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David Davies Railway Collection
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David Davies Railway Collection

  • 2013.6
  • Collection
  • [before 2020]

The David Davies Railway Collection encompasses all facets of railway history specifically in the province of British Columbia and the Yukon territory. The collection consists of research material accumulated over the course of more than fifty years, and includes monographs, periodicals, articles, clippings, railway timetables, photographs, maps and plans, and excerpts. Material covers public, tourist, and private (industrial) railways, including: CPR, KVR, E&N; CNR, CNoR, GTPR; and PGER, BCR. The collection excludes material regarding streetcar systems and rapid transit, but includes long distance electric interurbans.

Wartime Freight

File consists of: Canadian Rail issue no. 447 (July-August 1995) which is devoted to Canada's Railways in World War II Article by David Davies, "Wartime Freight in BC in WWII, 1939-1945"
*Summary piece by David Davies, "What happened in British Columbia in WWII? 1939-1945: A Review of Military Events"

BC Rail, 1990-1999

File consists of research material regarding BC Rail for the 1990-1999 period. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "From Vancouver to Prince George to Prince Rupert, and back" by Zimmerman; "BC Rail Launches Dinner Train Service" by Smith and Johnson; and BC Rail updates in the Sandhouse journal. Also includes BC Rail passenger schedules for 1993 and 1990, as well as 1996, 1997, and 1998 schedules for BC Scenic Rail Tours (Royal Hudson, Whistler Explorer, Cariboo Prospector).

BC Rail under CN ownership, post-2004

File consists of research material regarding BC Rail line under CN ownership after 2004. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Kaoham Shuttle Continues BC Rail Passenger Tradition" by Ian Smith; "CN-BC Rail Partnership: The Right Fit" by CN; "Recalling a Vacation and Train Wreck at Seton Portage, 1969" by Davies; "BC Rail's Tough Future Focus of Special Conference" by Smith; and "BC Rail Handed to CN as Takeover Deal Approved" by Smith.

Amtrak-VIA Rail connection

File consists of research material regarding VIA Rail's link with Amtrak, connecting Vancouver, BC with Seattle and Portland. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes Amtrak schedules for the Seattle/Vancouver route, "By Train to Seattle, Again: The Inaugural of the Mount Baker International" by Nicklason; and "Safe at any Speed: Amtrak asks FRA for Talgo Waiver".

Great Northern Railway

Series consists of material regarding the Great Northern Railway in British Columbia. Includes information about its history, its branches in the lower mainland and in the Kootenays, the Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway, the Crows Nest Southern Railway GNR branch, and Fernie.

Great Northern Railway in British Columbia: History, statistics, and general information

File consists of historical, statistical, and general material regarding the Great Northern Railway in British Columbia. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "The Great Canadian Railway Bluff" by Webb; "Farewell, CB&Q, GN, NP, and SP&S; hello, BN: Merger musings prompted by what took place on March 2, 1970" by D.P. Morgan; "Dismantling of G.N.R. Tracks Within British Columbia" compiled by Davies; and "The Third Main Line of the Great Northern Railway" by Ewert. Also includes excerpts from passenger schedules.

Great Northern Railway in British Columbia (outside of the Lower Mainland)

File consists of research material regarding the Great Northern Railway in the British Columbia outside of the Lower Mainland. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "GNR Branch Line: Oroville to Princeton" by Davies; "Bedlington & Nelson Railway, 1900-1914" by Davies; "G.N.R. Branch in the East Kootenays, 1902 to 1936: Rexford (Montana, USA)-Newgate (Border)-Elko-Fernie-Michel" by Davies; and "G.N.R. Midway to Oroville Line" by Davies.

British Columbia Electric Railway

Series consists of material regarding the BC Electric Railway (1897-1961) and its successor, the BC Hydro Railway (1961-1989). Includes information about BCER interurbans, the Granville Island street railway, and the Nelson Electric Tramway.

White Pass & Yukon Railway

Series consists of material regarding the White Pass and Yukon Route, a narrow gauge railway that links Skagway and Whitehorse. Includes monographs about the history of the railway.

