1941 Kicking Horse Pass Menu

The colorized photo on this menu cover shows a train, probably the Dominion judging by the minimal head-end cars, approaching the summit of Kicking Horse Pass in the Rocky Mountains with Popes Peak in the background. The back of the menu says nothing about the photo and is instead written in praise of steam. “The Canadian Pacific has unwavering faith in steam, the power that has been behind every step of its march to become the World’s Greatest Travel System.”

Click image to download a 1.4-MB PDF of this menu.

In other words, two years after the General Motors FT led American railway officials to order hundreds of the Diesel locomotives, Canadian Pacific was proclaiming that it would remain committed to steam despite its higher operating costs, poor service record, and frequent demands for fuel and water. In reality, it was probably wartime restrictions that prevented CP and CN from buying Diesels in 1940 and 1941.

This particular menu has the table d’hôte side glued over a beverage menu. I didn’t scan the beverage menu because I didn’t want to damage the item. For the record, the menu reads:

Beverages, Cigars and Cigarettes
Ginger Ales, etc.
Orangeade .20
Lemonade, plain .20
Soda lemonade .20
Grape juice .20
Grape juice highball .35
Cider .25
Ginger ale .15
Ginger ale pint .25
Ginger beer pint .15

Table waters
Mineral waters .20
Mineral waters pint .35

Soda, seltzer, etc.
Club soda .20
Club soda, pint .35
Bromo seltzer .15

Cigars and cigarettes
Domestic cigars .10, 2 for .25 .15 .20
Cigarettes .25 and .30


1941 Kicking Horse Pass Menu — 1 Comment

  1. More tongue and sardines for lunch. I’m surprised to see all the meat and coffee available with no mention of rationing. The Empire had been at war for at least a year and half by the time this menu came out, and Canada was shipping a lot of its meat to England. I suppose they were able to make up shortages from the US, which wasn’t at war yet.

    I don’t know of any wartime restriction on EMD diesel power in 1940 or 41. EMD produced a couple hundred E units from 1939-1942, about 300 switchers of all models in the same timeframe, and about 300 FT’s. The wartime restrictions didn’t kick in until about June of 1942. I think EMD would have been happy to build as many FT’s for the CPR as they wanted, but their head of motive power thought the diesel was fine for a switcher and not much else. Only a few railroads, the Santa Fe being the most prominent among them, really adopted diesels in a big way in the period before 1942. Even the Santa Fe did it because of lack of water on their lines, not necessarily because they really liked diesels. It was a steam world in 1941, and I think very few people would have been willing to bet that every single steam engine would be gone from Class I railroads in just 15 years.


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