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    SPIRAL TUNNELS - YOHO NATIONAL PARK


AN ENGINEERING MARVEL
The CPR had a problem. The problem was that the railway had to climb 1,070 feet (330 m) in a very short 10 miles (16 km) to the west from Field at 4,267 feet (1,301 m) climbing to the top of the Continental Divide at 5,340 feet (1,630 m).[2] This is a very difficult climb for trains loaded with cargo. The narrow valleys and high mountains limited the space where the railway could stretch out and decrease the grade. So the decision was made to bore extra mileage into the mountains and lower the grades. The trains would not have to climb as far in such a short distance and would avoid snow and landslides. The Spiral Tunnels were completed in 1909.

DIORAMA EXPLAINING SPIRAL TUNNELS

SPIRAL TUNNELS
FULL SIZE IMAGE

TRAIN TOURS THROUGH THE SPIRAL TUNNELS

This is a CANADIAN PACIFIC freight train going through the first of two spiral tunnels near the Alberta British Columbia border (Near the town of Field).   There is one train here, not two. You are looking at the front of the train (Blue locomotives) and the back of the train at the same time. Most of the train is inside the mountain. The train enters into the tunnel which curves 360 degrees inside the mountain and the train comes out over top of itself and continues to a second spiral tunnel. This viewpoint is visible from the Trans-Canada Highway.

The route called for two tunnels to be drilled at the same time (one from each end) in three-quarter circles into the valley walls. This construction project effectively doubled the length of the track and effectively reduced the grade that the trains traverese to 2.2%. One thousand workers worked on the tunnels to drill through sheer rock.



MORE YOHO PARK SIGHTS
DIORAMA EXPLAINING SPIRAL TUNNELS

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TAKE A ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN TOURS AND YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THE SPIRAL TUNNELS ON YOUR TRIP !!

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