Exactly 127 years ago, on November 7, 1885, the final spike was hammered into the Canadian Pacific Railway in Craigellachie, British Columbia, concluding construction on the railway system that Canada was built upon. In recognition of this milestone, citizens are encouraged to embrace rail’s instrumental role in Canada’s legacy by celebrating National Rail Day.
In its third year, National Rail Day was established by the federal government and the Railway Association of Canada to emphasize the importance of nation-building and remember those who persevered through harsh conditions to build Canada’s first coast-to-coast railway system.
“National Rail Day is a fantastic opportunity to honour one of the most important achievements in this country’s history,” said Michael Bourque, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. “The rail business is the story of Canada. Canada was built on a railway, not a rebellion. Moving forward, Canada’s rail sector will be as vital to driving its future as it was to shaping its past.”
Canadian railways have become more than economic facilitators, establishing themselves as the safest and most environmentally-friendly means of freight and passenger transportation.