H. Harris - McCord Museum.
 Internal link  Drawing   Table of Contents

Introduction
 
30 November 1882 - Potential Dutch investor.
 
4 December 1882 - Chicago meeting.
 
5 December 1882/1 - Grand Trunk cars.
 
5 December 1882/2 - Almonte construction complaint.
 
24 January 1883 - Thunder Bay coal delivery.
 
26 January 1883 - Grand Trunk passes returned.
 
30 January 1883 - Complaints about Major Rogers.
 
2 February 1883 - Instructions to Major Rogers.
 
8 February 1883 - Construction work available.
 
19 February 1883/1 - Boxcar order.
 
19 February 1883/2 - Revolver purchase.
 
19 February 1883/3 - Locomotive purchase.
 
2 March 1883 - Recommendations to Board of Directors.
 
3 March 1883 - Recommendation for Treasurer.
 
5 April 1883 - Sault Ste. Marie Branch.
 
9 April 1883/1 - Secretan quits.
 
9 April 1883/2 - Ticket printing.
 
9 April 1883/3 - Operating officer appointments.
 
18 April 1883 - Explanation for line location through B.C. mountains.
 
26 April 1883 - A shortline to the Maritimes.
 
3 May 1883/1 - Construction north of Lake Superior.
 
3 May 1883/2 - Archibald apparently hired.
 
8 May 1883 - Cash bonus for Egan.
 
14 May 1883 - Passenger car purchase.
 
Associated Links
 
Bibliography

 Internal link   Introduction

First incorporated as the Canada Pacific Railway Company in 1872 (35 Vic., Cap.79), the company under new management, was reincorporated under its present form by letters patent of 16 February 1881. Upon completion from coast to coast in 1885 it became the first transcontinental railway in Canada.

The subjects which are treated most fully in this unit are the completion of the line over the Rockies and through northern Ontario, freight and passenger traffic, equipment and personnel, company finances, and pooling arrangements with other railway companies.

The items copied were selected by Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, Dominion Archivist. Transcripts were made by the C.P.R. staff in Montreal and presented to the public archives in 1962.

 Photo Correspondence, 1882-1898. 10 inches.

(a) Van Horne letterbooks, 1882-1886. 6 inches.
(b) Van Horne to Stephen letterbooks, 1894-1898. 40 pages.
(c) Stephen letterbook, 1883-1894. 7 pages.
(d) Duplicates. 3 inches.


OKthePK Joint Bar Editor: Only a portion of the letters contained in the original letter book are reproduced here. Specific letters dealing with pooling arrangements have been omitted. See the Archives of Canada to view a complete list of the archived letters.

 Internal link   30 November 1882

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 26-27

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 30th November, 1882.

W. R. Baker, Esq.,
C. P. Ry.,
Winnipeg.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       This will introduce Mr. G. W. Vis who goes to the North West to look over our lines in the interest of certain Dutch Capitalists who contemplate taking a large interest in the Canadian Pacific Ry. He desires to make as thorough an examination as the season will permit, of the entire main line between Thunder Bay and the and of track, and of all the Branches. Please put my car at his disposal and put him in the way of getting all information possible both as to the railway and the country, and all information he may desire as to our Traffic, Operating Expenses and anything else.

      If Mr. Hill does not go up to accompany him over the road West, I would like you and Mr. Egan to go with him to the end of,track. He desires to return alone, stopping at such places as he sees fit. Please arrange the details with Mr. Egan. We want Mr. Vis to see the whole road and everything about it, good and bad. If Mr. McTavish is able to go I would be glad to have him accompany Mr. Vis also, in order to give him the necessary information about our lands, &c.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   4 December 1882

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 35-36

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 4th December, 1882.

H. B. Ledyard, Esq.,
General Manager,
Michigan Central Ry.,
Detroit, Mich.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       As I wired you today it will be impossible for me to attend a meeting in Chicago this week. Our President leaves for Europe on the 13th, and I will probably be unable to attend a meeting until after his departure.

      Referring to your telegram to Mr. Kennedy last week, I beg to say that there seems to be important reasons why no one of the railways North West of Chicago should be taken into the proposed new line to the exclusion of the others. At all events the matter should be very carefully considered before anything is done, and in order that the question may be freely discussed I would suggest that the Chicago and North Western people be not invited to attend the first meeting.

      In a conversation with Mr. C. K. Vanderbilt on Saturday last he suggested that the Canada Southern line organization might be used instead of a new one - Do you see any objection to this? I cannot.

      I will wire you on Monday next when I will be able to attend a meeting. It would be more convenient I think for all concerned to have it at Detroit, Toronto or New York.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   5 December 1882

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 47

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 5th December, 1882.

L. J.Seargeant, Esq.,
Traffic Manager,
Grand Trunk Ry.,
City.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       I am surprised to learn from your favor of yesterday that any of your cars have been used in our Local business in the North West, and I have wired our General Sup't. at Winnipeg to give the matter personal attention and have the cars sent home at once. Can you from your Car Tracer's reports give dates and car numbers showing any cases of misuse. I would like to trace up a few cases and make an example of the party in fault.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   5 December 1882

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 52-53

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 5th December, 1882.

