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Old Time Trains


Canadian Pacific Railway


The Dominion

The Dominion was the CPR's premier cross-Canada passenger train beginning year round June 25, 1933 until superseded by The Canadian an all-stainless steel diesel hauled train effective August 24, 1955. The Dominion continued in operation until February 1966.

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.
Number 9 ran between Montreal and Sudbury and Number 10 in opposite direction.

Trains 5 and 6. Trains 9 and 10.

Riding The Dominion

The Dominion in diesel era.




Predecessor transcontinental name trains.

Earliest name trains were the westbound Pacific Express and eastbound Atlantic Express.
Others in both directions were the Imperial Limited and Trans Canada Limited.

Glacier House. Built 1887 expanded 1892 and 1904
R.Maynard/City of Vancouver Archives


Passenger train stopped at Glacier House at a time (after 1906) after much expansion.
A full head of steam is evident as the safety valves pop off.
Digital restoration: Gordon Kennedy


D9 575 westbound with possibly Pacific Express at Banff.
Judging by tour buses this is likely Teens or early Twenties.

No. 4 eng. 575 Toronto Express eastbound and putting on a show for the photographer well known by local engineers.
Calgary, February 22, 1925. Cy Littlebury/Lance Camp Collection

Publicity photograph prior to introduction of the short-lived all-sleeping car Trans-Canada Limited.
Windsor Station, Montreal. May 1929. G3d 2327 MLW #66765 8/1926

Note: Passenger equipment was painted Tuscan red with gold leaf lettering however,
locomotives were still black until 1935 by which time the train was long gone.

Open observation car on Trans-Canada Limited near Field. Digital restoration: Gordon Kennedy

5903 with unidentified passenger train. Digital restoration Gordon Kennedy

This is thought to be Trans-Canada Limited stopped at Field, BC, Monday, June 14, 1926.
Mount Stephen House at far right.
Note white sign beside platform pointed upward towards Mount Stephen itself.



Solarium cars


The Dominion eastbound to Montreal at Massive, Alberta. C.1949-1950

Note: Third car is a Colonist sleeper. Open observation car on rear used in mountains only.
Fifth car is a 2100 lightweight coach beside which newspapers litter the scene
causing the photograph by CPR photographer Nicholas Morant to be rejected by
CPR Public Relations Department. Doug Phillips

NOTE: The mountain in the background is in Banff National Park and was at the time (1946-1979) named
Mount Eisenhower in honour of the World War II US general Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Its original name when first discovered in 1858 by explorer James Hector was Castle Mountain
so named for its appearance. It was rightly restored to its historical name in November of 1979.


2837 No.5 westbound at Carberry, Manitoba. April 28, 1952 Doug Phillips

Only a few of these cars were through from the east, as most of the cars will have originated at Winnipeg which was a very big distribution center for the west in those days. For example the Eaton’s catalogs were printed in the ‘Peg’ in a huge warehouse and most items as mail orders were delivered by CP Express on CP lines. Overseas bulk mail delivered by CPR steamships in Quebec, Montreal and/or Saint John NB was transferred across country to Vancouver, BC in No 5 for forwarding to Pacific destinations. One steamship line made a direct connection Vancouver to Australia which ended around 1952/53…..airplanes were starting to make their in roads.

No postal car was in the consist at this time as they were in the local trains running between Winnipeg and Moose Jaw, Sask. Only one rider coach is on the rear. When the Wpg-MJ locals came off in 1955/56, the postal cars were added to 5-6.
One of the two “Dominion’s” would have a postal car as well. Doug Phillips

G3d 2339 in scenic northern Ontario. Circa 1930's. Digital restoration Gordon Kennedy

Number 2 Engine 2429 eastbound with The Dominion near Kenora, Ont. Sunday, August 15, 1948
Presence of dining car indicates it was one of the two days a week when passengers were handled
connecting to CPR Great Lakes Steamship at Fort William.
Patterson-George Collection


Royal Hudsons

The Dominion No. 4 engine 2839 just west of Rossport, Ontario destined Toronto. August 15, 1951.
Elmer Treloar/NMS&T collection.

Note: The Dominion operated as Number 8 Vancouver-Montreal. A second train Number 4 Vancouver-Toronto.

This locomotive was once part of the Government of Ontario collection for the still-born Transportation Museum in Toronto.
Its disposal caused dismay and resentment when it went to the USA where it had a chequered career with various owners.
The Royal Hudson operated for a time including mainline excursions before being stored and eventually acquired by a
private automobile museum in Sylmar, California where it remains. 2839 preserved.

Brand new H-1-c 2842 (MLW #68955 9/1937) Not yet a Royal Hudson.
Outremont 1937 Elwin K. Heath/Bud Laws Collection

Note: 2838-2842 were built with boosters for use on the grades of the rugged Algoma District and were
assigned to John Street in Toronto operating Toronto-Fort William 811 miles without change of engine
hauling The Dominion with 18 cars. Four engines were required to protect this run, the fifth being a spare,
which may explain why it was in Montreal for a time.


H1c 2848 (MLW 68979 12/1937) at 18th Street Tower, Brandon, Manitoba. 6/4/1939 Most likely this is The Dominion.
Joe Boreskie/Joseph Testagrose Collection

Note the original style of stack cowl with built-in illuminated number boards. Not yet a "Royal" Hudson.

