ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE COLUMBIA AND WESTERN RAIL TRAIL
KM 0.0 CASTLEGAR STATION
Castlegar was equipped with a 44 car siding, wye, 142 car yard, and station building. Castlegar station is located at the junction with CPR’s Rossland Subdivision to Trail. Originally Castlegar Junction, this station was named after a place in Ireland. Once the site of a coal tower and water tank, about all that remains today is a two story depot built in 1907 (after the former station burned) with in the wye formed by the junction. The junction switch was considered normal when lined for the Rossland Subdivision which follows the Columbia River. Present day train activity in Castlegar is limited to through freight traffic to and from the Trail Smelter. The Castlegar train station is designated as a heritage building and is presently utilized as a railway museum.
KM 2.6 ROBSON WEST STATION
Robson West was the terminus of Heinze’s C&W from Trail. Barges would ferry the train up Lower Arrow Lake to connect to the CPR. The CPR had a dock here to service passenger’s and freight from Paddle wheelers that worked the Arrow Lakes. It consisted of a 67 car siding. Robson West remained a CPR lake steamer port and barge slip until the last run of the SS Minto in the mid -1950’s Other than a few remaining pilings, not much remains of Robson West
Was a former siding named for Jules Labarthe, a manager of CM&S. This station was located near the start of the westward grade to the summit of the Monashee Mountains. Labarthe was once also the site of a turntable for turning helper locomotives.
KM 21.5 SHIELDS STATION
Shields was the site of a former passenger train flag stop and steam locomotive water stop. Shields was named for a railway contractor, Sim & Shields, which constructed several lines in the United States and Canada, including the Great Northern between Marcus and Grand Forks. A large open area is all that is left of Shields Station
KM 28.7 COYKENDAHL STATION
Coykendahl was the location of a 63 car siding. Named for a construction engineer on CPR’s Columbia and Western Railway, Coykendahl was the site of a station, and steam locomotive water tank. A Tuscan red shed built into the side of the hill and a Railway Speeder all that remains of this station.
KM 39.7 TUNNEL STATION
Tunnel was the location of a 13 car storage track, station and water tank. It was named for its position at the west end of the long Bull-Dog Tunnel. The station foundation can still be found, as well as an apple tree looking Dog Creek Valley.
KM 51.6 FARRON STATION
Named after one of the railway construction engineers, Farron was the summit station of the Monashee Mountains and a turning point for helper locomotives. All the buildings have disappeared but the foundations still remain, the most prominent remaining item is the concrete diesel cistern along the rail-bed.
KM 59.3 PAULSON STATION
As work on the railway moved to grand forks, the Paulson Brothers established a hotel, store and stables in Paulson. Once the railway was completed, the hotel alongside the railway became known as Paulson Station. Later a siding was added at KM 57.3 to service ore shipments from the Bonanza mine and the station was sometimes referred to as Bonanza Siding. Log foundations and the remains of other buildings can be seen along the banks of McRae Creek.
KM 65.7 CORYELL STATION
The town of Coryell was founded in 1898 under the name of Gladstone. Gladstone sprung up from the news that the construction on the railway had begun at Castlegar and that Gladstone would be one of the stations on route. CPR named the station in 1900 after John A. Coryell; the engineer who made their first survey developed as an early gold mine camp and was important to the Burnt Basin area. An Italian rail worker discovered a very rich vein of ore. One summer ne disappeared at night and never returned. Buildings have long collapsed with snow and were looted in 1962 when the highway detoured through here.
KM 70.4 LAFFERTY STATION
Lafferty was a 62 car siding and a steam locomotive water stop. It was originally named Wade and later renamed for a Rossland bank manager.
KM 73.2 CHRISTINA FLAG STOP
Christina was a former flag stop named for Christina Lake.
KM 76.8 FIFE STATION
Fife was the site of a 17 car storage track. Named after J.Fife, a Rossland miner, Fife was a passenger flag stop and steam locomotive water stop. Fife is the location of a large lime quarry.
KM 81.5 CASCADE STATION
Cascade was originally located at old Cascade or Cascade City which was touted as a smelter site. The “city” declined after fires and the failure of the turn .of .the . century boom town to materialize. The station was rebuilt about 1921 after a fire burned the original station. Located at the southwestern foot of Farron Hill grade, the station was the site of a wye. Remains of Dykehead and Tennessee mines are located on the right-of .way near Sutherland Creek between Cascade and Christina Lake.
KM 82.8 BILLINGS STATION
Billings was a former flag stop. Billings also was the site of the Yale-Columbia Sawmill. The foundation of the store remains and a small cemetery is located across the highway.
