Nicola Subdivision

Statistical Data

Nicola Subdivision – Merritt to Nicola

Operations started: 1907
Operations ended: N/A
Tracks removed: 1980
Lowest Elevation: 598 meters
Highest Elevation: 628 meters
Total Distance: 11.3 Kilometers


Nicola Subdivision – Merritt to Spences Bridge

Operations started: 1907
Operations ended: 1989
Tracks removed: 1991
Lowest Elevation: 235 meters
Highest Elevation: 598 meters
Total Distance: 61.8 Kilometers


Nicola Subdivision Notes

The Merritt to Nicola section is a pretty nondescript section of the Kettle Valley Railway. In fact, the most notable feature is not even on or around the right of way! I am talking about the Quilchena Hotel, which was built in anticipation of the railway going through to Kamloops. Instead, they routed the rail bed through to Spences Bridge and the rails only made 11.3 kilometers towards Kamloops.

Even with no rail line, the Quilchena Hotel survived and is still in operation today. It has a fine golf course for everyone to enjoy.

There is little to be seen of the KVR in and around Merritt itself. There is one steel bridge left in town. Once you get out of town, you can pick up the rail bed once again as it works its way towards Spences Bridge in the Fraser Canyon. The right of way passes through several Indian Reserves and permission is required to travel the rail bed in these areas as ownership has reverted to the Lower Nicola, Nooaitch and Shakan Bands.

There are several bridges of various sizes and description to be seen in this section as well as one remaining station that appears to have been moved from the right of way and is being used as a residence (at least the last time I passed by there, which was about 2004).

The subdivision winds its way from the grassy Nicola Valley to the Fraser Canyon, dropping 363 meters in the process. There is one very notable tunnel on this section at Clapperton, the brick work is unlike anything else on the entire Kettle Valley Railway. At Spences Bridge, the KVR joined the mainline of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Stations on this section include, Merritt, Coutlee, Coyle, Canford, Dot, Agate, Clapperton, and Spences Bridge.
Click on one of the links below to view the stations or points of interest in the Nicola Subdivision