The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), formerly also known as CP Rail (reporting mark CP) between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I rail carrier founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP, NYSE: CP), which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, it owns approximately 23,000 kilometres (14,000 mi) of track all across Canada and into the United States, stretching from Montreal to Vancouver, and as far north as Edmonton. Its rail network also serves major cities in the United States, such as Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City.
The railway was originally built between Eastern Canada and British Columbia between 1881 and 1885 (connecting with Ottawa Valley and Georgian Bay area lines built earlier), fulfilling a promise extended to British Columbia when it entered Confederation in 1871. It was Canada's first transcontinental railway, but currently does not reach the Atlantic coast. Primarily a freight railway, the CPR was for decades the only practical means of long-distance passenger transport in most regions of Canada, and was instrumental in the settlement and development of Western Canada. The CP became one of the largest and most powerful companies in Canada, a position it held as late as 1975. Its primary passenger services were eliminated in 1986, after being assumed by Via Rail Canada in 1978. A beaver was chosen as the railway's logo because it is the national symbol of Canada and was seen as representing the hardworking character of the company.
The company acquired two American lines in 2009: the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad. The trackage of the ICE was at one time part of CP subsidiary Soo Line and predecessor line The Milwaukee Road. The combined DME/ICE system spanned North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa, as well as two short stretches into two other states, which included a line to Kansas City, Missouri, and a line to Chicago, Illinois, and regulatory approval to build a line into the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. It is publicly traded on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CP. Its U.S. headquarters are in Minneapolis.