A. M. Greig, Esq.,
Chairman Committee,
Almonte.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       I have your favor of the 30th ultimo concerning the running of trains through Almonte on Sunday, and in reply I beg to say that while it is the earnest desire of every officer of this Company to avoid Sunday work as far as possible, there are times while construction is going on when such work cannot be entirely avoided without great disadvantage, and I trust that the good people of Almonte will be charitable towards us until we get our "ore out of the pit".

Very Respectfully Yours,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   24 January 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 188-189

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, January 24th, 1883.

Messrs. Martin & Coy.,
Cleveland, Ohio.

My Dear Sirs,

 Photo       In reply to your favour of the 18th inst. I have to say that we are prepared at any time, to receive propositions for the delivery of coal for the use of this Coy. at Thunder Bay.

      We will not have possession of the Road between Thunder Bay and Rat Portage (Kenora) until the 1st of July and until that time we will be unable to use any coal delivered there but deliveries might be commenced during June in anticipation of the opening of the line.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   26 January 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 194-195

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, January 26th, 1883.

Jas. Hickson, Esq.,
General Manager,
Grand Trunk Ry.,
Montreal.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       Absence from home has prevented an earlier acknowledgment of your favour of the 6th instant regarding the exchange of passes.

      I agree with you that the exchange of passes should be confined to neighbouring lines where the interchange of business makes it necessary for the officers of one line to travel more or less over the other.

      I appreciate your courtesy in sending passes for Mr. Stephen and myself while declining the remainder of our list, but I think Mr. Stephen will agree with me in the wish that your rule should not be broken in our favour and I therefore return the passes with thanks.

Yours very truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   30 January 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 234-240

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, January 30th, 1883.

Jno. W. Sterling, Esq.,
45 William Street,
New York.

Dear Sir,

      On my return from the West about ten days ago I found your favour of the 29th ultimo, but have not had time until now to reply to it.

 Photo       There has been a good deal of feeling among some of the Canadian Engineers particularly those who have been accustomed to the Government Service against Major Rogers, partly from natural jealousy of one who is looked upon as an outsider, partly from his lively treatment of those whom he looks upon as shirkers or "tender feet" and partly from his somewhat peculiar methods of securing economy, but more than all perhaps from his having succeeded, as is supposed, in doing what was unsuccessfully attempted by the Government Engineers namely in getting through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains by a direct line.

      Major Rogers was appointed to his present position before I became connected with this Company, but from what I had previously known of him I do not think I should have hesitated in selecting him myself for the same work.

      I believe him to be capable and I know him to be thoroughly honest. He is something of an enthusiast and is disposed to undertake himself and to put upon his men more severe duties than most engineers are accustomed to and I have reason to believe that in his anxiety to economize in every possible way he has gone too far in some cases and that a good deal of unnecessary discomfort, although no suffering, has resulted from it.

      The charges against him seem to relate to two seasons.

      He had nothing to do as I understand with the selection of his subordinates in 1881, and most of them I know from my experience with them since to be utterly useless for such work.

      He had also some men during the past season who turned out badly, but with the enormous amount of railway construction going on in the country at the time his last year's work was organized and the consequent demand for good railway engineers he was obliged to take chances with a good many of his men.

      It may be that his work in the Selkirks will not turn out as well as his reports would lead us to believe, but I have not much fear of the result; however, we determined sometime ago to send two competent and disinterested engineers over his work in the early spring in order to make sure of it.

      I am very much obliged to you for writing to me about this matter and I will be glad if you can without violating any confidence let me know the source of the complaints as I think from some considerable correspondence I have on the same subject that there is something more than the dissatisfaction of a lot of subordinates behind it all and it may be that our friends of the Grand Trunk have something to do with it.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   2 February 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 279-284

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, February 6th, 1883.

Major A. B. Rogers,
c/o J. J. Hill, Esq.,
St. Paul, Minn.

Dear Sir,

      Yours of the 1st is just at hand.

 Photo       I saw Mr. Schreiber a few days ago and he informed me that Messrs. Smith and Trutch, did not undertake an examination for a railroad line, but for a canal to connect two lakes, or something of that kind.

      If Stephens is the best man you have found up to this time, I fear you will go into the mountains again very weakly supported. He may understand his business very well, but I do not believe he has got the necessary "sand" to handle a party.

      We must take no chances on this season's work because any failure to reach the desired results and have the line ready to put under contract will be very serious if not disastrous. I think it important that you should take an extra engineer, who is fully competent to take charge of a party in case of sickness or failure of any of your regular men.

      It is also exceedingly important that an ample supply of good food be provided and that the quantity be beyond the possibility of a doubt.

      Very serious reports have been made to the Government and in other quarters about the inadequacy of the supplies provided last year and a good many other reports have been made tending to discredit our work. The officials at Ottawa as a consequence look upon our reports with a good deal of suspicion and seem to think that we have very little to show for our two years' work in the mountains.

      We cannot expect to get good men for that work at as low or lower rates than are paid further East and we must feed the men properly in order to get good service. It will be cheaper for the Company to pay for twice the amount of supplies actually necessary than to lose a day's work for the lack of any.

