Postcards from the Canadian

The sight of a stainless steel train enhanced the already incredible scenery of the Canadian Rockies. These postcards were not issued by the Canadian Pacific, but many passengers no doubt purchased them in stations and nearby souvenir shops. (Click any image to download a PDF of the postcard.)

Here is the Dominion shortly before introduction of the stainless steel equipment. The photo shows Diesels leading streamlined coaches and heavyweight sleepers along the Bow River.

Several years later, here is the Canadian passing by the same location, which is sometimes called Morant’s Curve because a Canadian Pacific photographer named Nicholas Morant took so many photos here. Morant’s photos stimulate an entire book and were so popular that some appeared on the backs of Canadian $10, $50, and $100 bills.

This photo shows the Canadian‘s tourist sleepers in front of the Skyline dome car, distinguished by their extra height above the stainless steel cars.

The back of this card says Mt. Vaux and Mt. Chanceller form the backdrop for the Canadian. This postcard has been used but the note makes it apparent that the sender saw the train but did not ride it during their vacation in Banff.

The 660-foot-long Stoney Creek Bridge, on the east side of the Selkirk Mountains, was also a popular spot for Canadian Pacific photos. Canadian Pacific trains not only had to climb the Rockies, but the Selkirk and Purcell mountains.

This photo was taken by Nicholas Morant in1955 and was used in lots of Canadian Pacific advertising. The tourist sleepers visible in this photo were gone by 1968, when Morant took a nearly identical photo because the CPR had slightly modified its logos and paint scheme.

The train in the 1968 photo appears to have two Skyline cars, indicating that the illustrator of the railway’s 1955 brochure was prescient; the CPR could include more domes in the Canadian after 1967, when it cancelled the Dominion.


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