Life's Going To Be Dull Without CPR's Old "33", Published 3 September 1958

‘The Canadian Pacific Railway took Pool train 23 and 24 off the Ottawa-Toronto run, after Labor Day.  Every night, for 18 years now, Saturday excepted, this train has left Ottawa around midnight for Toronto.  Though described as “pool”, it ran over CPR tracks with a CPR crew all the way.
     ‘Back at the beginning of the war, they found the night train, No. 33, so heavy. they started to run it in two sections.  (No. 33 actually began to run from old Broad Street Station at the turn of the century). But train controller Tom Lockwood, would not even admit the existence of this new train, since he had decreed that no new trains to go on the Toronto or any other run,.    
     ‘So it was a wide-open secret that there was another train to Toronto at night, and she went by the name: “The Second 33”.
     ‘In the old days, when I would be playing bridge after 11 p.m. – I lived it up those days – I might look up from my potential three no trump and remark:
  “The Second 33”.
   “I beg your pardon”, my partner would say  Then I would have to explain what the second 33 was.
   ‘The train ran via Trenton and Oshawa rather than follow the first 33 via Havelock and Peterboro.
     ‘Everybody liked it, because it left late, and arrived late.  It was the last thing out of Toronto at night.  In winter, instead of arriving on a cold dark winter “night”, you got to Ottawa late enough to step off in daylight.
    ‘The secret of the second 33 became such an open one that it was finally dignified with the number 23, and it has run now just about 18 years.
     ‘But the coach business has fallen off – no one wants to go to Port Hope or Oshawa at night apparently, and the sleeper business has languished, as we’ve bred a new breed of early-to-bed-and-early-to-Toronto.  So No. 23 degenerated into a “head-end train”.  The the CPR decided to send its express by piggyback, and the reason for No. 23 evaporated.
     ‘So say goodbye to this grand war-time train.  Her big 2400 blasted her way through what later became Alta Vista  We took the curve at Kemptville like a cortege, and the late sitters got a vista of Smiths Falls at one a.m.  Came the dawn, and maybe Whitby or it could be rejoining the double track at Agincourt.  Then down to Don River till you were set down opposite the Royal York Hotel tunnel.
    ‘But the biggest thrill of all was on the return trip, when they double-headed you up the long crawl to Leaside Station, while the train fell back to a creep, as the engines cough got hoarser all the time.
   ‘As I say, the CPR is making life dull for me.

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Updated 12 May 2019