Five-Hour Toronto Train Is What Ottawa Needs, Published 21 September 1956
‘What Ottawa needs is a five-hour train to Toronto. Though President Donald Gordon persists in doubting that it can be done, the hard fact is that more than 20 years ago, the Canadian National all but did it in five hours. That was before pooling.
‘In the halcyon days of Sir Henry Thornton and Sir Edward Beatty, the CNR used to run swiftly to Napanee, couple up with the Montreal section, then move serenely on to Toronto. We do the same stunt now but we have the more awkward two-railway deal at Brockville.
‘One of the worst features of the present pooling system is that the day parlor cars are old, the night sleepers almost as ancient. I will say that the CNR have done a lot to titivate their parlor cars while the Canadian Pacific’s 6600 class chairs cars are dull enough.
‘With a five-hour schedule, the CNR can even make it with a light engine and without diesel to Napanee. From here to the junction point at Napanee could be a real, non-stop speedway (with flag at Smiths Falls).
‘As things now are, the morning local runs in on milk train schedule, stops at Hull, Hull West, Ottawa West and Westboro, all in the city limits, you might say. It is a slow affair, and misses the fast train to Toronto (Lake Shore Express).
‘Ottawa deserves a better service to Toronto than the present 6.15 hour time, which is not as good as they were doing 25 years ago. Time brings Sudbury and Montreal closer to Ottawa, but keeps shoving Toronto farther and farther away. We are worse off now than in 1933.
‘Let Donald Gordon put on a train leaving here, say at 5 p.m., and arriving in Toronto at 10 p.m. The CPR nightside pool trains could speed up the slow service via Trenton and perk up the Peterboro night local. (Also cut that 50-minute wait at Smiths Falls on CPR No. 23). For a quarter century now, the night trains have been dull and slow, with old equipment and no eating facilities.
‘No wonder the railways are driving the business to the planes. But first, let’s have that five-hour train.