The Canadian

The Canadian was officially launched as the flagship transcontinental passenger train by the Canadian Pacific Railway on 24 April 1955.  It was designated as Train No. 1 (from Toronto) and 11 (from Montreal via Ottawa) going westbound to Vancouver and Train No. 2 (to Toronto), and 12 (to Montreal via Ottawa) going eastbound.  The two sections join and split in Sudbury, Ontario and the train travels through Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and Banff.  It was the first all stainless steel dome streamliner in Canada featuring stainless equipment built by the Budd Company.  These stainless steel cars are still in use today on The Canadian, Via Rail Train No. 1 and 2.

The Canadian-the original at Banff, AB with a leading EMD FP9

Park Series observation car at tail-end of The Canadian-the original

However, with the decline in passenger ridership in the 1970s, the Canadian Pacific Railway removed itself from the passenger rail market as the Federal Government formed the Crown corporation-Via Rail Canada in 1978, which assumed all responsibilities for CPR's passenger services.  Despite the name, The Canadian today is routed through the Canadian National mainline via Sioux-Lookout, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Jasper formerly used by The Super Continental, former Canadian National Train No. 1 and 2, and former Via Rail Train No. 3 and 4.  The only things preserved from The Canadian were merely the name and the stainless steel equipment.

The Canadian-The Super Continental with EMD F40PH2 in Hornepayne, ON

The Canadian-The Super Continental in Nakina, ON

I had the opportunity to travel on Via Rail Train No. 2 The Canadian-The Super Continental between Edmonton and Toronto from 23 December to 26 December 2009.  Although The Canadian had seen better days and I could only imagine the time in its glorious past, it was still one of the greatest trains* I have ever been on in my life yet.

*strictly implies regularly scheduled passenger trains


Anonymous said…
Love the description and photos! You know, I took the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Calgary last September (2008). I totally understand how riding the rails can be uber addictive!
kardella said…
huge and old train. I wish I will have the chance to ride on like this. i just wonder whats inside this train.!

Kardella- Wedding Invitation diy
Mozy Code said…
It's good for you, you had the opportunity to travel on Via Rail Train No. 2. I dreamed to have a chance to ride on it soon.

~Janet Cox~ "Promo Code for Mozy"
charlesgraves said…
I hope I can travel that type of train. I wonder what are the different features inside.

Charles - Accelerated Online Degree

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