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Posted by siberianmo on Saturday, November 5, 2005 12:35 PM
G’day All!

PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #6

Here’s something to ponder with regard to our appreciation and fascination with
Classic Trains. Check this poster out regarding the Canadian Pacific from the 1950’s:


Canadian Pacific … by land … across Canada

Now see Canadian Pacific’s spectacular Banff-Lake Louise Route
From the Scenic Domes of the “The Canadian”

Mile-high in the Canadian Rockies, Banff Springs is famous the world over for its scenic surroundings, complete outdoor recreation facilities. Both Banff and nearby Lake Louise are on the route of “The Canadian.”

Treat yourself to the world’s longest, most spectacular Scenic Dome ride as “The Canadian” winds through the Canadian Rockies on its transcontinental route. From high in the Scenic Domes of Canda’s only stainless-steel Scenic Dome streamliner you’ll thrill to the breath-taking view of Canada’s unspoiled natural beauty. And aboard “The Canadian” you’ll find the accommodations superb, the service unexcelled. You may travel tourist or first class – coach seats reserved at no extra fare.

See your travel agent for information about “The Canadian” – in daily service throughout the year between Montreal or Toronto, and Vancouver.

Canadian Pacific
World’s Greatest Travel System


RAILWAYS – STEAMSHIPS – AIRLINES – HOTELS – COMMUNICATIONS – EXPRESS


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by cnw4001 on Saturday, November 5, 2005 2:33 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by siberianmo

For cnw4001

RDCs are special indeed, always enjoyed traveling in 'em, short distance or long. [tup]

I used to commute to Boston with the B&M aboard their RDCs back in the late 60s. There was quite a fleet at North Station; South Station too with the NH ....

Appreciate you comments! [tup]




Interesting you should mention the MBTA RDC's. Rode those on a visit to Boston a number of years ago but they were no longer RDCs, the power plants had been removed and they were coaches hauled by locomotives.

Was a handy way to get into the city while staying at a motel out in the suburbs
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Posted by siberianmo on Saturday, November 5, 2005 3:03 PM
For cnw4001

Learn something new every day - I had no idea that those wonderful B&M RDCs wound up being "neutered" for the type service you mentined. When I commuted in from Melrose, Mass. they were fully functional and operated by the B&M. MBTA hadn't factored in yet .......

My favorite RDC experience was aboard a 5-unit consist on a round trip between N. Vancouver and Lillooet, BC. The train was called the "Cariboo Prospector" (yes, that's how they spelled it) and was operated by BC Rail. All the cars were RDC1s and 3s and in fantastic condition. BC Rail had refurbished the interiors and provided on board food service at your seat - all included in the fare. A great trip and one we'll not forget. Alas, BC Rail ain't no more ........ The RDCs have been 'disbursed' and that's that.

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
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Posted by agentatascadero on Saturday, November 5, 2005 5:10 PM
Memories? The medical term would be "tntc", too numerous to count. I, too, remember going to sea, on SP 24, the Gold Coast, on the trestle across the great Salt Lake. Also, the first class service in the Pullman lounge, I was about 6, yet the waiter served my White Rock Ginger Ale in the tradidional manner, glass with ice and the soda, on a tray, poured at the seat, $.25, a lot of money in those days, my allowance for a week! The changes of power, diner and lounges at Ogden and Omaha were done with dispatch not seen recently in railroading. How about the table settings and service in the diner? Formal is the word, I still remember the UP logo inprinted on the butter patties for my pancackes. Another time, on SP 6, a late running Argonaut, standing at the back platform, timing a number of miles at the magic 36 seconds, 100 MPH!. That would be a steam powered, non-streamlined, heavyweight train. Then there was a dreamy experience on SP 75, the Lark, in about 1963. My girlfriend and I were travelling in coach, when our attendant came by and said "If you would follow me, I have something more comfortable for you." So we did, and he took us back into the Pullmans, and placed us in a double bedroom for the night. It was probably his assigned space, and what a special treat.
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Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, November 6, 2005 8:23 AM
For agentatascadero

I haven't thought about those "imprinted" butter patties in decades - for I too remember that being a "thing" that the railroads did "back when." Just taking in the ambiance of the dining car as a youngster was somethng special - atlhough I surely didn't know the word for it back then. It was kinda like Sunday dinner when Mom put out the "good plates" and sliverware and everything was "done up" extra special. Good memories all 'round ......

That car attendant who provide you with a double bedroom will most probably never be forgotten by you. Every now 'n then it's really somethng special to come across someone like that - makes one think about how nice people can be, if only .......

Appreciate your participation - thanx!

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
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Posted by siberianmo on Sunday, November 6, 2005 1:15 PM
Some NOSTALGIA on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) from The Official Guide of the Railways - Aug 1956

Thrilled travelers tell us “There’s nothing like the view from B&O’s STRATA-DOME” ….. Route your passengers via B&O and they’ll sing your praises too

Passengers traveling in a B&O Strata-Dome marvel at the thrilling panorama and natural beauty of the ever-changing scenery.