      You must arrange for every man necessary to fit out your parties and not depend upon our Engineering Dept. at Winnipeg to send men to you, so that there may be no chance for a question about responsibility.

 Photo       If you can't get men enough to take charge and to fill out your parties, you had better take all the men under Hurd across the mountains leaving the work east of the Summit to be finished by our Engineers on this side.

      Please send me as soon as you have it made up a copy of the list of supplies that you intend to provide and also give me the names of the Engineers you propose to take along with such particulars about them as you can. The time is getting short.

      I spoke to Sir Charles Tupper and Mr. Schreiber about taking Cambie and they have no objections.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   8 February 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 296-297

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, February 8th, 1883.

Jno. B. Westbrook, Esq.,
Sturtevant House,
New York.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       In reply to your favour of the 1st to Mr. McIntyre, which has been handed me, will say that our contracts were closed some time ago for the completion of our Prairie Section to Fort Calgary from the present end of track, but we have a large amount of work west of Calgary, about 400 miles all told, largely mountain work and some of it very heavy. We have also a large amount of work on the North Shore of Lake Superior which is largely rock work and we will be glad to have you figure on such portion of the work in either district as you may be able to handle.

      I am expecting plans and profiles from Calgary to the summit of the Rocky Mountains within a few days and in three or four weeks we will be in a position to discuss the matter with you.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   19 February 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

 Photo p. 341

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, February 19th, 1883.

Memo. to C. Drinkwater, Esq.

      Contract has been agreed to with Ontario Car Coy., London, for 200 of our standard 33 feet box cars, 100 to be delivered in March and 100 in April. Price $565.00 each.

 Internal link   19 February 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 348

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, February 19th, 1883.

Jno. M. Egan, Esq.,
Gen'l. Supt.,
Winnipeg.

Dear Sir,

      Referring to the enclosed memo. I think this is the second lot of revolvers that has been purchased for the use of the Paymaster. What became of the others? Why were silver mounted revolvers permitted to be purchased when others just as good could be had for half the money?

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   19 February 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 353-354

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, February 19th, 1883.

W. R. Baker, Esq.,
Genl. Mgr's Asst.,
Winnipeg.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       Referring to yours of the 12th about duty on Locomotives. We have just closed a contract with the Rogers Loco. Works for 20 of our standard Locomotives at $8300 each and I expect that within three months the price will go below $8000. These are heavier engines than the two from the Rhode Island Works referred to in your letter and worth certainly $400 each more. I have written Mr. Durgin for information as to price of Locomotives sold other Roads at about the same time.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   2 March 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 414-423

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, March 2nd, 1883.

To
   The Board of Directors,
     Canadian Pacific Ry., Coy.,
       Montreal.

Gentlemen:

 Photo       As I understand it to be the present intention of the Government to turn over the line from Prince Arthur's Landing (Thunder Bay) to Rat Portage (Kenora) to this Company on the 1st day of July next, and as it is exceedingly important both to the Company and to the people in the Northwest that the necessary facilities should be provided at Thunder Bay for the handling of coal, lumber, grain and other freights by the time the line is to be opened, I beg to urge in the strongest terms the importance of taking immediate steps toward providing the necessary dock room, machinery for handling coal and elevators for handling grain.

      There will undoubtedly be a large surplus of grain for shipment from the Northwest from the coming season's crop and elevator facilities must be provided at Thunder Bay by the middle of August.

 Photo       A cheap and abundant supply of coal is of vital importance both to the Railway Company and to the people along its line. The supply from Iowa and Illinois is limited as is the means of transportation from that quarter.

      The coal is also of a very inferior quality and before another winter ample provision must be made for a full supply from the Lake Erie ports.

      The supply of lumber from St. Paul and Minneapolis is also inadequate and large quantities must be brought in from the Georgian Bay District.

      There are already facilities at Prince Arthur's Landing sufficient perhaps for the ordinary merchandize shipments, but not for coal, lumber, grain, or other coarse freights.

      I have looked over the ground repeatedly and carefully and am of opinion that the natural advantages of the Kaministiquia River should be utilized for the coarse freights, whether or not the general merchandize and passenger business may be done at Prince Arthur's Landing.

      In order to make the harbour of Prince Arthur's Landing secure a long breakwater and a substantial pier to resist the shoving of ice will have to be constructed. This I think should and undoubtedly will have to be done under any circumstances.

      I am informed that vessels drawing sixteen feet of water can pass through the new locks at Sault Ste. Marie. Vessels of this draft can now reach the docks at Prince Arthur's Landing but cannot reach the Kaministiquia River on account of the bar across its principal mouth.

      I am informed that a channel twenty-two feet in width was dredged across this bar some years ago, but it soon filled up again.

      In a recent interview with the Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Works, I was informed that the reports upon this work indicated that this filling up was caused by the deposit of silt from the River.

      I am confident from repeated examinations of the River that this is a misapprehension and that the narrow dredged channel referred to was filled from the sides by the action of the waves, which in the case of northeast winds run heavily along the shore.

