In the Speech from the Throne in February 1871, the government of Sir John A. Macdonald announces the intention to build a railway to the Pacific.
Construction is rapid in 1882 and 1883. William Van Horne is appointed CPR general manager and he profoundly influences the future of the West by his placement of railway stations.
Back in power in 1878, Macdonald reluctantly agrees on Donald Smith, Jim Hill and George Stephen to head the syndicate that will build the railway. After much debate, the railway bill is passed.
Charges of corruption and intrigue ring out against the Macdonald government as the Pacific scandal comes to a head. Sir John resigns and the "dream" seems more like a nightmare.