Cars of State

The Strathcona, an executive night car (1927)


The Special Train for the Quebec Conference, 1943

The Strathcona is one of the two heaviest cars built by Canadian Pacific for passenger use in Canada. At 102 tons, it was designed to ride smoothly and quietly so as not to disturb its well-heeled guests. Over the years, many Canadian and International Statesmen, Business People, Public Figures, Politicians, and royalty, would have used the comfortable facilities found on board, including the bathtub and shower facilities provided for each of the five-deluxe bedrooms.



This car was built as one of a suite of two cars-of-state. It usually operated in tandem with its companion Executive day car the Mount Stephen, which is still in use by Canadian Pacific's Public Relations department.

The car is also classified as Canadian Cultural Property, the highest designation for art and artifacts in this country. It has a notable past involved with some very historic events in Canadian history.

In 1927, it was rushed to completion for the Prince of Wales' use on his Tour of Canada. In 1943, it was used on Sir Winston Churchill's train for the famous Quebec Conference. Then, in 1951 it was used on Princess Elizabeth's Royal Train Tour of Canada. It was sold by the railway in 1972, and used by the Conklin and Garret Circus in Toronto, Ontario, for many years.


The Strathcona as found in 1989.

Wall panelling in the Strathcona
This is one of the most unusual cars ever built for Canadian railway use. The walnut panelling in the lounge of this car was restored in early 1995. This includes the layered, parquet effect of the walls, which is different from the traditional flat panels with inlaid patterns as found in most of the other cars. It is unique in this aspect, and its interior restoration and refurbishing is expected to be on-going for several years.
At a special ceremony on June 19, 1993, Mr. L.A. Hill, Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, dedicated the car Strathcona at the newly-named Canadian Museum of Rail Travel.


Business and
Royals Cars