      The water in the River in my opinion carries little or no silt and I think this is conclusively proved by the fact that the River within the bar maintains a uniform depth of from 16 to 23 feet notwithstanding the fact that during the prevalence of east winds the current in the River is checked to such an extent that silt would be deposited were any present.

      There are two outlets to the Kaministiquia River in addition to the principal mouth and the dispersion of the current caused by these prevents the natural scouring of the bar at the mouth.

      I believe that jetties of reasonable length and cost at either side of the principal mouth of the Kaministiquia together with the closing of the two other outlets referred to will be all that is necessary to maintain a sufficient depth of water across the bar when it is once dredged out.

      There is not sufficient available ground at Prince Arthur's Landing for the business of the immediate future. The lumber business will require several hundred acres for assorting and piling. Storage room for coal to the extent of at least 100,000 tons must be provided, which will require greater dock room than can well be provided at Prince Arthur's Landing.

      The Kaministiquia River within the bar is now equal to the Chicago River after forty years of improvement and in my opinion the business of the Northwest will at once require the combined facilities afforded by the harbour of Prince Arthur's Landing and the Kaministiquia River and it seems of the greatest possible importance that the Government be urged in the strongest possible terms to take the necessary steps toward the improvement of both harbours, that is, to the construction of a breakwater and a pier at Prince Arthur's Landing, to the closing of the minor mouths of the Kaministiquia, to dredging the bar of the principal mouth and to confining the current between jetties, or in such other manner as may be deemed sufficient and expedient.

      In order that elevator facilities may be provided within proper time and also the necessary facilities for the cheap handling of coal we should know as quickly as possible the plans of the Government in order that we may commence these improvements at once. To provide elevator facilities in time we must commence work before the end of the present month.

        I am,

              Sirs,

Yours respectfully,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   3 March 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 426-429

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, March 3rd, 1883.

R. B. Angus, Esq.,
New York.

My dear Mr. Angus:

 Photo       I learn from Mr. McIntyre that there has been some talk about a gentleman in Mr. Kennedys office in New York in connection with our Treasurership.

      While this party may be entirely competent and just the right kind of a man for the place, I earnestly hope that it will not be necessary to go south of the international boundary to find some one to fill the office.

      You may not attach much importance to this point, but I feel that it is an important one, and it seems to me well worth considering whether it would be entirely safe in view of contingencies that might possibly arise to have this office filled by a party from a New York office, which has such an intimate connection with this Company.

      Would it not be better that the Treasurer should by reason of his business as well as his social connections be naturally loyal to your interests here? Mr. Black, the City Treasurer of Montreal, whom you know very well has been suggested in connection with the place. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few days ago and had a long talk with him on the subject of accounts, etc., and I believe from what I have seen and heard of him that no better man for the place can be found anywhere. I judge him to be a thorough accountant, honest beyond a doubt and that his experience fits him so well for the place that he could take up and carry along the duties of the office from the first day without the least difficulty. His age has been mentioned as an objection, but most of the Railway Treasurers whom I know are still older, and I think he is good for 10 or 15 years of effective service, and I feel sure that you and all of our Directors here will feel very much more comfortable with such a man in so important an office than with a comparative stranger, however well recommended.

            Believe me,

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   5 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 511-513

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 5th, 1883.

D. McCool, Esq.,
Detroit M. & M. Ry.,
Marquette, Mich.

Dear Sir,

      Replying to your favour of the 28th ulto., I will have sent you such maps etc. as we have relating to our line. The distance from Prince Arthur's Ldg. to Winnipeg is 435 miles and this section of the line will be opened for traffic before the lst of July next. The main line is at present completed to about 600 miles west of Winnipeg.

      The Sault Ste. Marie Branch will be completed to Algoma on Lake Huron during the present season and pending the completion of our line around the north shore of Lake Superior Steamboat connection will be made between Algoma and Prince Arthur's Landing.

      The Sault Line will bd extended to Sault Ste.Marie as soon as there is a certainty of meeting another line of railway there leading westerly.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   9 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 531

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 9th, 1883.

 Photo
I.H.E. Secretan, Esq.,
Winnipeg.

(Typo, his correct initials are J.H.E. - James Henry Edward)

Dear Sir,

      I am very sorry to hear of your intention to leave the service of this Coy. I think you have made a mistake, but wish you all success.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   9 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 536-538

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 9th, 1883.

W. Horder, Esq., (W. Harder was penciled above W. Horder.)
Winnipeg, Man.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       I have your telegram (containing 35 words and costing this Coy about $2.00 and which could have just as well have been sent by mail) regarding issue of coupon tickets via P.A. Ldg. In addition to the Collingwood Line and Northwest Transportation Coy., the Toronto Grey and Bruce will run a line between Owen Sound and P.A. Ldg. and this line too should be represented, but before doing anything in the matter you had better communicate with the General Passenger Agency of that Road and find out just how the boats will run and how the ticket should read.

      I understand it is intended to change the name of P.A. Ldg, to Port Arthur. You had better find out what has, or what is to be done as to this before printing the tickets so that the proper name may appear.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   9 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 546-551

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 9th, 1883.

