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Canadian Railroads > Kettle Valley Railway, 30 years gone.


Date: 05/08/19 09:47
Kettle Valley Railway, 30 years gone.
Author: eminence_grise

This week marks the 30th Anniversary of the last freight train to operate on the former Kettle Valley Division of the CPR.

The KV operated in the mountains of south-western British Columbia, from Midway where it connected with CP's Kootenay Divsion to Hope and Spences Bridge where it connected to the CP main line. There were three branch lines, the Ossoyoos Subdivision south from Penticton, the Nicola spur from Merritt, and the Copper Mountain Subdivision south from Princeton.

Although the last train operated only thirty years ago, the people working the railway in later years were older, and now very few of them are alive.
For years, the Kettle Valley railroaders held an annual picnic at Brookemere, and they were a tight knit group. Until the 1960's, they were in their own seniority area.

A couple of weeks ago, noted KV historian Joe Smuin passed on.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/19 10:39 by eminence_grise.



Date: 05/09/19 10:02
Re: Kettle Valley Railway, 30 years gone.
Author: Pacific5th

Was the line to Penticton and south the last part of it? When I was a kid we stayed at place called Pondarosa Point south of Penticton. I remember the trains going by several times a week. Then one year the trains weren’t running. The next the tracks were gone south of Penticton. Did the remainder get abandoned all together or did the line into Penticton last a bit longer?



Date: 05/09/19 10:37
Re: Kettle Valley Railway, 30 years gone.
Author: eminence_grise

Pacific5th Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Was the line to Penticton and south the last part
> of it? When I was a kid we stayed at place called
> Pondarosa Point south of Penticton. I remember the
> trains going by several times a week. Then one
> year the trains weren’t running. The next the
> tracks were gone south of Penticton. Did the
> remainder get abandoned all together or did the
> line into Penticton last a bit longer?

The line south from Penticton to Osoyoos was part of Kettle Valley Division of CP.

The Okanagan valley was settled before the railways came, using riverboats and roads. The BX, or Barnards Express was a stagecoach line which served the valley.

The valley south of Penticton was noted for its warm climate, and with developing farms, orchards and packing house, there soon was a call for a railway. At the time, the Great Northern had built an east-west line across southern BC and northern Washington State. The communities south of Penticton asked the GN to build a rail line north from Oroville WA. and a charter was sought as the Penticton Railway and a detailed survey took place. GN then made a decision to abandon large portions of their east-west line, and the planned railway never took place.

The desire for a railway remained , and CP built an isolated line from Osoyoos to Okanagan Falls, with a carfloat service on Skaha Lake to Penticton.

The very last portion of the Kettle Valley Division was a rail line constructed along the western shore of Skaha Lake during the 1940's.

From Osoyoos to Okanagan Falls, the freight traffic was entirely agricultural products, which CP encouraged shippers to choose trucks over rail transport, and the line was anandoned south of OK Falls by the late 1970's

A large sawmill located at OK Falls in the early 1970's, which kept the Penticton-OK Falls portion  open until the rest of the line closed in 1989.  



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