1961 Canadian Timetables

A Streamliner Memories reader who wishes to remain anonymous has offered these 1961 timetables for the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways. The covers provide an interesting contrast between the two operations.

Click image to download a 26.4-MB PDF of this timetable.

CP’s cover uses its traditional yellow background to frame a painting of the Canadian in Banff. Why a painting when the train has been in operation for seven years offering plenty of opportunities for photographs? We know the 1957 timetable featured a quite beautiful photo of the Canadian near Banff on its cover. The 1961 timetable reserved the back cover for photos, but they were the same photos that had appeared in CP ads since the Canadian was introduced in 1954.

Click image to download a 43.2-MB PDF of this timetable.

In contrast, CN’s cover uses a photo, but it is of a model train rather than the real thing. And not even a good model, but a rather dinged-up plastic CN locomotive on plain tracks with maybe a dozen pieces of non-scale gravel thrown in to give the appearance of ballast. The background is blurry and could be imagined to represent signal lights, but the effect fades on close examination. While both covers display a lack of imagination, the CP cover is by far the more attractive of the two.

“You get more. . . for less” says an ad on page 2 of the CN timetable. The ad specifically referred to an all-inclusive fare program that included meals, but it was generally true that CN fares were lower than CP fares. Whether people got more for those lower fares, however, was debatable.


1961 Canadian Timetables — 2 Comments

  1. What a strange cover on that CN timetable. I think they were going for the artsy-crafty look with the model.I haven’t been able to find a model with the N wet noodle scheme but you can see from the picture at the link that this was a Lionel sort of F-7. The crooked lighted number board, the huge coupler, the swiveling lower pilot, and way too skinny windshield are the hallmark of the Lionel F unit of that era.


    The lights in the locomotive aren’t on because it gets electricity through the third rail of Lionel track. It looks like they just placed this model on two rail O scale track, hence, no lights. There were two rail F units available in 1961. I suspect that CN’s ad agency knew the model would look really bad on three rail track so they just bought some two rail track and the handful of what looks like aquarium rocks for the cover. I can even see what looks like a wall behind the model. Pretty strange.


  2. The CP timetable really has an out of date and inaccurate route map. It looks like the Poole Bros. map has a copyright of 1938 (although the date is blurred), and then is says” corrected to 1949″. The map shows the Virginia and Truckee, the Carson and Colorado, Tonopah and Tidewater, and the Tonopah and Goldfield all still completely intact. If the map was only corrected to 1949, the V&T would make sense, since it was abandoned in 1950. The Carson and Colorado from Mina NV to Laws CA, over Montgomery Pass, was pulled up in 1943. The T&T was abandoned in 1940 and all the rails were gone by 1942. The T&G was abandoned in 1947. There are probably other ghost lines and branches on the map in areas that I’m not familiar with. Whoever corrected the map to 1949 (12 years before this timetable) didn’t do his best work with this map. One would think someone at the CP would have noticed these discrepancies and corrected the map to at least 1960.


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