Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Spiral Tunnels near Field, B.C.

I have a booklet of postcards titled
Laggan to Vancouver -- On Line of Can. Pac. Ry. It's a fine presentation, with each postcard separated from the next by a piece of tissue paper. The 25¢ price is stamped on the back. Judging from the women's clothing in one of the other postcards this booklet must have been produced around 1909-1916.

The following information is quoted from this wonderful site -- The KICKING HORSE RIVER "Great Canadian Rivers" -- that includes two short videos about the tunnels that are "must-sees" (really....worth the click!) :

Even those who are unfamiliar with the twists and turns of the Kicking Horse River have probably heard of Kicking Horse Pass, the world-famous road and rail route through the Canadian Rockies. A place of scenic splendour and grandeur, marking the Continental Divide between the slopes and watersheds of the East and West, the Kicking Horse Pass has an equally celebrated history. Its chance discovery by the esteemed geologist James Hector, and its subsequent role in the construction of the Spiral Tunnels, one of the world's greatest engineering marvels, have both contributed to its legendary reputation.
Tunnel Trivia

• The spiral tunnels cause the railway to double upon itself twice.
• From the east, the track enters Tunnel No. 1, 961 metres in length, turns under Cathedral Mountain at an angle of 250 degrees on a 172 metre radius, passes under itself and emerges at the exit 16.2 metres lower.
• The train then enters Tunnel No. 2, under Mount Ogden. It is 867 metres long, and has a similar radius through an angle of 232 degrees. It produces a difference in elevation of 13.5 metres.
• The railway crosses the valley by 3 lines, and the Kicking Horse River by 4 bridges.
• It took 2 years, 1,000 workers and $1.5 million to excavate 54,000 cubic metres of rock during tunnel construction of 1907-1909.

As an interesting little aside from today's postcard.....

I found this photo at and have no idea where it was taken. Pretty amazing the way the horse mirrors the logo on the train......

One more little aside for fun.....I can't seem to stay on track for this post! I keep losing my train of thought...............................

The video below is exciting for anyone who loves trains (and I do). The videographer who made it added this information:

See THREE parts of this long Canadian Pacific Railway train at once as it pushes upgrade through the Lower Spiral Tunnel in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada, just East of Field. Yep, I am aware of the editing error in the dates within the video. I've left it as is because so many had already seen the vid and I wanted to keep the count. I am not a professional, just a train lover! :) Terry Rowsell

graphic: also



Marie Reed said...

Hoorah for old postcard Wednesday!

RB said...

That photograph is gorgeous. I've always wanted to go to BC or Vancouver and have never been.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Yay! I learned about a new place to add to my list. I had never heard of kicking horse pass before!

I really have to start doing postcards again. I haven't sought out new and interesting places on my own in a while. Too bad that destination of the week widget we liked so much went on the fritz, funny I was thinking about it the other day. Hey, there's no reason why I can't do my own Destination of the Week based on postcards I receive!

Lydia, I just want to say thank you. You know what for :o) It made my day!

Lisa Allender said...

Love this. Horses. Trains. Lovely! Tag, you're it:
25 Random Things About YOU, Lydia!

Looking to the Stars said...

This is so cool!!! I have never heard of Kicking Horse Pass or Spiral Tunnels. I love the fact that the Pass was discovered by a geologist. Thanks for sharing :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

The first thing i thought about when i saw these photos was my own trip to China about 8 years ago. The mountain roads there don't go straight up, as they were built with horses and carts in mind - they weave and turn around the hills so that in order to travel 3 miles you have to go 15

I think the horse/train shot looks like it was photoshopped or something.

I've heard a few horror stories about the building of the rail lines - many people died to get us from a to b and we should probably remember that when we moan about the trains being late xx (although all bus companies are evil!)

Lydia said...

@Marie Reed- Happy to see you and, of course, having a comment from Facebook's #1 Vintage blog is a big thrill. :)

@Wayfaring Wanderer- I'd forgotten about those Destinations of the Week thingies after they went away! I think you should do your own as you said, using postcards you receive. (Check out Marie Reed for the most wondrous vintage postcards you've ever seen!!)

@Lisa- Yikes! I got tagged! I may wait until next week to do this, after Mike's week off from work....

@Looking to the Stars- It's so much fun the way you enjoy many of the same things I do. We like discovering, I think! :)

@Pixies- You've been to China! Lucky you for having such a trip. I have seen pictures of what you described.
Speaking of pictures, I think you're probably right about photoshop on that one. It's kinda disappointing the way that takes away the wonder of photography....

Lydia said...

@RB- Hey, little RB, I wasn't ignoring you in my replies. Really! I just missed you in the list.
You would LOVE a trip to that area. My husband and I looked at my photo album of a trip I took there with my mother in the 90s. I turned one of the photos into my latest post.
The Rockies up in BC are magnificent and Vancouver is such a gorgeous, cosmopolitan, exciting, and friendly city!



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