FLOODLIGHTS AT NIGHT

Powerful floodlight beams provide a novel view of the landscape after dark.

This exclusive B&O service between Washington and Chicago is offered at no charge!

Strata-Dome Dieseliners between

CHICAGO – AKRON – PITTSBURGH – WASHINGTON

The Capitol Limited (All Pullman) – The Columbia (Deluxe-Coach) – The Shenandoah* (Pullman and Coach)

THROUGH SERVICE TO AND FROM BALTIMORE, WILMINGTON, PHILADELPHIA AND NEW YORK.

*On the Shenandoah, Strata-Dome is operated on alternate dates. Available only to Pullman passengers on the Shenandoah.

BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD

***********************************************************



B&O DIESEL-ELECTRIC FEATURE TRAINS

CAPITOL LIMITED – COLUMBIAN – SHENANDOAH
Between Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington and the East

NATIONAL LIMITED – DIPLOMAT – METROPOLITAN
Between St. Louis, Cincinnati, Washington and the East

THE AMBASSADOR
Between Detroit, Washington and Baltimore

THE ROYAL BLUE
Between Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York

STRATA-DOME CARS*
On 3 Fine Trains

CAPITOL LIMITED – COLUMBIAN – SHENANDOAH
Chicago – Akron – Pittsburgh – Washington
Baltimore – Wilmington – Philadelphia – New York

(* In service between Chicago and Washington)

Enjoy! [tup]

Tom [4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by passengerfan on Monday, November 7, 2005 11:11 AM
And one thing about those Stata Domes of the B&O the forward bulkhead in the dome at the head of the aisle featured a Speedometer Barometer Altimiter and Clock. Only domes I can ever remmeber equipped in this manner. The B&O domes were also the only domes equipped with lights mounted on the roof ahead of the dome to provide lighting of tha passing countryside at night. Only one consist of the Shenandoah operated with a dome so it was every other night eastbound and westbound on the other nights. The other consist of the Shenandoah ran without a dome as the B&O only owned five of these cars . Two P/S built domes were built for the Columbian and the three former C&O domes built for the Chessie were assigned one to each consist of the Capitol Limited and the odd one operated in one of the Shenandoah consists. The two domes originally assigned to the Columbian were 5550 HIGH DOME and 5551 SKY DOME. The three Budd built domes were assigned thusly 7600 MOONLIGHT DOME assigned to Shenandoah and 7601 STARLIGHT DOME and 7602 SUNLIGHT DOME were the ones assigned to the Capitol Limited.
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Posted by siberianmo on Monday, November 7, 2005 11:33 AM
Hey Al been wonderin' if you'd stop by this thread! [tup]

I shudda known, when it comes to the talk of "domes" and "RDCs," why there's no stoppin' ya! [swg]

Appreciate the elaboration on those Ads, even if you've seen 'em before over at "Our" Place. [tup]

There doesn't seem to be that much interest in this topic and I'm surprised - given that the Forum is called Classic Trains. Oh well - I'll keep at it until "the well runs dry." [swg]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by gbrewer on Monday, November 7, 2005 1:48 PM
Tom,

I too took the Cariboo Prospector to Lillooet, BC that same summer of 1999. We only had two RDC cars, but the scenery certainly was grand. It made me wish I had continued north to see what is there. (This may be possible agian in the near future -- I believe a new service offered by Rocky Mountaineer Railtours is in the planning).

Makes me wonder: how many other people are crazy enough to take a train ride without any wi***o go somewhere in particular. (Not excursion or tourist trains, but regular, scheduled passenger service),

The first time I did that was to ride on the CNS&M Electroliner, Chicago to Milwaukee and back, the summer before the that line was closed down.
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Posted by siberianmo on Monday, November 7, 2005 3:29 PM
For gbrewer

You might be surprised at just how many of "us" there are who ride regularly scheduled passenger trains just for pleasure.

Interesting that your consist, during summer months, only ran two RDCs .....

The Rocky Mountaineer could institute service between Vancouver and where I live and there's no way that I'd pay the bucks to ride that "thing." As nice as it must be in terms of amenities, it just isn't what many consider to be a "passenger train." Excursion is the name and no thanx!

Appreciate your Post ........ Also noticed your "visit"over at my bar 'n grill! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by siberianmo on Monday, November 7, 2005 4:16 PM
G’day All!

PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #7

Here’s something to ponder with regard to our appreciation and fascination with
Classic Trains. Check this out (unknown origin – found at flea market; circa 1920’s)

HOTELS AND BOARDING HOUSES in the BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .along the
Washington and Old Dominion Railway

Name ……….……………….. Terms and other information

Bluemont, Va. ……….…… Located on mountain overlooking the Loudoun Valley;
… J.M. Moreland .………… modern conviences; excellent board. Rates on application.

… H. Rathbone Smith ……. Accomodations for several guests on large estate located
……………………………….. on mountain; meals at owner’s residence close to main
……………………………….. house; reasonable rates; references required.

