A Virtual Tour of the Trans-Canada Limited of 1929

 
     
 

Welcome to the tour of the 7 cars of the Trans-Canada Limited. This is one of the five comparative train sets being assembled by the museum to illustrate various ages of railway travel.

This train represents the classic age of the railway—the 1920's —and the finest in heavy-weight steel car construction.

This only surviving set was one of ten built in 1929 to completely re-outfit the famous Trans Canada Limited on the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was the world's longest distance all-sleeper train, and the fastest across the North American Continent at the time, beating all American trains between the oceans.

This was a first-class sleeping car train only, used exclusively for long-distance passage across the continent between Montreal and Vancouver. Hence, there were no tourist sleepers, day coaches, mail or express cars carried. Special dining and Solarium cars, along with the sleepers, completed this magnificent hotel-on-wheels.

There were no "Pullman-built" cars on the Trans-Canada Limited. All cars were built in Canada, by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and were finished by Canadian craftsmen. Canadian Pacific was the world's third largest car builder after the "Pullman Company" in the United States, and the "Compagnie Wagon-Lit" in Europe. The word "Pullman," at least in Canada, usually means the builder of the car. In many other countries, it implies first class standards or a sleeping car. Canadian car builders ranked among the world's finest, as can be seen in these cars.

You may also be interested to know that the restoration of these cars has been done almost entirely by unskilled labour on Federal and Provincial Job Creation and Training programs. This usually involves new crews every 6 to 10 months, with museum permanent staff doing the training and supervision of all of the work. This has been uninterrupted since 1977.

 
On to the Combination Baggage and Crew Dormitory Car