White Pass & Yukon Railway

File consists of research material regarding the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "A Trip on the White Pass & Yukon Route - 1994" by Lacey; "White Pass' New Gold" by Zimmerman; "Taku Tramway, 1900 to 1937: BC's Shortest 'Short Line' Railway at 2.3 Miles" by Davies; "The White Pass & Yukon Route" by MacBride; "America's Only Modern Narrow Gauge: White Pass & Yukon has Revamped Everything But Its Gauge" by Morgan; "Canada's Newest Steam Operation" by Meldrum; "The WP&YR's Lewis Lake Disaster: an 1899 Engineering Blunder" by Johnson; "Gold Rush Line" by Bruce West; "The Amazing White Pass - Part Two: Riding the Mixed to Whitehorse and Back" by D'Amanto; "White Pass & Yukon Route and the Ton of Gold Special"; "The 'New' White Pass & Yukon Route: Will It Be Standard-Gauged?" by Johnson; "White Pass Storms to New Passenger Records" by Johnson; "White Pass Centennial: One Hundred Years and Getting Better" by Nicklason; "WY&PR's Yukon Adventure Train Reaches Carcross" by Johnson and Cooper; and "When the US Army Took Over the White Pass" by Douglas N.W. Smith.

Kelowna Pacific Railway

File consists of research material regarding the Kelowna Pacific Railway, which was created in 2000 from its predecessor, the CNR Okanagan Branch (which existed since February 15, 1926). Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about the creation of the KPR, the CN Okanagan Branch, the CNR Lumby Branch, KPR diesel locomotives, and KPR freight operations. Also includes an article by Robertson and Elchlepp entitled "Rails in the Okanagan" and a booklet by Overend and Bardsley entitled "Along the KPR: A Short History of one of Canada's Newest Railroads".

Kaslo and Slocan Railway (3 foot narrow gauge)

File consists of research material regarding the 3-foot narrow gauge Kaslo and Slocan Railway, prior to the standard gauging of 1912-1914. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Narrow Gauge in the Kootenays" by Hearn and "The K&S Railway" by Hearn and Wilkie.

Baggage and express services

File consists of material regarding baggage and express services for rail passengers. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information regarding baggage wagons, freight weight rates, freight houses, and the Canadian Pacific Express Company.

Railway Post Office

File consists of research material regarding Railway Post Offices (RPOs). Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Railway Post Offices" by R. Thurlow Fraser; "Railway Mail Service in British Columbia" notes by Davies; "RPOs in British Columbia" notes by Jack Wallace; "Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway Passenger Trains and R.P.O.s" by Jack Wallace; and "Catching and Throwing the Mail" by Ted Lamson. Also includes information on postal services on the E&N, RPO cancellation stamps, mail cars, mail cranes and catchers, and mail sorting.

Rail freight transport overview

File consists of general material regarding rail freight transport. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about L.C.L. (Less-Than-Carload) service, freight way bills, car loading statistics, freight customers in British Columbia, freight revenue, freight car pooling, the effect of the 2008 recession on freight traffic, and freight on short lines. Also includes a 1969 CN booklet of "Car Sealing Instructions" and a 2004 publication by Jeff Wilson entitled "The Model Railroader's Guide to Industries Along the Tracks".

Freight loads in transit

File consists of material regarding rail freight in transit. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about unusual freight loads, open loads, shipments of smaller locomotives on flatcars, unsecured loads, and LCL (Less-Than-Carload) freight.

Freight loading and discharging devices

File consists of material regarding freight loading and discharging devices. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about coal unloaders, rotary dumping, lumber loading, ore loading, loading and unloading of grain, and team tracks.

Freight by industry: Coal mining

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the coal mining industry. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Once Accursed the Crowsnest Blooms" by G. Patrick Green; "Coal Mines of Vancouver Island" compiled by Davies; "How Strong is Coal?" by Andy Cummings; "Coal Mines in the East Kootenays of B.C." compiled by Davies; "Coal From the Crowsnest: How Canadian Pacific moves British Columbia Bituminous" by John Garden; "Cumberland: Coal-dust Memories Stir a Sleepy Village" by McGill and Strong; "Quintette Mine: The Heart of North East Coal"; and "Where's That Coal Train Going?" by Tom Murray.

Freight by industry: Coke ovens

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the coke fuel industry. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about coke ovens at Union Bay, Fernie, and Michel.

Freight by industry: Ore smelting

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the ore smelting industry. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about the Granby smelter at Anyox and Grand Forks, the Trail and Kimberley zinc and lead smelter mines, the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter at Kitimat, and the Greenwood copper smelter.