… A. L. Longerbeam ……….. Best country board; terms moderate.

… Mrs. Millard Patterson …… Excellent board; chicken, milk, fresh eggs; home garden.
……………………………….. Terms $2.00 per day’ $10.00 and $12.00 per week.

… “The Heights” ……………. Modern conveniences; splendid home cooking.
… Mrs. T. P. Simpson ………. Terms moderate.
… Proprietress

… “The Loudoun” …………… Large lawn; tennis. Comfortable rooms, porches, etc.
… J. C. Beatty, Proprietor …… Terms: Single rooms, $15.00 per week; double rooms,
............................................. $12.00 per person per week.

Round Hill, Va.
… “Baldwin House” …………. Terms on application.

… F. P. Lowe ………………… Near town. Terms on application.

… E. L. Donohoe ……………. Terms on application.

… Fannie Wynkoop …………. Terms on application.

… Maud Wynkoop ………….. Terms on application.

… T. W. Best .……………….. Near town. Terms on application.

… Mollie Copeland .………… Terms on application.

… Edw. Finnell .…………….. Terms on application.

Purcellville, Va.
… “The Bell Inn ……………. Modern conveniences; plenty shade;
… Mrs. M. H. Beal …………. Lawn; garden vegetables. Terms $3.00
… Proprietress ...……………. per day; $30.00 per month.

… “The White Cottage” ……. Near town. Excellent table.
… Miss Rebecca Lloyd …….. Terms on application.
… Proprietress

… Mrs. E. Shoemaker ……… Near town. Large shady lawn; fresh
… R. F. D. No. 2 …………… vegetables. Terms on application.

… Mrs. Alice Corder ………. Near station. Modern conveniences.
.……………………………… Terms on applicaton.

Hamilton, Va. ...………….. Large shady lawn; fresh vegetables;
… Mrs. J. W. Chamberlin ….. milk; cream; eggs. Modern conveniences;
. ……………………………… excellent table. Terms $10.00 to $12.00 per week.

Leesburg, Va. ..………….. Located in business section. A delightful place
… “Leesburg Inn” …………. Spend day and week-end vacations. Special Sunday
……………………………… chicken dinneres.

… Mrs. Fulton …………….. Near town. Modern country home. Delightful meals;
.…………………………….. terms on application.

Electric Trains leave from Rossyln Terminal Station (Washington), located South End Key Bridge, on Frequent Schedules


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by siberianmo on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 4:17 PM
G’day All!

PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #8

Here’s something to ponder with regard to our appreciation and fascination with
Classic Trains. Check this advertisement out (from The Official Guide of the Railways – 1956)

Great Northern(GN)

Great Way To CALIFORNIA via the Pacific Northwest

Chicago-Minneapolis-St. Paul-Spokane-Seattle & Portland-San Francisco-Los Angeles

TOWERING PEAKS in Glacier National Park in the Montana Rockies.

LOFTY MT. RAINIER looks over Seattle and Tacoma.

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE is only one of the fascinating sights awaiting travelers in San Francisco.

Rail Fare to San Francisco is no more on Great Northern’s incomparable Great Dome EMPIRE BUILDER

To delight travel-experienced patrons who are planning a fall trip to California, suggest that they route themselves via the Pacific Northwest.

Great Northern’s EMPIRE BUILDER, now with Great Domes for both coach and Pullman passengers, takes the northern route across the nation - - more than two thousand miles of truly superb scenery.

Your patrons will thank you for sending them on a route where they can see the Mississippi River Palisades, Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Idaho. the Cascades of Washington and Oregon.

Connections with fine trains to and from California in Seattle or Portland. Rail fare from Chicago to San Francisco is no more via Great Northern.

For information:
P. G. Holmes
Passenger Traffic Manager
Great Northern Railway
St. Paul 1, Minnesota


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by agentatascadero on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 4:51 PM
Domes? RDC,s? I have a couple more. It ws in a B&O dome that I had one of my two most spectacular night viewing experiences, passing throiugh Pittsburg on #6, the Capitol Limited. WEe passed across the river from a long succession of steel mills. You could see right into the factories where steel was poured amid showers of sparks, cars would be rooled out of the building with their cargo still red hot, with all this incredible light show also reflected on the river. The other "show', the most amazing electrical storm I have witnessed, on #18, the CZ, heaing through Colorado and Nebraska. The RDC experience: also on BC Rail, during the Vancouver steam Expo. I had planned a circle trip North Van-Prince George-Jasper-Vancouver. At Lilloet there is plenty of time to get out for a walk, and while I was walking I ran into my good railfan and neighbor from Carmel Valley, CA, didn't have a clue he would be there. BC Rail has the most hospitible and gracious group of employees I've seen, at least in "modern" times. Time was most ALL railroaders were hospitible and gracious. As luck would have it, we were so late into Prince
George that the connection to Jasper was missed. So I came back on BC the next day. Jack, on the other hand, waited the 2 days to complete the loop, and was treated to a 24+ hour delay in Fraser Canyon , those who chose to stay with the train, Jack included, had "the greatest party ever on rails"
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Posted by siberianmo on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 6:35 PM
For: agentatascadero

Back again, eh [?] Good! [tup] Appreciate your thoughts and descriptions of your travels. That's what I hoped we'd achieve on this Thread. Slow go, thus far ....

