Crowsnest Past Railway Legislation
Authorizing Construction and Land Grants


Before a railway could be built in British Columbia, the promoters had to secure a legal charter from the Provincial Legislature to permit the company to proceed with its plans. The charter also granted permission to built the railway over a generally specified route. Legislation usually granted certain concessions such as lands for the right-of-way, lands for terminals and other facilities and gave authority for funding. Where planned railways extended beyond the province or were considered to be "for the general advantage of Canada," federal legislation was normally passed. Sometimes the federal legislation provided further subsidies to aid in construction.


1) Federal Legislation

"An Act to authorize a Subsidy for a Railway through the Crow's Nest Pass." Assented 29th June, 1897. 60-61 Victoria, Chapter 5.

Authorizes the subsidy from the Federal Government for the construction of the railway and imposes reductions and restrictions on Canadian Pacific freight rates in western Canada. This act establishes the famous "Crow Rates."

"An Act respecting the British Columbia Southern Railway Company." Assented 29th June, 1897. 60-61 Victoria, Chapter 36.

Provides federal authority for the railway, describes its routes, gives the power to issue bonds, gives powers to extend the line from the Crow's Nest Pass east to Macleod or for other connections and provides for the lease of the company to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

"An Act respecting the British Columbia Southern Railway Company." Assented 13th June, 1898. 61 Victoria, Chapter 56.

Confirms the lease of the railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway.

"An Act respecting the British Columbia Southern Railway Company." Assented 7th May, 1900. 63-64 Victoria, Chapter 52.

Extends time for completion of western section to the Fraser River and Burrard Inlet, and provides for a branch line near Michel Creek.


2) British Columbia Legislation

"An Act respecting a grant of land for right of way and terminal purposes to the Crow's Nest and Kootenay Lake Railway Company, British Columbia." 28th April, 1888. Statutes of British Columbia, 1888, Chapter 27. (51 Victoria, C27).

Provides a right of way and terminal lands as a grant from Crown Lands.

"An Act to Incorporate the Crow's Nest and Kootenay Lake Railway Company." 28th April, 1888. Statutes of British Columbia, 1888, Chapter 44. (51 Victoria, C44).

Provides for the incorporation of the railway company, notes its directors and defines its route.

"An Act to amend the 'Crow's Nest and Kootenay Lake Railway Company Act, 1888." 26th April, 1890. Statutes of British Columbia, 1890, Chapter 63. (63 Victoria, C63).

Changes the names of directors and makes minor amendments.

"An Act to amend the Crow's Nest and Kootenay Lake Railway Company Act, 1888." 20th April, 1891. Statutes of British Columbia, 1891, Chapter 56. (54 Victoria, C56).

Changes the name from the Crow's Nest and Kootenay Lake Railway to the British Columbia Southern Railway; provides authority for branch lines "from a point on the Lower Kootenay River to the Columbia near Fort Sheppard and a branch line to Nelson via Salmon River."

"An Act to make further provision for a Land Subsidy for and in aid of the British Columbia Southern Railway." 12th April, 1893. Statutes of British Columbia, 1893, Chapter 36. (56 Victoria, C36).

Authorizes a land grant of 20,000 acres for each mile of completed railway.

"An Act to amend the Acts relating to the British Columbia Southern Railway." 12th April, 1893. Statutes of British Columbia, 1893, Chapter 47. (56 Victoria, C47).

Consolidates previous legislation, authorizes routes, divides the project into sections and gives additional powers to the company.

"An Act to consolidate and amend certain Acts relating to the British Columbia Southern Railway Company." 11th April, 1894. Statutes of British Columbia, 1894, Chapter 53. (57 Victoria, C53).

Consolidates previous legislation into one document and repeals previous legislation; gives legislation summary and citations.

"An Act respecting the British Columbia Southern Railway." 17th April, 1896. Statutes of British Columbia, 1896, Chapter 4. (59 Victoria, C4).

Continues land grant provisions of earlier legislation.

"An Act to amend the 'British Columbia Southern Railway Company's Act, 1894.'" 17th April, 1896. Statutes of British Columbia, 1896, Chapter 53. (59 Victoria, C53).

Amends the completion dates of the railway.


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