Jno. M. Egan, Esq.,
General Superintendent,
Winnipeg, Man.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       In reply to yours of the 3rd will say that Brown's appointment will be entirely satisfactory to me. I fully appreciate your need of more help and would be glad to have you find it as soon as possible. I want you to suit yourself in the matter.

      As we will have to provide for the Thunder Bay Line within a few weeks a first class man should be found for that division. I don't know anyone at present to recommend for it, but you may be able to find a good man. Very safe train dispatchers will be needed there since a mistake will mean a collision.

      I think the best arrangement for Division Supts. west will be to have one located at Broadview to work the Road between Brandon and Moose Jaw another located at Swift Current to cover the line between Moose Jaw and Leopold leaving the line east of Rat Portage west to Brandon and south to St. Vincent and the South Western Branch under your Asst. Supt. at Winnipeg with Train Masters to assist him.

      If Murray doesn't come up to the requirements of his office do not hesitate a minute in providing for his successor. We cannot afford to waste our strength in carrying weak men. If every man is competent to do his share of the work and do it well, everything will run smoothly and successfully, otherwise not. Any charity for weakness is out of place on a Railroad and I trust that whenever an opportunity offers to improve on any man you may have in any position that you will not hesitate to do it and you are not expected to ask any questions before acting.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

      P.S. Mr. Schreiber tells me that Mr. Archibald, Supt. of the P.E. Island Ry. is a very good operating officer who commenced as a train dispatcher and has had a very good experience. I have not heard of any other men in this direction who would be likely to suit you and I don't know that this man would. If you like I will arrange to see him and find out just what he is. He may be suitable for the Thunder Bay Line.
 
W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   18 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 610

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 18th, 1883.

 Photo The Hon. Sir Charles Tupper,
Minister of Railways etc.,
Ottawa, Ont.

Dear Sir,

      Herewith I send you the memoranda you requested.

      I trust that they will answer your purpose although I feel that the subject has been very weakly treated but pressure of important matters have prevented my giving much time to it.

        I am,

              Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

p. 610

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Memorandum:

      In locating the line through the Mountains the chief considerations have been the saving of distance, the cost of construction and economy in operation and as affecting the latter curvature and gradients have been carefully considered. Danger from land slips and snow slides has also had some influence in Determining the location.

      In descending from the summit of the Rocky Mountains toward the Columbia River Major Rogers, Engineer in Chief of the Mountain Division reports that a gradient of 90 ft. per mile (1.7 percent) can be secured but that it will involve considerable loss in distance, heavy curvature, long tunnels and serious loss of time in construction and that each of these objections is so serious as to render the use of that gradient impracticable and inasmuch as assistant engines would be required on a grade of 90 ft. (1.7 percent) as well as on one of 116 ft. (2.2 percent) per mile the Coy. have decided to adopt his recommendation of a direct line down the west slope of the Rocky Mountains with a gradient for a distance of 20 miles at the last named grade.

      The next problem encountered is as to whether the line should be carried around the great bend of the Columbia or directly across the Selkirk Mountains.

      A practicable line has been found directly across reaching the summit on either side by gradients of 116 ft. (2.2 percent) per mile and each 20 miles in length.

      The distance across by this line is 63 miles while by a line following the Columbia Valley around the Mountains it would be about 140 miles.

      The latter line has not been examined all the way around but from such examinations as have been made it seems quite certain that gradients of 80 (1.5 percent) or 90 ft. (1.7 percent) per mile would have to be used in places per mile each 20 miles in length is preferable to a line 140 miles in length with maximum gradients of 52-8/10 (possible typing error) feet per mile.

      The practicability of operating gradients as heavy as 116 feet per mile (2.2 percent) is beyond question such gradients are used on the Central Pacific Railway and many even heavier have been used for years in various parts of America.

      The question therefore is one of economical operation.

      To operate such heavy gradients to the best advantage with a considerable traffic heavy assistant engines are necessary and the cost of operating such grades as compared with a grade of 52 feet per mile (0.9 percent) for the same distance is almost precisely the cost of the service of the assistant engines and the additional wear and tear of track incident to their use and to the heavier gradient and as against this we have the saving of the cost of operating 77 miles of additional line and the saving of nearly two hours time with passenger and four hours time with freight trains.

      The latter consideration which is of great importance in competing for through traffic would alone be sufficient to justify the use of heavier gradients.

      It should be remembered that in the case of passenger trains double locomotive service will seldom be required; ordinarily the substitution of a heavy for a light locomotive will answer the purpose.

 Drawing

      The heaviest gradient on a line is usually considered the ruling one but this is not entirely true. The ruling gradient is the one that offers the greatest resistance to the traffic of the Railway. A gradient of 80 feet per mile (1.5 percent) in one direction may be more objectionable from an operating point of view than one of 116 ft. (2.2 percent) in the other by reason of the greater volume of traffic in the one direction than in the other. A gradient of 80 ft. per mile (1.5 percent) on one section of the line may be more objectionable than one of 116 ft. (2.2 percent) on another by reason of the greater volume of traffic. For example:- A gradient of 80 ft. per mile (1.5 percent) east of Winnipeg would be more objectionable than a gradient of 116 ft. per mile (2.2 percent) on the Mountain section because the tonnage will be several times as great on the former section as on the latter.

