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C a n a d i a n   P a c i f i c


The Pacific Express, 2-8-0 type engine no. 402 from 1886 at the Canadian Pacific Railway's "Glacier House" hotel at Glacier, British Columbia, c.1886 (Boorne & May, CP Corporate Archives)


Trans Canada Limited of Canadian Pacific with Pacific no. 2327 leaving Windsor Station, Montreal, in 1926 (Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives)

Trans Canada Limited of Canadian Pacific near Lake Louise, Alberta, c.1922 (Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives)

Canadian Pacific westbound express, observation car attached in Alberta, the Daly Glacier in the background, early 1930s (Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives)

Canadian Pacific train with a Royal Hudson engine leaving Windsor Station, Montreal, in 1938 (Canadian Pacific Corporate Archives)

Train of the Canadian Pacific with a Royal Hudson passing through Mink Tunnel on the shore of Lake Superior, c.1939 (N. Morant, CP Corporate Archives)

Canadian Pacific started the first trains to Vancouver in 1886. Four engines were necessary to cross Kicking Horse Pass! A route over the Crows Nest Pass was no success and also James J. Hill's idea of a link to the Pacific combined with his Great Northern remained a dream. Prestige trains of the Canadian Pacific were the Imperial Limited from Montreal and the Transcanada from Toronto to Vancouver. However, the route through Canada to the Pacific took five nights traveling time against the three days of the USA route, and there were no pure all-sleeper de-Luxe trains. Nevertheless the prestigious "Dominion" in 1955 was exceeded by the even more fantastic "Canadian" composed of stainless steel cars with red ribbon, including vista-domes and a round-end observation car, hauled by up to four orange-colored General Motors F diesels.

In 1978 government-supported VIA saved the passenger trains. The Canadian was combined with the Super Continental, suspended in 1981. The stainless ex-CPR cars got a blue ribbon and the ex-CNR cars as well as the locomotives were painted blue. From 1990 the Canadian took the Canadian National route.

Exclusive tours through the Rockies are offered by the "Royal Canadian Pacific", a de-Luxe special with GM F diesels in the old maroon/light-gray CPR colors, and by the dark-blue/white "Rocky Mountaineer". During winter 2006/07 the line was interrupted by landslides.

The Canadian
VIA, departure Vancouver, May 7, 1985:
3 Diesels F (GM/EMD)Vancouver - Winnipeg
4 Diesels F (GM/EMD)Winnipeg - Toronto
1 Baggageex CPVancouver - Montreal
1 Coachex CPVancouver - Calgary
1 Coachex CPWinnipeg - Montreal
1 Coachex CNVancouver - Montreal
1 Dome Loungeex CPVancouver - Toronto
1 Daynighterex CNVancouver - Toronto
3 Sleeping Carsex CPVancouver - Toronto
1 Dining Carex CPVancouver - Toronto
2 Sleeping Carsex CNVancouver - Montreal
3 Sleeping Carsex CNVancouver - Calgary
1 Sleeping/Dome/round end loungeex CPVancouver - Toronto

Colors: ex-CP stainless with blue ribbon, ex-CN blue, locomotives blue.

The connecting Lakeshore consisted of a CN diesel, a VIA booster, 1 van Vancouver - Montreal, 1 coach Winnipeg - Montreal, 1 coach and 2 sleepers Vancouver - Montreal, 1 Diner Lounge and 1 coach Toronto - Montreal and 1 coach Toronto - Ottawa.


The Canadian of Canadian Pacific, Stoney Creek in the Rocky Mountains (CP Rail)

The Canadian Vancouver - Toronto (- Montreal) of VIA with four F diesels at White River, May 1985 (WS)

Tourist special Royal Canadian Pacific in historic colors (Royal Canadian Pacific)


"Rocky Mountaineer" special, advertisement 2011 (official photo)




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