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Old Time Trains


Canadian Pacific Railway

The Dominion

The Dominion
operated as two separate complete trains.
Number 7 ran between Montreat and Vancouver. Number 8 in opposite direction.
Number 3 ran between Toronto and Vancouver. Number 4 in opposite direction.

Headend traffic was handled on a separate un-named train not in the public time table.
Number 5 ran between Toronto and Vancouver. Number 6 in opposite direction.


Use of the trains changed constantly from the years 1950 to 1965, with every season being a little different.

No. 9 and No. 10 carried mail and express between Montreal and Sudbury to connect with trains for/from the west.
The Montreal mail car on No 9 went through to Sault St Marie and return. Later it was The Dominion that carried that traffic to Sudbury. It’s all too complicated to explain in simple words as the make up of trains changed with each change of time. At times 5-6 only ran between Winnipeg and Calgary and in some years ran only one way east of Winnipeg.

Until the late 1960’s passenger trains were restricted to 26 cars (with exceptions to a max 28) for air brake purposes. Once a train was around 22 cars the company policy was they would look to running a second section if additional traffic was on hand. One standard was if a train was broken into two or more sections the mail car was to go on the first section. Policy was not to break and run The Canadian in sections. Periodically when the train was more than 12 hours late it would run as an extra. If more than 24 hours late would run as a section of the train on the following day. The Canadian between 1955 and 1960 was restricted to a make up of 14 cars with one additional car in the two summer months. All overflow traffic was handled by The Dominion.

The trains that carried the mail and express would usually have a rider coach for the crew and local, passengers. These trains would also be used to handle deadhead coaches, sleepers and dining cars.

Doug Phillips

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