      The entire products of the great plains between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains, in addition to the through traffic to and from the Pacific Coast must pass over the former section while the latter will have little more than the through traffic which, in the case of the other Pacific Roads amounts to but 10 or 12 percent of the whole.

      It will be observed that going westward no grade exceeding 52 ft. per mile (0.9 percent) will be encountered to within five miles of the summit of the Rocky Mountains and from this point to the summit the ascent is but 70 feet per mile (1.3 percent) and on this short section assistant engines will not be required for a moderate traffic so that the only place between Montreal and the Pacific Coast where west-bound trains will require assistance is the ascent of the east slope of the Selkirks and east-bound trains will require assistance in only two places, namely, the ascent of the west slope of the Selkirks and the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, 20 miles in each case.

      It should be remembered in this connection that the preponderance of through traffic across the Continent is largely west bound and that the two heavy gradients rising eastward might therefore be still heavier without material disadvantage.

      In considering the cost of construction the capitalized value of the saving in the cost of operation by reason of shorter distance has been kept in view and the theory followed as to gradients may be briefly stated in the following words of Hermann Haupt one of the best authorities on this subject.

      "If the maximum resistances can be concentrated at one point and overcome at once with the aid of assistant engines, while lighter gradients in favour of the direction of the tonnage prevail on all the rest of the route the line will be operated cheaply, but if the maximum resistances are scattered over the whole line at intervals more or less remote the operation will be expensive."

      The following extract from Wellington's on the "Economic Theory of the Location of Railways" (Page 143) affords the highest authority for what has been stated as to the use of assistant engines in saving distance.

      "In evidence of the slight importance of the rate of grades on inclines worked with assistant engines we add the following table".

- Table XXIV -

      Showing the engine ton mileage required to move one ton of net load 100 miles on a level, except for a rise of 2400 feet on different grades, worked with assistant engines. According to the average daily experience of American Railways.

                                       Engine ton mileage per ton of net
Rate of grade  Length of  Length of    load moved 100 miles             
 or incline     incline   level track  While on  While on
ft. per mile     Miles       Miles     incline   level track   Total
     24           100           0       1.056       0.0        1.056
     30            60          40       0.862       0.210      1.072
     80            30          70       0.760       0.369      1.129
    100            24          76       0.755       0.400      1.155
    120            20          80       0.766       0.421      1.187
    150            16          84       0.803       0-442      1.245
    200            12          88       0.900       0.463      1.363

      "It will be seen that the rate of incline has an inconsiderable influence on the motive power required, and the thoughtful reader will perceive why this should be so and yet that high ruling grades, for through engines should be a very costly luxury. If we keep two Consolidation pushers at work on this line, the motive power is increased five times and the grade corresponding to 20 ft. for one engine will then be 100 ft. per mile and this grade is in no appreciable respect more costly or objectionable than a grade of 92 ft per mile, worked by one pusher".

 Internal link   26 April 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 728-729

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, April 26th, 1883.

The Honbl. Sir Chas. Tupper, K.C., M.G.,
Minister of Railways & Canals,
Ottawa, Ont.

Sir,

 Image       Colonel Snow of the Great American and European Short Line Railroad was here yesterday and explained his scheme to Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Angus, Mr. Smith and myself, and all concurred in the opinion that the scheme if carried out would be most important to the country and to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

      It would afford a very short and probably the shortest practicable connection between Montreal and a Canadian seaport (St. Andrews) and, if Colonel Snow's information as to the character of the Harbour at Louisburg is correct, it would also afford the best possible line for foreign mails and passengers.

        I have the honour to be, Sir,

              Your obedient servant,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   3 May 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 786-800

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 3rd May, 1883.

J. M. Egan, Esq.,
Genl. Supt.,
Winnipeg.

Dear Sir,

 Photo       As I wired you this morning we have arranged to take over the line from Rat Portage to Prince Arthur's Landing at once, and to complete the work remaining to be done thereon.

      We have practically the option to take the work with some few exceptions at the contract price, less 15% on that portion remaining to be done on contract 42 and to complete it under the supervision of the Government engineer, and according to the Government specifications, or to take the entire work exclusive of buildings, additional side tracks and water stations at a lump sum of about $600,000 - or we can take all the work that can be accurately figured at a lump sum leaving the filling of the big trestle east of Rat Portage and a few other pieces of muskeg work where the quantities are doubtful to be done by the yard at the contract price less 15% as before stated. Which to do we will decide when I go West within a week or two and go over the matter with you.

      The Government have six depots under contract, viz: Roseland - Camack - Summit - Gilbert - Vermillion and Eagle River, at a little over $4,000 each including water closets. They have plans to construct 24 depots in addition to these, but will allow us the price of those already under contract for the 24 remaining and we can build as many and such as we like.

      I think we can do them for an average of $1500 each, which will afford us a profit of something over $50,000.00. Our standard depots will not be required at all points since there will be very little local freight business on the line.