As luck would have it, we had our plans to travel from Vancouver to Jasper to Prince George to Prince Ruppert to Ketchikan (ferry) to Prince Ruppert to Prince George to N. Vancouver all "dashed" by the discontinuance of the "Cariboo Prospector" and the sale of BC Rail. Fortunately, we didn't lose any money - came close. It was a trip I had planned out well in advance, covered all the bases, and .........

My wife and I had a cross Canada rail trip over New Years that wound up with our train (the "Canadian") being struck by a landslide just south of Boston Bar in Fraser Canyon. The train was delayed about 6 hours and fortunately no one was injured and the train did not experience any major damage. The upside is that we got to see that portion of the canyon we never saw before, going in either direction, because it was always in darkness. This time we saw the "sights" and it was one of those experiences we'll not soon forget. Unfortunately, when the journey resumed, it was rather foggy and misting, so my photographs didn't really do justice to what we were looking at. Amazing part of Canada for sure.

We know about Lillooet and enjoyed our stay there. In fact we had walked up the side of a mountain where there were several residential developments. A woman came out of her house to inquire whether we "had seen the bear." Well, that kinda changed our plans as we headed back down to the station - checking right., left and behind as we walked. [swg]

I invite you to visit "Our" Place on this Forum, it's a great place to "hang out" for the discussion of Classic Trains while having a bit of fun doing it! [tup]

Catch ya later!

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by siberianmo on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 9:39 AM
Good Mornin' Guys!

Here's something you may find interesting.

Via Rail of Canada has put together a Veteran's Train that will take more than 300 Vets, military retirees and their families to Ottawa for Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov 11th. This train will begin it's journey from Halifax, Nova Scotia today as the "Ocean," train #15 with a total of 32 cars - yes 32. The consist will include 3 diners and 20 sleepers (those numbers have not been confirmed). Change of trains takes place in Montreal where the "Corridor" train will supposedly be lengthened to accommodate the group. Return trip from Ottawa begins on Saturday, Nov 12th with arrival back in Halifax on Sunday on Via Rail's "Ocean" train #14.

A barbershop quartet will provide on board entertainment, and menus will have a vintage look.

What a grand idea! Kudo's to Via Rail and all behind the scenes for putting this together! [tup][tup][tup]

From the Via Rail website:
QUOTE: Remembrance Day Train fully booked!
The Remembrance Day Train has proven so popular that all seats are booked! As you may know, VIA Rail has organized a special Halifax-Ottawa return trip between November 9 and 13 for those who want to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies. This year’s commemoration is doubly special because 2005 marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and has been declared Year of the Veteran. VIA Rail is grateful to its customers for their confidence and involvement, and wishes all Remembrance Day Train passengers a pleasant journey!


As some may recall, I was in Ottawa this last May - traveling from Halifax by train - for the commemoration of the War Museum. Although I missed the formal ceremonies by a day, there were sufficient "left overs" and lots of Vets to meet which made the trip such a success.

"Our" Place will mark the occasion of Veterans & Remembrance Days with the Posting of relevant material from our "customers." Should be interesting, you are welcome to stop by. [tup]

Later!

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 10:06 AM
Would be wonderful if Amtrak could do the same for USA Veterans.
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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 10:09 AM
Would be wonderful if Amtrak could do the same for USA Veterans on USA Memorial Day!
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Posted by siberianmo on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 3:02 PM
G’day!

PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #9

Here’s something to ponder with regard to our appreciation and fascination with
Classic Trains. Check these combined-advertisements out (from The Official Guide of the Railways – 1956)

Great Northern(GN)

GREAT NORTHERN Empire Builder-Western Star-Newest and Best to the Pacific Northwest

DIESEL AND ELECTRIC PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVES BETWEEN CHICAGO, ST. PAUL, MINNEPOLIS AND SEATTLE-PORTLAND.

THE EMPIRE BUILDER
CHICAGO, ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS, SPOKANE, SEATTLE AND PORLAND with Direct Connections to and from TACOMA, BRITISH COLUMBIA AND CALIFORNIA

NO EXTRA FARE. ALL ACCOMMODATIONS RESERVED.

MODERN STREAMLINED EQUIPMENT.

Coach.
Great Dome Reclining Seat Coaches.
Ranch-Lounge.
Diner.
Sleepers.

Great Dome Luxurious Full Length Dome Lounge with colorful beverage lounge in lower section.


Note: specifics regarding car #, between and accommodations have been omitted.


GREAT NORTHERN Direct Route to Glacier National Park in Montana Rockies.

