British Columbia car
The Business car British Columbia ran for nearly 70 years serving Canadian Pacific executives as an office and travelling home. In 1890, Barney & Smith constructed the coach as the sleeper Sherbrooke for the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1912 she was re-built in the CPR’s Angus Shops as a business car and was used all across Canada until she retired.
In 1961 she was purchased from the CPR by founding members of the West Coast Railway Association. In 1971, the car was leased to the Victoria Pacific, a tourist railway operator. By the time the car was returned to the WCRA in 1983 it had suffered serious damage. Restoration began that year and continued until 1990. The car was completed in time for its 100th birthday on July 30, 1990. It is estimated that some 80,000 person hours and $360,000 have gone into bringing British Columbia to her present condition.
As a Business car she would normally carry a complement of three, a Railway Executive, his assistant and a steward. The car could, however sleep up to 10 people in a comfort rarely equalled today. Her interior is Honduran mahogany inlaid with birch, maple and walnut finished with 12 coats of varnish, each one sanded between coats and finally French polished. All the fittings are solid brass and she rides on 6 wheel trucks.