      Please have a modified depot plan prepared at once, such as will answer our purposes. They should look well, but be no larger than necessary. As no tracks will be needed behind them, they might mostly be made one story high and so arranged as to furnish the necessary rooms for the family of an agent all on the ground floor, as very little room will be needed for passengers, freight or baggage, and they will be easier to keep warm in the Winter.

      The Government will famish six tracks each 1600 ft. long, and an engine house track at each divisional point. These will probably answer our present purposes; but we must decide quickly as to the divisional points and I would like your views by wire as to whether the distance between Rat Portage and Fort William should be divided into 2 or 3 divisions - In the latter case some of them would not be quite 100 miles in length; in the former they would be nearly 150 miles each and it might be difficult to operate them during extreme cold weather.

      Have you found any difficulty in operating the division of 134 miles from Winnipeg to Rat Portage? If so, it may be necessary to divide up the whole line into four nearly equal divisions. If not, it has occurred to me that it might be advantageous to use two 150 mile divisions east of Rat Portage putting a turntable and engine house at the middle of each of these divisions, making sections of 75 miles for Winter operation, using the longer divisions for say 8 months of the year. Trains would not be made up or broken up at these subdivision points, the engines and caboose cars only would be changed, and the passenger engines could make the long runs at all seasons.

      The question of engine houses and turntables is not yet settled, the Government claiming that the contract does not require them to be furnished, nor has the question of Section and Hand Car houses been settled. All these things we will have to provide, keeping a careful account of the cost and collecting the amount if possible after.

      I understand that the contractors work has been carefully measured up by the Government Engineers, and that they have everything in shape for the change, but I think it will be well for our Engineers to measure up the borrow pits as the Government Engineers may have had a warm side from M. McD. & Co., and any extra allowance to them would be at our expense as the matter stands. We must keep most careful accounts of the work done, and get every cent possible from the Government for doing it.

      I send you the Estimates I as made up by the Government Engineers of the quantities of the different class of work remaining to be done, and estimated cost of the same. There is no percentage to be deducted for the work on Sections 13 and 25, and only a portion of that on 41, but the 15% must be deducted from nearly everything on contract 42. Please wire me if you think you can do the work inside of these figures.

      The stations as provided for by the Government are usually ten miles apart, and as most of the line will require thorough inspection by the section gangs, I think it will be well to make the sections 5 miles long, putting double gangs at each station - For the present you will have to get along with the portable depot &c, and it may be necessary to provide shanties for the section gangs for this Summer till the permanent buildings can be erected.

      In many cases the section houses can be made to answer for station houses as well and this should be done wherever practicable. The Rolling Stock matter has not yet been settled - I have declined to enter into any arrangement whereby we would be bound by the decision of appraisers, as we do not want another dose like that of 1881. We are not obliged under our contract to take the rolling stock at any price. Please have it examined and furnish as quick as possible a list with your ideas as to the price that we could afford to pay for it, keeping in view the fact that our Standard 17 & 24 Locomotives at the present time can be bought for less than $10,000.00 in Canada; that Flat cars can be bought for $440, & Box cars for $550. We will probably make the Government an offer for the rolling stock instead of having an appraiser. Until this matter is settled the rolling stock should not be allowed to get west of Rat Portage and a detailed description of such as you may be obliged to use should be made - If possible get Mr. Strouach to certify to it.

      Some sidings have yet to be provided by the Government and some to be lengthened to the standard of 1600 feet.

      The first boats of the season will probably reach Prince Arthur's Landing towards the end of next week, and we must make a great effort to promptly move the freight. Our own dock at Prince Arthur's Landing is not sufficient for the business and it may be necessary to lease for a sort time one of the other docks. See what can be done in this direction.

      Mr. Marks has promised to deal liberally with us in this matter. I believe he is interested in two of the docks.

 Photo       Ross has secured 2000 piles for dock purposes and the remainder we will have to haul down from contract 42. The location of our new dock we will decide when I get there - meantime you had better look out for some man who has had good experience in dock work. John Ross has a man in charge of Pile Driving who can do that part of the work if he can be spared and Ross thought a few weeks ago that he could. As Ross is on the ground it may be well after deciding on the plan to let him go on with that work.

      A large number of Ties on contracts 13 and 25 will have to be renewed as will most of the Timber structures on those two sections. These renewals will be paid for by the Government - Schreiber estimates 80,000 ties necessary. That number will probably be considerably exceeded. They have 30,000 ties on hand which they will turn in for the purpose at 25 cents each; we charge 12 cents each for putting them into the track. The remainder must be hauled from the vicinity of Eagle River, and on these we have about agreed to a price of 44 cents each in the tracks. The timber for the renewals of the bridges I believe has already been provided by the Government - at any rate, I think their estimates will fully cover the cost to us.

      It is highly important that we commence carrying passengers from Prince Arthur's Landing as soon as possible, although the steam boat lines have not yet been provided with passenger rates. For a week or two one or two coaches on the regular Freight trains will probably answer the purpose. They will be needed because there will be a good many passengers arriving notwithstanding no through tickets are sold - Let me know by wire how soon you will feel safe in starting regular passenger service.

 Photo       We will probably get four new sleeping cars inside two weeks, and within that time I think we will not be able to provide all the additional equipment required. You may be pinched a little for Locomotives at first, but the deliveries from Rogers works will commence within two or three weeks.

