This Week in History (1915): “Mail by rail” arrives in Prince George

During the last week of February, 1915, citizens of Prince George and other communities along the one-year-old Grand Trunk Pacific rail line from Edmonton to Prince Rupert received welcome news: mail cars would now be a regular part of all trains running east and west, a development that meant faster, more reliable mail service to and from Northern British Columbia. The event was reported by the Prince George Post on February 27, 1915:

Beginning tonight, Grand Trunk Pacific trains between Edmonton and Prince Rupert will carry standard mail cars and mail clerks. The clerks will run between Edmonton and Prince George and between Prince George and Prince Rupert. . . . Heretofore, only a baggage car service was given on the road west of Edson [Alberta]. This improvement will be heartily welcomed by the people of Prince George and other points along the line. Mails for both directions from Prince George will still close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Previously, mail for the region had been carried by stagecoach, stern-wheeler, steamship and dog sled. 

The Edmonton-Prince Rupert segment was the final leg in the advancement of mail service along the entire Grand Trunk Pacific line, which stretched east to Winnipeg and connected with other railways serving eastern Canada and the United States.

Photo of people receiving mail off a train stopped in Valemount, British Columbia

A clerk distributes mail from a train stopped outside the station in Valemount, B.C.
(Photo: The Exploration Place)

Sources:

  • “Better mail service over G.T.P. railway,” Prince George Post, 27 February 1915, page 1.

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