Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

The Hudson Bay Railway

The Hudson Bay Railway
Installed 1975
CNR Station

The Hudson Bay Railway was actively proposed in the 1870s to provide the West with a direct route to Europe. A charter was issued in 1881 but political and financial difficulties prevented immediate construction.

In 1908, the Canadian Northern Railway built a line to The Pas. The Canadian Government then assumed responsibility, reaching Kettle Rapids (on the Nelson River) before wartime financial problems intervened. The Canadian National Railway then carried trappers’ supplies on the weekly “Muskeg Special” only to Mile 214 (Pikwitonei). In response to pressures from the West, the Government made a final effort to reach the Bay. A crew of 3,000, working with pickaxe and wheelbarrow on the frozen muskeg, brought the railway to Churchill on March 29, 1929.