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Cattle Car and Caboose

7th Avenue at Front Street, Kamloops, British Columbia, V2C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/10/30

Exterior view of the Cattle Car and Caboose, 2007; City of Kamloops, 2007
Oblique view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Cattle Car and Caboose are railroad cars, situated on a railway siding off Seventh Avenue near Front Street in Kamloops. The Caboose, dating from 1912, is an original rail car with tongue-and-groove wooden cladding and a steering lookout. The Cattle Car is of steel and wood construction with a sliding door on the side. Its date of manufacture is unknown.

Heritage Value

The Cattle Car and Caboose are valued as examples of Canadian Northern Railway (later Canadian National Railway) rolling stock and serve as a testament to the railway’s importance to the economic development of Kamloops. The Canadian Northern Railway line was extended to Kamloops in 1915, bringing prosperity and an abundance of employment opportunities. The railway allowed passenger transport and facilitated the mobility of goods and livestock, benefitting trade in the region. Kamloops became a divisional point for the Canadian Northern Railway, a place where trains exchanged crews, resulting in a permanent population of railway workers. In 1919, the Canadian Northern Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway merged to form the Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.), further enhancing the importance of Kamloops as part of a national rail network.

The Cattle Car and Caboose are also significant for their links to the city's thriving cattle ranching industry, which was established in the early 1860s and became a fundamental component of the local economy. The railway facilitated the movement of cattle and strengthened the city's position as the center of the cattle industry in British Columbia. The area was home to some of British Columbia’s most successful cattle ranchers, and Kamloops became the headquarters of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, established in 1929, and the B.C. Livestock Association, established in 1943.

The Cattle Car and Caboose were withdrawn from service and presented to the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce in 1970. The two cars were used as tourist information booths on the Yellowhead Highway until 1982. They have since been restored and are now located on land owned by the City of Kamloops. The Caboose is one of only fifty such cabooses still extant in Canada.

Source: City of Kamloops Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key characteristics that define the heritage character of the Cattle Car and Caboose include their:
- location on a railway siding

Cattle Car:
- vernacular form, scale and massing suitable for the transport of live cattle
- manufactured steel elements such as the undercarriage and wheels
- wood construction of the upper car, including wooden side slats with gaps for ventilation, and diagonal supports

- vernacular form, scale and massing that conform to functional requirements, including a lookout
- manufactured steel elements such as the hog truss undercarriage and wheels
- wood construction of the upper car, including tongue-and-groove cladding and wooden sash windows



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Rolling Stock

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kamloops Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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