A plaque by the railway station in Churchill was erected in 2002 by the Manitoba Heritage Council to commemorate the Hudson Bay Railway. Conceived and advocated in the 1870s as a direct means to connect western Canada with Europe, a charter for the railway was issued in 1881 but political and financial difficulties prevented its construction. In 1908, the Canadian Northern Railway constructed a line to The Pas. The federal government assumed responsibility for further construction of the line, reaching Kettle Rapids (on the Nelson River) before work was stopped by financial problems arising during the First World War. The Canadian National Railway carried trappers’ supplies on its weekly “Muskeg Special” to Mile 214 (Pikwitonei). During the 1920s, a work crew of some 3,000 men brought the line to Churchill, arriving on 29 March 1929.
Hudson Bay Railway commemorative plaque (July 2018)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough
Site Coordinates (lat/long): N58.76762, W94.17408
denoted by symbol on the map above
Review: Ian Bickle, Turmoil and Triumph: The Controversial Railway to Hudson Bay by Paul Thistle
Manitoba History, Number 32, Autumn 1996
The Hudson Bay Railway Survey, 1910-1911: A Memoir by W. H. Hunt (Part 1)
Manitoba History, Number 37, Spring / Summer 1999
The Hudson Bay Railway Survey, 1910-1911: A Memoir by W. H. Hunt (Part 2)
Manitoba History, Number 38, Autumn / Winter 1999-2000
Historic Sites of Manitoba: RX Graves (Rosabella Lake Avenue, Churchill)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian National Railway Station (Mantayo Seepee Meskanow, Churchill)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Sons of Martha Monument (Churchill)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Port Nelson Bridge and Island (Hudson Bay, Northern Manitoba)
Financial support for research reported on this page was provided by Manitoba Heritage Grant 18F-H49829.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 October 2019
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