Medicine Hat to Nelson: 466 miles

Altitudes shown in feet


From Medicine Hat, the Crow's Nest Pass branch runs south of the main line to the rich farming districts of Southern Alberta, the coal mining regions of the Crow's Nest Pass, and the gold, copper and silver lead mines of Southern British Columbia. The completion of this road was notable from an engineering standpoint for the celerity of construction and the skill shown in overcoming numerous serious obstacles. Leaving the main line at Dunmore, the route is almost due West. North of Bow Island is a natural gas area, from which the city of Calgary and other communities en route are supplied with gas through a pipe line some 170 miles in length. In this field there are wells producing from one and a quarter million to twenty-nine million cubic feet of gas per day. Gas has also been found and is being drilled for at Barnwell, 35 miles farther on, and at Monarch, beyond Lethbridge.

The Canadian Pacific Railway owns an irrigation block of some 120,000 acres in the Lehtbridge territory, settled largely with American farmers, who have made it one of the most prosperous agricultural communities of Western Canada. Improved farms in this locality have changed hands at $150.00 and upwards per acre. It is a great alfalfa growing district, and the beautiful table-land area around Coaldale will be especially noticed. Farmers living outside the irrigation area are bringing about an extension of the canals to cover many thousands more acres, and the time is not far distant when all this south country that is capable of irrigation will be served by the ditch.

(population 14,500), is an important commercial city with five parks (one of which faces the station), electric light and power, and splendid buildings. Situated at the Old Man river, it is a C.P.R. divisional and junction point. It is a prosperous wholesale as well as an agricultural centre. The city has seven coal mines within five miles, producing a high grade lignite coal that has a market extending as far east of Winnipeg. Two of these, the Galt Mines, operated by the Canadian Pacific, are right at the city limits. The industries of Lethbridge include flour milling and the manufacture of macaroni, while the wool shipments are larger than those of any other point in Canada. A Dominion Experimental Farm is located here for dry and irrigated farming experiments.

West of Lethbridge there has been completed by the Canadian Pacific Railway one of the most gigantic engineering works in Canada. This is the bridging of the Lethbridge and Old Man Rivers by two immense steel viaducts, one 5325 feet in length with a maximum height above the river of 314 feet, and the other 1900 feet in length, with a height above the river of 145 feet. The cost of these works exceeded two million dollars. Nearly 650 cars were required to transport the steel used in the construction of these viaducts.

Westward to the Crow's Nest Pass