Timetable Of 1875 Makes Fanciers Drool, published 27 December 1954Thanks to the Canadian National's Herman Grierson, I have on my desk a time table printed in 1875 of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which with the present Union Pacific and the then Central Pacific offered "the great transcontinental route to California". Rail fans could hardly fail to be interested in this ancient time table. In fact time table fancier Fred Sankoff of 204 King Street East, Toronto, in Ottawa recently, would probably drool over this old folder.
Were LocalsIt comes as something of a surprise to learn that in those days, one did not travel by a through train to the Golden State. Though its two trains are described as "express" they are actually nothing but locals. For instance, their Pacific Express actually makes every single stop from Chicago to San Francisco except a few suburban stations. It took a day just to go from Chicago to Omaha and today slow is the train that cannot do it in 10 hours. Their crack trains will do it under eight hours. The Pacific Express (no numbers to trains in those days apparently) stopped hundreds and hundreds of times.
There is a strange foot note describing "Emigrant Trains". It says: "The time of these trains is about 12 miles an hour, giving passengers ample time to see the country as they pass through it." Ample time!
But the strangest part of this treasure trove of half-forgotten lore, is what turns up on the Canadian section of their map. For instance if you wanted to go from Ottawa to Montreal you had to travel via Prescott. A line also ran from Brockville to Sand Point and stopped there. (The old B. and O.) Connecting it was a spur from Ottawa to Carleton Place. Southampton and Collingwood on Lake Huron made the map but Owen Sound didn't. The only railroad from Montreal to Quebec City was via the old Grand Trunk around through Richmond and Somerset to Chaudiere Junction. Pembroke was marked but not connected to the outside world by rail.
Stittsville was called Stiltsville.