THE WESTERN STAR
CHICAGO, ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS, GREAT FALLS, GLACIER PARK, SPOKANE, SEATTLE AND PORTLAND via St. Cloud with Direct Connections to and from TACOMA, BRITISH COLUMBIA AND CALIFORNIA and Direct Connections at GREAT FALLS and from HELENA AND BUTTE

MODERN STREAMLINED EQUIPMENT.

Reclining Seat Coach.
Day-Nite Reclining Seat Coaches.
Dining Car.
Coffee Shop Car.
Pullman Sleeping Cars.

Observation-Lounge.


Note: specifics regarding car #, between and accommodations have been omitted.


Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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Posted by BudKarr on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 3:28 PM
Well, I have to hand it to you Captain Tom, you are trying your best to gin up some interest. Your postings are terrific and I see that one or two respondees have made some fine contributions as well.

As I mentioned over at the bar, I just returned from my trip and am still not fully adjusted, given all the travel and stopover in Iceland. This thread was rather easy to review, but the other will require a bit of time.

Let me see, you will not place a "rules violation" on me here, is that correct? Only at the bar..... oh yes, I see.

Later.

BK
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 4:34 PM
Hi, Tom urged me to take a posting from day-before-yesterday and reprint it here:

"I invite you to participate in two Threads running on this Forum:
"OUR" PLACE - C'mon in, sit a spell and let's talk Classic Trains
-and/or-
Classic PASSENGER Trains discussed here!"

So here it is with a short preamble. Hope you like it:

The day before yesterday I made a post on the trains.com website under "Canadian Passenger Railroads." In so doing, I realized how very long ago 1981 was. So I'm presenting my take on the trains by reprinting it here and how those trains have classic status. Hope that doesn't violate any rules!
********************

In the early summer of 1981 I took what’s probably my favorite solo trip, to the West Coast and back via VIA. I had just finished graduate school and desperately needed to loaf a little and get the cobwebs out of my head. The dollar was strong, VIA was subsidized, and I had a small cashed-out pension to spend, all of which added up to a good deal. I was able to travel first-class for the first time since I was a child in a sleeper.

Since there was no direct rail service from Chicago to Winnipeg, I decided to get on the westbound Super Continental at Toronto. I started out with a commuter-train ride on the C&NW to Northwestern Station, transferred to Amtrak at Union Station, and headed for Detroit.

There’s something you should know about me: I’m a jinx. Every time I’m in Canada some key component of the economy is on strike. This time it was the tunnel bus to Windsor, so I taxied across the Ambassador Bridge and holed up a couple of hours in a bar prior to catching the train for Toronto. My first-class seat on the Windsor-Toronto train was certainly comfortable, and the waitstaff brought us sandwiches, but unfortunately some engineer must have skidded a wheel because it was a rapid bump-bump-bump all the way. Gave me a headache and a half!

In Toronto, I had about 45 minutes until the Super Continental left, but after just a few minutes’ wait they let us on the train. The man in line behind me learned I was an American when we chatted. I couldn’t understand the woman in front of me, who was talking to friends. The guy behind whispered that she was a “Newfie” which accounted for the brogue. Although VIA had taken over the long-distance CN and CP trains almost three years earlier, the train was still very much the Super Continental, with its diagonally striped engines and heavy steel cars with black-and-white trim. I had a snug roomette and got my headache under control.

Many Canadians say the shield is boring but I was fascinated. I woke up at dawn and confronted the “blasted” landscape of Sudbury; then we spent the better part of that day arching around the shield with its piney forests and little tiny villages where the train sometimes stopped.

Both my transcontinental trains had “real” tablecloth diners. The food was not exotic and began to repeat itself before Vancouver but it was good: hamburgers with buns grilled in butter, spaghetti, that kind of thing. The prices were reasonable. The seating was not first-come-first served but consisted of three “seatings” for dinner, like on a cruise ship. I chose the third because we could hang around afterwards and smoke.

I was really impressed by the professionalism and considerateness of the train staff. My first sleeping-car attendant was a college-age man who made sure I had all the creature comforts. He was also modest to a fault; didn’t hit me up for a tip when he left the train in Winnipeg, but I had heard ahead of time that tipping before he left was the right thing, so I did. I was also impressed with the loving care that had been given to my sleeping-car’s refurbishment. It was clean as a whistle and was a full-step more elaborate and impressive than Amtrak’s remodeling of the Heritage fleet. I saw carpet-and-quarter-round used next to the floor instead of peel-and-stick fake wood trim, for example.

As a first-class passenger I had certain privileges, like access to the bar car. But a class structure was evident. Besides us in first class, there were essentially two classes of coach, if you will: people riding in daynighter-type cars who had paid a premium over coach were treated with courtesy and respect, but the conductor had no patience at all with some of the people from plain-old-coach. Turns out some of the younger guys were pass riders, a group the trainmen hated, and they practically “frog marched” them to and fro the diner—their only chance at penetrating the first-class fortress.

