Some engineers who were heading for the Klondike in 1898 stated that it would be impossible to construct a railway through the White Pass. Yet, it was the belief of the railway builders that the Yukon’s future would depend on the availability of a reliable transportation system.
With British financing, American engineering and Canadian contracting, construction began at Skagway, Alaska on May 28, 1898. While the labour force never exceeded two thousand workers at any one time, some thirty-five thousand names were recorded on the White Pass construction payrolls.
The last spike was driven at Carcross, Yukon on July 29, 1900. Present were hundreds of onlookers and Samuel H. Graves, the railway’s president, E.C. Hawkins, Chief Engineer, and Michael J Heney, contractor.