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.
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.
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.