The Imperial Limited

I haven't talked about a named passenger train for a while. Let me write about one this week then. Most people (well, I hope?) know of the famous Canadian, VIA's rebranded version of the Canadian National Railways Super Continental that has derived her name and taken on the stainless steel equipment from the ex Canadian Pacific Railway flagship The Canadian. This fairly lazy post briefly talks about perhaps the first traces of the named transcontinental service.

An image under the Creative Commons License from the McCord Museum of Montreal
Prior to debut of The Canadian in 1955, The Dominion carried train number 1 and 2 on the CPR. This train I'm writing about today however, predates the Dominion. She existed until the debut of the Dominion in 1933.

Okay enough of that crap to make up for word count. This train is called the Imperial Limited. Quite an impressive name really. The Imperial Limited was introduced in 1899 as a seasonal luxury supplement to the then Atlantic Express and Pacific Express transcontinental train between Montreal and Vancouver. The intent was so passengers could come off the CP Ships from across the Atlantic, ride the Imperial Limited and spend their holiday in the luxurious CP Banff Springs or CP Chateu Lake Louise in Western Canada. Like any viable passenger rail service, the train proved to be very popular. Like any viable passenger rail service, the Imperial Limited proved to be very popular. In 1911, The Imperial Limited service was extended to year round and the Atlantic Express and Pacific Express were withdrawn.


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