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BC Archives # E-06897 PGE Train at Lillooet, Flank of Mt. Brew in Background
BC Archives # E-06897
BC Archives # E-04193 PGE Crew Working Along Cayoosh Flats, Fountain Ridge in Background
BC Archives # E-04193

The Pacific Great Eastern Railway
The British Columbia Railway - BCR

The Pacific Great Eastern, known as the PGE, was a provincially-sponsored railway meant to unify British Columbia as the transcontinental railways had served to do for Canada.  Originally begun before the Great War of 1914-18, the line was assailed by its critics as a line "from nowhere to nowhere", running as it did in its first phase only between Pemberton and Lillooet.  After the war it was completed as far as Squamish (then Newport) and extended to the Cariboo and Prince George; travellers from Vancouver took ferries from the Vancouver waterfront to connect to the rail line.  This did not change until after World War II when the line was extended along Howe Sound and through West Vancouver to the Pemberton Avenue Station in North Vancouver, which is still the rail line's main terminus.  Lillooet remains a division point on the line and is the location of one of the system's main yards, which as the steam-era picture indicates at left has been a busy place for a long time.  The rail crew at right is working only a few miles out of town in the bottom of Nkoomptch gorge; the view of Fountain Ridge in the background is a classic image of the Lillooet Country, and was probably chosen by the photographer to represent the character of the country the rail line went through.  Line work is constant along the PGE (now the BCR) because of the rugged country of the railway's route.  The BCR's current site is at http://www.bcrail.com/ and contains full information on railway operations as well as other historic photos not shown here; plus information on their film locations unit info.  The most memorable filmings on the BCR were "Natty Gann" and "The Grey Fox". The PGE - or rather the BCR, to use the modern name - is ranked as one of the top-ten most-scenic rail journeys in the world.  Daily runs to and from Lillooet out of North Vancouver are augmented buy alternating-day runs to and from Prince George as well as special ski-trains and a tourist excursion, the Cariboo Prospector, with first-class seating and dining.  Until recently   There are not as many lakeside hostelries as there were in the old heyday of the line, but the journey to Lilooet attracts a growing number of tourists every year, many marvelling at the drastically different climate of the Lillooet canyon-country after the rains of the Coast and the Whistler ski resort.  As can be explored below in various sections of this page, there are many interesting aspects to the line and its rolling stock, and some famous episodes in the history of the line worth telling.  I hope in time to be able to add personal histories of people involved with the line; and will also explore the impact of the line on native peoples and their lands (which was considerable) and its role in the industrial history of the region.  Railway buffs or veterans of the PGE/BCR are welcome to send comments and anecdotes which I will attempt to include within the site.   Pictures and stories are grouped by subject below and link through to further pages.
BC Archives # I-29052, PGE train at Seton Lake Bluffs
History of the PGE
Gas Car along Seton Lake
The Gas Car
The PGE/BCR Budd Cars (Dayliner, Cariboo Prospector)
The Budd Car

PGE Construction & Road Gangs
Road Gangs
& Construction
Bridges of the PGE (BCR)
Rail Bridges

Engines of the PGE/BCR
Engines of the PGE (BCR)
Specialty Cars of the PGE (BCR)
Specialty Cars of the PGE (BCR)
Trestles of the PGE/BCR
Trestles of the PGE (BCR)
Life down the Line: the PGE from D'Arcy to Squamish
Life Down the Line
D'Arcy to Squamish

Engines of the PGE/BCR
Disasters on the PGE (BCR)



Other sections of this site:
Bridge River Canyon
Seton Lake
The Portage

Bralorne The Overhang Skimka The Golden Mile Bridge River Townsite
 Pioneer Mine
Craig Lodge

The Old Arrastra Terzaghi Dam  McNeils Log Cabin Theatre
Mt. Sloan Rexmount Cayoosh Creek & Nkoomptch The Hanging Tree
Minto City

The Golden Cache Mine
Grand Canyon of the Fraser
(Bridge River to Big Bar)
Grand Canyon of the Fraser
(Lillooet to Lytton)
Grand Canyon of the Fraser
(Hope- Lytton)

Marble Canyon
Pacific Great Eastern Railway (BCR)

Pavilion Ferry
The Diamond 'S'
Pavilion School Plane Crash

Other Bridge River-Lillooet Country Links

Tskwaylaxw Nation
(Pavilion Band)



Nature Studies
BC Scenery & History
Chinook Jargon
Clevens & Periards
Poetry etc.
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