MBC1887 T:ANE

When originally a work camp in 1883, Field was known as Third Siding. It was renamed in 1884 to Field after Cyrus Field, head of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, which laid the first trans-Atlantic communications cable in 1858. Van Horne tried to entice Field to invest in the CPR by, among other things, paying for him to travel to the end-of-track to see the project firsthand. At the time, 1884, the track ended on the flats below Mount Stephen. Field is the only CPR community in the Rockies that still bears its original name. For example, Golden was originally called Golden City and Revelstoke was originally Farwell.

Field looking east towards Mount Field (centre) and the Kicking Horse Pass.

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The CPR initially built a wye at Field. Lacking sufficient space for the tail track, the wye was built out into the river. This was not the only place where space was limited for a wye. For example, when the Connaught Tunnel was built in Roger Pass between 1914 and 1916 Glacier House Station was relocated to the western portal of the tunnel. The hotel was not moved and eventually torn down. So the new station was simply called Glacier. A wye was installed at Glacier. Due to the narrow confines of the valley, the tail track was placed in a tunnel under Cheops Mountain.

The Field wye extended out into the Kicking Horse River due to lack space.

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Soon the CPR built a turntable and roundhouse at Field. The turntable was originally turned by hand. Later on, compressed air from the locomotives, and still later electricity, were used to power the turntable. The roundhouse was used to store and maintain the fleet of helper locomotives that assisted trains over the Big Hill. The roundhouse was expanded and upgraded over the years. The last of the roundhouses at Field was torn down in 1988 and the foundations were buried in 1993.

The roundhouse at Field.

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Posted:

Updated:

September 6, 2016

September 6, 2016

Field