Canadian Pacific 1953 Timetable

In addition to train schedules, this Canadian Pacific timetable includes steamship schedules: the Empresses of Scotland, France, and Australia providing service between Montreal and Liverpool are on the inside front cover, while pages 24 through 27 list various British Columbia coast steamship or lake steamer schedules. The timetable also mentions air service but does not include detailed schedules.

Click image to download a 27.5-MB PDF of this 36-page timetable.

In 1953, before introduction of the streamlined Canadian, CP’s main trains were the Dominion, which was actually three separate trains: numbers 3 & 4 between Toronto and Vancouver; numbers 7 & 8 between Montreal and Vancouver; and number 9 & 10 between Montreal and Sudbury. East of Sudbury, numbers 7 & 8 were sleeping cars only, while 9 & 10 was coaches and parlor cars and operated about one to two hours apart from 7 & 8.

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Through the Canadian Rockies, 1953

By 1953, Canadian Pacific had Dieselized its transcontinental passenger trains, necessitating a new “Through the Rockies” booklet. This edition contains all or nearly all of the text and maps, and most of the photos (though photos with steam locomotives have naturally been replaced).

Click image to download a 20.4-MB PDF of this 28-page booklet.

Perhaps in response to CN’s Triangle Tours, this booklet also adds six new pages about CP’s second route across the Rockies over Crowsnest Pass. This route had its own fairly spectacular scenery, but unfortunately passenger service on it stopped long ago. Under the name of Royal Canadian Pacific, CP attempted to revive it, but it didn’t operate except as a private charter in 2014.

Canadian Pacific Presents Banff and Lake Louise

Dated 1953, this curious booklet contains 16 pages of semi-glossy paper filled with color photo in a plain tan wrapper that was probably meant to seem posh, but today just seems cheap. While Canadian Pacific had numerous Rocky Mountain lodges in various price ranges, the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise described in this booklet were the crème de la crème, not just for the Rockies but for Canada as a whole.

Click image to download a 13.4-MB PDF of this booklet.

By any measure, the Banff Springs Hotel is absolutely monumental. After a fire destroyed the original 1888 hotel in 1926, the current hotel was built in stages and now has well over 800 rooms. At one time it was the tallest building in Canada.

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Dieselized Dominion Menu

Canadian Pacific proudly put a Diesel-powered Dominion on the cover of this 1953 menu, finally conceding that Diesels would soon completely replace steam. Diesels were “the latest contribution to the ease and comfort of passengers,” said the back cover of the menu.

Click image to download a 1.5-MB PDF of this menu.

Yet Canadian railways were sadly well behind railways in the United States. Some, including the Rock Island, Southern, and Western Pacific, retired their last steam locomotives in 1953, and most others weren’t far behind.

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The Triangle Route

Here’s CN’s 1952 update to previous editions of the Triangle Route booklet. Typical of CN, this booklet is a step down from Canadian Pacific’s Through the Rockies: only 16 pages instead of 28 and filled with mostly black-and-white photos instead of all color. But the tour it advertises was definitely attractive.

Click image to download a 13.1-MB PDF of this 16-page booklet.

By 1952, virtually all major U.S. railroads had streamlined and Dieselized their premiere trains. But CN and CP remained committed to steam and heavyweight passenger cars. It would be two more years before CN announced that it made a “record purchase” of streamlined passenger equipment that would only replace the heavyweights in mid-summer, 1954.

Banff Dining Car Menu, 1952

Here’s a menu featuring the Banff Springs Hotel on the cover that was used on the Mountaineer some time in 1952. The bottom of the inside says “Canadian Pacific – Soo Line,” emphasizing that the Mountaineer went from Minneapolis-St. Paul over the Soo Line to Canada, meeting the Canadian Pacific main line at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Click image to download a 1.5-MB PDF of this menu.

The Mountaineer operated only from late June to late August. The rest of the year, the train leaving Minneapolis-St. Paul was called the Soo-Dominion, and it was combined with the Toronto section of the Dominion at Moose Jaw. The Dominion itself was actually two trains, numbers 3 & 4 from Toronto and numbers 7 & 8 from Montreal, which operated about an hour apart west of Sudbury.

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By Train Through the Canadian Rockies, 1951

The previous booklet of the same title must have been successful, because by 1951 Canadian Pacific had improved it by printing all photos in full color. The photos are also accompanied by the same cyan-and-magenta topographic maps of each segment of the railway’s route through the mountains from Calgary to Kamloops that were in the earlier edition.


Click image to download a 20.7-MB PDF of this booklet.

In addition to the steam locomotive on the front cover, the booklet includes six more photos of Canadian Pacific passenger trains dwarfed by the spectacular mountains and river canyons of the railway’s route. The booklet also describes CP hotels and briefly mentions its steamships to Alaska and air service to Hawaii and the South Pacific.

Algoma Central Country

This brochure is undated, but it potentially could be from any year between the late 1930s and 2014 as the Algoma Central is unique among North American railroads in that it still offered passenger service along its entire length in 2014 (although there was some doubt about whether this would continue through 2015). However, the quality of the color photographs is too good to be pre-war yet too poor to be very recent (plus it has been in my collection for many years), so I’m inclined to date it to the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Click image to download a 2.0-MB PDF of this brochure.

The brochure invites travelers to take a one-day tour to Agowa Canyon where they can picnic, fish, hunt, or canoe. Algoma Central has been part of the Canadian National Railway since 2001, but as of this writing it still offers one-day Agowa Canyon tours, ecotours, or rail trips down the entire 592-mile line of the railroad.

Through the Canadian Rockies, 1949

Canadian Pacific used this colorful brochure to lure postwar tourists to Banff, Lake Louise, and other Rocky Mountain sites reachable by its trains. The brochure folds out to be effectively eight 8″x9″ pages long. For some reason, CP marketing decided that skewing the text and photos 13 degrees off of horizontal would make it more exciting, as if the scenes shown in the 13 color and four black-and-white photos are not exciting enough.

Click image to download a 5.9-MB PDF of this brochure.

Fifteen years after Diesel-powered streamliners had taken the United States by storm, Canadian railroads were still using steam power and heavyweight equipment for their premiere trains. At least many of the locomotives appeared semi-streamlined, though that was probably more influenced by British locomotive design than by America’s art deco movement.

Alaska and the Yukon

This booklet advertises the White Pass & Yukon Route, one of my favorite railroads, but sadly only includes one or two muddy photos of WP&Y trains. While the vertical scale of the scene on the cover (which is actually the back cover) is a bit exaggerated, the reality of a train hugging a cliff hundreds of feet above the river and about to go over a high trestle and into a tunnel is more spectacular than the image reveals.

Click image to download a 4.1-MB PDF of this 8-page booklet.

There’s no date on the booklet, but it refers to the Alaska Highway as the “trail of the Nineteen-forties.” It also mentions “outlandish animated waxworks” in “Jeff Smith’s Parlor,” which refers to an automaton that operated from the late 1930s to 1950. So the booklet must date from the post-war 1940s.