Myra Canyon History

Myra Canyon presented a challenging obstacle to Chief Engineer Andrew McCullough. At an elevation of 1280 metres, the highest section of the KVR, it is a deep, steep and wide chasm, carved out by two main creeks: today’s KLO and Pooley creeks. McCulloch creatively hung his railway on the sides of the canyon, using nearly eleven kms of track to reach around something less than one kilometer wide. Completed in 1914, it took 19 (now 18) wooden trestles of various lengths and heights to do it. McCulloch commented that he had never seen a railway built in such difficult conditions. His engineers aptly called it “McCulloch’s Wonder”.

When the Coquihalla section opened in 1916 the southern route from the Kootenays to the West coast was complete. Through to 1980 the KVR was the major economic driver of development of BC’s southern interior.

For a detailed history of the construction of the Myra Canyon section of the Kettle Valley Railway, see Myra’s Men: Building the Kettle Valley Railway, Myra Canyon to Penticton, by Maurice Williams.