Canadian National Winter, 1956 Timetable

This timetable fills a whopping 80 pages plus four pages of covers. The cover illustrates CN’s entire transportation system: planes, passenger and freight trains, hotels, trucks, ships, and telecommunications.

Click image to download a 46.3-MB PDF of this timetable.

Most railroads put their glamorous long-distance trains in the front of their timetables, working their way through secondary trains with local trains in the back after the centerfold map. Not CN. Most of the first 129 timetables in this schedule are for local trains, with an occasional Montreal-New York or Montreal-Halifax thrown in. You have to turn to timetable 130, on page 46–several pages after the center maps–to find the timetables for CN’s Montreal/Toronto-Vancouver trains, the Super Continental and Continental.

The Super Continental and Continental both used streamlined equipment in 1956, but they were hardly equal. The Continental was the local train, stopping so frequently that it took twelve to fourteen hours longer to journey across the nation than the Super Continental. The latter train was also better equipped, with a coffee-shop car and a dining car of some sort for its entire journey, while the Continental only had both west of Winnipeg, just a “dinette” car east of Winnipeg to Montreal, and no food service at all on the Toronto leg.

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