He Wants Less Pooling And Better Service! Published 3 July 1956Open Letter To Donald Gordon And Buck Crump:
Isn't it about time you de-pooled your trains and gave the public tbe service they deserve?
The other day, I had occasion to ride the pool train to Toronto. Surely no railway ever tried harder to give the customers a good trip than did the Canadian Pacific. They double-headed the train to Brockville and I never went down there so fast. The Canadian Pacific not only wanted to be on time, but to be ahead of time, so the Canadian National could run their first No. 15, a quarter hour ahead of the schedule.
It Was Lost
I'll not say the Canadian National deliberately held up their first section, but if they had tried to do it, they could not have done a better job. They blocked the CPR out on their own track, and they stalled around endlessly at Brockville on the Canadian National. Thus nearly all the time the CPR gained, the CNR lost.
Now what happened to us should not have happened to the Pontiac local. When the trucks started passing us on the highway, I realized that Advance No. 13, the International Limited, was taking a licking. After an unscheduled stop at Trenton, I could only guess that the weary freight diesel on the siding had broken down and held us up 'till she could crawl into shelter, Being steam powered, the International either could not, or would not make up a minute.
Now whether our CNR train missed the connection with Canadian Pacific's No. 19 to London and Chicago, I do not know, but I cannot see the Canadian Pacific holding their train 45 minutes for the Canadian National.
But if you had no pooling, what a ride the Canadian National from Ottawa to Toronto could give us! I well remember in 1931 how the Canadian National up through Harrowsmlth and onto the double track at Napanee used to take us to Toronto in a little over five hours. So a quarter century of pooling has slowed us down an hour. When Donald Gordon was toiling for a Toronto bank, the Thornton-inspired CNR was really rolling and if un-pooled could roll again on its own rails. The Canadian Pacific used to take you swiftly via Tichborne to Toronto. We have gone steadily backward through pooling.
Every day four trains go to Toronto. Worst of all, two trains chase each other across the land scape every night to Toronto 20 minues apart.
Maybe the Board of Transport Commissioners can get their noses out of tariff books long enough to authorize better service and less pooling.