Even Railway Travel Not Simple For Him, Published 30 September 1958All I wanted was to go to New York.
Fine, I said to myself. I'll go down CPR and come back CNR. After all. Might as well live it up a little.
So I went to the Canadian National, and booked - or tried to book - a room back to Montreal, from New York.
Then, I went to the CPR and tried to book a room from Montreal to New York.
Letting a few days elapse to get confirmations of my reservations, I dropped in on the Canadian National for the reservations for my wife and self. The sad news was that only roomettes were left.
"That's easy," said this foolish railroader. "Reverse it; can you get me a bed room for two to New York, and I'll return from New York on the CPR."
So I booked a room TO New York on the CNR. and went to get a room FROM New York on the CPR.
Back came word the next day from the Canadian Pacific, that the NYC-D&H combination had no rooms or anything else out of New York.
So I returned to the CNR and tried to get the two roomettes back again, FROM New York to Montreal. Meanwhile the CPR had got the room FROM Montreal TO New York.
You think that is all? The CNR had sold me the round trip ticket. By buying it from the GOING railroad I save the expense of buying the return portion in the States.
But since I now was finally committed after two switches to going via CPR and returning CNR, the CNR could not reverse the ticket, and so I went to the CPR with the money the CNR had refunded me.
You think even that is all? In the final swap over at the CNR for two roomettes for one double bedroom, they charged me a little extra, so what I took back to the CPR was a little short. After the CPR had figured themselves blue in the face, the only conclusion was that either I or the National cannot count.
But luckily, railways keep records. I returned to the CNR and they were able to prove even to me that I had bought two cheaper roomette tickets for one more costly double room ticket, and this cost me more money.
I suppose finally I had made six trips to each office. And I was back where I started. But meanwhile the veteran ticket dispenser Herman Grierson is confined to his office with the vapors, while Canadian Pacific's E. I. Bell is shopping around for tranquilizers.
Just to round out things, the chap who made out my ticket booked me from Ottawa rather than Montreal, and so these had to be done all over again.
Yet I am supposed to be the guy who knows his way around the railways