KM 86.9 GILPIN STATION
Gilpin was a former siding and flag stop, this station was named after the first customs officer in the area Across the Kettle River and plainly visible are the residences of the Sons of Freedom Sect. a swing bridge was removed in the early 1980’s.
KM 93.3 CUPRUM
Cuprum was the site of a former junction and wye originally named R&GF Junction (for Republic &Grand Forks Railway). Cuprum is a named for copper. Canadian Pacific’s passenger trains detoured over the Kettle Valley Railway between Cuprum and West end until 1921, when KRVR’s bridge was damaged and trains were backed one way to the “City Station” from West end. Cuprum was the site of a former race track and fair grounds known as Dinsmore Park.
KM 94.8 GRAND FORKS STATION
Grand Forks provided a 59 car siding plus a 194 car yard and station building. Construction of the Columbia and Western station commenced during December of 1899, and the first stationmaster Mr. Clements and his family moved into the station on March 8, 1900. Located west and north of the center of Grand Forks, CPR’s C&W station was not used as the main passenger depot for the city between 1913 and 1952. Instead, CPR passenger trains used the Kettle River Valley Railway’s downtown “City Station”, which is now gone.
KM 95.3 KM WEST END STATION OR CITY JUNCTION
West end was the former junction with the old Kettle River Valley Express line over which CPR passenger trains reached the old (former KRVR) “City Station”. This station was located in what was the separately incorporated City of Columbia which later amalgamated with the City of Grand Forks on December 30, 1902. CPR located the station in Columbia because the City of Grand Forks would not allow even CPR employees to enter the city.CPR was not liked by most residents of Grand forks in those days. Only by acquiring the KRVP did the CPR manage to get a foothold within the Municipality.
KM 96.4 GRANBY STATION
Granby was a former passenger flag stop at the junction from which CPR’s 3.5 kilometer (2.2 mile) Granby Smelter Spur climbed to the Granby Consolidated Mining Company’s copper smelter. This short spur was named the Granby Smelter Subdivision. The station was named also Granby Junction and East Granby. The smelter was once the largest copper smelter in B.C. Today the smelter site is surrounded by giant slag piles. The slag is being utilized for roofing granules and as an abrasive for sand-blasting ships. Pacific Abrasives holds rights to the slag piles which are owned by the City of Grand Forks.
KM 100.3 FISHERMAN STATION
Fisherman was a former siding and steam locomotive water stop. C.P. Agent Clements moved into the completed depot on March 8, 1900. This station was named Niagara until 1900, after which the name was given to the nearby Kettle River Valley Railway station. Around the turn of the century, Niagara was a wild open boom town. Several Bake ovens built by Italian railway cooks remain near the Lime Creek crossing on the flat site of Neil Hardy’s Lime Creek Hotel. Seven miles of rock work was required to construct the nearby section of railroad.
KM 105.4 HODGES STATION
Hodges was a former flag stop, steam locomotive water stop, and stage stop. A boarding house was also located here.
KM 108.8 EHOLT STATION
Eholt was the junction with CPR’s branch line into the copper mining area of Phoenix. Eholt was the site of a station building, an eight-stall engine house, coal tower and water tank, and a substantial support community. Eholt was named for pioneer rancher Louis Eholt. Because of its strategic location at the top of the grade between Grand Forks and Midway, the Eholt wye, which had formed the junction with the Phoenix line, remained into the late 1970’s.
KM 117.3 GREENWOOD JUNCTION
Joined CPR’s abandoned Mother Lode Subdivision. This station was originally named Mother Lode Junction.
KM GREENWOOD STATION
Greenwood was the site of a water tank and substantial depot. The station burned down after a 1964 train wreck. This railway city, which was incorporated in 1897, lost its status as a timetable station in 1983 when the siding was removed.
Midway contained a small yard and depot. The Midway depot served as the divisional station between CPR’s Columbia and Western and Kettle Valley railways. Following the abandonment of the KVR to Penticton in 1978, the station served as the western terminus of CPR’s southern route from the Crow’s-nest Pass and Boundary Subdivision yard limits were extended to include trackage 3.9 kilometers (2.4 miles) west of Midway station to service Pope and Talbot’s Midway(Interfor 2010) sawmill. The 1909 heritage depot has been restored, designated a heritage building, and is presently used as a railway museum. A second building is a visitor information and local gift shop.
END OF COLUMBIA & WESTERN RAILWAY MILE 127.2
Kettle Valley trackage began here at 1.0 kilometer (mile 0.6) of the former Carmi Subdivision.