Freight by industry: Lumber/plywood

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the lumber and plywood industries. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about sawmills in British Columbia, lumber reload centres, companies that transport lumber by rail, Mountain Pine Lumber box cars, sawmill closures, the Council of Forest Industries of BC, and Fraser Mills in Coquitlam. Also includes a "List of Sawmills/Plywood Plants in BC since 1960s" compiled by Davies.

Freight by industry: Cement, bricks, glass, gypsum, and limestone

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the cement, brick, glass, gypsum, and limestone industries. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about Lafarge Cement, limestone quarrying in British Columbia, the cement industry at Kamloops, Clayburn Brickworks near Abbotsford, the limestone quarry and kiln at Pavilion, gravel processing, the Tilbury Cement Company, the gypsum mine in Falkland, and railway ballast quarries.

Freight by industry: Petroleum and liquid chemicals

File consists of material regarding freight transport for the petroleum and liquid chemicals industries. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about chemical tank car traffic in caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), bitumen (asphalt), ethylene glycol, sulphuric acid, petroleum, chlorine, ammonia, and other liquids.

Rail Ferries

Series consists of articles, clippings, and monographs regarding rail ferries in British Columbia. Includes information about freshwater rail ferries in the Kootenays and Okanagan and saltwater rail ferries.

Industrial Railways

Series consists of research material regarding industrial railways in British Columbia. Includes information about industrial locomotives, logging railroads, mining railways, and other industrial railway lines. Also includes monographs and periodicals about the history of various industrial railways.

Freshwater Rail Ferries

Subseries consists of information about freshwater rail ferries in British Columbia. Includes information about ferries run by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Kootenays and the Okanagan. Also includes information about the Canadian National Railway’s transfer barge services.

Industrial Locomotives

Subseries consists of material regarding locomotives that were used on industrial railways in British Columbia. Includes information about manufacturers of industrial locomotives, geared industrial locomotives (Shay, Climax, and Heisler), Porter locomotives, and compressed air locomotives.

Geared industrial railway locomotives: Heisler

File consists of material regarding Heisler locomotives, a type of geared industrial railway locomotive built by Stearns Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pennsylvania. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals.

Porter locomotives

File consists of material regarding Porter locomotives, a type of light-duty locomotive manufactured by H.K. Porter, Inc. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes background notes by Davies on the H.K. Porter company and a compiled list of all known Porter locomotives that worked in British Columbia and the Yukon.

Logging Railways

Subseries consists of material regarding logging railways in British Columbia. Includes information about Pacific Coast Logging, the Hillcrest Lumber Company rail line, the Comox Logging and Railway Company, and the Canfor Logging Railway in the Nimpkish Valley, among others.

Canfor Logging Railway, Nimpkish Valley, Vancouver Island

File consists of material regarding the Canfor Logging Railway in Nimpkish Valley on Vancouver Island. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information about Nimpkish Valley, the Englewood Logging Railway, steam locomotives of the Nimpkish Valley, and Canfor company history. Also includes a BC Railway Historical Association Bulletin No. 2 from June 1960 entitled "Canadian Forest Products Limited Nimpkish Valley Railway".

Industrial Lines

Subseries consists of material regarding industrial railway lines in British Columbia. Includes information about colliery railways, the Northwood Pulp & Timber private industrial railway, the Hedley Gold Mine railway, the Sullivan lead-zinc mine railway, and the Britannia Copper Mine railway.

Three Valley Gap Roundhouse

File consists of material regarding the Three Valley Gap roundhouse and heritage ghost town. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, pamphlets, and clippings from periodicals.

BC Forest Museum in Duncan

File consists of material regarding the attraction near Duncan known variously as the Cowichan Valley Forest Museum, the BC Forest Discovery Centre, and the British Columbia Forest Museum Park. Includes pamphlets, ticket stubs, and clippings from periodicals. Also includes issue no. 23 of 'Museum Round-Up' from July 1966 that features a cover story on the Cowichan Valley Forest Museum.

Canadian Railroad Historical Association

Series consists of records from the Canadian Railroad Historical Association. Includes “CRHA Communications” newsletters, issues of “The Sandhouse”, issues of “Canadian Rail”, and information about the Exporail Canadian Railway Museum.

