W end of Moose Lake
52.986 N 119.0045 W — Map 083D14 — Google — GeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1911
Name officially adopted in 1983
Official in BC – Canada
Mile 0 in Tete Jaune Subdivision (Red Pass to McBride as of 1977)
Mile 44 in Albreda Subdivision (Jasper to Blue River as of 1977)
Wheeler 1912 map Mount Robson
Grand Trunk Pacific Map [ca. 1912]
Grand Trunk Pacific ticket 1914
Grand Trunk Pacific central BC map ca. 1918
Canadian National Railway map 1925
The Red Pass railway point is shown on Arthur Wheeler’s 1912 “Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass,” but near the middle of Moose Lake, not at the western end. The Grand Trunk Pacific was the only railway through the pass at that time.
The railway junction at Mile 27 at the west end of Moose Lake was originally called Resplendent, a name also 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.
Red Pass Junction probably had a GTP Type E station at one time. It may well be on the way to its third station as a new one is reported to have been built recently.
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. After the highway opened in 1962, the need for Red Pass diminished. CN still uses some buildings at Red Pass. The headquarters of Mount Robson Park were moved from Red Pass to Valemount in 1987.
The lower railway line was discontinued and the junction was moved near Charles north of Valemount.
The post office was open from 1921 to 1976, when it was closed and moved to Valemount.
C. W. Palmer 1921-1923
Earl Francis Woodley 1923-1946
Lloyd Francis Williams 1946-1967
Robert Francis McLeod 1967-1969
Lionel D. Young 1969-1972
Mrs Diane Audrey Rogers 1972-1973
Mrs Winnifred Lynn Castle 1973-1974
Mrs Margaret Wentzel 1974-1976
Mrs M. A. Watt 1976
Mrs P. Murphy 1976
- Wheeler, Arthur Oliver [1860–1945]. “Topographical Map Showing Mount Robson and Mountains of the Continental Divide North of Yellowhead Pass to accompany the Report of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Expedition 1911. From Photographic Surveys by Arthur O. Wheeler; A.C.C. Director.” Canadian Alpine Journal, Vol. 4 (1912):8-81. Victoria Library, University of Toronto
- MacGregor, James Grierson. Overland by the Yellowhead. Saskatoon: Western Producer, 1974. Internet Archive
- Bohi, Charles W. Canadian National’s Western Depots. The Country Stations in Western Canada. Railfare Enterprises, 1977
- Topping, William. A checklist of British Columbia post offices. Vancouver: published by the author, 7430 Angus Drive, 1983
- Trainweb. Trainweb
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I lived in Red Pass from 1948 to 1953. My father Alex Walker was the CNR section foreman on the CNR mainline. I remember him going to the Canoe River troop train wreck. I recall that he found one of the deceased engine crew. I remember Jack Atherton, the CNR operator at the time.
Hello everyone. I remember hearing your names when I was younger. My Mom mentions these names once in a while. I’m Matt Medvid’s oldest daughter, Sylvia. Bill Tocheniuk was my uncle. Sadly, Dad passed away in 1995 (52), and Uncle Bill, a couple years ago. Dad became work train coordinator in Calder and I was a relief operator for many years. We were all very blessed to have lived in such a beautiful place and to experience life in a CN family. Sylvia
Hey Sylvia – you probably don’t remember me but I recall living in red pass as a youngster and my sister Barb an I visiting at the station house with you and your family the Pooli’s Toshnuks ( spelling) and going to the Christmas party there when “Santa “ arrived lol – still remember the water tower Wow long time ago – me and the wife stop in every once in a while and have a look around – the diesel house still stands next to where we lived
I was traveling CNR from Prince George to Vanc. via Jasper in November, 1976 and got rerouted to Red Pass where I waited four hours. I eventually boarded a train ditect to Vancouver, without going to Jasper. But I don’t remember a station youse there. Was there one at that time? Kevin Barker
My first job was working in Red Pass . I lived there for about a year 1973-74. Joe Pacerini (?) was my foreman. It was a memorable year. Beautiful country. I often think of the people I met there.
I worked as a relief operator at Red Pass Jct. during the spring and early summer of 1969. Many familiar names in the preceding posts. My short time there was shared with Lionel Young, Darcy Brown, Danny Stewart, Frances Arendt and Bob Yuzwa from Blue River. Bill Laurie was the swing operator travelling between Lucerne and Red Pass to cover various shifts. I met Bill’s daughter a few years later after he had moved to McLure. We married in the summer of 1972 and are still talking railroading. One memory that stands out is that a huge derailment occurred at the Fitzwilliam siding and a speed freight train that was transporting new automobiles was involved.
It’s good to read so many of the names I know here. The above article states the Highway opened in 1962. It may have opened but it was a dirt road for a couple more years after that. I was a kid then and went to the one room school up by the highway from grade 3 -grade 6 and then we were bussed to Valemount. Herb Green was the Parks and Recreation officer. Wes Mickey was his assistant. We were there from 1963 and left in 1969 when we moved to Cedarvale BC and bought the cafe. The Hubics, and Sharas were therefor a while. Mom, Rose McLeod is still living in Terrace BC. Claudia is in Smithers BC and I live in Kingston Ontario. I had corresponded with Wayne Toshenuick before he passed away. I have many fond memories of growing up there as Just about all the people were good people.
I was just up to Valemount and spent a couple of days traipsing around Red Pass doing some fishing. The repeater station that was beside Lionel’s place is still there as is the old generator shed down by where the Tepasse house stood. The bridge has been redone in that all the wooden ties and railings have been replaced. There is only one siding left on the “North Line” or “Trunk Line”. All of the docks are long gone. (There had been four; The lower dock which was three logs with a deck of planks. Bill Hallam’s dock which we weren’t allowed on was a smaller dock. Lionel Young’s dock which was well engineered. If you know where to look, you can still see two of the logs that were part of the base structure. Then there was the William’s dock where Lloyd used to keep his plane).
If you know what you are looking for, you can still work out where the various buildings were. If you don’t know the area you wouldn’t know what all was there.
I just came across this page and looked at some of the comments. I was Joe Tepasse’s signal apprentice from
Before that I was operator at Albreda and Valemount from 1966 to 1968
1968 to 1969 when I went back to BCIT.
I remember babysitting all the kids so the adults could go to an event inJasper . Matts kids, Joe and Agnes’s kids and Bill’s kids.
I lived in the shack that was between Lionals house and Matts house . Lot of memories of this place
I pass the road down to Redpass everytime we drive to Fort Mac to see the grandkids.
I am now 74 and retired from Telus after 33 years.
I worked for the CNR Bridge & Building Department, Gang 6 I think. In Redpass one or two summers, 1956 and 1957. I stand corrected on the years, was it one summer or two? I remember Les Bowes cabin by the bridge, a couple of fellows got a model T from him and headed for Mount Robson. The car never made it back, pushed of the road and down the band I’m told. We also fixed up an old boat and motor to go fishing, smoking cigars on the William’s Store porch. I recall buying a sleeping bag from a DEW Line worker train hopping from Edmonton to Vancouver, know what year this might have been may confirm the year at “God’s Green Earth”.