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Watercolour illustration of Lake of Killarney, Ireland, circa 1820


Canadian Pacific Railway, 1920

ARCHIVED - Canada, by Train

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This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.


Canada, by Train has three main sections. Ties That Bind provides a short history of railways in Canada and how they marketed their passenger services. It creates a context for the other two sections, Transcontinental Tour and Tracking Time.

The "Transcontinental Tour" section of this exhibit highlights Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) collection of railway advertising and some of the companies that created it. The collection contains brochures, timetables and posters, dating from approximately 1883 to 1952.

The "Tracking Time" section examines the contribution of railways to the growth of Canada, through themes ranging from urban growth to immigration. Important Canadian events such as The Depression and the Royal Visit of 1939 are also linked to railways and trains.


Sound effect of train wheels on the tracks
(running time: 14 s)

[RM 178 KB] Download Freeware


What was it like to ride or work on Canada's passenger trains? First-person accounts of train travel are included throughout the "Transcontinental Tour" and "Tracking Time" sections of the site. These accounts are also grouped together in the Travelogues section.


Sound effect of a train whistle
(running time: 14 s)

[RM 178 KB] Download Freeware


This site also offers a searchable database of LAC's Merrilees Transportation Collection, a primary source for many of the images and materials featured here. Click on "Search the Database" to access this database.

This site is intended for a general audience. For further reading, consult the Further Research page for selected sources and links to related websites.

Brochure of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1926


Canadian Pacific Railway, 1926

Visit the website ARCHIVED - The Kids' Site of Canadian Trains