CPR Cascade Subdivision

From Dominion of British Columbia

The Cascade Subdivision is an electrified 121.5 mile railway line of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) running from Quayome on the Thompson Subdivision to Waterfront-CPR Station in Vancouver, the western terminus of the CPR's transcontinental trunk line. Running east to west, the line makes connections at Spuzzum to the BC Army Railway Regiment's line to Fort Inkawthia; at Odlum to BC Rail's Coquihalla Line, and via the Coquihalla Line to the Inter-Dominion Line and the Washington & British Columbia Railway's Manning Park Line; at Mission to the North Western Pacific Railroad's Bellingham & Northern Line; at Westminster Junction to the Westminster Subdivision; at Port Moody to the Ioco Subdivision; and at Heatley to the W&BC's Burrard Inlet Line. The 70.1 miles between Agassiz and Vancouver is double-tracked.

Port Coquitlam is the location of CPR's main locomotive and car maintenance shops in BC, its largest yard in BC, and the railway operations centre for BC. The corporate headquarters of the CPR's legal parent company in BC, the Imperial Pacific Transportation Company, is located at Waterfront-CPR Station.

The Cascade Subdivision is part of the Vancouver Division of the CPR's British Columbia District.


The section between Yale and Quayome (and on to Savona was opened in 1883 by the Imperial Pacific Railway, the BC subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific, followed by the Yale–Port Moody section in 1884. When construction of the transcontinental line from Savona to Calgary, Canada was completed in 1885, the "Imperial Pacific" name disappeared in all but legal contexts. It wasn't until 1887 that the CPR decided to move its terminus to Vancouver, completing the 13 miles from Port Moody to Waterfront-CPR Station (called simply "Vancouver Station" until 1985) that summer.

Electrification of the CPR line between Odlum and Kamloops was completed in 1940 at the urging of the British Columbia Railway, to allow the BCR to use CP trackage through the Fraser Canyon in case of accident on their own line; this emergency-use arrangement had been in effect since 1916. Prior to the electrification of the BCR's Inter-Dominion Line there had been no issue, as both railways were using steam locomotives. The CPR did buy a six electric locomotives to use on the electrified section, but continued to rely primarily on steam power even under the wire; it was only after 1949, when the line between Vancouver Station and Odlum was electrified, that the CPR shifted to electric traction for most trains between Vancouver and Kamloops .



The Cascade Subdivision, as part of the CPR transcontinental line through BC, is one of the five busiest railway lines in the country; the majority of this traffic is freight.

Along the waterfront of Vancouver, the CPR serves a number of important shipping terminals, including the Vanterm container terminal (600,000 TEUs annually), the Canada Elevators grain terminal just west of the Second Narrows, and the Hillstrom Oil refinery and terminal at the foot of Burnaby Mountain west of Port Moody.


The various categories of passenger service are defined by the Ministry of Labour, Industry & Railways in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport & Communications; these categories are applicable to and used by all railways providing passenger service in British Columbia. Like all other railways in BC, ticket prices for BC Rail passenger trains are based on the Ministry's Schedule of Railway Fares.

Regular Express

Regular Express trains stop more often than Limited Express trains, but do not make unscheduled stops. One regular Express train runs on the Cascade Subdivision.

  • 501/502 (CP): Vancouver (Waterfront-CPR) – Blaenau
Daily service with a morning departure from each end. Baggage handling is free of charge to first class passengers, and available to second class passengers for a surcharge, and there is a cafeteria car open to all classes. For travel between three or fewer stops a surcharge is applied.
Intermediate stops: Mission, Haig (Hope), Spences Bridge, Ashcroft, Kamloops, Chase, Salmon Arm, Sicamous


Local trains are passenger trains that make scheduled stops at all stations and halts along the route they serve. The CPR's Local trains are second-class only with seat-side drink and snack service; none have baggage service. All but one are operated with multiple-unit trainsets - trains numbered in the 700 number range use diesel sets, those in the 800 range use electric sets. One is operated in conjunction with BC Rail; this train is locomotive-hauled. All local trains run at least twice daily in each direction to allow for trains to be useful for passengers making day trips. One Local service operates on the Cascade Subdivision.

  • 801/802, 803/804, 805/806 (CP): Vancouver – Kamloops
Three daily return trips, second class only with seat-side drink and snack service.

West Coast Express

West Coast Express is the name of the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority's system of heavy-rail commuter trains first inaugurated in 1991. These are operated under contract to the GVTA over three routes, one operated by BC Rail, one by the Washington & British Columbia, and one by the CPR, using dedicated bilevel passenger stock and locomotives painted in the West Coast Express livery; this equipment is owned by the GVTA, but operated by the railway along whose tracks they run. The GVTA specifies the ticket prices, fare collection, advertisements, and everything else not directly related to the maintenance and day-to-day operation of the trains. Locomotive and rolling stock maintenance work takes place at BC Rail's shops in Squamish and Surrey.

The West Coast Express service operated by the CPR runs between Waterfront-CPR Station in Vancouver and Mission stopping at all Local stops, with five return trips Monday through Friday (excluding statutory holidays); these travel from Mission to Vancouver in the morning and return in the evening.


A yellow background indicates an electrified section.

● - Scheduled Limited Express, Express, and Local stop
▲ - Scheduled Express and Local stop
• - Local stop only
| - No passenger service

Cascade Subdivision
Station Milepost Tariff-miles
from prev. stn.
from Calgary
Connecting lines Notes
0.0 0 512.3 Thompson Sub Named North Bend prior to 1977
China Bar
6.2 6 518.5 - Tank car unloading facility
7.7 2 520.0 - Passenger only; serves Hells Gate
10.8 3 523.1 -
15.5 5 527.8 BC Army Fort Inkawthia line
Saddle Rock
22.0 7 534.3 -
27.4 5 539.7 -
40.1 13 552.4 - This is CPR's station in Hope
41.6 - 553.9 Coquihalla Line (BCR)
Inter-Dominion Line (BCR)
Manning Park Line (W&BC)
Junction only, no commercial service
44.9 5 557.2 - Located in community of Chawathil
Ruby Creek
51.7 7 564.0 -
58.9 7 571.2 -
62.9 4 575.2 -
Harrison Mills
68.1 5 580.4 -
75.4 7 587.7 - Located in the community of Leqʼa:mel
81.6 6 593.9 -
84.4 3 596.7 -
87.3 3 599.6 Bellingham & Northern Line (NWP)
92.0 5 604.3 -
93.8 2 606.1 - Freight only
96.3 3 608.6 -
99.6 3 611.9 -
Port Haney
102.8 3 615.1 -
Port Hammond
105.1 2 617.4 -
Pitt Meadows
107.3 2 619.6 - Passenger only
Port Coquitlam
108.4 1 620.7 - Locomotive and car shops
Westminster Jct
111.2 - 624.8 Westminster Sub Junction only, no commercial service
111.9 4 624.2 GVM Evergreen Line
Port Moody
116.1 4 628.4 Ioco Sub
GVM Evergreen Line
IPSCO steel mill
120.5 - 632.8 - Freight only, Hillstrom Oil refinery
Second Narrows
124.1 - 636.4 - Freight only, Canada Elevators
125.3 - 637.6 - Freight only, Mariner Seafoods, Pacific Customs Brokers, Viterra
128.0 - 640.3 Burrard Inlet Line (W&BC) Freight only, Vanterm
Vancouver (Waterfront-CPR)
129.0 17 631.3 - CP Ships dock, Centerm