Carving the Western Path: By River, Rail, and Road Through B.C.s Southern Mountains
R.G. Harvey has applied a keen mind and deft pen to uncover skulduggery in politics and critical routing errors by the early surveyors and engineers who "carved their western paths." In turn he has exposed new scars and wrinkles to add to historic portraits otherwise untainted. "Many of Canada's rail tycoons and their engineers come close to slipping off the pedestals where Canadian historians have placed them," he says. Did both federal and provincial politicians wittingly sabotage road construction programs to the benefit of the rail barons? Were Cornelius Van Horne, Major A.B. Rogers, and Andrew McCulloch fully deserving of the accolades bestowed on them? The author candidly justifies Western Canada's ongoing distrust of federal transportation tax policies. A century of deal making and government misdeeds form the backdrop of this entertaining account of sternwheelers, iron horses, and mountain roads. Battling factions of rail builders cross many a line in the sand as they carve up both the land and the spoils of industry. Discover why Kicking Horse Pass never should have been used for construction of the CPR and why the Kettle Valley Railway was a strategic mistake. Decide for yourself if railwayman J.J. Hill was a genius or an opportunist. And meet real heroes who turned pathways into highways in spite of obstacles both political and natural.
Softback, 240 pages, black & white photographs
Condition: Very Good
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Updated: 29 December 2023