Graeme Pole

Mountain Visioin {MNTVS} Mar 1, 2009
Travel / Parks / Railway / Canada History

Softcover 288 pages


Spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill

SKU: 10088
  • By publisher:

    This compelling account chronicles the tales, the triumphs, and the tragedies of railway operations in Kicking Horse Pass from 1885 to the present day. Published for the 2009 centennial of the completion of the Spiral Tunnels, and incorporating more than one hundred black and white photographs, this volume describes the survey and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Canadian Rockies, and the subsequent operation of the Big Hill grade. This treacherous section of track, the second steepest, standard-gauge mainline ever operated in North America, posed a constant risk to workers, passengers, and equipment for 25 years until completion of the tunnels. Regarded as masterpieces of engineering, the two Spiral Tunnels reduced the overall grade on the hill by half. Despite this improvement, Canadian Pacific has continued to battle gravity and the elements for a century in its crossing of the Rockies.

  • Graeme Pole has been writing professionally since 1989. He is the best-selling author and photographer of thirteen books that describe the human history and the natural history of western Canada, and two novels. His wilderness essays and photography have been widely circulated.


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