A Virtual Tour of the Trans-Canada Limited of 1929 (8)

Car #7 of the Trans-Canada Limited

The Solarium-Lounge Car River Rouge

The River Rouge  
Photograph of the Solarium-Lounge Car River Rouge when built
This famous solarium-lounge car design was used specifically at the tail-end of the Trans-Canada Limited. It could be considered the lobby and social area of the train, since the Trans-Canada was essentially a DeLuxe "Hotel-on-Wheels."

The wood is this car, as in the dining car, is unusual in that it is black walnut with inlays, a step up from the usual Honduran Mahogany.

Solarium Car Interior  

The restored interior of the River Rouge

The rooms are also furnished entirely with original furniture. The sofas and armchairs frames are of black walnut, and are upholstered close in design to the original. The carpet, as in several other restored cars, is a high quality wool Axminster.

There are still several hundred pieces of wood and trim to be mounted around the upper walls and ceilings of this room, and all finishing nails will then be set. For now, the whole room is really in a holding pattern, awaiting further work as funds permit. Indeed this is the case with many of other cars at the museum. It is sometimes better to mount pieces even if they are not totally finished, rather than risk loosing them or having them deteriorate.

At the far end is the sun-room, or solarium. This glassed-in room, using highly-publicized "Vita Glass," was provided for scenic viewing, sun, and fresh-air for passenger enjoyment. It was also a major advertising feature of the new 1929 train sets..

The rest of the car is really a replication of the original public rooms which had been removed during World War II.

On your way back out you will see these reconstructed rooms including the bar & kitchenette, the double card and smoking rooms, and bath/showers for ladies and for gentlemen.

It should be re-stated here that the Trans-Canada Limited was Canadian Pacific's premier train, and it was one of the most famous trains in the world. Bath/shower facilities were expected by the wealthy travelling public in that era, although they were expensive to maintain.

As a social car, the "River" series cars were unsurpassed in terms of elegance and service. They were also among the most expensive passenger cars ever built by Canadian Pacific, costing nearly $75,000 at the time. We are pleased here to be able to exhibit the only restored car of this type.

The car was used in work service on the CPR in the Fraser Canyon until 1980, when it was purchased for $800 and transported gratis by the CPR.

It is the only car of this configuration to survive.


We hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour
of the Trans-Canada Limited

Trans Canada Limited