C.P.R. Construction Car #76
The Rail Yard
About the C.P.R. Construction Car #76
Built by Harlan & Hollingsworth Company of Wilmington, Delaware in 1882, this railcar is among the oldest and most historically significant railway coaches in North America.
One hundred million dollars, hundreds of workers’ lives, and several political reputations were among the costs of laying 3,000 miles of track from central Canada to the Pacific coast between 1871 and 1885. On the prairies, the contracting firm of Langdon and Shepard employed 7,600 men to build 676 miles of railway in less than two years. This car furnished the contractors with a business office and living quarters on the line.
When Langdon and Shepard contemplated their contract, they sold this car to the Canadian Pacific Railway. While assigned to the Mountain Division, the coach carried dignitaries to Craigellachie, British Columbia on November 7th, 1885 to attend the Last Spike ceremony. C.P.R. General Manager Willian Cornelius Van Horne, Sandford Fleming and other watched Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona drove the Last Spike uniting Canada from coast to coast.