Red Pass station

Feature type: Locality
Province: British Columbia
Location: CNR, W end of Moose Lake
Latitude: 52°59’00”
Longitude: 119°00’00”
NTS map: 83D/14
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

The Red Pass railway junction at the west end of Moose Lake was originally called Resplendent, like Red Pass a name deriving from the color of the rocks. East of Red Pass, the tracks of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, descending to the Fraser River on route to Prince George in 1912, were kept as low as possible. The tracks of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway, heading for the Albreda Pass, were kept high. After the consolidation of the railways in 1923 as the Canadian National Railway, Lucerne disappeared as a railway divisional point and Resplendent blossomed as Red Pass Junction, the point where the removal of the separate tracks stopped and where the two lines diverged.

During the 1930s, there was a hobo jungle at Red Pass where the vagabonds waited for trains. About 50 people lived at Red Pass in the 1940s.

During World War II it was the site of a Japanese internment camp. The Red Pass hotel burned down in 1949. The post office was open from 1921 to 1976. The headquarters of Mount Robson Park were moved from Red Pass to Valemount in 1987.

Also see Red Pass on Shared Visions.

References:

  • MacGregor, James Grierson, 1905-1989. Overland by the Yellowhead. Saskatoon: Western Producer, 1974
  • Topping, William. A checklist of British Columbia post offices. Vancouver: published by the author, 7430 Angus Drive, 1983

6 thoughts on “Red Pass station

  1. les kozma

    Red Pass Jct. first appeared in May 1917, the beginning of the 205-mile consolidation of the Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific lines that ended at Imrie (later Styal), Alberta. The GTP rail was lifted with the intentiion of shipping it overseas for the war effort. The original Red Pass station on the GTP was two miles east of here; it was a blind siding (i.e. no depot) that was installed in 1912, but subsequently used as the CNR alignment when that line came through in 1913 to create a double track alignment from the east end of Moose Lake to the later location of Red Pass Jct. The GTP also installed a station and siding at Resplendent (the CNR had a station with the same name, just up the hill), which was about two miles west of present day Red Pass Jct. It was later renamed Selwyn.

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  2. Gary Sargeant

    I would just like to let you know that I lived upstairs in the Redpass Jct station from 1950 to 1953. My dad was the operator (agent) sent in when the Canoe River wreck happened. In 1953 he bid on the agent job at Pacific and got the posting and we moved to Pacific tilll Dec 1957 he bid on the agens job at Clearwater BC on the mail line and got it where he stayed until he retired.

    submitted by Gary Sargeant

    Reply
  3. Chris Rye

    My first summer, working on the railway (1974), was as the 2nd trick operator at Redpass. Lionel Young was the agent. Bob Holt and John Castle were the other two operators. John lived upstairs and worked midnights. At 2330, I would take the train order hoop and hammer on the ceiling to wake him up. In August of that year, a trunker derailed on the crossover switch while I was standing there waiting hoop up the tail end orders. I dropped the hoop and ran for it! All in all, quite a summer.

    Chris Rye

    Reply
  4. Gerry Taylor

    I was an Operator on the CNR in 1957 though 1958. During this time I the Job that I bid in as third trick Albreda. Bob McLeod was the agent at Albreda at the time. I joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1959 and returned to the CNR in 1965 at Redpass Jct as an operator. I eventually lived upstairs above the station with my wife and children, until bidding an operators job at Blue River in 1969. In Blue River I worked with Gary Sargent who was on another shift. When I arrived at Redpass Jct. after release from the RCN, Bob McLeod was the agent. Him and his wife Rose eventually left the Railway, and bought the Store at Redpass Jct. Then Lionel Young became Agent. This was an important time time my life, as I learned to be a parent and responsible adult. I have many fond memories at Redpass Jct and all the train crews that ran out of Jasper.
    Other operators that worked at Redpass Jct. while I was there were, Mat Medvid, Dan Stewart and Lionel Young.
    The section foreman on the main line was Robert Pollie, the Linesman was Bill Tochnuck and the signal foreman was Joe Tepasse. I have probably spelt surnames wrong, but sounds like that.

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  5. gary sargeant

    Hi Gerry great to hear from you. In 1950 the Canoe River head on with no2 and the troup train, the operator at RedPass was pulled out of service over this train order, My dad Phil Sargeant was sent to Red Pass to take his place, We lived up stairs it that station from 1950 until Dad bid on the agency in Pacific on the north line and we moved there. I went to school in Redpass and also my older brother Dale.

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor

      Great to hear from you Gary, I now live in Abbotsford but not in great health. I have Pulmonary Lung Disease, from expose to asbestos and chemicals while serving in the Canadian Navy. On oxygen 24/7.
      But still kicking. It’s really great these site’s are made available for us to remember our railroad days.

      Reply

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