History was made on July 4, 1886, when the first passenger train from Montreal pulled into Port Moody, British Columbia. It represented the completion of a huge undertaking to connect Canada’s east and west by rail, a promise made to British Columbia to bring it into Confederation. Port Moody was designated the western terminus, the end of the line, and the arrival of the first passenger train was celebrated by many. But the story continued when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decided to extend the line to the newly named Vancouver. On May 23, 1887, with 150 passengers, Engine no. 374 became the first transcontinental passenger train to roll into Vancouver, which was decorated for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations on May 24.
Vancouver would go on to become the major economic centre for the region, and the rail line would continue to move passengers and goods across the country into the present.