      We have bought Manning & McDonald's five steam shovels for $30,000 - Their wood, about 12,000 cords at $2.25 - The wood should to carefully measured, taking care not to measure more than they paid for. I understand they shrunk the measurements considerably on the parties who supplied them. We are also to take their 2 wood sawing machines at their value; also a Lathe and some blacksmith's tools, and such odds and ends as we may actually require in carrying on the work.

      I trust that you will be able to keep their best men, and that you will be able to make satisfactory terms with Isbester for this season. We can probably afford to pay him a pretty good salary for a time as he thoroughly understands the work.

      The Estimate for Ties before mentioned does not include the line between Fort William and Prince Arthur's Landing, which the Government claim was not covered by our contract, and which they will turn over to us as it is today. They have agreed to pay for the filling of the trestles at stations 606 and 1050 at which places they had built wooden structures. We will take general exception to all of the trestles over the water stretches, as we claim that they should be filled in all or in part, but that question will be settled later.

      We are to provide our own water service as we want it, the Government allowing us $20,000 for doing it. This will not cover the cost, but they claim that the Haggis service was a sufficient compliance with their contract, and we thought it best to accept this amount rather than dispute the question.

      As our permanent passenger service from Prince Arthur's Landing will probably require the trains to leave that point about seven in the evening and arrive from the west about seven in the morning, the trains will reach somewhere in the vicinity of Eagle River for Breakfast and Supper. Eagle River would be an excellent point for a dining station if the distance comes right, and a first rate dining station should be provided as quickly as possible - some temporary arrangement being provided meantime. Another permanent station should be provided somewhere in the vicinity of Whitmouth. The trains should run through in about 23 hours when the road is once put in decent condition.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   3 May 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 805-806

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, 3rd May, 1883.

Personal

J. M. Egan, Esq.,
Genl. Supt.,
Winnipeg.

Dear Sir,

      As I wired you today, Mr. Archibald will probably start West inside of two weeks - The additional information I have got about him leads me to believe that you will be well pleased with him.

 Drawing       I think the whole line from Winnipeg to Prince Arthur's should be operated as one division, under one division Superintendent, having an assistant at Rat Portage to look particularly after trains &c on the west end - It is exceedingly important that every possible safe guard be shown about the train dispatching in that division as a mistake will mean a collision, and I am inclined to think that answers should be required to all train orders on that division before they become operative Hurry up the Telegraph line, you will need it badly.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   8 May 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 844

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, May 8th, 1883.

My dear Egan -

      Enclosed I send you a draft for $1500.00 which I trust you will accept as an expression of the appreciation of the Board of Directors as well as of my own of your services during the year 1882.

(Adjusted for inflation that would be more than $32,000 in 2016.)

            With kindest regards, I am,

Yours very truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

J.M. Egan, Esq.,
Gen. Supt. W.D.

 Internal link   14 May 1883

Van Horne Letter Book No.1 - 1882-1883

p. 894

Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Office of General Manager

Montreal, May 14th, 1883.

C. Drinkwater, Esq.,
Secy-Treasurer.

Dear Sir,

 Drawing       I have closed with Mr. James Crossen, Coburg, for six of our standard second class passenger cars for June and July delivery, price exclusive of wheels $3,700.00 each, and also for three of our standard 50 ft. baggage cars for June and July delivery at $2,850.00 exclusive of wheels.

Yours truly,

(signed) W. C. VanHorne.

 Internal link   Associated Links

Canadian Pacific Railway
 
Royal Canadian Pacific
 
Covenhoven
 
William Van Horne and the Van Horne Farm
 
John M. Egan, A Railway Officer in Winnipeg, 1882-1886
 
Canadian Pacific Historical Association

 Internal link   Bibliography

Bonar, James C.
Centenary of Sir William Van Horne, The
Publisher unknown
1943
Soft cover
Brief description of Van Horne's career.

Cruise, David
Lords of the Line
Penguin Books Canada Ltd. 300-10 Alcorn Ave. Toronto ON M4V 3B2
1988
Hard cover
Co-author Griffiths, Alison. Excellent biography of Stephen, Smith, and Van Horne.

Knowles, Valerie
From Telegrapher to Titan - The Life of William C. Van Horne
Dundurn Press Suite 200-8 Market Street Toronto Ontario M5E 1M6
2004
Hard cover
Biography of William Van Horne.

Mayles, Stephen
William Van Horne
Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. 195 Allstate Parkway Markham ON L3R 4T8
1976
Soft cover
School booklet.

Moore, Christopher
William Van Horne
Grolier Ltd. 12 Banigan Dr. Toronto ON M4H 1A6
1987
Hard cover
Elementary school history booklet.

Pierson, Jan Lodewijk
Sir William Van Horne en de Canadian Pacific Spoorweg
E.J. Brill Publishing Company Leiden Netherlands
1925
Hard cover
Published in Dutch only.

Vaughan, Walter
Life and Work of Sir William Van Horne, The
Century Co. - New York NY USA
1920
Hard cover
Biography of this renown figure of CPR history.

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