Series GR-0817 - Railway Department correspondence files

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Railway Department correspondence files

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  • 1912-1953 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Railway Dept.

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4.4 m of textual records

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Biographical history

The Railway Dept. was established in 1911 with the enactment of the Railway Department Act (SBC 1911, c. 45). The mandate of the Railway Dept. was to regulate all railways falling under the jurisdiction of British Columbia Railway Act (SBC 1911, c. 44). This included the regulation and inspection of industrial railways (logging and mining) and electric street-car and interurban systems, as well as improvements to terminals and to combined railway and highway bridges. Railways which operated under federal charter came under federal regulation.

In 1959, the Railway Department Act was repealed and the functions of the Railway Dept. were transferred to the newly created Dept. of Commercial Transport (SBC 1959, c.12).

Custodial history

Scope and content

This series consists of incoming and outgoing general correspondence files, 1912-1953, concerning railways operating in British Columbia. Includes extensive correspondence files on the Westminster Bridge (the Fraser River railway bridge at New Westminster); the British Columbia Electric Railway; correspondence relating to common carriers and industrial railroads; legislation affecting the Railway Department, etc. Box 14, Files 1 to 28 are Minister of Railways: general [correspondence] and Box 14, Files 29 to 38 are miscellany.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The bulk of this accession was transferred from the Victoria offices of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways in June 1980; two files were transferred in July 1981.


Ten photographs removed from file 13.3 and accessioned as 198107-078.
One photograph removed from file 17.8 and accessioned as 198302-037.

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General note

Accession number(s): G81-08; 76-G-038; 198302-037; 198107-078

General note

Abbreviations used in this finding aid:

BCER British Columbia Electric Railway
CNR Canadian National Railway
CNOR Canadian Northern Railway
CNER Canadian North Eastern Railway
CNPR Canadian Northern Pacific Railway
CNS Canadian Northern System
CNSR Crow's Nest Southern Railway
CPR Canadian Pacific Railway
E and N Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway
GTP Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
GNR Great Northern Railway
NWSR New Westminster Southern Railway
PGER Pacific Great Eastern Railway
VV and E Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway Navigation Company
DomBrCo Dominion Bridge Company

General note

Railway Department Ministers:

Thomas Taylor 10 Mar 1911 - 1915
C.E. Tisdall 15 Dec 1915 - 1916
Thomas Taylor 01 Mar 1916 - 1916
John Oliver 29 Nov 1916 - 1922
J. D. MacLean 17 Sep 1922 - 1924
W. H. Sutherland 28 Aug 1924 - 1928
S. F. Tolmie 21 Aug 1928 - 1933
T. D. Pattullo 15 Nov 1933 - 1937
G. S. Pearson 23 Dec 1937 - 1941
Thomas King 15 Nov 1941 - 1941
R.W. Bruhn 10 Dec 1941 - 1942
John Hart 04 Sep 1942 - 1942
Herbert Anscomb 15 Sep 1942 - 1946
L.H. Eyres 12 Apr 1946 - 1952
H.R. Bowman 19 Jan 1952 - 1952
W.R. Chetwynd 01 Aug 1952 - 1956
Lyle Wicks 27 Sep 1956 - 1959

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