The Canadian Pacific Railway Coast Service, also known as the British Columbia Coast Steamships (BCCS), was a division of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), which began operating Pacific coastal shipping routes in the late 19th century. The development of coastal passenger and cargo shipping routes extended from British Columbia to Alaska and to Seattle, Washington in the United States.
In 1901, CPR purchased the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company and its fleet of 14 vessels.Under the leadership of Captain James William Troup as its superintendent, constructed the steamship terminal as its headquarters on Victoria’s inner harbour. It began to expand its fleet, its routes, its infrastructure and its integrated rail service and trans-Pacific connections.
Many of CPR’s coastal ships came to be called “pocket liners” because they offered amenities like a great ocean liner, but on a smaller scale. The names of these vessels began with the title “Princess”; and the Princess fleet developed as an eponym in the first half of the 20th Century.
In 1913, 10 of the 12 Princess ships then serving in the coastal fleet had been built to the specifications of Captain Troup. Troup’s led the growth of BCCS until his retirement in 1928.
Among the highlights of Princess fleet’s service was in 1915 when the 30th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) embarked from Victoria, British Columbia sailing to the War in Europe.
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