MP-0000.2024.8 | Near inspection point, White Pass & Yukon Railroad, BC-YT, about 1898

Near inspection point, White Pass & Yukon Railroad, BC-YT, about 1898
H. C. Barley
About 1898, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , rail (370) , Train (185) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

The White Pass and Yukon Railroad runs 166 km between Skagway, on the Pacific coast, over the White Pass to Whitehorse, at the head of navigation on the Yukon River. Built between 1898 and 1900, it was hailed as an engineering marvel because of the sharp bends and very steep grades. From Whitehorse, freight and passengers were loaded on steamboats, also owned by the company, that ran from there to Dawson City and back. A narrow gauge line, it was built without government help and operated profitably for 80 years, until a downturn in the Yukon economy forced it to close. A few years later, the southern stretch reopened as a tourist attraction that still serves thousands of visitors a year.

Source : Off to the Klondike! The Search for Gold [Web tour], by William R. Morrison, University of Northern British Columbia (see Links)

  • What

    This is a scenic view of the White Pass and Yukon Railway.

  • Where

    The photograph was taken near the summit of the White Pass, on the U.S.-Canada boundary.

  • When

    It must be later than 1898, the date suggested, for that was the year construction of the railway began.

  • Who

    No human figures appear, but the results of the work of the thousands who built the line are evident.