Portal:Trains/Featured article/Week 34, 2005
BC Rail (AAR reporting marks BCOL and BCIT), was a railway that operated in the Canadian province of British Columbia between 1912 and 2004. It was a class II regional railway and the third largest in Canada, operating 1,441 miles (2,320 kilometres) of mainline track. It was owned by the provincial government from 1918 until 2004, when it was sold to Canadian National Railway. Chartered in 1912 as the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (PGE), the railway was acquired by the provincial government in 1918 after running into financial difficulties. A railway that ran from "nowhere to nowhere" for over 30 years, neither passing through any major city nor interchanging with any other railway, it expanded significantly between 1949 and 1984. In 1978 the railroad reorganized as the British Columbia Railway, and then shortened its name to BC Rail in 1984. Primarily a freight railway, it also offered passenger service, as well as some excursion services, most notably the Royal Hudson excursion train. The railway's operations have not always been profitable, and its debts have made it the centre of political controversy on multiple occasions.