2848 running as Second 3 The Dominion with a clear stack! Brandon 9/11/1947
L.A.Stuckey/James A. Brown Collection

Montreal - Sudbury


2858 ? No. 8 eastbound east of Montreal West. CPR/Steve Morris Collection
Note advertisement painted on building for Peg Top 5 cent cigars.
These were manufactured only by L.O.Grothe Ltd. Montreal.

Note: Engine does not have Royal Crown suggesting pre-1939 Royal Tour photo date.

No. 8 eng 2859 at Mile 4.3 Montreal West eastbound to Windsor Station. CPR/Kevin Day Collection.

Note: Engine does not have Royal Crown suggesting pre-1939 Royal Tour photo date.

Number 7 engine 2859 The Dominion westbound from Montreal to Vancouver.

North Bay August 1953 John McIntosh/Jonathan Archibald Collection Two photos.

Cape solarium observation sleeper brings up the rear of The Dominion.

2859 taking water at unknown location c.1940's Bud Laws Collection

Selkirks in the Mountains

While the caption refers to a "triple-header" in fact two of these engine are assisting the road engine. 1948
Digital restoration Gordon Kennedy

5922 on Number 2 The Dominion sitting at Field, BC September 17, 1951 Ronald S. Ritchie.
Note the mountain lights aimed to show around curves. Predecessor of modern ditch lights.

No. 7 eng. 5926 The Dominion in a busy scene at Banff in 1947.
Canadian Pacific/Steve Morris Collection
Digital restoration: Gordon Kennedy

5927 The Dominion passing by Sawback Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Digital restoration: Gordon Kennedy

5927 with Second section of The Dominion at Banff, Alberta July 31, 1939 E.Towler/Bud Laws Collection

T1b 5928 with a coal-fired P2 class 2-8-2 assisting. Painting by the famous railroad artist Howard Fogg.

Second 4 engine 5929 with coal-fired assist engine 5813 cut in behind. On 2.2% grade in Kicking Horse Pass.
Canadian Pacific/Nicholas Morant

The extended fairing around the stack housed a cowl which was raised by compressed air to deflect the exhaust backwards in tunnels and snowsheds to prevent damage to the roofs of these structures. However, this made the cab worse and were unpopular therefore not always used. This was a little-known feature.

This was one of many Canadian Pacific Railway Public Relations Department photographs taken by company photographer Nicholas Morant and was first published in 1978 in Volume One of Canadian Pacific in the Rockies by D. M. Bain.
This was the first of many interesting booklets printed over the next 30 years by the BRMNA.

5934 (second to last Selkirk) with The Dominion descending Field Hill near Cathedral. c. 1949

5800 Class S2 2-10-2 assisting on heavy grades in the mountains.

Great action shot of 5802 assisting 5439 on Second 8 at Yoho, BC 9/1951
Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection.

5802 assisting 5932 around photogenic curve Yoho 9/1951 Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection

A 5800 assists a 5300 on Spiral loop. Digital restoration: Gordon Kennedy.

5803 assisting 5924 eastbound at Field, 7/15/1939 Note the tour bus in left background.
Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection

5804 assisting 3669 (unusual choice for road engine on passenger) First 4, Revelstoke 9/20/1939
Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection

5805 assisting 5921 on Second 4 leaving Revelstoke 9/20/1939.
Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection

5810 assisting a 5900 around the curve Yoho, BC June 1943
Peter Cox/Bruce Chapman Collection

5811 assisting 5933 eastbound at Field, BC April 1949 Bud Laws Collection

5811 assisting (Field to Lake Louise) 592x on eastbound passenger approaching Lake Louise (M.116.6) passing signal 1171 at Mileage 117 Laggan Subdivision which looks to have been newly installed. G.C.Corey/Bruce Chapman Collection

General Railway Signal equipped the line with these searchlight type signals replacing semaphores.
GRS commissioned a series of photographs to document their work.

5812 assisting 5925 Field, BC 7/1939 Lawrence Stuckey/Bruce Chapman Collection



The 2444 was built January 1944, but Nos 13 and 14 did not operate 1943-1947, instead the Soo traffic was handled in the Soo- Dominion west of Moose Jaw in that era. In the early 1950’s it would be train “No. 14”. Summer (April to September) No. 14 was The ‘Mountaineer’ and Fall, Winter Spring No 14 was the ‘SOO-Dominion’. (ref. ETT 1951 to 1953). I see no leaves on the trees on the right. Cars two and three behind the engine are SOO Line equipment, a mail and express and a baggage car. So the train could very well be No. 14 the “Soo-Dominion”. The express reefer is CPR and looks like a 5800 series. These cars were delivered in groups of 30 and 25 cars starting in 1950, this also should give you an idea on possible date as early 1950’s. Moose Jaw it is. Caption: Doug Phillips

2444 closeup and left side. Three photos Bud Laws Collection

Jubilee Gallery

"From Sea to Sea 1886-1936"

Well known is photograph of 2803 on No.7 The Dominion leaving Montreal on June 28, 1936.
Lesser known were the equally decorated "From Sea to Sea 1886-1936" engines that were
changed off at normal points across Canada with 2702 bringing the train into Vancouver.



The Dominion in diesel era.



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