The Canadian Rockies my northern-route CN line train crossed lacks the manicured park setting of the southern, or CP route. Sometimes the mountains were beautiful; at other times they resembled God’s biggest quarry—more striking than attractive. The biggest travel disappointment I found was the dome car: it was simply impossible to see out of it! Not from dirt, but apparently it had either been refurbished with Plexiglas that then got rough treatment and scarred; either that or something was very hinky about the glass.

As I’m sure many of you know, a long train trip is conducive to making new acquaintances, especially with a lounge car to chat in. There were other Americans on the train, mostly the early-retired or the occasional cat like me who loved trains and was lured north by the bargain fares. One young lady from Australia who was on the train helped me find cheap lodging in Vancouver.

Coming back from Vancouver, I was on what was obviously the old Canadian with its lightweight equipment. I booked a lower berth because I had never traveled in a “section” before. Just as comfortable as a roomette, I thought, but unfortunately the forward bulkhead creaked like crazy! I was used to it by the second night, though. I believe the rear-end observation-car-with-dome is what is called the Park series, but I’m not sure. If anything the car was more social than the one on the CN route. Service was just fine, and remnants of an earlier life of passenger railroading were apparent in the observation area, which had not yet been refurbished but was clean. I remember in particular the blonde desk-and-chair suite against the fore wall, with its ink well and cubicles suitable to hold stationery, post cards or telegrams. I imagined what it must have been like 25 years earlier, with Marilyn Monroe or maybe Prime Minister (“Deef the Chief”) Diefenbaker riding in style. Truly a nearly vanished way of life, and it went away so quickly.

Disregarding the socializing, the magnificent scenery was worth the trip all by itself. This time the dome on the observation car was in great shape, and one had to wait one’s turn to get into it for a while. The crew was tolerant of the after-dark crowd but had to throw us out of the dome at midnight: none of us had realized that there were people occupying rooms directly below us. Nonetheless, the amenities were outstanding: I played bingo after dinner in the diner and the following day had the best omelet of my life while passing Lake Shuswop(sp??). Would it surprise you to hear that the chef was French Canadian?

I learned a lot on the trip about the country and its resources. The number of freight trains going to and fro, humping raw materials and auto racks, was astonishing to me.. The COFC revolution was not yet obvious, but the CP’s role in connecting the Orient and eastern North America was. Never a dull moment: shortly after crossing the Continental Divide the train passed a full work crew who had obviously just gotten off the track to let us by. The sight of 20 sweaty topless Canadian men waving at the train had quite an effect on the female contingent, I don’t mind telling you! Banff was just as pretty as the postcards and we had a longish stop there. Now, figure this: the post office was on strike but nonetheless one lady was holding down the fort, selling stamps, and warning us that there was no telling how long it would be before our mail could leave the country. (My friends got their postcards about three weeks later.) I’m such a jinx you’d better check with me before your Canadian trip to make sure I’m not up there disrupting the economy.

A late-night Calgary arrival found me needing a room for the night so I could sightsee the next day. Information sent me to the nearest hotel, which was a grand old railroad hotel basically clipped to the train station. As with all the other service staff I encountered on the trip, the room reservations clerk was extremely solicitous at my comfort. He asked if I wouldn’t mind taking the last room, the salesmen’s room, which has full of display material of the kind a salesmen needed to show his wares. I happily took the room and the pipe-rack clothes carts didn’t bother me a bit. The room was HUGE, not only large but high-ceilinged. Slightly eccentric, perhaps, but nonetheless a bit of luxury stumbled onto by mistake.

It was east out of Regina, a division stop, that I reached the height of my trip: a cab ride. All I had had to do was ask one of the trainmen; who got in touch with the engineer and fireman for their okay. In what I was beginning to recognize was classic Canadian modesty, the engineer talked down the prairie view and the old equipment. Just the week before he had had the run over the mountains; squeezed in with the operators was an entire American flight crew including pilot! The engineer also apologized for the “poky” (his word) equipment, since the elderly EMD loco’s (F7’s??) were limited to winter speeds lest the steam line break. I got to toot the horn and see what must have been thousands of prairie dogs go scuttling away. Apologize?? I was in hog heaven.

I flew home from Winnipeg with a million memories and a fistful of Canadian dollars; now made obsolete because of the Loon coin. Sadly, as we know the Canadian transcontinental trains don’t run every day; I understand the CP route isn’t operated at all in the winter. How sad to think that the fantastic traveling experience I had is now limited to people willing to pay US$5,000-plus for the Royal Canadian. As a result of the trip I became a converted Canadaphile and have visited the country several times since, but none so memorably as my transcontinental trip.


-30-




  • Member since
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  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
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Posted by siberianmo on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 7:27 PM
Thanx Allen a very interesting and well put together account of your experiences aboard "The Canadian."

This is a rather new thread, so the following hasn't been established yet. My hope is that you'll receive the attention your Post deserves!

