Logging and lumbering have been important industries along the Crowsnest Route since the time of the construction of the railway. The railway itself required large quantities of ties for track construction and timbers for building bridges and retaining walls. In addition, lumber was needed for building stations, water towers and many other structures needed for the railway. The coal mines also required huge quantities of lumber for structures and for pit props used to support the underground workings of the mines.
The export of forest products has been critical to the lumbering industry in British Columbia since the late 1800s. At the same time it was a critical source of traffic for the Canadian Pacific's Crowsnest Pass Route. The Commission of Conservation reported that in 1913, "Approximately, 75 per cent of the 1913 lumber cut of British Columbia was shipped out of the province by rail. While there are no figures showing the distribution of these shipments, the prairie markets of Canada absorbed most of the material. Small amounts reached eastern Canada, and some went to the United States."(1)
This section of the web-site presents a brief overview of logging and lumbering as it relates to the story of the Crowsnest Pass railway and logging railways in the region.
(1) Whitford, H. N. and R. D. Craig. 1918. Forests of British Columbia. Commission of Conservation, Canada, Ottawa, ON. p. 14.
The Interior Forests
Logging Railways, Flumes and Trucks
Lumber and the Crow Route, 1950-2000