"The Canadian" Equipment Brochure

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The West Coast Railway Association sponsored the Western Rails show in Burnaby, Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sunday, 16 Mar 2008. Many railroad collectable dealers were in attendance with several sellers offering paper collectables. One such item was this Canadian Pacific Railway brochure describing the equipment used on their stainless steel scenic dome trainset, "The Canadian". While there is no date indicated on the brochure it may be from the earliest period of operation as indicated by the gothic lettering on the locomotives.

The Canadian

There have been many "name" trains in the world, The Orient Express, 20th Century Limited, The Empire Builder... but if anyone should mention Canada then only one name comes to the fore - Canadian Pacific Railway's "The Canadian". The first run of "The Canadian" occurred on 24 Apr 1955. Buck Crump, who was head of the railway then, decreed this streamliner to be CPR's best attempt to win passengers away from the automobile. A huge amount of money, for the time, was invested in the construction of stainless-steel equipment manufactured by the Budd Company of Pennsylvania, USA, for use between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario, or Montreal, Quebec. A complete eastbound train, longer during the summer months, departed daily from Vancouver for Sudbury, Ontario. There it was split into two separate trains, one heading to Toronto and the other to Montreal. Westbound trains departing Toronto and Montreal were united at Sudbury to form one larger train to Vancouver.

 Click to enlarge So unique were these trainsets that original artwork was even commissioned for the 18 stainless steel dome observation cars named in the "Park" series. 18 Canadian artists were selected by the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts to create the murals appearing in these cars. The most popular portion of these cars had to be the dome section. Containing seating for only 24 patrons one had to arrive very early or very late to ensure a seat. With soothing music emitted from the loud-speaker at the front of the aisle, a night visit with the dome lights dimmed and the glow of the block signals changing to red just before passing beside the window in the dark, one could watch the train's lights snaking through the curves ahead. Occasionally one could see the beam from the locomotive headlight light up a rock face here, a rock cut there, or briefly a tunnel entrance before the train was swallowed up by the blackness.
A typical trainset consisted of two or three FP7A, FP7B, FP9A, or FP9B diesel-electric locomotives followed by a through baggage boxcar, baggage dormitory, coaches, Skyline dome car, sleeping cars of the Chateau or Manor series, and dining car with a Park series observation always on the rear-end, drumhead attached. Sometime in 1955 22 P class heavyweight sleeping cars built in 1926 were spruced up with stainless steel siding to become U series tourist sleepers, their names all beginning with the letter "U".

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The equipment has suffered wear and tear over the years but as of this date, in 2008, that makes the remaining cars in service with VIA Rail Canada 53-years-old and still going strong! A testament to the Budd Company's construction work and maintenance carried out by railroad men over the years.


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Fold lines indicated in black. Click on any section of the brochure to enlarge the image.


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Click on any section to enlarge the image.
 Skyline dome observation


The Canadian
Kerr, James W.
DPA-LTA Enterprises Inc. PO Box 100 Montreal Quebec H2S 3K6
Hardcover - 8 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches - 22.5 x 28.75 centimetres
144 pages - 117 photos - 13 drawings - 5 Timetables - 1 map.
$28.00 (1986 price)
Oversize book with little text containing mostly photos and timetables.

Associated Web Sites

Wikipedia - Canadian Pacific Railway
Wikipedia - The Canadian
Putting The Canadian Together
The Canadian Part 1
The Canadian Part 2
50 Years Later (The Canadian)
1955 Canadian for Microsoft Train Simulator
VIA Rail Canada's "Canadian"
Canadian Pacific Railway
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http://www.okthepk.ca     Victoria British Columbia Canada