Remember, you are invited to stop by "Our" Place for a repeat peformance! It has been going strong since April 12th and the nucleus is "on track" - pun is intended! [swg]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
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    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 10, 2005 11:09 AM
Have enjoyed reading all the forums here for over a year now, but the posting above of Great Northern brought back some memories - Both trains had Passenger Service Reps on Board. The Empire Builder relied on GN Ticket Office Employees; the Western Star utilized college students in the summer time. In the summer of '63, which was the last year they had them, I was one of the reps on the Star. Five days out and back from St. Paul to Seattle, a day off, and back to the trip. I lived in the same roomette, in the same car (on the day off, the sleeper went on to Chicago on the CB&Q Blackhawk, did a turnaround and came right back ) from mid-jun to after labor day - Definitely a railfan's dream job and opportunity!!
  • Member since
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Posted by siberianmo on Thursday, November 10, 2005 3:51 PM
Hello texxn22

Glad the GN Posts "worked" for you! That's the idea ..... Thanx for sharing your memories with us! [tup]

As indicated for some other visitors - check us out over at "Our" Place, lots more goin' on there!

Hope to see you again ......

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
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Posted by siberianmo on Thursday, November 10, 2005 3:53 PM
G’day All!

PASSENGER TRAIN NOSTALGIA #10

Here’s something to enjoy regarding the Union Pacific from an advertisement in The Official Guide of the Railways – Aug 1956


Overnight – Every night
between CHICAGO & DENVER Streamliner ”CITY of DENVER”

THIS SMART STREAMLINER FEATURES . . .

* The very latest in Pullman equipment; de luxe
bedrooms with newly designed, convenient
lavatory facilities. Modern roomettes . . . no
need to step into the aisle to lower or raise bed.
Also long length, restful berths.

* Coach seats built for complete comfort. Stretch-
Out leg rests and reclining backs. All seats
Reserved.

* Unusually attractive dining car serving highest
Quality of freshly prepared foods.

* Beautiful club lounge for Pullman occupants
and distinctive tavern car ”The PUB” for all
passengers.

Early morning arrival in both Denver and Chicago


WESTBOUND
Lv. Chicago (Milw. Road) ………. 4:30 p.m.
Ar. Denver (U. P.) .……………….. 8:30 a.m.

EASTBOUND
Lv. Denver (U. P.) .……………….. 3:30 p.m.
Ar. Chicago (Milw. Road) ………. 8:45 a. m.

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD



Enjoy! [tup]

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
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  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
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Posted by siberianmo on Friday, November 11, 2005 5:30 AM
In Commemoration of Veterans/Remembrance Day 2005


Number 1 of 9:

. . . . . . . . . . more Vital than gold . . . . . . . . . .

All the gold buried in Fort Knox, Ky., is less important to Victory than the rich iron ore deposits of the Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermillion ranges of northern Minnesota.

The Mesabi range along contains the world’s largest developed deposits, and much of this ore lies in open pits.

From these pits giant shovels scoop the vital “red dust” into Great Northern cars which dump it a few hours later into the docks in Duluth and Superior, at the Head of the Lakes. There ore boats are swiftly loaded for delivery to the nation’s steel mills.

When the shipping season closed December 5, new mining records had been set on the mining ranges, and Great Northern Railway handled nearly 29,000,000 long tons – a third of the Lake Superior district’s total production.

With the necessity of preserving equipment, Great Northern, between shipping seasons, is reconditioning motive power, cars, trackage and its Allouez docks in Superior making ready for a still bigger job in 1943.

The fabulous iron ore deposits in Minnesota are only part of the wealth contributed to America by the Zone of Plenty – and delivered by this vital artery of transportation.

GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY
ROUTE OF THE EMPIRE BUILDER - BETWEEN THE GREAT LAKES AND THE PACIFIC

IN THE ZONE Of Plenty

More to follow ……..

Tom [4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
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Posted by siberianmo on Friday, November 11, 2005 7:02 AM
In Commemoration of Veterans/Remembrance Day 2005


Number 2 of 9

”OVER HILL, OVER DALE, WE WILL RIDE THE IRON RAIL . . .

AS THE PULLMAN’S GO ROLLING ALONG”


Growing and GOING
that’s the story of our armed forces.

Growing every day and going every night, for long distance troop movements are usually under the cover of darkness, in Pullman sleeping cars.

It’s a big job for the railroads to haul so many cars. And a big job for Pullman to provide them. But it’s a welcome job for both of us, one we’re proud and happy we were prepared to handle.

Prepared? Oh, yes. The way Pullman and the railroads worked together in peacetime – through the Pullman “pool” of sleeping cars – fitted right into the wartime picture.

Here’s how that “pool” works:

> Railroad passenger traffic in different parts of the country fluctuates with the season. Travel south, for instance, is heaviest in winter. And travel north increases in the summer.

> If each railroad owned and operated enough sleeping cars to handle its own peak loads, many of those cars would be idle most of the year.