"Canadian Rail" issues and excerpts

File consists of issues of "Canadian Rail", the journal of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association. Contains various complete issues relating to multiple railway subjects. Also includes miscellaneous excerpted articles from Canadian Rail issues, many of which look at broader Canadian rail history.

Work Force

Series consists of material regarding railway employees and work force. Includes information about training, safety, recruitment, labour relations, railway unions, job titles, managers, pay scales, and uniforms. Also includes collective agreements and operating rules for employees.

Railway accidents in general

File consists of research material regarding train accidents in general and miscellaneous railway mishaps, which predominantly consist of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information on locomotives lost in BC lakes and rivers; KVR wrecks; general rail safety; train collisions (including collisions at Edson and Hinton); the 1908 Fernie fire; train derailments (including derailments at Biggar, Prince George, and Kelly Lake), black boxes, and fire prevention.

CPR early days, 1880-1900

File consists of research material regarding the early days Canadian Pacific Railway between 1880 and 1900. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following articles: "Bridging the Fraser at Cisco, 1882-1884" by Meridew; "Railway Tales from the Inland Sentinel" by Meridew; "Building the CPR through Agassiz and Port Hammond" by Meridew; "A Man with Connections: John A. Mara and the CPR" by Meridew; "Canada's Transcontinental Passenger Trains, 1886 and 1978" by Angus; "Pacific Division Sections from Abbott to Marpole, 1886-1909" by Meridew; "William Cornelius Van Horne" by Elson; "Coal Comes to Mountain Mainline" by Meridew; "Laying the Foundation" by D. Smith; and "C.P.'s Last Spike--100 Years Less Three Months, Later" by D. Johnson.

Construction of CPR main line in British Columbia

File consists of research material regarding the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway main line in British Columbia. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information on tunnel boring, Craigellachie and the driving of the last spike, R.L. Harris, Onderdonk, and the incorporation of the CPR company.

Chinese labour force for construction of the CPR main line in British Columbia

File consists of research material regarding the Chinese labour force involved in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway main line in British Columbia. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes an article by Davies entitled "An Assessment of the Size of the Chinese Labour Force and the Number of Deaths incurred in Building the CPR in B.C. in 1880-1885".

CPR - Areas

Subseries consists of information about areas served by the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia, including Metro Vancouver. Contains material regarding the Nakusp & Slocan branch, Kaslo & Slocan branch, Crows Nest Pass Railway, and other minor lines.

CPR in Metro Vancouver

File consists of research material regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway in Metro Vancouver. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Rise and Fall of the Marpole Industrial Lead" by E. Johnson; "CPR's Arbutus Line: 10 Years After" by Smith; "CPR's Changing Scene on Lulu Island" by E. Johnson; "CPR's Vancouver Tunnel: A Tale of Two Portals" by Smith; "Railways in New Westminster Area"; "Arbutus Line Operations End with Last Run to Molson's" by Smith; and "C.P.R. Personnel Employed at Vancouver, B.C., 1889".

CPR Vancouver-English Bay branch

File consists of research material regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway English Bay branch in Vancouver. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "The Late Kitsilano Railway Trestle, 1886-1982" by N. Adams; "The Dunsmuir Street Railway Tunnel in Vancouver--End of an Era" by Oakley; "English Bay Branch, CPR, Vancouver" (B.C. Rail Guide No. 8) by Davies; and "The CPR's English Bay Branch: The Intended Terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway?" by Davies and Nicklason.

Nakusp & Slocan Branch and Kaslo & Slocan Branch

File consists of research material regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway Nakusp & Slocan Branch, South Slocan-Slocan City Branch, and Kaslo & Slocan Branch. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes the following works: "Memories of CPR's Kootenay Switchbacks" by D. Purdy; "Cecchini's Lost Mine" by N.L. Barlee; federal legal documents about abandonment of the Kaslo Subdivision; "The Nakusp & Slocan Railway: Early Railway Days in the Kootenays" by D. Smith; and "Rosebery Barge Slip - CP Rail Kaslo Subdivision August 1983" by Davies.

Crows Nest Pass Railway

File consists of research material regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway Crows Nest Pass Railway. Predominantly consists of photocopy reproductions, excerpts from books, and clippings from periodicals. Includes information on the Crowsnest to Nelson route, the Kimberley branch, and the Kootenay Central Railway (Cranbrook to Golden).

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