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Field

Field is an unincorporated community of approximately 169 people located in the Kicking Horse River valley of southeastern British Columbia, Canada, within the confines of Yoho National Park. It is 27km west of Lake Louise along the Trans-Canada Highway which provides the only road access to the town.HistoryThe Canadian Pacific Railway formally established the town of Field, originally known as "Third Siding", in 1883 as a work camp. The camp was needed for the local operations preparing the railway line from Laggan (Lake Louise, AB) over the Kicking Horse Pass and down the Kicking Horse river valley toward where Field stands today.The Kicking Horse Pass, also known as the “Big Hill”, was one of the most challenging obstacles along the mainline of the railway because of its intensive grade. For reason of economy, the government allowed the CPR to build the railway line stretch between Wapta Lake (Hector Siding) and Field (Third Siding) with a 4.4% grade. Seen as a temporary solution, this grade was twice the percentage normally allowed for a downhill train track. The first construction train to go down the pass ran away off the hill to land in the Kicking Horse river, killing three. The CPR soon added three safety switches (runaways) on the way down to help to control the train speed and avoid accident. Between 1907 and 1909, two spiral tunnels were built into Cathedral Mountain and Mount Ogden to reduce the hill’s grade to 2.2%.
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