British Columbia's Own Railroad


64 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-88839-125-0





Reviewed by Leonard Wertheimer

Leonard Wertheimer was Languages Coordinator for the Metro Toronto Library Board.


Users of the CBRA may remember Harris as the author of Half-way to the Goldfields: A History of Lillooet (1977). The present volume is another of her contributions to regional history.

The British Columbia Railway, until 1972 known as Pacific Great Eastern or PGE, plays an important role in the economy of British Columbia. Nowadays it mainly carries freight from North Vancouver to Fort St. John and extensions. The Royal Hudson is run as a tourist attraction from North Vancouver to Squamish. This book is a very concise historical sketch of the creation, development, and routing of the BCR. It is copiously illustrated (though an identical picture of the Royal Hudson appears on p. 60 and p. 63).

While this book will delight all railway buffs, especially those from British Columbia, it will also complement the chapter “The Cariboo Dayliner Route” in Bill Coo’s Scenic Rail Guide to Western Canada, reviewed in CBRA 1982, no. 1058, which deals in great detail with the route from North Vancouver to Prince George.

Some unfortunate errors have crept in: “In 1918 all construction was stopped by the outbreak of World War I” (p. 13). On p. 26, fifth line from bottom “training” truck should surely be “trailing.” The map is on the front inside cover, the index on the back inside cover.


Harris, Lorraine, “British Columbia's Own Railroad,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,