GTPR- Silk Trains

Known as the “Emperor of Trains
End of the road for these trains was New York City!
President Charles Melville Hays envisioned a New Silk Route from Asia, to the East Coast of North America.
He never lived to see this come to fruition, as he died on the Titanic.

CPR and the Great Northern were running Special Silk Trains from Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco, at that time.
Hays realized Rupert was closer to the Orient, than all of these locations, and shipping time would be drastically reduced for these special trains.
Raw Silk bales were shipped, each contained live silk worms inside.
The High Insurance on these shipments, was paid by the hour in transit.
Every hour they saved in shipping, saved the receiver huge amounts of money.
Because these shipments were so valuable, they didn't broadcast what they were doing.
These Special Silk Trains had the right of way over every other train.
They used the best steel wheels on these special cars.
They only stopped to change Engines, and Crew.
These trains ran on no schedule, except the greatest speed it could safely do.
Engineer, Fireman, Brakeman, Flagman, and Conductor were the only crew.
While the train was 1000 miles away, it was being prepared for by the Division Dispatchers.

Of course the GTP Railroad was used to carry other products, besides Passengers.
Fish, Fruit, Mining Ore, and Logging Products, were some of these.

Interesting to note, today (2018) Prince Rupert Port is winning the Orient trade again, because it is almost a day closer by boat. That's fuel and time saved.

from an old newspaper article
I see other explanations online
24,000 Silk Worm Eggs, weigh a quarter of an ounce.
The worm lives from 45 to 53 days It increases it's weight in 30 days, 9,500 fold
during the last 28 days of its life it eats nothing.
From 739 lbs. of mulberry leaves, 70 lbs of cocoons are obtained.
100 lbs of cocoons, gives 8 1/2 lbs of silk.
one pound of cocoons will produce a single thread 16 kms long.

Each bale of raw silk skeins was valued at around $1000.00 ea
These were million dollar shipments, back in the 1920's!


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 10:55
  • by dlgent