> With the Pullman “pool,” however, over one hundred different railroads share in the ability of a sleeping car fleet big enough to handle their combined requirements at any one time. As the travel loads shifts north, south, east or west, these cars shift with it. They are seldom idle for when fewer cars are needed on one railroad, more are needed on another.

Now that war has come this “pool”operation of sleeping cars enables troop trains to be made up on short notice – at widely scattered points – and routed over any combination of railroads.

That’s what we meant when we said that Pullman and the railroads were prepared to handle the tremendous mass movement of troops that goes on constantly.

It takes a lot of sleeping cars to do it. Almost drains the Pullman “pool” at times. As a result, civilian travelers are sometimes inconvenienced.

But the war comes first with the railroads and first with Pullman – just as it comes first with you!

AN AVERAGE OF MORE THAN 25,000 TROOPS A NIGHT NOW

GO PULLMAN
Buy War Bonds and Stamps Regularly!


More to follow ………..

Tom [4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Alberta's Canadian Rockies
  • 331 posts
Posted by BudKarr on Friday, November 11, 2005 8:36 AM
Good Morning Captain Tom,

A grand idea to commemorate the day for our Veterans. It is a special day indeed in history and of current times.

Today I have taken off in that November 11th is a day rather special to me as well. Proud of my service, proud of those in my family who served in Canada's armed forces and those of the U.S. The war to end all wars did not quite make the mark and this sorry old world of ours is embroiled in perhaps something that will never end. It is one thing to fight a foe, it is quite another to battle ideology.

My contribution for today pertains to a train called the "Merci Train." Ever heard of it? In 1949, forty nine box cars from France were delivered to the port of New York. Each box car was destined for one of the 48 states, with the 49th going to our Capital and our Territories. The contents of the cars contained gifts from the French people in gratitude for the help America provided them in freeing their country from the grip of the Nazi regime in Germany.

The rest of the story (as someone far more prominent than I, likes to say) may be found at this web address:

http://www.rypn.org/Merci/

Your NOSTALGIA offerings on this thread are just as effective as when I first viewed them at "Our" Place. Well done and good show!

BK
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Central Valley California
  • 2,841 posts
Posted by passengerfan on Friday, November 11, 2005 8:38 AM
Good Morning Tom and the rest over here on this Classic Passenger Train forum.
I remember duting the late 1960's that the US Government maintained large numbers of old heavyweight Pullman cars to move troops and recruits to training bases in a National emeergency. One paretiocular base I remember having a large number of these cars was Toele, Utah. If memory serves me right one could find these old heavyweight Pullmans in PRR, B&O, UP, NP, GN. D&RGW, SP, CMSTP&P, and many other roads . I'm not sure but ythis was one of the largest starage areas for these cars and unfortunately they are now all gone to the scrappers torch. I remeber seeing old Pullman's at several bases in the west when I drove truck. I always seemed to have loads for military bases and rember this one in particular for the large number of cars stored their. To bad they were all scrapped as many looked to be in pretty good shape. They would have be great for Gunns to get ahold of they sure would have looked nice behind that big AT&SF Northern they are restoring.
I got the day off as the firm I work for the boss lost an Uncle in another forgotten war Korea, and he shuts the place down every Memorial day.
My Sister In Law who lost her husband several years ago, he was also a Korean War veteran and earned not one but two Silver Stars. She still has the medals and the letters of commendation to go with them. Since he was a member of the same American Legion Post as I am, I suggested she donate them for display at the Post. She is thinking about it but I think it would be tragis to see them just thrown away as so many others have. Especially as they have the letters with them. Enough of my rambling lets just all remmber what these veterans and all of the others did for this great country.
  • Member since
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Posted by siberianmo on Friday, November 11, 2005 10:05 AM
Greetings Guys!

Thanx for the Posts BudKarr BK 'n passengerfan Al! [tup]

Hey Al that last one is something you may want to share with the guys at the bar ...

Catch ya later!

Tom[4:-)][oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo
  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Chesterfield, Missouri, USA
  • 7,214 posts
Posted by siberianmo on Friday, November 11, 2005 10:07 AM
”Our” Place Commemoration of Veterans/Remembrance Day 2005


Number 3 of 9

One passenger – or one million

Those carefree days when a man could almost as easily as he’d are out for the duration.

Folks have to share the railroads with the Army and Navy, just as they’re sharing everything else these days.

We wish we could still offer you an unlimited choice of departure times and accommodations, but more than a million and half troops per month must be cared for first.

That takes a lot of cars and a lot of locomotives.

It takes the time of a lot of railroad men, for these movements must be handled swiftly and secretly.

After meeting all the vast demands of a nation at war, we are not always able to serve the public as well as we’d like to – but nevertheless with a little cooperation, we’ll get you where you have to go.

Transportation is our business as well as our duty - and we want you to know that every railroad man worthy of the name has his heart in the job.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Association of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . American Railroads . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Washington, D.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . United for Victory
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

More to follow ………..

Tom [4:-)] [oX)]
Happy Railroading! Siberianmo

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