A dramatized documentary about the political and engineering struggle to build Canada's first trans-continental railway.


Credited cast:
Pierre Berton ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diana Barrington ...
 Lady Dufferin
Lloyd Berry ...
 Foreman Miller
Susan Bird ...
 Mary Macdonald
Vernon Chapman ...
 Richard Cartwright
George Chow ...
 Cornelius Van Horne
Tim Crighton ...
 William Topley
Joe Crowfoot ...
 Chief Crowfoot
Neil Dainard ...
 Robert Rylatt
 Young Fraser
James B. Douglas ...
 Major A.B. Rogers
Gillie Fenwick ...
 Alexander Mackenzie
Ted Follows ...
 Charles Tupper
Pat Galloway ...
 Agnes Macdonald


Canadian popular historian, Pierre Berton, recounts the story of one of the most challenging and important political and engineering projects in Canadian history, the building of the country's first trans-continental railway. Beginning as part of Prime Minister John A Macdonald's deal in 1871 to have British Columbia join Canada, the project seemed foolhardy for such a young nation. Indeed, many regarded the idea of building a railway spanning from Ontario to BC through the rocks of the Canadian Shield, swamps, prairies and mountain ranges without even a clear route or destination as impossible. This series follows the long struggle to realize Macdonald's National Dream through the initial surveying, the political scandals and infighting even as the colourful builders struggle to conquer the difficult geography in their construction of a railway that would help secure and define a nation. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

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Drama | History





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21 March 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a truly outstanding documentary production (extremely well-researched and filmed, with high-quality acting and narration). This 8-part mini-series was produced at a cost of 2 million CAD (a large sum in 1974), and the viewing audience when first aired, set a record for Canadian dramatic productions (Source Wikipedia).

To follow up on the comments of the previous reviewer (who was disappointed that they had been unable to find the series), I am happy to report that it IS possible to obtain a copy of this series on DVD. After much searching, I found that it can only be purchased directly from the Educational Services department of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), although it is quite pricey (approximately 200CAD).

If you are a railway or history buff, you will definitely enjoy this epic story!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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