The story of the Kettle Valley Railway is an amazing piece of Canadian history. The railway served the people and of southern British Columbia for 49 years (1916-1945) linking the mineral rich interior of the Province to the Pacific Coastal shipping.

Recently, parts of the old KVR have been preserved as heritage sites. Many sections of the old “Tin Whistle’s” right-of-way are enjoying renewed popularity with “Eco-tourists” as hiking and mountain-biking trails. 

A marvel of engineering, the KVR owes its very existence to the genius & perseverance of one man: Andrew McCulloch.



Back in1916 they laid the last rail down
On the Coast-to-Kootenay Railway from Hope to Midway town
Over 3 mountain ranges lay the greatest challenge that any engineer could find
Two ribbons of steel they called the Kettle Valley Railway Line 

Andrew McCulloch, just look what you have done
You’ve built a railway, where they said a railway was never meant to run
Where other men would have said “die”
You’d take a second look, ‘cause you never know until you try
Now it’s called McCulloch’s Wonder; the old “Tin Whistle” Line 

What dreams inspired your trestled spans along the Myra Canyon?
Or drove Othello Tunnels through Hope’s forbidding gate? 

Copper, gold, cattle & coal from across the southern vales
Avalanches ice & snow, through driving wind and hail
Chief Engineer for twenty years, kept watchful eye on the marvel he’d designed
It was called McCulloch’s Wonder the Kettle Valley Railway Line 

Aboard a helper engine, up Carmi’s steeper grades
The fireman’s back was breaking, he shovelled eighteen tons a day 

Now everything is still, no smoke no steam or rumble in the rails
Water towers and stations gone and few folks left to tell the tale
But buried in these silent hills along the roadside stands a lonely highway sign
Recalls McCulloch’s Wonder the Kettle Valley Railway Line
McCulloch’s Wonder The old “Tin Whistle” Line


Music & lyrics by Bruce Coughlan (SOCAN)
From Tiller’s Folly: A Ripple In Time CD, 2002

Bruce Coughlan:
lead vocal

Laurence Knight: electric bass, vocals
Nolan Murray: 5-string banjo
Mike Sanyshyn: fiddle, mandolin
Phil Robertson: drums
Robbie Steininger: dobro, acoustic guitar
Gord Maxwell: vocals 

Produced by Laurence Knight
Engineered by John Ellis & Eric Reed

Recorded at Magic Lab Studios, Surrey, BC and Red Stripe Studios, Burnaby, BC
Mixed at The Factory, Vancouver, BC Sheldon Zaharko, assisting.
Mastered by Jamie Sitar, Sound Suite, Vancouver, BC
Re-mastered by Joby Baker, Baker Studios, Victoria, BC.