This Week in History
From The Pas To The Bay
For the week of Monday March 29, 2004
On March 29, 1929, the steel rails of the Hudson Bay Railway reached Port Churchill, the northernmost terminal of the line. The railroad is unique as Canada's only line built primarily to carry exports from south to north.
Under the influence of Manitoba protests and the rising wheat production and prices, the federal government began to support the line to Hudson Bay. In 1905, Parliament passed a bill extending CNR's contract. The date of completion was set for July 20, 1910. Port Nelson was selected as the northern terminus and the government contributed 30 million acres of crown land for settlement. Construction began slowly and by the end of 1913, workers had only laid 177 kilometres of track.
In September 1931, the Hudson Bay Railway was declared officially open and two vessels carried out 14,825 tonnes of wheat - the first commercial cargo to reach England by the Hudson Bay Railway - fifty years after planning began!
As a major political and engineering achievement in North America, the construction of the Hudson Bay Railway was designated a National Historic Event. Also, for its role as the northern terminus of the line, the Churchill Railway Station was designated a Heritage Railway Station.
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