Passenger Trains (12 of 12)
Dayliners for the Crow and Kettle Valley
In a final attempt to reduce costs and retain passenger services, the Canadian Pacific retired its diesel-hauled passenger trains on the Crowsnest Pass Route and in 1958 introduced Rail Diesel Cars or Dayliners built by the Budd Company in the United States. These self-propelled, stainless steel cars were fast, comfortable and economical to operate. They were spacious inside and offered large windows, reclining seats and air conditioning and were equivalent to the coaches used on the CPR's premier train, The Canadian. They were, however, intended for daytime runs between cities and did not provide any sleeping accommodation or meal service.
Passenger service changed considerably just before the introduction of the Dayliners. While the new equipment was on order, locomotive-hauled trains operated on a revised schedule that the Dayliners would adopt. A daily service was provided between Medicine Hat and Nelson, but between Nelson and Penticton, service was reduced to only two trains a week. Between Vancouver and Penticton, a daily service operated.
The new Dayliners could not reverse the decline in train travel nor could they reverse the deficit in operating expenses. In June 1962 the CPR sought permission to abandon the passenger service because costs were exceeding revenues by nearly seven times. In January 1964 the service came to an end. Freight traffic was not affected by this change.
Passenger service was reintroduced on to a small section of the route of these trains in 1995 when the Kettle Valley Steam Railway began operations at West Summerland. During the summer months, steam-powered trains run through the beautiful orchard country along the western slopes of the Okanagan Valley using vintage CPR coaches and a beautifully restored steam locomotive from Vancouver Island. The Kettle Valley operation is a delightful experience and not to be missed by anyone interested in the history of the southern Interior of British Columbia or in the history of railroading. Other sections of the Kettle Valley and Crowsnest Pass routes have been developed as hiking and cycling trails that are now outstanding attractions.