Beginning of a Mainline

Soon after completion of the Canadian Pacific mainline on May 12, 1893, a 46-mile line was run from Sicamous-south to Vernon then 5 miles west to Okanagan Landing. With various stops along the way, the sternwheelers made the trip south from Okanagan Landing onto Kelowna and Penticton.

Kelowna Wharf, 1906

Sternwheelers, Tugs and Barges continued onto Penticton, at the south end of Okanagan Lake, and in 1915, connected with the Kettle Valley Railway. For more about tug/rail barge activity around Kelowna, view page 6.

October 22, 1909—The new Canadian Pacific rail wharf received its first train cars.

A new industrial area of Kelowna, which was north of where the sternwheeler wharf was located, started to built up quickly around this isolated railyard, as it appeared in 1914.

1914 C.P. Yard

Teams of horses would move the train cars from the wharf to the packing houses and coal dealers. Years later the horse teams were replaced by a shunter truck. A locomotive was not used from the wharf and track between the buildings because of soft ground, sharp curves and the need to run around train cars to push or pull when switching. An article from the January 1952 Kelowna Daily Courier, describing this operation. This truck was supplied by Chapman Transport.

A replacement truck used for this job was a 1945 six-cylinder International, with spring-loaded bumpers. Rear wheels were weighted with concrete.

Okanagan Historical Society

Taken on Water Street. Wharf is behind the truck. William Haug Building Supply was on the other side of Water St. just in front of the truck.

One of Kelowna's early residents, William Haug arrived here on April 13, 1892. Before the new rail wharf was built, Haug received train car loads of materials for his building supply and brick manufacturing business. Train cars would be unloaded at Okanagan Landing and delivered to Kelowna on the decks of the S.S. Aberdeen, S.S. York and later, S.S. Okanagan.

Haug Business Report, Jan. 9, 1908 - Kelowna Courier
Haug Business Report, 1908

William Haug built his new store in the newly developed industrial railyard area of Kelowna, opening up a building supply/coal dealer in 1910. Located across Water St. from the rail wharf and stock pen. Exact location is shown on the track plan below. The picture link will show many more pictures of this interesting area from the late 1920's to early 1930's.

West view from the roof of the Haug building
View from the Haug building of the wharf and stock pens.

Credit: Vintage Air Photos
A 1948 view of the C.P. Barge slip and tracks, along with the Haug building.
View this and other air photos showing rail activity in Kelowna.

C.P. obtained running rights over the new C.N. rail line from Vernon to Kelowna.

July 15, 1926, Kelowna Courier
C.P. soon moved their tug and rail barge operation to Kelowna from Okanagan Landing.

Track plan from January, 1927, shows the early days of the new C.P. yard, showing the newly installed interchange track, just after the Canadian National completed the railline from Vernon to Kelowna.

After the S.S. Sicamous was removed from service, C.P. received authorization to run passenger trains from Vernon to Kelowna. First passenger train was Monday, January 7, 1935.

The yard and Packing houses

C.P. Yard, 1960s
C.P. Yard, 1960s

This 1947 view shows the packing houses and CP rail yard, to the left, which was put in after 1927. The wharf is just out of the picture on the lower left. View is to the north. The packing houses date from the 1920's. They were all destroyed by fires in the early 1960's.

Northwest view of CP yard

A 1957 aerial view shows the construction site for the Okanagan lake bridge which opened July 19 1958. The CP wharf is on the lower left. Upper wharf and docks belong to CN. Only two buildings remain today. COMPARE the above picture to the same area in 2000.

After all the C.P. waterfront tracks were removed, C.P. then shared the C.N. yard located away from the valuable waterfront land.

The end of C.P.'s railroad presence on the waterfront.